Would you like a cheap Log Cabin?

Pssst, Want a cheap log cabin?

Would you like to name your price,  you really want a cheap Log cabin, a really cheap one?  ‘Certainly Sir’ I will say to you.

We all want something cheap, we all want a bargain. Of course we all know there’s no such thing. Everything has it’s cost and every business needs to make money. Log cabins are the same as everything else, you get what you pay for – within a bit, some companies are more greedy than others of course though.

So you’re looking for a cheap log cabin? How cheap would you like it Sir?

I can sell you one as cheap as you would like it to be. A friend said to me once ‘I will make you a cabin so cheap no one will be able to beat it …. but …. never answer the phone again’

We supply across Europe to 100’s of retailers. We pride ourselves on supplying the best quality we can for a fair price. We have to deal with some very discerning customers and we pride ourselves on their satisfaction. But, some of our trade retailers want a cheaper building for their customers and, of course we can supply it.  We can supply pretty much any building they or you want to any price range. Do you really want it though?

‘Cheap cabins’:  Keep reading, we’ll get there:

Before we get onto cheap log cabins lets look at our main standards.  These are log cabins found within our catalogue and are designed for the discerning Dutch and German market.  Our standard buildings feature the following in their build:

Standard Features of a Tuindeco Log Cabin

Northern European White wood – Spruce

Spruce and only Spruce. This is slow grown Spruce: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce.  We like Spruce, it’s a white wood and there is no distinction between the heartwood and the sapwood. Knots are round and are of a similar colour to the surrounding wood. This gives a wall log a uniform colour and texture. It also does not warp as much as pine. The best Spruce is grown in fertile, old sea bottom soils in a colder climate, this is the timber we prefer as it’s stable, strong and does not warp too much. It also looks really good but does cost more than pine.

Spruce tree.

Spruce tree. THis timber has loads of qualities suitable for log cabins. Pine does as well but it is not as nice by any stretch and is a lot cheaper than Spruce.

Harvesting of our Timber

The time of year when a tree is cut down makes a big difference. Simply put if you cut down a tree in the spring it is full of sap. Cut a tree down in late autumn or winter the sap has gone.

This can make a huge difference to how many cracks appear, how many knots fall out, how much it warps and how much shrinkage occurs. The price of timber varies greatly, the most expensive timber is cut in the Autumn and winter which is when the coldest climate can be felt (further North) ~ The cheaper timber is cut in the Spring and therefore a warmer climate (lower North)

Harvesting Spruce - Last winter, as ti was so mild, caused lots of problems in getting the timber from the forests

Harvesting Spruce – Last winter, as it was so mild, caused lots of problems in getting the timber from the forests hence the high timber prices this year.

Log type and Construction

Tuin supply only solid Logs – The logs are solid in length with carefully and accurately machined tongue and grooved conical connections to interlock the logs. We do not use Finger Joints unless specifically specified and then only at the very minimum. Depending on the thickness of the logs will depend on the number of tongues we use. All our logs have a Wind and Watertight connection as standard.

All of the logs we produce for the log cabins are dried to between 14% and 16% and are in the drying kilns for three days. This brings the moisture content to the average level we expect to ensure they conform to the UK’s relative humidity.

We only take our wall logs from the strongest part of the tree, the heart of it and not at the sides of the logs: Log Cuts available for a log cabin.

Wind and watertight connections on all 90 degree corners.

Wind and watertight connections on all 90 degree corners.

At least 16 – 18mm spruce tongue and groove boards are used for the roof and 18 – 27mm for the floors, we’ve been tempted by the cheap price of pine floors but we still hold out for Spruce.

We sue 18mm at least in the roof and floors, all out timber is tongue and groove. We do NOT use plywood or OSB in our roofs.

We use 18mm at least in the roof and floors, all out timber is tongue and groove. We do NOT use plywood or OSB in our roofs.

We use good quality spruce doors and windows.  We do allow laminating of timber for the doors and windows to stabilise them.  We use good quality locks and window furniture.

We use euro locks in all our log cabins, these are three lever.

We use euro locks in all our log cabins, these are three lever.

For the roof we only use shingles and felt products from IKO. These are very high quality and last for years and years and are known as the industry leader. The roof itself is designed with a snow load calculation of 120 – 140 kg/m.sq – Strength in Log Cabin Roofs

IKO Felt shingles

So, that’s what we do as standard.  All our standard log cabins are featured within our catalogue and are available through many retailers across the UK and Europe.

But, I hear you say: “what about the CHEAP LOG CABINS? You need Cheap!

Cheap Log Cabins

We have a range on our website, these are called the ‘Private Label’ range of log cabins.  This is a range of buildings that are to the same standards as above.

Lets for a moments pretend you are a trade retailer. You want something to brand as your own?  You want something exclusive not found anywhere else?  Something of a quality that won’t let you or your company down?  “Certainly Sir” I would say, ‘have a look at these‘.

I’d then show you our range of buildings, you’d um and ah and try to haggle on the price, we’d agree on quantities and voila you have your own building or range.  We then remove the log cabin from our private label log cabin section or maybe the whole catalogue with enough commitment and you have an exclusive range!

‘But Sir, these are to our highest standards and they are not cheap enough?’ Even our private label buildings are to our top most standard, these aren’t cheap enough for you?

You want really cheaper? Hmm … this is where I start to struggle unless you are a retailer and I haven’t got to put my name to it. 

I can sell you cheap log cabins, we’ve got a lot of them but what you are asking for is a cheaply MADE log cabin

Cheaply Made Log Cabins

‘Perhaps Sir we can make you something?’

I shouldn’t be telling you this really but no doubt my reader, you have been bored long ago by my rambling so it’s unlikely you’ve got this far, so I think I’m safe to let you into the secret world of ‘Cheap Log Cabins’;

‘All our log cabins are the best prices they can be for our standards, you want cheaper though?

You nod – wanting something really cheap. I whisper to you ….

‘How cheap Sir?

Summer Time

So I get to work.  I have my standard specification, to what the Dutch and Germans expect and want but I now have to make you a really cheap log cabin just for the UK and your customers.

You as a retailer want to offer your customers a cheap building, grab the sales, corner the market;  of course you do and I can give you such a building.  So the normal standard is not cheap enough. lets work it out a little more especially for you and play with specifications:

  1. The first thing I can look at is where I’m buying my timber, they type of timer, lets go for pine, lets look to warmer climates, sure the grain is not as tight, the timber not so uniform, the knots are a little looser, the colour is not quite as nice.  “What about that price Sir?”  You shake your head “not cheap enough”.  I nod and move on in my calculations.
  2. Harvesting – this ones simple, I’ll buy timber cut down in the spring, it’s a lot cheaper and makes a big difference at the timber merchants. I hand you the estimate, shaking your head again I have to move on.
  3. ‘OK Sir’ What about the cuts? We could take the logs from the side of the log?’ Log Cuts in Log Cabins ‘This would make it cheaper Sir’ Of course, lets go for the cuts away from the heart of the tree, sure it’s cheaper and not as strong, Would your customers mind, would they even know?
  4. Solid logs – this is an easy one, I’ll make you a log that isn’t, tell you what, I’ll make it from off cuts, that pile that was destined for the factory furnace, cheap heating using the waste.  BUT, I could make you a cabin from that using finger joints: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_joint:  and Fingers!.  Now ‘what percentage should I use, surely I couldn’t go that high?’ You nod ‘Really 60%?’
  5. I’ve got something to play with, the finger jointing makes it possible for me to use as many off cuts as you want, we’ll get back to that one. I can tell you want a REALLY cheap log cabin so I can start playing with the roof and purlins. I like the 16mm – 18mm boards but OK, I’ll put in 12mm. I like my sturdy purlins measured to a European set snow loading of 110 – 140 kg/m.sq – OK it’s not important in the UK? I’ll put in thinner ones in.  It’s OK, if you still want cheaper I could even use OSB in the roof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriented_strand_board ‘not a problem at all, do you still want smaller purlins?’ ‘What about when they sag next year? Strength in Log Cabin Roofs
  6. I still ponder my timber cost.  I know how about a different wood?  You see, some manufacturers use red wood pine, it is cheaper but we don’t like it, the heart and sapwood are more distinguishable, the knots are darker, it yellows with age rather than staying white, it warps and bends more,  Its not as good but we could use that. ‘Should I use that Sir?’
  7. I know, back to my timber off cuts on the floor, what if I use a mix of redwood and whitewood?  Join them all together with the finger joints?  “Sure you’ll have different colours in the logs all spliced together, and different expansion rates, it would make a very cheap log cabin though sir?”
  8. Still playing I can look at the doors and windows, the standard 4mm glass too expensive?  Lets try 3mm, 2mm?  How about plexiglass?  ‘What about the quality of the fittings Sir?  You don’t want stainless?  You don’t want Zinc?’
  9. Roof materials, do I really have to use IKO?  “I certainly know some cheaper shingles Sir, they’ll only last a few years but will they be fine for your cheap log cabin?”
  10. ‘I know, how about a day saved in the Kiln Sir? Do we really need to dry down to 14%?’ I could offer you at least a day saving:  ‘How about we only dry to 20% and hope it will be OK?’ Surely moisture content doesn’t matter too much in a log cabin?
  11. Sir, do we really need the wind and water tight connections? This takes too long to manufacture Sir, lets lose these’ I’m sure we can Sir if that’s what you want: Wind and watertight connections.

It Goes on …. I can really make a Cheap Cabin for you

I can make you a very, VERY cheap log cabin. We won’t put our name on it though but it is very cheap or rather it’s cheaply MADE.

Any part of a specification can be changed to adjust the price to get it to any price point.

“There you go Sir” you smile and nod, very pleased with your ‘Cheap log Cabin” about to be added to your website, “we’ll make some pretty pictures for you free of charge Sir”. ‘I hope the sales go well but please don’t call us when a customer complains to you’

Look across the internet, you’ll find loads of cheap log cabins. The secret is to ask your vendor, do they really know their product?  Do they really know what they are selling and it’s quality. What is the specification and if it’s cheap where have they saved money.

Believe it or not at the very top of the tree so to speak there is only five people in the world to buy timber from in the quantities we do. These five people, including Sweden control it all.

The ONLY place to play with prices is in the specification and as I have shown you above we can play with it as much as we can to get to just the price you want to play.

This price is designed for lots of different countries according to needs and volumes.

Be aware, every supplier does this to a lesser or greater extent. Timber is timber, it’s the combinations, volumes and buying power that counts in what you finally get. Then add kiln costs, machining, delivery and the prices and quality ramp up and change.

It is simple in this business, to make it as a low volume supplier simply you will cut machining costs, cut kilns, add joints, add mixes of timber, use outside cuts, use pine, Design a really cool website, rendered pictures, videos, make some money!

As high end volume buyers – buying from one of the five without middle men we would prefer not to. BUT if you want us to just ask. But buy at least 25 buildings and don’t call us if your customer complains if you want a ‘UK special standard’ that general Europe would reject.

I hope you find what you’re looking for on your quest for a cheap log cabin but remember there is a difference between cheap and cheaply made.

6 thoughts on “Would you like a cheap Log Cabin?

  1. I’m building my.cabin from scratch…never again. The amount of work that goes into making your own is huge and costly I might add.

    • Thanks for your comment. Are you building it from your own sourced timber and design? It is always really interesting to hear other people’s projects. Do you think a bought cabin works out better value or your own? What have you made? It would be good to hear your advice and experience if possible.

  2. Very funny article. I have two cabins already and I like the look of another, particularly your clockhouse version. Keep up the good work.

  3. So true ,-a very amusing summary of a normal desire to try to get quality on the cheap.It rarely happens but I am interested in your Sigrid offer log cabin amongst others on the market.

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