Knowledgebase: Log Cabins
Installation advice for Log Cabins pt 2
Posted by on 29 August 2013 02:55 PM
Installation tips for Log Cabins part 2

This is the second article on how we find it best to install log cabins, again it is focused on the Lugarde range but much of it can be applied to other manufacturer’s models.

We are now up to the top of the wall level and ready to start on the roof. It is now necessary to build up the gable ends and any trusses; the number of trusses depends on the size of the building. This part can be quite tricky and it is necessary to take a great deal of care as if any pieces are dropped the corners can be knocked off very easily. Consult the plans and this will show you how many logs make up the apex, it will also show you the position of the roof support beams. There is a number of ways this can be built but our fitters have found it best to apply the logs and gently pin those together using pins, this stops them moving should you knock against them, you do have to remember to remove these later. This part of installation is the hardest but as long as you are careful the trusses should go in fine, once you have the first two in place you can then add the additional apex logs and any further trusses to finish the gables. Do not remove the pins just yet.

Next is to finally check the measurements of the roof boards against the plans, it can be very frustrating to get the floor and roof muddled up. Identify the boards and arrange a quantity of them against the inside wall. Position your ladders so one man can work in the centre and one to the outside. Fix a small block of wood onto all of the ends of the trusses, this is so you can butt up the fist roof board and to ensure it is perfectly level, try not to use your hand or eye as your interpretation can be different to the person you’re working with and result in the roof boards being applied uneven. Attach the first board to the roof truss, make sure that the flat side is uppermost and nail once through the centre of the board into each beam. Tip: On the board that attaches to the outside wal,l angle the nail so it goes through the corner of the top tongue of the wall, when you are at ground level you should not then see a glint of silver from the nail and makes for a far more professional finish.

We recommend you now nail on 10 boards, and then swap over to the other side and nail another ten, this way you can assure that they are all lining up correctly and that the V groove is straight. When you reach an apex remember to remove the pins that we were using to tack the apex pieces. Continue alternating both sides until you reach the end of the roof. At the end you will find that you are slightly under or slightly over when you reach the end of the truss. Apply the last board and using a pencil, mark under the board, remove this, draw a line and then using a saw cut this piece and reapply. If it is very thin use some wood glue and panel pins to attach it. This will then give you a smooth finish to the roof. Remove the blocks that were attached to the first roof beams that we were using as a guide

So, we now have the roof boarded and are ready to felt the roof. Within the various parts that make up your log cabin you will find profiled “L” shaped pieces, these you attach to the underside of the roof boards, they should hang down below the roof line but are flush on top, screw these through to the roof boards, we usually use the black anodized screws supplied at about every 8 boards. 

To create a professional look you now need a piece of wood of about 10mm, we usually use one of the spare pieces of trim, tack this onto the profiled piece, this will give you a guide for the bottom of the tiles so you don’t have to physically measure it each time. Cut another block of wood at about 5”, this will be your guide for the depth of the tiles.
Start at one end and the first layer of tiles is applied upside down along the bottom edge with the cut outs facing uppermost, we do this so when the log cabin is complete and you are looking up it gives a nice finish. Ensure that your first tile is butt against the end of the roof. Once you have the first layer down you can now apply the tiles as normal, the first tile of this layer will now hang over the edge of the roof by one half of a tile this is so you don’t have any seams and is a common mistake with many fitters and customers alike so please be careful. We find it sufficient to apply a felt nail to each end and one off center. If you are installing your cabin during the cold months we would also recommend that you use a small amount of silicon in each corner of the tiles to stop them lifting in high winds. This is not usually necessary in the hot months as the tiles melt into each other and form a good fixing and remain so over the years

Continue up the roof using the block spacer you have cut to measure the depth of the tiles when they overlap each other, always work from one end and ensure each tile is overlapping each other so there are no seams. On completion you can now remove the 10mm splines. This should now leave you with a nice overhang on the roof edge and straight lines on the tiles themselves. To finish you now need to lay tiles over the ridge. We find it very helpful to cut these individually on the ground, and then cut them again giving a slight angle each side on the top part; this will help them to fold better. These are then applied to the ridge and once again use the block spacer to create a professional finish. 

When completed you can now add the barge boards, these usually consist of the facing ones and then separate boards that go on top of the ends of the roof. We find it best to screw these as if you ever need to re-roof the log cabin they will come off easily.

The next article to follow will be how to lay the floor and tips on how to insulate your log cabin
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