Your Log Cabin has just been built. 28 days later…
- By Conor Crozier
- 12 Mar 2021
EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION
Your timber building is made of a natural material which will move and contract. Changes can occur in the height of the individual logs depending on their moisture content, which may vary from season to season. These changes are completely normal and have been allowed for in the cabin design.
Inhibiting the natural movement of the cabin is when problems can occur. If fixtures are to be attached to the cabin walls, then it is essential to bear in mind that the timber building will move and these movements do not want to be prevented. Potential issues are listed below:
- Splits in the logs—this will normally be caused by logs being held together
- Gaps appearing where logs have been held—normally by an item being screwed to the logs
- Moisture entering through gaps and splits
When attaching furniture or equipment to the cabin walls care must be taken to allow for natural movement. If this movement is ignored, and furniture or equipment is incorrectly fitted, gaps may appear in the wall or damage can be caused to the furniture or equipment.
If you wish to fit shelves or furniture to your cabin there is a correct way to accomplish this by fitting expansion slats and fixing the furniture to the expansion slat.
NOTE: In the first month or so after being erected your timber building will settle quite a bit, it is best to leave it for a few weeks before adding brackets and securing fixings. Within the first year the cabin will move the most as the wood needs to settle a little more. Year two will be a little less. Years three and onwards the movement is hugely reduced. Remember the most important thing with a timber building is to properly treat it. Proper treatment will greatly reduce the natural contraction and expansion and reduce it to a minimum.
EXPANSION SLAT FOR TIMBER BUILDINGS
The very simple principle here is that we have one fixed hole at the top and slots in the middle and end (depending on the length). The top hole is screwed tight and using a washer the slot fixings are not tightened fully so allowing the logs to move behind the bracket. (See Figure 1)
SHELF FIXING IN A TIMBER BUILDING
You will see from the diagram (Figure 2) that we are fixing the shelves to the expansion slot and not to the logs. For heavier duty uses you may want a thicker slat and you may want to bolt it fully through the timber building wall.