To the uninitiated buying a log cabin from a position of little knowledge of the product can be a confusing business. Please see below a list of criteria and definitions to look in to when purchasing. Hopefully this guide will help to point you in the right direction!
Log thickness – this is the thickness of the wall log. These can vary from 28mm thick up until 70mm and even thicker for larger accommodation type buildings. Generally garden buildings will have a log thickness of 28mm or 44mm. For all year round usage you really want a minimum of 44mm but for summerhouse usage the majority of buildings have a 28mm wall thickness. For larger games rooms and amenity cabins people generally go for 70mm log walls or 88mm for holiday type chalets.
Window and door quality – these can vary vastly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Key points to establish are whether the windows and doors are double glazed or not. Generally for all year round usage it is recommended that you have double glazing. Thickness of double glazing can also be a factor and always wise to check both glass thickiness and width of cavity separating glass. The larger the cavity the better the double glazing ! Some suppliers also use laminated timber in their window and door frames which helps them to remain more stable. Laminated timbger helps prevent movement caused by uptake of moisture. Where non laminated timber has been used warping can distort frames which brings with it associated problems of leaks and drafts. Some log cabins also have “top hung” windows which do not allow them to open fully.
Floor and ceiling material – be sure to establish both floor and ceiling material is tongue and grooved softwood timber rather than chipboard or other mixed fibre type boards. Floor thickness can also be an issue – floorboards generally come in 19mm or 28mm thickness. Likewise roof boards can come in 16mm/19mm or 28mm thickness. Obviously the thicker the timber the longer lasting the floor. Thicker timber will also give a better insulation.
Roof purlins – most log cabins have roof purlins which run from apex to apex. An indication of the quality of the cabin can be the thickness of these purlins. Thicker purlins also have a greater aesthetic appeal!
Hopefully some of the above pointers of use – it is worth making sure you buy the right log cabin for the purpose you wish to use it for!
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Happy cabin hunting!