If you’ve been researching garden buildings you have undoubtedly heard about garden rooms and log cabins. However, you may be struggling to see a difference and understand which one is better (if either). In this article, I aim to arm you with knowledge so you can decipher the garden room vs log cabin debate and see which one is suitable for your premises.
What is a Garden Room?
A garden room is a standalone structure that sits in your garden. Garden rooms are typically made from timber but have a multi-layered construction and this is the main underlying difference with log cabins. A garden room may also have external cladding added onto the timber frame. These structures will have doors and windows and can be used all year round when fully insulated.
What is a Log Cabin?
A log cabin is also a standalone structure that sits in your garden. Insulated log cabins typically use thicker timber and may only have a single layer for the external construction which is how they differ from garden rooms.
It’s important to realise we are not talking about traditional log cabins, but garden log cabins. Traditional log cabins are those you see in films that sit out in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness – they are essentially homes built with thick timber. Garden log cabins are smaller and use different types of timber as opposed to the logs that traditional log cabins are made from.
Choosing the Perfect Garden Building
As you can see, garden rooms and log cabins have many similarities and they can serve the same purpose depending on the materials and design choices you make when purchasing either. Below, I have listed the main considerations to make to get your perfect garden building!
There is little difference in terms of cost when looking at the garden room bs log cabin debate and either could cost an average of £15,000. Compared to other space options like loft conversions and building extensions, garden rooms and log cabins are considerably cheaper. They are the cheapest option aside from conservatories and offer better functionality.
Functionality and Usage
Traditionally, people think of garden rooms as the more functional option that can be used all year round with log cabins being more akin to a seasonal summerhouse. Today, however, that is not the case as you can get fully insulated log cabins too that can be used in any season.
With both structures, you can use them for a myriad of purposes including:
- Home office.
- Art studio.
- Living area.
- Kids play area.
- Games room.
They are both incredibly versatile and allow you to create a unique space on your property.
Typically, log cabins are made from thicker timber and may not have external cladding over the timber structure. You can have them insulated though which makes them suitable for all year-round use.
Garden rooms have a layered timber construction and can have external cladding. Like log cabins, they can also be insulated and finished in a variety of colours.
The great thing about both of these structures is that you have loads of customisation options including:
- Material finish
- External cladding colour
- Windows and doors
Both log cabins and garden rooms can be customised heavily so you can get the look, shape, and design you want.
Neither a log cabin nor a garden room requires planning permission providing it complies with the necessary regulations that make it a permitted development. This includes:
- Must be a single-storey structure.
- Have eaves no more than 2.5m from the ground.
- Cannot take up more than 50% of the original land around your property.
- Cannot be built at the front of your house (principal elevation).
- Cannot be used for self-contained accommodation.
Personal Preferences and Lifestyle
When looking at the garden room vs log cabin debate you have to think of what you want from the structure. How often do you intend to use it? What function do you want it to have? Are you attracted to a particular style, colour, or shape? With these questions in mind, you should then be able to select a garden room or log cabin that is suitable.
Garden Room vs Log Cabin – A Battle of Preference
Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of the garden room vs log cabin argument. Essentially, these structures are incredibly similar and both can be used for all-year-round use providing you have an insulated variant.
Garden rooms are traditionally seen as the more longterm structure that you would use as a home office or gym for example. Garden log cabins can be used for these purposes too, but oftentimes people view them as more akin to a summerhouse that you would use to relax in during finer weather.