When it comes to log cabins, insulation may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it is a crucial consideration that can greatly impact your comfort and energy efficiency. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of insulating your log cabin and the benefits it can provide.
Whether you use your cabin as a holiday retreat or a permanent residence, understanding the advantages of insulation will help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and discover why insulating your log cabin is a smart choice.
The log cabin besides being an attractive-looking building can provide a great place to entertain with your friends and family but can also serve as a home office, recreation room, or ‘bolt hole’ for you or your family. To ensure you remain comfortable in the summer and the winter then insulating it is the best thing to do. It will help to keep the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter. A true all-year-round building.
During the cold winter months, it makes you wonder how we can sit outdoors in shorts and tee shirts or ladies with their short dresses. The heavy snow over most parts of the country during the winter makes us think of the Swiss Alps maybe with its insulated log cabins which would be good use as a cabin in the UK.
The snow can be welcome for a short while and children enjoy playing about in it, I know my grandson Daniel, does. When the snow arrived, my wife went to the local hardware shop and bought two sledges. One made of unsympathetic plastic and one made from wood. Guess which one I prefer? When I started my insulated garden cabin factory back in 1979, the snow didn’t last too long, and the sledges stayed in the cabin!
This time of the year can be spent planning for the winter with decisions to be made about whether the garden furniture should stay outside or be removed for the safety of our cabin. The barbecue often is showing signs of rusting so maybe I’ll pull that inside as well. Having said that I don’t use it very often and remains in my garden for most of the year.
A wooden cabin is used mainly during the warmer parts of the year, but it’s a shame to close it down when the weather turns cold. The answer is an insulated log cabin as this will help to keep the cabin warmer all year round. There will be a bit of investment to do this, but the rewards are great with this added insulation.
Your children could use it as a den and out from under your feet, and they would love you for it. Or you could use it for yourself and get away from your busy life, or your wife could use it as a hobby room. Even better you can share it with all your family which has got to be good.
Other than that, an insulated garden cabin could be used as an office where you could run your business or run a small min-factory. In this instance, it could be tax deductible so even better.
The addition of insulation will make your building more energy efficient and more ‘green’. And this will help to improve the comfort zone as well as make it easier to regulate the temperature to suit you.
You can expect a reduction in heating or cooling costs so your investment will be paying off every year.
Another bonus is that it will protect against excess moisture in the air which encourages mould – which is never a good thing.
This happens because the insulation acts as a barrier to an extreme temperature between the inside and out. The greater temperature difference allows the air to condense inside.
You can also add sound insulation to the benefits as well and reduce the noise pollution which will keep your neighbours happy.
Timber has great thermal properties and because of these qualities will retain heat acting as a natural insulator. It is also able to absorb the warmth from the sun. Also, in the winter, it is quite magical when you see a cabin covered in snow bringing memories of Christmas with the family.
Your local climate can be key to what level of insulation to go for. If you live up in Scotland, where the weather is normally colder, you would choose a thicker insulation. Most other parts of the UK are reasonably the same so a reasonable amount of insulation will do the trick.
Weather conditions can play a part but as a rule, provided the building is constructed correctly there should be no problems on this part.
The traditional cabin is assembled from whole logs where they are cut to fit into each other. This method is very expensive and a bit ‘OTT’ for the UK. The normal range of buildings is cut from joists which are jointed at the corners to that they just lock together. Normally there is a bevelled round edge which creates a very attractive appearance. Thickness varies from 70mm down to 28mm. The 28mm is only really suitable for smaller buildings and is harder to insulate. The most common thickness is 40-44mm.
Your budget is important and again this is reflected in the thickness of the cabin. Logically thicker timber is more expensive, however, the type of timber can play a part. Double glazing is a preferred option and will help tremendously in keeping the building comfortable and dry.
Various options can be used such as rigid insulation (most popular), spray foam, fibreglass insulation as well as insulation with reflective material on it. This reflects the heat into your building.
It is important to realise that log cabins expand and contract throughout the year so the walls are not normally lined. You can fit a false wall and fit insulation to that. This will not be affected by the movement of the walls.
