Having spent some time living in the Canadian Rockies, we are huge fans of log cabin homes. There is nothing quite like the look, feel, smell and natural ambience of a log home. The beauty of the wood and the skilled craftsmanship create breathtaking living spaces and homes.
Log houses are traditionally built in timber rich areas of the World such as Canada, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and the log cabin market in the UK is more often associated with summer houses, garden offices and garages.
There are however plenty of enthusiasts up and down the country, particularly in Scotland and Wales who choose to buck the trend and self build a log cabin home.
In addition to the sensory benefits, they have some excellent eco credentials and if you are after something a little different, keep on reading.
Log Home Construction
There are two main approaches to log cabin construction:
- Traditional hand crafted or ‘scribe-fit’ cabins – Natural shaped logs are scribed, jointed and fitted together.
- Milled cabins – Timber is machined to uniform log sizes with tongue and groove joints, effectively forming the elements of a kit home.
There are numerous variations on these approaches with round, square or D shaped log profiles, different joint styles and a variety of corner details. Manufacturers have even developed cavity wall systems incorporating insulation and external profile panels to increase thermal performance.
Building with logs, particularly in our climate, requires skill and expertise. Log buildings settle and move and for your build to be a success, you need an experienced log home builder who knows how to allow for movement and settlement at each phase, from design to construction and beyond.
They will incorporate slip joints and jacks to manage movement and will be able to advise on foundation design, delivery, storage, the best working practice for follow on trades and how to protect and maintain your log built home.
Log Cabin Homes – Selecting a Manufacturer or Builder
When it comes to selecting a log home builder make sure you do plenty of background research.
Find a manufacturer or builder who has a proven track record in the UK. Get references from previous customers and speak to them. If they’ll let you, visit their log cabin home and have a look at the finished article.
Enquire about the company, the workmanship, building regulation compliance, settlement, movement, adjustments, maintenance, aftercare, log quality and anything else you can think of before they kick you out.
Choosing a builder who has experience in the UK not only means they are familiar with the weather and how to get the best out of the structure but they will have experience of our Planning System, Building Regulations and Structural Wanrranty Providers.
Many manufacturers are Scandinavian and import the manufactured timber kits to the UK for construction. It is possible though to get logs from managed sustainable woodland right here in the UK.
Whoever you are considering, make sure you are getting good quality logs from a sustainable supplier.
- Minimal amount of manufacture.
- Sustainable – Ensure your timber is from a properly managed source.
- Thermally efficient structure reducing heating and cooling needs.
- Breathable structure resulting in a healthy living environment – Breathable insulation, paint and finishes must be used to maintain this.
- Offsite manufacture.
- Fast on site construction.
- Aesthetically pleasing.
- Carbon is captured during the tree’s life and held in the logs.
- It can be expensive, particularly hand cut. (but it looks great!)
- Settlement and movement – This is expected and can be managed.
- Maintenance – You need to manage the effects of moisture, sunlight etc.
- Complying with UK Building Regulations can be a challenge. i.e. fire protection.
For more information on log cabin homes you can visit the following:
- The International Log Builders’ Association.
- Log Houses by Log Cabin UK – Specialists in Hand Made Log Cabins in the UK.
- Log Cabins Revealed – An online guide to log cabins.
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