Building a Log Cabin Base – Everything You Need To Know

There are several different ways that you can build a base for your log cabin. But it’s important to know how to do it properly. You’ll need to construct something that’s: solid, sturdy, and level.
If your log cabin base isn’t built properly, you could put undue pressure on it or even cause it to crack and fall down.
So in this guide, we’ll show you your options for building a log cabin base and how to construct each type.

Choosing the Right Location

Let’s start simple – the location you choose for your log cabin is important!

Some key points to remember:

  • Bear in mind roof overhangs (for pent, apex, and reverse apex roofs). You don’t want to find you’ve built it too close to a tree or a boundary and you’re unable to fit the building in.
  • Take into consideration treatment. Can you get around the log cabin once it’s been built to apply the treatment? Or do you want to opt for a ready pressure-treated log cabin?
  • Treat the log cabin as soon as it’s built. Treating it as soon as possible helps protect your log cabin from any possible water damage and rot.
  • Avoid placing your log cabin under trees. You may find the roof could become scattered with leaves falling onto it and this may also cause guttering to become blocked. Placing your log cabin away from trees also ensures that natural light will come in.
  • Make sure your log cabin is 2 metres away from your property boundaries or you may need planning permission for the log cabin.

Make Sure the Base Is Level

You’ll need to make sure the base you’ve built or bought is level. This also means levelling the ground of your log cabin site.

The stability of your base is key. Putting your log cabin straight onto the grass for example, isn’t advised. Not only can the ground be sloped or uneven, but you might get rising damp from ground moisture, or heat loss as the ground draws warmth. Make sure your entire base is flat with a spirit level before starting the building process.

The perfect base for your garden building will be stable, level, and solid. Some examples of the perfect bases include concrete foundation, concrete slabs, an eco-base or decking. But, how do you know what base or type of foundation is best for you?

Garden Decking Foundation

Log Cabin Foundation – Choosing the right one

The big question is, how should you build a log cabin base? A log cabin should be placed on either a concrete foundation, a patio area, paving slabs or decking. Any of these options, built properly, wil lbe suitable.

Once you’ve found the right base for you, the next section to focus on is actually building your log cabin base. For reference, you can see our post on how to build a shed base. For the first of these options, we’ll discuss a concrete base.

Credit: Unsplash

1. Concrete Base

Another pair of hands will be needed if you want to build a concrete base. To do this, you’ll have to mark out and level your area and build boxing to keep the concrete in as your pour it. A concrete base is great for larger, heavier, or more permanent structures. Done properly, it’ll be level and raise your log cabin up from groundwater and moisture.

If you’re pouring a concrete slab for a particularly large log cabin, you might think about sinking some mesh bars in as well.

  • Step 1: Mark out the area and dig to approximately 150-200mm depth.
  • Step 2: Once the ground is level, use compacted hardcore at around 150mm thick.
  • Step 3: Use 100 x 25mm timber to form the boxing for your base. Place the timber on the ground and adjust to the height you want your concrete. Knock in some ground posts on the outsides of the timber and drill them in.
    Step 4: Ensure the formwork is level and then you can lay polythene plastic in the bottom of your trench to form a damp proof membrane.
  • Step 5: After this add the concrete mixture and level it off using a piece of timber, concrete rake, or screed.
  • Step 6: Finish the concrete with a hand trowel and allow it to dry before washing off.

Garden patio foundation

2. Paving Slabs or Patio

Paving or patio slabs are a great alternative to a concrete foundation. If you’ve got some lying around or if you can pick some up from a garden centre it’ll also be cheaper than a concrete slab.

Paving slabs also allow for a more modern look often coming in a different range of shades and sizes.
Digging will still be an important part of this process so make sure you’ve got your shovel handy!

  • Step 1: Mark out the area you’ll be using and dig to approximately 150mm depth.
  • Step 2: Infill 150mm with 50mm scalping and compact using a vibrator plate or roller.
  • Step 3: Lay paving stones on a 4:1 mixture of grit sand and cement at 50mm deep, levelling as you pour.
  • Tips: Use flat paving stones rather than textured ones as this will ensure the base is flat for the log cabin to be positioned on. Also, if an electric supply is required, add the mains supply at this stage.
timber sub-floor
Credit: Pinterest

3. An eco-base

The eco-base is another possible choice of base. An eco-base is usually made from recycled plastic. It’s a collection of grids that snap together to form a sturdy foundation for your building when filled up with gravel or pea shingle.

It’s a great option if you’re aiming for an eco-friendly way to build a base whilst not having to make any big changes to your garden.

It’ll offer a strong foundation, although it’s still going to need a level ground to sit on. This type of base sits on top of the soil and provides a solid foundation for your building. This type of log cabin base also doesn’t require any digging after the site is levelled.

  •  Step 1: Start by marking out the area, make sure you remove the turf to leave the soil underneath exposed.
  •  Step 2: Make sure the ground is level, if it’s not, you can always fill the uneven parts using soil, this ensures overall stability of both the base and log cabin.
  • Step 3: Lay out the membrane provided ensuring it’s flat and on the area you’ve marked, your grids will sit on top of this membrane.
  • Step 4: The grids need to all face the same way up and simply snap them together using the locks on the side of them.
  • Step 5: Once positioned where you want, you can start to build your log cabin on top.
  • Tip: To make the eco-base look even better, you can fill the sections with pebbles or pea gravel for added good looks.

All You Need to Know About Building a Log Cabin Base

There are several different options for your log cabin base out there. And finding the right form of foundation can be a simple process when you have all the information.

Make sure your base is stable and level and your log cabin will sit nicely on top, leaving no room for any issues in the building process.

Flat ground is always best for your log cabin. Building on a slope can prevent the log cabin sitting properly and can cause issues down the line.

Remember the placing of your log cabin is important, making sure you’re able to get around the sides of the building. Don’t build your log cabin too close to trees or too close to your boundaries. And if you’ve got all that sussed, check out all the awesome log cabins we offer via the button below!

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The base will keep your log cabin stable, putting a log cabin onto something uneven like grass. This may result in warping and splitting of the timber or the roof not sitting right. The wet soil would also prevent the log cabin from sitting right.

A concrete base is ideal for your log cabin but there are other options available to you.

As long as your base is flat, level and stable then it doesn't have to be concrete. There are several of different types of foundation and base. All of which can be found in this post!

Overall, no you won't. Although this is dependant on where you live and the size of your building, it's always a good step to check with your local council just to be sure. Always best to double check.

Some of the best bases for log cabins are:

  •  A concrete foundation
  • An eco base
  • Decking
  • Paving or a concrete slab