Log Cabin Advice
This article aims to give advice on purchasing your first log cabin. It discusses possible problems including wiring and planning permission and goes through a few major brands so you can make a decision on where and how to buy. The article is generally aimed at UK residents but providing you understand your own countries building regulations can be applicable to anywhere.
Log cabins are a huge investment, they can cost anywhere between £500 to £10,000 and each has its own unique properties. They are extremely versatile and can easily become the pinnacle of any garden or property. They have many uses such as pool house, hobby house, summer storage and a small flat. There are however, many issues you need to consider when planning to purchase a log cabin. The first and foremost is planning permission. Planning permission for log cabins is a somewhat uncertain subject. If you live in a national park, a conservation area, a place of outstanding national beauty or the Broads you will be under different rules to the rest of the country. If you are not sure always, always contact local authorities. Better they know to start with than coming around later causing trouble. That being said, building a log cabin should not be a stressful procedure. If youíre only planning on building a garden building then you can consider the following points so that you will know whether or not to apply for planning permission. A garden building should be ok unless;
If your plan does however cross one of these or you are planning on using it as a full function building you will need to apply for planning permission as well as achieve building regulation standards. Even if your log cabin qualifies as a garden building it will still need to stick to the official building regulation if it is over 30 square meters. Building regulations are in place for your safety and are too detailed to fully explore here. You can easily find these on the internet but for your information the generally concern fire safety, sound proofing, ventilation and hygiene. You should always seek the validation of a professional for building regulations; itís one of the most important steps in the construction. Considering what exactly you will need in the cabin is also very import from the offset. Some manufactures have cabins with predrilled holes for cables and plumbing but if not you will need to consider where all these will be thread in order to drill any holes accurately before construction. You should also remember that you will need to prepare a base, preferably from concrete so make sure to organise this as soon as you know the dimensions of your cabins floor.
Deciding which log cabin to buy may seem an easy task but once you begin to scratch the surface of retails out there you will see there is more choice than you imagined. My best advise is to choose the approximate size and style first, then find a log cabin that fits up to this or you will be so swamped with options you may end up making the wrong decision. Here are a few factors to consider when buying a cabin.Cladding
You will often here this word used in log cabin descriptions. It refers to the thickness of the wood in the cabins outer walls and is often measured in millimetres. There are not really any Ďstandardsí when it comes to cladding but obviously you will benefit from better insulation, security, durability and a studier build depending on how thick your cladding is. If you live in an area with particularly high winds or rain then a heavier log cabin may be worth the additional expense.
You should always carefully consider size before a purchase. Not only what you can Ďfití into your garden but consider access points, room to construct and things such as visibility and natural light. Donít buy something bigger for the sake of it, look at the space you have in your garden and the space you desire and try to find a log cabin of a similar size instead of at least that size. Remember if the cabin includes a veranda to get measurements includes and excluding it to better help you prepare for how much internal room you will have.Roofing Material & Treating.
Maintenance and weatherproofing are one of the most importation issues with log cabins after and during their construction. Even if the cabin is supplied with a base coat you should always apply your own to strengthen it. Before assembling the cabin paint/coat each piece in a wood preservative as well as making sure you have an adequate amount of roofing material such as felt or shingles.Manufacturer
Always go that little bit further to purchase a cabin from a recognised manufacturer. Big brands often sold throughout the UK include Finnforest, Waltons and Solid Timber. Many stores will offer these products but delivery can be extremely expensive so make sure you check delivery from the offset or use a site with free delivery such as this log cabins site (http://www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk) Here is a brief description of the brands. Finnforest are a multinational company which now serves 20 countries and originated from Finland. They design many wooden structures and deal with almost any level of log cabins. They are a great choice for those who want to spend a little extra to get something that is trendy as well as useful. Waltons are a much more traditional UK based company that has more than 100 years of outdoor buildings experience. They sell a large range of log cabins that offer a traditional, quintessentially English feel and look great in any garden. Watons are my recommended choice as they are the all rounder of the three choices here. They offer good quality at a reasonable price constructed by people actually in the UK. Solid Timber are another popular brand. It originates from Belgium and operates one of the largest sawmills in Europe. They produce a wide range of garden produce including log cabins, screens, fences and decking. There a good choice for those looking to have an integrated garden building and fence selection.Accessories & Add-ons
Under Floor Heating is essential if you want to make your log cabin a fully inhabitable location, especially in winter. It is a fantastic accessory that some manufactures will actively endorse to heat the floor from underneath, providing a warm, comforting atmosphere without being a fire hazard. Verandas are a great addition to a log cabin and look fantastic in most gardens. While they can take up additional room you will appreciate the benefit on those long summer evenings, relaxing with some drinks in the sun. Hopefully this article will open your eyes to at least some of the issues of buying a log cabin and make the process much more enjoyable. Please donít let the information daunt you, owning a log cabin has brought many advantages to me personally and I spend a lot of time in the summer in there reading and cooking.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Farmer is a professional landscaper from Nottinghamshire England. He works closely with log cabins and garden supplies site www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk.