Log Cabin Installation Guide for DIYers

Log Cabins: the versatile garden retreat

Installation tips and advise

Log cabins are designed to be constructed by a competent DIYer. If you are comfy using basic hand tools then there is no reason why you shouldn't attempt to build your own log cabin.

Nick James who builds most of the Garden Adventure supplied cabins has been an installation engineer for over 10 years and has a wealth of experience in this field.

Here, Nick passes on some useful tips to help avoid common pitfalls and achieve a successful installation.

  1. Firstly, check all the components against the checklist provided. Finding yourself short of an item half way through the build will be far more stressful than prior to the build. Although some kits do supply spare parts, in most cases you will have to wait for replacements to be shipped, in the worst case from the manufacturers based in Europe.
  2. Lay out the parts of the cabin in order by their designated wall. This will make construction easier and more efficient.
  3. If you come across a twisted or warped board aim to use them no higher than waist height, this makes it easier to work with them to ensure the tongue and grooves locate top and bottom. Long screws can be used to assist in this process. See Note 1
  4. Once the shell of the cabin is up with the apex and roof joists in place, it is a good time to check the cabin is square. Measure from corner to corner. If square, the distance will be the same in each diagonal.
  5. When fixing the tongue and groove roof boards, start at the front of the cabin. Nail the first and each subsequent board to every roof joist using 50mm/65mm nails. As you reach the other end, if a full board is too wide it will be necessary to mark the required width and cut with a hand or circular saw.
  6. After the roof felt or shingles have been applied, fit the fascia and top boards in place. It is advisable to treat the underside of these items prior to fixing.
  7. A good plan is to fit the doors and windows last. This can be time consuming and you may need to concentrate efforts on getting the shell up and watertight.
  8. Position the door / window frames central to the opening - to achieve this, you may need to place some packers made from scrap material on the underside of the frame.

Note 1. - Although in most cases the manufacturers are now supplying long screws to fix the wall boards to one another, best practice is not to use them unless there is no other way of using a warped or twisted board. Wood is a natural material and its moisture content and shape will change through the seasons. If the wall boards are screwed in place, this prevents them from finding their natural home - in the worst case it could prevent logs sitting flush in the grooves and opening up a small gap.

Finally, if you do find yourself struggling to make progress and in need of some advise, then call Martin on 07811 379561. He will be pleased to assist !

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