Twisted Log Complaint

I had a complaint recently about a twisted log at the start of a customers log cabin build. I was sent these two pictures and a complaint email:

A wall log had twisted slightly.

A wall log had twisted slightly.

Twist in a log cabin wall log

Twist in a log cabin wall log which caused the lower log to lift up when unsecured.

His main complaint were the twisted logs. I tried explaining that wood does twist sometimes, it cannot be helped by it’s very nature. This can sometimes happen especially when a cabin has been unpacked and then left for a while before install. It can also happen just with the heat of the sun on it causing the wood to dry losing moisture quickly on one side. Rarely though is it a problem and it is very easy to overcome.

His second complaint was that the joints were too tight and that he didn’t have a hammer to hit the logs in. I explained that, yes, the joints are tight, that is part of why you would buy a log cabin from us: Please see Moisture Content in Log Cabins and also: Wind and watertight connections

I’m normally very good at talking through fit problems with customers but on this occasion I failed, so my colleague also spoke to him and failed. We sent pictures on how to overcome his issues but none of it was enough to solve the problem for him.

We also found out that the customer did not have the necessary tools to actually carry out the install or overcome the twisted log problem anyway. Also he explained that he was not aware of what is required in installing a log cabin and we should have let him know.

All my blogs have been in vain! None of it was referred to and I thought I had done so well in giving as much information as possible.

Mr B was one of a handful of customers I have had this year who insisted these were grounds for a big complaint and that it could not be installed.

I really don’t like complaints, especially when there’s absolutely nothing wrong. It’s also very costly for us as well and I needed to understand why a customer does not understand the install and why it become so daunting and complaints raised. I realised that no amount of explaining or pictures or email was going to solve this so I arranged a site visit with Mr B.

On meeting Mr B I was able to spend a long time with him asking about his impressions, why he didn’t realise fitting was a little more than slotting together and why he wasn’t aware of the tools needed. It came across that we’re not getting the information out there or fast enough on the product pages or post purchase emails. Mr B explained that he thought it would just slot together and would worry about installation when the cabin arrived. With the two twisted logs and the fact that the logs do not simply fall into each other the whole task became too daunting and he simply said he couldn’t / wouldn’t do it and it was a complaint, defective, fault etc.

Armed with this information we are going to have a little redesign of the site and will try to make information quicker to access. Mr B explained that he is very visual, pictures not words are needed. The only option is full videos and this is what I am now doing and will be doing all over the winter to try and help more, not just with log cabins but as much of the product range as I can.

With my sparkly new video camera I have tried to address all of Mr B’s problems and concerns which I hope will help future customers with the same problems

We took the partial log cabin installation apart and reset everything and started again from scratch.

These are the videos that arose from our conversations and his install of a ‘faulty’ log cabin, these are going to form the basis of a whole series on log cabins and their installation of several different types we supply.

Tools that are needed for a log cabin install

Installation of a Log Cabin – Full install overview

One of the biggest things that came out of our conversation was that Mr B had not expected the joints to be tight or that it would require any force to go together, he said he had ‘Expected a little resistance’. Some suppliers cabin will fall together with no effort at all, it might be a good thing when you’re installing but a bugger when it rains hard a few months later.

This log cabin install video is pretty long at 20 minutes but I needed to address every aspect of the install as Mr B wants everything spelt out, I have tried to do this for this particular cabin. Much of this applies to any of our apex log cabins and the same principles can be applied to our hipped roof log cabins.

A lot of customers will complain about instructions as well but most of a log cabin install is a practical ability and an ability to simply read a set of plans, an understanding of timber and it’s foibles does of course also help. I hope this video gets across exactly what is required. I like to think that if Mr B had seen these then we would not have had the complaint in the first place.

You may be also interested in other customers buildings posts and thoughts:


This entry was posted in Log Cabin Fitting Tips, Technical - Log Cabins and Timber and tagged , , , , , , by Richard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Richard

This blog is my personal platform which I do enjoy. It is my own viewpoint and my own ideas. I may not be right and other installers / experts may offer a different view point or a alternative way to do something. I welcome contributions from anybody experienced to do so.

All my blog writing is MY OWN personal opinion ONLY and is NOT always the opinion of TUIN | TUINDECO as a company.

Log Cabins and Garden timber have a myriad of intricacies , I love to give away the secrets, there are a lot!

I enjoy using this blog to expose them so you know what you are buying. I love to know I am causing a few problems in the industry as it can be on occasions less than honest.

I actively encourage everyone to install their own buildings. So many times I would fit and the company I was working for would charge loads for my time, only then to be faced with the embarrassment when the customer says 'I could have done that' and YES you can without paying hundreds of Pounds!

I have over 19 years experience within the garden timber industry. I have particular expertise in garden buildings including the manufacture, design and installation from sheds to log cabins and all the way up to timber framed houses.

In my time I have been involved with virtually every manufacturer and supplier of garden buildings. I have also installed pretty much every make of Garden Building there is from ALL suppliers and manufacturers.

Prior to my career change I was a Watch Commander in the Fire Service with particular expertise in chemical incidents, training, technical design / technology / IT /Procedures / ISO Systems and road traffic accidents. I retired due to a nasty injury after 20 years service.

During my time in the Fire Service, on my days off, I was a self employed fitter for any type of garden building, I worked with most of the well known companies as a subcontractor.

I now work with Tuin | Tuindeco in the UK, supporting and advising on the vast range of products. I keep an eye out for help requests when we a supposed to be closed and can usually get back to you out of hours via email only (wife and children permitting on my days off).

In my private life I consult as an independent expert assessor for companies or private individuals when a dispute is present over their structure which results in producing an impartial report and assessment for whoever requires it. This is often higher valued than a structural engineers report born from my credentials, experience and widely recognised as an 'Expert' in the field.

I am a freelance writer for numerous companies, publications and blogs as well as an independent expert and fault finder for parts of the Industry and consumers with a particular emphasis on timber structures, both framed and of an interlocking design such as log cabins.

I produce numerous articles about timber in general, information on general timber products and specific guides when needed. I hope you enjoy and find my writing useful.

Please contribute and comment to my posts as you would like and I will try to respond as best I can.

Thank you


6 thoughts on “Twisted Log Complaint

  1. In Mr B’s twisted Log complaint section you mention various issues and how to correct them, and you say the twisted log is easy to correct but don’t actually address this in the video. I can’t find it but do you have a video that deals with this issue just in case it arises when I assembly mine.

    I have see a similar issue when constructing the wooden base and they corrected it by using a ratchet strap to pull in the beam before fixing but they are using screws to do this along the length whereas on the long length of a cabin you are relying only on the slots at the end to fix the timer in place and the tongue/grove connect along its length.

    Also with the hitting of the tongues with the mallet can this sometimes damage the tongue.


    • We’ve collated a page with lots of advice and tips to aid construction, this also has a very quick video showing how to remove a twist, it’s about two thirds down the page: Log Cabin Construction Advice

      If you use timber from the pallet as sacrificial you can use this to protect the tongue as you tap them down.

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