Knowledgebase: Log Cabins
Installation advice for Log Cabins pt 1
Posted by Max Smith on 29 August 2013 02:53 PM
This is mainly about tips for installing the Lugarde range of log cabins although much of it can be applied to many other styles of cabins that we sell|
With Lugarde and indeed many other makes it is essential that the base the log cabin is going to be built on is flat and level, this is particularly important on the perimeter of the building – the outside edge of the base. Our installers have often found a lovely level base across the middle only to find the edges roll away, it cannot be stressed enough the values of a well laid base. Ideally the base should be to the footprint of the building; this will enable the rain to fall past the base and into the ground rather than sit on the base resulting in water being trapped underneath. We have also found it useful with log cabins to have incorporated a damp proof membrane into the structure of the base, this is especially important if it is going to be insulated and used as a studio, office, gym etc.
On delivery of the Lugarde you will receive 1 – 3 packages containing the parts required, it is important to check the outside of these packages for fitting instructions and a contents list. On average you should allow 2 days for the installation, and preferably this should be in dry, still conditions. It is very important that where possible you don’t allow the logs to get wet prior to installation as these can swell making it harder to put together.
We suggest that all the parts are unpacked and laid out carefully into there various sections. Most kits are numbered or lettered according to the wall they belong to these are normally A, B, C, and D for the four walls. The doors and windows will be already made up in there frames, these should be carefully put to one side. In the package you will also find; angled pieces – these are the bargeboards, profiled wood – these are trims for over the doors and windows, thin slats – these are also trim for use on completion. You will also have numerous pieces of T&G, these will be for the roof and floor. It is very important to consult the instructions as to the measurement for the roof and floor boards as on some log cabins they are very similar and you can easily make a mistake by using boards intended for the floor on the roof. Consult the packing list to ensure all the parts are there. Tip: when laying out the parts try to lay them away from the base to allow you space to work, try to keep them off the ground using parts from the delivery pallets, lay them in such a way that should it rain they can be easily covered up.
So, we have a good level base, all the parts are laid out and we’ve checked we have everything according to the inventory list; we’ll start to build the log cabin. Check the plans that have come with the building and note the position of the doors and windows and the general layout. The start of the build we consider this to be the most important part when installing the building, it is imperative that it goes down well at the start to avoid any problems when you get to the roof level and it is worthwhile spending time on the first few layers. Lay down the foundation beams, these are pressure impregnated on most makes of log cabins, our installers also recommend stapling a layer of damp proof course under these beams. The beams on the Lugarde range are held together in the corners by metal clips, other makes may suggest screwing together. Once these are laid down on the perimeter check that they are square – the easiest way to do this is measuring corner to corner. Check also that they are level and if necessary pack any discrepancies with thin pieces of wood. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of a flat and level base for the log cabin.
Now we can start adding the first logs, you will use 2 full size and 2 half size logs for the first layer carefully place these on the foundation beams making sure that the tongue on the log is facing up; these will then be screwed into the foundation beams. This is the only time that you should screw any logs together.
Tip; if the logs are tight at the joints use a mallet in conjunction with a spare packing piece to knock them in, be careful not to damage the tongue. A wooden mallet is best, we have found that rubber ones tend to leave black marks on the wood.
The first layer is now down so you should now work methodically round the building installing each log carefully and ensuring that you stop and check that each one is firmly tapped home. For the first 3 or 4 layers you should also check that the log cabin is still level and square. It is also a good idea to check again the plans, check how many logs are below any windows you have, it is anywhere between 3 and 5 depending on the model be careful not to go too high before looking at this.
Once you are at about level 4 consider putting in the door. This can be done later and indeed can be done with the entire log cabin erected; we do however recommend fitting it at about log 4 or 5 due to the weight of the door.
Tip; with a Lugarde cabin you have to turn the door architrave around to accommodate the 44mm wall logs. This is a common mistake made by customers and new fitters alike.
Install the door carefully lifting it first up and over and then sliding it down to meet the foundation beam. Fit the door furniture, lock and handles. Make sure at this point that the door is supported especially if it is windy.
You can now continue with the building, install the windows in the same manner as the door when the appropriate level is reached. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of making sure each log is tapped home as you build up. Reaching the top of the wall level the building should still be square and level. You may occasional find gaps above the door or windows, do not worry about these at present.
The next article to follow will be the installation of the roof and tiles for the log cabins if you would like to have a look at our extensive range of log cabins please take a look at our site. If you need any further help or advice then please let us know