Buying and Building a Wooden Summerhouse
If you have a bit of space in your garden, there are several things you can do to make the most of it. But by far one of the most satisfying uses of space and light is building a log cabin to serve as a wooden summerhouse. Of couse, there are a great many different styles you could build in, so we have put together some key aspects for you to consider when you start your DIY log cabin project.
What type of cabin should I build?
1. Roofing – pitched or flat?
One of the most desirable styles right now is a log cabin with a pitched roof that provides extra space and gives that perfect balance between classic Scandinavian and contemporary. Of course, creating extra space under a pitched roof also allows for extra ventilation, which is perfect for those long, hot summers.
2. Storage – why not add a side shed?
If you‘re looking to build a garden room, it makes sense to make extra room for storage, too. Bearing this in mind, a popular choice is to have a shed or store on the side. This can be used as a wood or tool store, or even for bicycles or other outdoor equipment. Either way, it‘s a convenient way to house any excess clutter out of the house, and out of sight for added tidiness. Side sheds often come as modular components, so can be installed either side, meaning that they fit well in any configuration of garden layout. Side sheds for your summerhouse are a contemporary choice that helps you maximise the living space that you have, leaving extra square footage for added furniture or activities. Side sheds are also durable on the inside, meaning that a wider range of items can be stored, from more heavy duty gardening equipment to indoor extras like spare seating.
What type of wood are log cabins made from?
Log cabins are made from wood from Northern European countries like Lithuania or other countries in Scandinavia. Softwoods are typically used for summerhouses, such as Douglas Fir, Spruce or Pine. These are excellent quality woods, and are also more environmentally friendly as they grow quickly and are therefore highly renewable. Softwoods also provide excellent durability which provides you with the perfect base for your log cabin.
What do I need to consider when building a log cabin?
The two typical considerations with log cabins are light and ventilation. Large windows or French doors can add light and ventilation to your summerhouse in one go, while a pitched roof can also help with air flow. The log wall, roof, windows and doors will all come in your pre-manufactured kit, so contacting the company will enableyou to decide if one of their out of the box log cabins will suit your needs, or whether you want to request something a little more bespoke.
What about the style?
The two main styles of log cabin are based on the way the wood is prepared. A milled log cabin has had its logs produced by a machine, with every single piece of wood being uniform in length, cut and finish. This is a popular option for people who don‘t know what they, are first-timers when it comes to buying log cabins, or who are on a tighter budget.
On the flip side, a bespoke log cabin will contain logs that have been individually prepared by hand. This results in every log having its own unique characteristics – although the measurements will still be to spec, of course. This is more expensive than a milled cabin because of the manual work invovled, but the end result is a far more natural, worn, rustic feel to your cabin – and a completely unique building.
Tips for Building a Wooden Summerhouse
When you‘ve finally ordered, the kit will arrive and it‘ll be time to put it all together. Start with laying the foundations in the designated area, then lay the foundation beams and stacking the wall beams. By working outside-in, you can keep a close eye on the structure and make sure that any problems are easily resolved. The roof joists and filler blocks go in once you‘ve built up and secured all the walls, then it‘s time to measure, cut and fit the roof boards and beams. Expect the process to take a while, as the logs are heavy and the end structure is not only large, but has to be durable against the elements. Ultimately, rushing this job will result in problems. And always remember:
1. Consider how you‘re going to protect against rainwater at ground level. Typically, a gravel layer on the foundation surrounding your log cabin provides the necessary protection. Some cabins also come raised, but this adds an extra level of difficulty to construction, and shouldn‘t be attempted by anyone without significant experience.
2. Allocate time to treat wood on the outside, lay your protective gravel and fix the door hooks immediately. These all provide protection from wind and the elements. Any delay could cause problems and breakages if unexpected bad weather hits.
3. When you receive your logs, store them in a sheltered location if possible, and on as flat a surface as possible. This is to stop them warping, which will then cause problems for you during construction.
Above all, good luck with your purchase and your log cabin project. Summerhouses add huge character to outdoor areas, and provide a wonderful space for a range of activities. You‘ve made a great choice!