The roof, ideally, is insulated and lined from above and this gives the best return on the money. However, bear in mind this does add to the height of the building so be wary of this if you have any planning issues. If you need the building lower then you can add the insulation to the underside of the roof. The only downside to this is that you lose a little bit of height and it is a little more awkward to add.
The floor would be insulated from underneath for the best effect. Also, ensure that there is a gap under the insulation so that the air can flow underneath. This will help to keep it dry.
You can insulate your garden cabin after delivery if you have reasonable DIY skills and you are going to build the cabin yourself. All you need would be some polystyrene or fibreglass type insulation and some sheets of plywood, hardboard, or something similar, and 2×2 timbers. After you have fitted the roof, you would nail the 2×2 timbers to the roof and then fit the fibreglass or polystyrene inside these timbers. You would then line over the top with some sheet material before fixing the roofing material.
With the floor you would again nail 2×2 timbers onto the floor, fit the insulation in between and then line with plywood (at least ½” but ideally ¾” thick). This would raise the floor by 2″ if you go on top of the floor. Ideally, put the insulation in between the floor joists but ensure it does not touch your base as you need to allow some airflow underneath.
The walls are normally at least 44m thick and sometimes 70mm thick. This in itself provides good insulation values, so it is not always necessary to insulate the walls any further. Having said that any extra insulation added will help even more to keep the temperature right. All the Trentan and Humber log cabins come with double-glazed doors and windows, unlike many cheap garden cabins.
On all our log cabins we have an option to supply a lining and insulating kit for the roof and floor so nothing else would be required (supplied within a 50 miles radius of Guildford). And if you took the option of having the cabin built, then the floor and roof insulation would be fitted for you within the price. The other plus is that the floor insulation would go under the floorboards so you would not use any height within your cabin. Well worth considering if we are arranging the installation for you.
The cabins are supplied with chunky timber walls (good U-values) and double glazing as standard, and you can ensure that they are comfortable year-round with the addition of our insulated floor and roof upgrade. We use 50mm PIR Celotex / Kingspan in the roof and cover this with a structural grade 18mm OSB roof deck atop before fitting your specified roofing material.
We will use 25mm PIR Celotex / Kingspan on the floor. The fitment of insulation will not affect the internal headroom in any way and the prices shown will include fitting when our teams install your cabin.
Adding insulation to the roof and floor then will make a massive difference and help to keep the building warmer in the winter and a little cooler in the summer. The standard 44mm logs do provide a reasonable amount of insulation – the 70mm more so. However, it’s reasonably easy to add insulation to the walls after you have had the building built if you choose to do so, but you should ensure that the wall logs are still able to move according to the time of the year.
You would, like in a house, need to provide heating during the cooler months and I would recommend a dry source of heat such as an electric radiator. Never use a Calor Gas type of heater as, besides the flammability of it, gives out a lot of moisture and can make your cabin damp. Avoid at all costs.
One thing that most people don’t think about is keeping the log cabin cooler in the warmer months. Insulating the building will help massively in this aspect. And this is something I only learned by chance. On a hot summer day, I went from one of our display buildings into an insulated one and was astonished by the difference in temperature. I double-checked, and the insulated building was far cooler, so this is well worth considering.
On all of our cabin pages you will find links to the prices of the basic buildings, and on the order form, you will see the cost for that particular model. And if you are not sure, then have a chat with us, and we can help. Being able to use your garden cabin all year round is well worth considering at the stage of buying it. You will find it harder afterward to add it. So sometimes it is better to ‘bite the bullet’ and get the right building at the right time.
We are, of course, delighted to provide you with a no-obligation quote to meet your needs so call (0800) 999 6995, (0333) 800 8880, or (01483) 237550 use our contact form or call into one of our display sites near Woking and Guildford and have a chat. You will be glad you did.
There can be many challenges in adding insulation so you must research the subject to ensure you make the right decision. Don’t rush into making your choice and don’t rely purely on cost.
It is possible to add insulation your self but you need to be a reasonable DIYer. If you choose a service where it is fitted for you then you would know it has been fitted correctly.
It might seem like a lot of money but you would have the peace of mind that all is well and that you will be benefiting from this for a great number of years. You can be reasonably sure you will not regret your decision.
If you have any queries then please call us or call into our show site and see examples for yourself. If you wish to DIY we normally would, be able to advise what you would need for the job.