Log Cabins Buying Advice. Pitfalls To Avoid
How Do You Make The Right Choice?
It appears to be easy to purchase a log cabin – look on the internet to see a model you like and then try to find the best price – simple! Well – NO. Because there is such an extensive range of wooden log buildings available, the quality (or lack of it) varies considerably. You need to tread carefully to ensure you are not disappointed.
It would be best if you considered so many different things before you ‘sign on the dotted line’ so ask as many questions as you want and ensure you are happy with the answers. You can then be reasonably sure you won’t be disappointed. Ideally always talk to companies with their products on display and view.
Ensure you feel comfortable with any answers to queries. Do you feel you are being pushed into making a decision and do their answers given making your choice clearer?
Buy From an Established Business
By buying from an established business you can be reasonably sure that they have a great deal of expertise in the market. More importantly, they listen to their customers. This doesn’t mean avoid younger companies but just be a little more aware of their trading record.
Most established businesses have bricks and mortar premises where their website is simply a tool to introduce their products to the public. These businesses tend to have staff available to talk to about the range of buildings on offer.
Unfortunately there are some people out there who do not act in the customer’s interest. By being aware of whom you are dealing with can save a lot of hassle later and potentially money.
Ensure You Go For the Thickest Timber
An ideal thickness which you should use for log cabins is 44mm. This thickness provides adequate strength to the building which makes it suitable for most uses. Thicker 70mm timber is the best as it is naturally insulating. This means that you do not need to install expensive wall insulation. Cool in summer and warm in winter is the best combination you could possibly have!
Provided the right quality of slow growing timber is used then 28mm logs will be suitable. The slow growth ensures the greatest strength of the wood. Avoid any fast-growing timber. I have seen cases where 19mm ‘logs’ (how they call them logs I don’t know!) are used which makes for a very cheap, lightweight building. I wouldn’t want to lean on one!
Always View Log Cabins for Sale Before Buying
With the internet, it’s often difficult to see what your new log outbuilding will be like. This is why it’s important it is so important to view your wood cabin before delivery. This way you can see how well it’s been made, whether there is sufficient head height, whether the doors and windows are solidly made and how good the timber is.
Whilst some cabin internet-only companies may claim it’s best to buy online, it is not always possible to be sure what you are getting. If they are not prepared to let you see their log buildings beforehand, then be very wary. The cheapest price is not always the best value.
Insist on Double Glazing in Your Garden Log Cabins
The better timber cabins have double glazing as standard, but cheaper models only have single glazed windows. This does reduce the cost of the building marginally but it makes it harder to keep the building warm in Winter.
Conversely, it is also and harder (and not many people think of this) to keep the cabin cooler in Summer. Add in insulation and you have a great all year round cabin.
You will also find that double glazed windows are substantially more robust than single panes due to the two panes of glass with its vacuum inside it. So warmth and strength as standard.
Are All Sections Pre-Cut to Shape?
Ensure that all apex log cabin and pent log cabin shaped ends are supplied cut to size & shape. Many cheap cabin kit manufacturers supply shaped which need to be cut by you. This may save money but means more work for you, and the possibility of mistakes.
It makes good sense to have the least amount of work as possible. The best option is to have the cabin built for you. Right – it is more expensive, but you can be sure that your new potentially self build log cabin will be constructed correctly and all you need to do is to enjoy it with your family in your garden. Also check the log cabin security features available on your cabin.
Should I Insulate My New Log Cabin?
Log cabins have quite thick walls and provide good thermal insulation, however, it can be advantageous to insulate the floor and roof as well and there is an option for that on our Trentan buildings.
The Best Timber Is Always the Right Option For You
It can be cheaper to use inferior grades of wood or whitewood and can be OK, to a certain degree, if you only want a building to last a year or two. But by insisting on the better redwood timber you can ensure a long life for your new ‘pride and joy’ for your home.
Redwood by its very nature grows slower than white wood so the grain is more tightly compacted and will last longer. It also tends to retain more of the resin within the wood which gives it a waxy feeling which further enhances the virtues.
Whitewood because it grows so quickly is prone to having little knots dropping out. So redwood, even though it can be a little more expensive, is the best option for a long term building. The timber on these buildings are pressure treated as standard for even longer life. As a bonus, not seen on many other buildings. On top of the roof boards are batons which allow air to circulate under the roof covering.
Are All Wooden Building Panels Fully Pre Made?
It amazes me that many of the cheap buildings, besides being made of chipboard etc and other nasty materials, are delivered in pieces which you have to build some of the panels yourself. Absolutely Bonkers!
If you are buying a cheap office building then always double check what you are getting. And why even consider a garden room which is not delivered and erected for you. Save a lot of worry and you can just get on with your life in your new building. Finally ensure you know about the type of treatment used on your proposed building.
Insist on Toughened Glass in Your New Garden Log Cabin
To cut costs the cheaper buildings will use horticultural glass (which is in essence – seconds) or worse still, plastic. This is actually ‘second-grade’ glass and you will normally be able to see defects in it. Away from the busy activity, it can be just about OK but on buildings which are being used regularly is it not better not to take any chances?
If horticultural glass smashes it breaks into jagged pieces and you certainly would not want your children or grandchildren getting hurt. Horticultural glass does reduce the cost of the building but is it worth the risk?
However, the better summerhouse manufacturers will, as standard, use toughened glass. A very good choice as well as peace of mind.
How Qualified Are We To Offer Advice?
We, being a family business, have been involved in the manufacture of quality timber cabins for sale since 1979 when Robin started his first production unit. Craig, Robin’s son, joined in 1990 and trained at Guildford College in joinery. For over 20 years we ran one of the largest UK wooden building companies in the south of England.
We made the conscious decision to only deal with quality materials which we knew would last the test of time. This ethos probably comes from our upbringing. Robin’s father and grandfather were Master Butchers in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire and Quality and Customer Service was always key in their businesses.
Craig is a key member of the business and is helping 1st Choice to embrace the challenges of the 21st century. With his two children Daniel and Rebecca, the future looks very promising. As you can see we are not just salespeople selling a range of products we know nothing about. We have the history behind us to ensure that when you choose ‘1st Choice’ then your new wooden cabin will be ‘1st Choice.