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Log Cabins – The Ultimate Guide
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Log Cabins – The Ultimate Guide

Log cabins are just one of many ways a garden can be improved. But with so many choices how are you supposed to know which is the one best suited to your requirements?

For instance which would be best in the Summer vs the best in the Winter?

Therefore, to save the confusion, we have put together this handy ultimate guide to log cabins. The aim is to answer the most asked questions about all things log cabins.

From what a log cabin is, the best maintenance methods you could be using as well as which log thickness is best. Once reading our ultimate guide, there’s a good chance your questions will be answered.

What is a Log Cabin?
Types of Log Cabins
What is the Best Thickness for a Log Cabin?
How to Maintain your Log Cabin
How Can a Log Cabin be Used?

What is a Log Cabin?

A log cabin is a luxury outdoor building. It is made out of logs and originated in Europe.

It is believed the roots of a log cabin come from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, however, the exact origin of log cabins is uncertain. Although, it is believed the first log structures were built in the bronze age, around 3500 BC.

Today, however, log cabins can be spotted in a number of gardens. All with different purposes too. Some act as home offices or home gyms, whilst others simply a space to look after gardening tools and furniture.

But, which log cabin is best suited to which job?

Types of Log Cabins

There are many types of log cabins available. These include garden log cabins, garden offices, contemporary log cabins, log cabin summerhouses, log cabin sheds as well as small log cabins.

Here they are with a brief description:

Contemporary Log Cabins

Firstly, contemporary log cabins are best suited to those very much living in the modern age. Contemporary log cabins are a stylish, luxury space that can be transformed into whatever your imagination can think of.

Some features of contemporary log cabins include a modern front overhang. The overhang helps provides shade against the beaming sun, as well as shelter from the rain.

In addition, the windows are designed to give the contemporary log cabins a light and airy feel whilst providing you with amazing views of your garden. These can either be double glazed or single SAN windows.

Lastly, the modern pent style roof, which is a flat roof sitting on a slight slope.

Log cabins - the ultimate guide - contemporary log cabins
The BillyOh Carmen Log Cabin Summerhouse

Garden Offices

For the workaholic that likes to always be working, or for those that choose to work from home. A log cabin could be turned into the perfect garden office.

By simply adding a desk, chair and somewhere to plug in or charge a computer you can get to and from work in just a few footsteps. Not only helping you cut down on journey time, you are also saving on travel costs too.

log cabins - the ultimate guide - garden offices
The BillyOh Seattle Home Office

Log Cabin Summerhouses

A log cabin summerhouse is a step up from a more modular summerhouse. The stand out feature of a log cabin summerhouse is the nature of the log cabin construction. Using tongue and groove boards that interlock, the log cabin becomes a better-insulated building.

It is a known fact that summerhouses are an amazing place to relax in the late evening of the warmer months when the air begins to cool. Or even as an alternative place to sit and read the paper or flick through social media rather than sitting in the actual house.

Log Cabins - the ultimate guide - log cabin summerhouses
The BillyOh Skinner Log Cabin Summerhouse

Log Cabin Sheds

Log Cabin Sheds are perfect for those looking for an easy place to store their belongings. Whether it be gardening tools, outdoor furniture or outdoor toys, a log cabin shed can easily become a great storage area.

The seeds themselves are made from premium softwood materials which aid to provide structural durability and strength. In addition, they are available in Alpine, apex, pent and traditional styles, catering for every taste.

Made from tongue and groove panel fittings which are extremely durable, the log cabin shed is bound to provide long-lasting protection for whatever you choose to store in it.

log cabins - the ultimate guide - log cabin sheds
The BillyOh Alpine Workshop Log Cabin

Log Cabin Playhouses

A log cabin playhouse could be perfect for those wanting to treat their kids to an outdoor building built to last.

Built with beautifully crafted doors and with some log cabins featuring a multi-room design, your kids may never want to leave. Not only that, some log cabin playhouses also include shutters, flower boxes and cottage style windows helping the playhouse to have a more traditional look. In this case, you may even want one of your own!

There are many ways a kid can use a log cabin playhouse, whether it be as an arts and crafts den, a princess castle, superhero hideout or simply a place to play with their toys. Let their imaginations run wild.

Log Cabins - the ultimate guide - log cabin playhouses
The BillyOh Annex Log Cabin Playhouse

What is the Best Thickness for a Log Cabin?

Firstly, the best thickness for a log cabin will vary depending on how you are planning to use the log cabin.

Log cabins can vary in thicknesses. For instance 19mm, 28mm, 35mm, 44m and 70mm. Each thickness will provide you with varying levels of durability and strength.

A general rule is, the thicker the log, the stronger the building. The thicker the log will also affect how often it can be used throughout the year.

19mm – 28mm

19mm is the cheapest log cabin thickness and is noticeably friendly due to the budget-friendly price.

Although 19mm log cabins use interlocking construction, a 19mm thickness, although durable, will not be as weatherproof when compared to thicker log cabins. 19mm is ideal for summerhouse log cabins being used in warmer months.

