LOG CABIN TIPS
BUILD YOUR OWN GARDEN CABIN
To help the DIY enthusiast, we have put together some basic guidelines that will help you focus on getting it right first time. From tools required to how to erect the correct foundations.
- Spirit Level to check base timbers are level
- Measuring Tap to square base and measure logs
- Hammer to nail roof boards, floor boards and to lock logs in place
- Drill – to fix timbers to concrete, screw logs to base timbers and screw gables , purlins and fascia
- Step ladder – to fit purlins and roof boards
- Assembly Drawings
- Protective Gloves
A proper and sound foundation is a deciding factor for safety and longevity of your cabin. Only level, properly squared off foundations will be capable of taking the load of your cabin for a trouble free installation.
Faulty foundations will definitely result in out of shape walls. Doors and Windows will be difficult to open and close.
The perimeter of the foundation should be no less than the perimeter of the outside walls of the cabin and ideally, should extend at least 5cms around the perimeter of the base of the cabin.
Inspection of components
Open the packages and sort out all of the components according to the installation plans and instructions. Please ensure that you place the components on a clean dry surface.
Place all similar logs together either by size or numbered sticker
Plans will be in pallets, once found use index to check order
Ensure concrete base is perfectly level and square. Check the measurements of the diagonals. These should be identical in order to be sure that everything is perfectly square at each corner.
Identify your base boards (green /brown) take these and cut to size of perimeter of cabin if not already cut and staple/nail on dpc (black small roll )if obtained then fix the perimeter timbers with fixers into the concrete .
Roll out your dpm (plastic roll ) either in the flooring package or separate bundle you will have more green /brown timbers these are your floor joists which will be fixed to concrete if unit has interanal walls there’s must be fitted now if open space you can leave this stage until roof is water tight.
Using your plans identify your first logs and screw them to your green/brown timbers.
Now build away your walls. Depending on your unit you can fit the windows as you build this will help hold your logs together. You can also fit afterwards by screwing off outside timbers of windows.
Once you reach gables its a good idea to to screw up along the ends of cut logs and then screw purlins into place.
Some units have treaded rods these can be fitted now in holes provided in corners.
Depending on the design, Apexes can be in one piece or several parts. Such parts need to be screwed together with wood screws and the Roof Beams must be fixed to the Apexes. Apexes are usually notched to accommodate the Roof beams. Always continuously check everything as you progress with a spirit level, before fixing them to the Apex. The Apexes need to be screwed to the top of the wall logs at the ends.
Important, if you find that the upper log is not on the same level with the Apex, you need to double check the interlocked fixings of all logs below to ensure they have been properly fixed into the grooves. Lightly tap the logs until they reach the required position. If there is still a discrepancy you can plane the Apex and/or side wall log to get them in line for the roof boards.
Roof and Fascia
Having checked all the walls are level, you can now start your T&G roof boards. Refer to index of your plans to conform size and stack out along your bevelled top wall log.
Using a step ladder nail the first T&G board flush with end of purlins. Iit should also be halfway on your ridge ( highest purlin).
When working your way across the roof, try and ensure the bottoms for the board are flush as this will save having to cut them afterwards.
When you reach the end of the roof you will need to cut your last T&G board flush with purlins.
Now refer to your plans again and identity your fascia board and backing board.
These will be both pre-cut and ready to nail/screw to the roof . Ensure backing timber is flush with the ends of your T&G and fitted underneath. Your fascia then covers the ends of the T&G and backing board. Ensure facia is flush with the top of the T&G board.
Now you are ready for your felt, simply mark a line 950 up from fascia board. Holding your felt to this line work across the roof. For your second row ensure you have a 75-100mm cover. If shingles are been fitted follow the bottom of your felt this will be overhanging 50 mm from your fascia. The first shingle is turned top-down, second shingle is half and sets on top of the first shingle. After finishing shingles you will have to cut flat shingle to form ridge cap (see diagram on the pack of shingles) once these are fitted refer to plans again, you will see the timber for barges (plumb cuts ) fit these to gables and that’s your roof and fascia finished.
Tongue and Groove Flooring and Skirting
The T&G is delivered in one of two ways:
1. It comes in your cabin pallet. Using your index in plans provided, you can identify your flooring T&G. You will also see floor joists (green/brown timbers ) and skirting . Refer to your plans, you will see a page with a diagram of the joists follows the spacings as per drawing. After fixing timbers to the concrete you can now start flooring. There will be nails provided to either nail from the top of T&G straight down to joist or secret nail from slightly above the tongue of board. This is a little harder and more time consuming but you will have a far nicer finish to your flooring as you will not see nail head. Be mindful to keep 5mm gab all around your flooring. Once final board is cut into place you can then start skirting. Sometimes these timbers will be cut to length sometimes not, refer to plans index of unsure.
2. Separate packs
If you receive the T&G in separate packages, simply strip them the same as the cabin. Each pack will contain floor boards 4/5 , 2/3 green joist and a 2/3strips for skirting. On either the top or bottom of package you will have a long white sheet, this will tell you how to set out for your flooring to have minimal waste. Skirting is fitted once once floor is finished.
It is important to remember that the T & G flooring comes to you natural, until flooring is varnished any footprints, mud etc will have to be sanded off which can be difficult and time consuming . So to make life easy for yourself keep people out of your cabin until you have your flooring varnished/ sealed.
Wood is a natural product and needs to be protected from moisture and Ultra Violet Light. It is therefore advisable to treat the exterior wood protection as soon as possible after the cabin has been installed. Doors and windows require special attention to avoid any later problems of twisting or sticking in frames. This is best carried out during fairly cool but dry weather.
Above is only a guideline to help you progress with your building that will definitely give you many years of pleasure. There are variations regarding installation depending upon design and these are made clear to you in the building instructions.
Need more help?
If you need more assistance, phone our fitting team on 0877785852 or email Natasha@timberkitbuildings.ie