If you’re running out of space in the home but don’t want the bother and expense of building an extension, a log cabin might be a relatively quick and easy solution.
Here are a few practical pointers for anyone contemplating a log cabin:
What’s the difference between a log cabin and a summerhouse?
Their walls are built up with interlocking precision-cut logs which slot together so tightly that no fixings are required. Floors and roofs are normally constructed from close-fitting tongue and groove wood, resulting in strong and watertight structures acceptable for a whole range of uses.
The logs are usually made from kiln dried wood. This process extracts moisture from the timber to a precise degree, which reduces warping and minimises the risk of splitting.
What are the key points to look for in a log cabin?
Not all log cabins are the same. Wall density can vary from approximately 28mm up to more than 50mm, and floors are usually between 19mm and 28mm thick. Some cottages are double-glazed, which makes them usable in most weathers, whereas others might only have single glazing, so check before you purchase humane raccoon removal.
Felt shingles are widely considered the most appealing, but it is also possible to get corrugated bitumen panels and felt sheeting.
Consider the shape of the building as well. Log cabins with pitched roofs tend to be taller than those with flat or sloping roofs, which may sometimes limit where you have the ability to place them on your garden.
Do you need planning permission for a log cabin?
If you are considering erecting a small detached building such as a log cabin, shed or sun room in your garden, you won’t normally need planning permission. These are the main points to bear in mind:
- You are not allowed to place a building beyond the front wall of your house – in other words, in the front garden.
- No more than 50 percent of the land around the original dwelling can be taken up with outbuildings or extensions – so if you have a small backyard, measure carefully to be sure there is enough space left over for a cottage before you commit yourself.
- Height is a significant element. If the cottage is less than 2.5m tall at its highest point, you can put it within 2m of your border – otherwise, you will need to position it farther away.
Do log cabins have to follow building regulations?
Building regulations are safety rules that govern how well a structure is built. Even if the cabin is between 15 and 30 square metres, it will usually just have to meet building regulations if it is situated less than 1m from your boundary.
However, if you’re hoping to use the cottage as a granny annexe, guest room or vacation let, then it has to comply with building regulations because it is going to include sleeping accommodation. This applies to any size of cabin and is down to security reasons.
Where is the best place to get a log cabin?
Place the cabin on a level part of the garden. Leave a good gap throughout the building so that you may reach the walls to apply treatments or carry out repairs, and remember to allow for roof overhang when measuring the distance available.
Don’t place the cabin where it will block out your neighbours’ light, and be aware of planning principles – if the building is more than 2.5m tall, then you should not place it in 2 metres of the boundary.
Consider the direction of the sun, as you may not want sun beaming straight in if you’re going to use the cabin as an office. Think about convenience too. If you are planning to install electricity in the building, putting it near the house will make it easier to connect a power source.
What base do you need for a log cabin?
Good foundations are vital for any backyard building. If the base isn’t strong enough, or is even slightly irregular, the walls will eventually warp.
For adequate support, it’s best to place the cabin on a 150mm thick concrete foundation. A paving slab base should be sufficient for smaller cabins of less than 30m², as long as it’s completely level. Try to make the base precisely the same size as the cottage for a neat appearance.