Whereas, a 28mm thickness is stronger than a 19mm and is better suited to premium summerhouses.

35mm – 44mm

35mm log cabins are recommended for use in Autumn, Spring and Summer. If you are intending to use the log cabin for these three seasons, double glazing is recommended for better insulation.

Unlike 19mm, 28mm and 35mm, 44mm is constructed using double tongue. This means log cabins with this thickness are more equipped to deal with harsh weather conditions.

70mm

If you are searching for a building built with all four seasons in mind, 70mm is the ideal choice. 70mm walls use extra purlins which help make the building stronger than thinner walls.

However, although perfect for use all year round, 70mm is the most expensive option. Therefore, it is important to consider when you are likely to use the log cabin in order to base your log cabin thickness choice.

How to Maintain your Log Cabin

Before Applying the Treatment

It is important to carry out the necessary pre-treatment checks before applying the treatment.

These include using masking tape, or something similar, to protect the windows and hinges.

Then, when you begin the treatment, we recommend starting at the top of the log cabin, then continue to work your way down the building,

Best Log Cabin Treatment

Oil-based Treatments

Oil-based treatments have UV protection that is long lasting. This helps the treatment to be durable enough to only require retouching every five years.

The treatment soaks into the timber and can provide the log cabin with strong weather protection.

Water Based Treatments

Water-based treatments require no primer and can be applied onto the wood directly.

However, it is essential to ensure there is no grease, wax, dirt or rot on the exterior of the building first.

It is recommended to maintain the treatment every year to protect the log cabin from harsh weather.

Solvent and Spirit Based Treatments

One of the more effective forms of treatment is solvent and spirit based treatments.

This style of treatment requires the treatment to be stirred before use. Then, apply the treatment gently with a brush, being careful to ensure it is smooth and has an even coating.

For ultimate protection, it is recommended to apply the solvent and spirit based treatments every three years.

Pressure Treatment

Generally, pressure treated allows the wood preservatives to go deeper into the pre-cut timber.

Furthermore, pressure treated enables the log cabin to be well protected against the harsh weather. It also requires little maintenance, and will, therefore, save you money in the long run.

If purchasing from us, check our options as we offer pressure treatment on some log cabins.

Will I Need Planning Permission?

Most often, log cabins are classed as permitted development, meaning it is likely you will not require planning permission for your log cabin.

However, we still recommend checking beforehand in order to be completely certain.

Generally speaking, the larger the log cabin is, and the closer it is positioned to your property boundary, the more likely it is that you will need planning permission.

A few examples of this include:

  • If your log cabin goes beyond the boundary of your house
  • If the highest eaves height of the log cabin is 2.m with a ridge height of 4m

How Can a Log Cabin be Used?

There are many ways a log cabin can be used. However, here are a few of the most popular:

Home Office

Home offices are perfect for those just starting a small business. Or for those who are able to work at home.

With a home office, you will not need to be spending money on renting an office and you won’t need to worry about travel costs either.

Furthermore, you are able to work whenever you want as you can come and go as you please. For instance, if you prefer working late at night but don’t get the opportunity to because your office shuts early evening, having your own home office can solve this problem for you.

Home Gym

Transforming a log cabin into a home gym can be a highly cost-effective way to keep fit.

Yes, the log cabin itself with the addition of the required fitness equipment could cause a considerable hole to appear in your pocket. But, in the long run, it is a great way to save money.

This is as no longer will you be required to pay for the monthly gym subscription. You also won’t have to travel there or pay for a locker.

Having a home gym also gives you the freedom to pick and choose when to exercise. No opening and closing time restrictions allow you to go and get sweaty whenever you get the urge.

Log Cabins - the ultimate guide- Jamie's dorset log cabin
Jamie’s BillyOh Dorset Log Cabin

Storage Room

Although having a garden is an amazing feature to have on your property, looking after it requires tools. But where do you keep your gardening tools? A log cabin is just one of many ideal places to use as a storeroom.

In particular, a log cabin shed, specifically designed with storage in mind is an ideal choice.

With the options of windowed or windowless, you are able to store your belongings away with the reassurance that they are out of sight. Useful for those who have nosey neighbours.

Home Cinema

In addition, why not turn a log cabin into a home cinema. Kit it out with a big wide screen TV, surround sound system, comfy chairs or sofas, lots of pillows and blankets too.

Why not fill one wall full of shelves which can be home to all of your favourite DVD’s, unless of course, you stream all of your films.

You could even include a popcorn machine, drinks fridge, the ultimate chocolate snack bar as well as attempting to make your own slushies.

Find some blackout blinds, and install lights with a dimmer switch. Invite your friends and family around and take it in turns to share your favourite films, like your own small film club.

In just those few steps you may find yourself the proud owner of the ultimate home cinema.

For more ideas and different ways regarding how you could easily transform a log cabin into something wonderful. Take a read of our customer stories where you have the chance to hear from our customers directly. Learn how their experience purchasing with us went, how the assembly went.

Have a look for yourself!
BillyOh Dorset Log Cabin Stories
The BillyOh Devon Log Cabin Stories

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