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Buying Guide

Log cabins are a powerful asset for many people. When you work from home, they can provide private office space to operate undisturbed, but can also serve as a studio for hobbies or a home gym. Families sometimes find that cabins are handy to house visiting relative or children’s friends on sleepovers.

Simpler, faster, and less expensive than adding an extension to your home, log cabins are an effective option when you need access to more space. However, with an abundance of options available, selecting the ideal cabin isn’t always easy. As a result, we’ve put together log cabin buying guide to highlight some of the key considerations for buyers. Read on to get prepared before you purchase.

Cabin size

Before you can pick the size of cabin you need, you’ll need to select a location on your property to site it. Consider which part of your premises will provide the levels of shade and sun you seek during the day. With your ideal location identified, you can mark it out and measure it.

Some cabin buyers get an idea of cabin size by comparing options to rooms in their home they’re familiar with. Most log cabin listings use metres in their dimensions, so bear this in mind when taking measurements to avoid mistakes. Leaving up to half a metre around the perimeter of your cabin is necessary for maintenance and treatment.

Next determine the log cabin’s use and what furniture it will need. Consider if its usage will change with different seasons. Now work out your budget and factor in the cost of the log cabin, assistance with installation, base materials, and furniture.

With an understanding of its location, purpose, and available budget, what size of cabin you need should become clear. Before buying review the cabin’s specifications and account for verandas, overhanging roofs and other features that require more room. This includes space for windows and doors to open freely.

Cladding

The term cladding covers log cabin wall construction. Typically, cabin cladding will involve solid logs or a tongue and groove construction, but both supply effective protection from the elements.

Log cabins have much thicker cladding than standard shed, with a minimum thickness of 19 millimetres. However, for those seeking to use their cabin all-year-round, cladding should be 44 millimetres thick or more to keep the cold out.

Roof design and covering

Roof style typically comes down to personal choice, with the three main designs being apex, reverse apex and pent.

A classic apex roof boasts a high peak that runs between two gables. The design offers increased headroom in the middle of the cabin and entrances are sited at a gable end. Reverse apex roofs share the same high peak of apex roofs. However, cabin doors are not positioned at gable ends but are based on the longer sides instead. Pent roofs slope from front to back instead of featuring peaks. As a result, they can be ideal for siting by a fence or beneath garden trees.

The roof coverings are commonly felt. The most affordable product is black sand felt that has a 5-year life span. Polyester-backed felt is a more durable option which supplies extra support that extends its active service life to between 15 and 25 years.

Other roof materials include wooden slats, underlay, and cedar shingles. Using underlay can prolong the life span of felt and help it hold up under harsher weather. Cedar shingles and wooden slats are added for aesthetics reasons and offer high-end finish for cabin roofs.

Glazing

Glazed windows and doors are crucial for creating a bright and ventilated cabin interior. Smaller cabins can get away with just glazed doors, but larger options benefit from extra windows that open for air. Tilt and turn-style windows are popular in cabins.

Consider which side of your log cabin will be situated close to walls or fencing when choosing windows and ensure spaces exists for effective opening. A popular door solution for cabins is glazed bifold options that have modern appeal and let in plenty of natural light.

Log cabin glazing is sometimes real glass but alternatives like styrene offer advantages. Styrene is shatterproof making it safer when children are playing football or cricket in the garden.

If you opt for a cabin with real glass in its doors and windows, consider choosing double glazing for enhanced insulation in cooler weather. Toughened glass is always an excellent choice for years of use and defence against damage.

Regardless of the value of its contents, your cabin door must be lockable to prevent trespass. The most secure option for doors is an inset mortice lock that works with a key. Ensure opening cabin windows can also be locked.

Style and layout

Cabins come in a seemingly endless array of styles ranging from modern to traditional. For a classic log cabin, try styles with apex roofs, chalet cut corners, and Georgian era windows. If you favour a contemporary cabin, consider plenty of glazing, a pent roof, and bifold doors.

However, other options include cabins with verandas, corner log cabins, cabins offering sheltered exterior areas and those with feature overhanging roofs. When selecting a style consider your usage plans. For instance, if you aim to use your cabin as a home office, overhanging roofing could keep glare from your computer display.

Multi-use cabins are also an option. Log cabins with built-in sheds can optimise space in your garden but can also serve to store work-out equipment, office files, or arts and crafts materials for your hobby. Cabins separated into individual interior areas are beneficial when you need a multi-purpose space and can serve different needs simultaneously.

Cabin base

Log cabins need a strong level surface for their foundation. A weak base will result in unwanted issues involving windows and doors or wall cracks when the structure shifts. If an existing base is present like concrete, be sure it’s level and dependable before installing a cabin upon it.

If you’re installing a brand-new base on grass, prepare the ground and ensure it is level. Remove any unwanted obstructions like roots and rocks. Installing a damp-proof membrane is a wise move before adding a poured concrete, plastic, or concrete slab base.

Cabin electrics and connectivity

Many log cabin designs are equipped with solar power. These options offer simple DIY installation and supply off-grid power for plug in devices and lighting. Solar power hubs can deliver power for USB-style charging, 12-volt battery appliances and lighting solutions like desk lamps and inset ceiling solutions. However, when greater energy is likely in your cabin, and you need the capacity to plug in three-point appliances a solar power stations is a better option.

It’s also possible to enlist the aid of a certified electrician to run a cable out to your cabin from the mains electricity supply.

If your log cabin plans involve using it perennially, you’ll need to consider a heating solution. Many users opt for portable gas heaters, but solar power can help you run plug-in space heaters. A qualified installer can also help you fit an underfloor heating system in your cabin.

Whether you need to access the internet for work or wish to stream shows and music while you work out, Wi-Fi connectivity for your cabin is also a key consideration. If your home Wi-Fi has a strong signal, you may be able to connect to it in your cabin, but a Wi-Fi booster may be required in other cases for seamless streaming and surfing. You can also run an ethernet cable to your log cabin for a more dependable hard-wired connection.

By following our log cabin buying guide you can get prepared before committing to a purchase. Log cabins are a valuable solution but taking time to consider how and when you will use its most is crucial to maximising your enjoyment. At Logspan, we have been supplying high-quality cabins to homeowners and businesses for over two decades. Reach out to us now for advice or to explore our extensive range.