“Are Log Cabin Kits a good option for You?”
Log cabin kits can be great and offer really good value for money. There are many smaller log cabins which are produced in high volumes on a production line, which gives them economies of scale and hopefully results in you, the consumer, getting a lower price. Kits can vary from a small garden cabin to large houses. For smaller more budget units, log cabin kits are definitely a good option, but for larger cabins, such as a home, you must do your homework carefully.
Be careful as some kits may well not include everything you need to construct the cabin. Some people are very good at promoting everything that is included in log cabin kits, but don’t be fooled by an impressive list of materials. You must know exactly what isn’t included, so that there are no nasty surprises down the line! How do you find this out? Well you could ask for a list of excluded items, or if you can’t get this, then compare to other companies and see where there may be some shortfalls.
So what materials should you be looking for in log cabin kits?
Well, basic specifications will vary and the list below is by no means exhaustive, but the items below cover most of the main areas:Logs and all the necessary associated parts for construction – this includes any gaskets, corner seals, threaded rods to go through corner joints, dowels (or long screws) to join one log course to the next and any adjustable screw legs for posts or non settling parts.Floor structure – if requiredFloor boardsRoof structure – including any beamsRoof boardingRoof membranceRoof tiles & fixingsBargeboard and fasciaRoof flashings or verge detailInsulation – for floor, walls and roof (if required)Insulation wall structure – if using insulation in wallsWindow and doors – with all handles etc (be careful to check if they open, watch mechanism they have and which way doors are hinged).Internal and external trim to all window and door openingsSoffit boardingCeiling boardsAny supporting postsDecking – including floor joists, ballustrading, hand and base rails and newel postsDamp proof course – to put logs onAny holes or other means to route electric cablesFull instruction manualAny fixings required in the build
Many log cabin kits are marketed towards those who would be interested in putting up their own log cabin. Again for smaller, more budget end products, which are aimed at occasional use, this can be fine. Don’t however assume that putting up a large log cabin is a walk in the park, because it isn’t. If you are investing tens of thousands in your dream log cabin, don’t put the long term success of your cabin at risk by trying to save a bit of money constructing it yourself if you really don’t fully understand how to. Construction is a key element to a log cabin which will last properly. Find out more in our
building log cabins section.
Be prepared for your log cabin delivery
One thing you will need, if you are going to build your own log cabin kit, is enough space to sort out the materials initially!< The logs are not packed in order of construction, but for space efficiency during transportation. In practice this means that nearly all packs of logs will need to be split up completely before construction can begin. People will often underestimate the amount of space this will need. Invariably there will be some of the logs you need to start the lower log walls in the bottom of one of the packs! So if you don’t have space to move and sort all the logs on site, it may pay to find some more space close by and then bring them to site in order. Plan very carefully if your site has restricted space adjacent to the site!
When is the best time to build your log cabin?
Another thing to consider is when is a good time for the construction of log cabin kits? This will depend on your climate, but if there are wet times of the year, these are best avoided and if you live in a very cold climate then the winter may not be a good option. Logs are made of timber and usually come unfinished, so they will be affected by the weather, especially when they lie exposed on site. Constant exposure to rain, before they are painted with a wood stain, can result in the log ends turning a blue/black colour. This will then need to be sanded off before painting, resulting in extra work. If you can’t avoid construction during a wet time of year, do your best to protect the timber on site. Always cover up timber whenever possible and preferably store it inside somewhere until needed.
So what other aspects of Log Cabin Kits should you consider?
Well as always quality will vary and you must decide what is suitable for your particular project. We will go over this in more detail in our dedicated
Do you really want to build your own log cabin?
Find out how to decide if you can do this yourself. Discover what the practical, physical requirements are and also see if your knowledge is good enough to tackle this properly. If you have never done this before, there will undoubtedly be a lot to learn before you start, especially if you are looking at a good sized log structure. Watching someone who has built log cabins for years may make it look very easy, but for someone who has never done it before there will be a lot of head scratching and consulting of paperwork! This raises another good point as well: if you are going to build it yourself, make sure the construction manual is clear and easy to follow.
Small log cabins
Log Cabin kits are predominately associated with small log cabins. So here we will visit what particular aspects of smaller cabins should be investigated. There are more small log cabins on the market than anything else, so the options are endless! Find out how to get the right
small log cabin
for your specific requirements and how to look for designs which will be less costly.
Find out and understand what is a suitable base or foundation to put your log cabin on. While skimping on this area may save you in the short term, long term it can lead to problems. Discover more in our section on
log cabin foundations.
The cost is always an vital aspect when weighing up the options. It pays therefore to find out what affects the price and why price is not necessarily the be-all and end-all. To discover more on this subject, take a look at our page on
log cabin costs.
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