We have a team of vastly experienced Cabin fitters that will take away the hassle of erecting your cabin for you.
Reasonable access and use of water, electricity and toilet facilities is to be provided for our staff whilst on site. Storage of materials and equipment may be required during the installation process. It is the customers responsibility to prepare a level, square and suitable base for any building. Should this not be the case reasonable costs for a delay or return visit will be levied by Beaver Log Cabins.
On completion of the installation the building will be inspected with our Senior Installer and the customer or customers representative. A Completion Certificate will be prepared for each building, once this has been signed by the customer or customers representative it is considered that the job is complete and has been finished to a satisfactory standard.
As timber is a natural product minor adjustments, when the building settles, may have to be carried out by the customer, this may include adjustments to the doors and windows as they may expand and contract and move etc. Alternatively adjustments can be carried out on a chargeable basis by Beaver Log Cabins. You will need to maintain any exposed timbers with timber preservatives and finishes soon after installation.
Due to the nature of Cabin construction we are unable to guarantee any specific start or completion dates. Various delays can be caused by such things as road congestion, the impact of weather or even strikes by third party facilitators, transport or shipping.
All reasonable care will be exercised in carrying out the delivery and installation, should you believe that damage to your property or grounds may be caused as a result of access to the installation site it is your responsibility to risk assess and protect those areas affected. We do not carry out a pre-survey of your installation site and request that you are insured for any potential damage that may be caused as a result of unreasonable difficulties experienced by our staff or vehicles whilst on your premises. Should you request an inspection for alleged defects and these fall outside of our published descriptions and reasonable actions then we reserve the right to make reasonable charges for that service.
Watch the Building of a Log Cabin
BEAVER LOG CABINS - Some tips on building your Log Cabin
We supply a number of our customers with Log Cabins for self build. For those who wish to embark upon this venture, we have provided some useful information which we feel will be of help.
Care in ensuring that you have a sound foundation makes for a stable cabin for many years.
Generally a 10cm thick concrete base is suitable for most Garden Log Cabins or Sun Houses or Garden Offices etc. provided that the ground is level and firm . Larger Residential Log Cabins that can weigh in excess of 10 tons, deeper concrete up to a metre will ensure stability with no cracking or movement. Here re-inforced mesh would also be used to ensure no risk of cracking. The foundation should include a damp proof membrane to stop damp rising up.
Firstly, establish if your ground is level enough over the area where you wish to position your cabin and that the ground is firm. If there are areas of soft ground, dig out those areas and replace with hardcore that has been well tamped down. Ensure a depth of around 15cms bringing the surface of the hardcore in line with the surface of the surrounding firmer ground.
The outside perimeter of the foundation is best extended to a further 10cms bigger than the perimeter of the cabin base.
Having measured and marked out the correct size on the ground, place correct sized timber to be used as the outside frame on the ground in position and knock into the ground some posts along the outside edge of the timber. These will keep the timber straight and rigid when the concrete is poured in. Make sure your frame is absolutely square by measuring the diagonals of the frame from corner to corner. The measurements should be exactly the same. Make the necessary angle adjustments until you end up getting the measurements exactly the same. Once achieved you be assured that you have
a perfect square or rectangle.
Make sure that the top of the framework is level with the aid of a spirit level both along the length of each frame and across from one frame to another. Then screw the timber to the posts.
Ensure that the posts, once firmly in the ground end up being the same height as the timber framework. This will make life easier for you to tamp down the concrete to make it level well into the corners..
Next lay down a sheet of heavy duty polythene to form a damp proof membrane.
Pour in the concrete then level the concrete using a length of timber. Ideally two people would make this part of the job much easier. With the timber on its straight edge, tamp down the length of the frame. These vibrations settle the concrete and expel any excess air until it finds its own surface level. Tap gently on the sides of the boards with a mallet, moving all the way around the frame to release any air bubbles from the frame and the concrete. A tamped finish is not sufficient for the cabin, so smooth the surface using the straight edge in a sawing motion whilst moving across the area. The straight edge must stay in contact with the pre-levelled shuttering at all times to ensure the surface remains level.
When the concrete is hard, remove the timber shuttering and lift out the posts. Depending on weather conditions and variable temperatures the concrete will cure overnight to a sufficient hardness to build on the following day. The concrete will continue to harden whilst work is being carried out..
The bearers should be equally spaced. Measure the diagonals to check everything is square. The cabin sits on pressure treated floor bearers on the concrete base. These support the walls and the floor of the cabin.
Where floor insulation is included there will normally be extra bearers to be placed under the side walls.
Place one bearer at the front of the log cabin, and one bearer at the back of the log cabin. To ensure that the bearers are in exactly the right position, take the first half wall logs and two side wall logs and build the first layer of logs. Once in the correct position check that everything is square by measuring the diagonals using a tape measure or string, and level. Screw the half logs to the bearer. Continue placing the remaining bearers equally in the remaining space.
Laying the floorboards is best carried out when the cabin is built – this way they remain clean and free from footprints and scuffing which may occur during the rest of the build.
Details of how to lay the floorboards are given further on in this section.
BUILDING CABIN WALLS
Lay out the first level of logs and ensure they are square.
Stack all the wall logs as near to their correct position around the base of the cabin.
Begin building the wall logs . Start with one layer of wall logs at the front side and continue with one layer at the back wall and then the logs to make up the side walls. The half layer wall logs should be secured to the pressure treated bearer using screws.
The wall logs are always placed with the tongue towards the top and the groove towards the bottom.
Use a heavy rubber mallet to ensure that the tongue and groove of the wall logs fit perfectly. To avoid damaging the logs during installation, place a block log onto the tongue of the wall log and hammer down onto this rather than directly onto the wall log.
Repeat this process until all wall beams are built. Door and window frames can also be included whilst building the walls.
Do not glue or screw the logs to each other, all the joints are assembled dry.
It is important to lower the logs into their joints evenly a little at a time at each end, so it is always best to have someone to help at the other end. With larger cabins there may be a join where two log lengths meet. Ensure that you seal these logs with silicon in the join as you build.
FITTING DOORS & WINDOWS
Build the walls which automatically creates the spaces for the doors and windows and later on insert the doors and windows from the outside and fix the architrave and packers from the inside to stop the frames falling out.
Prior to fitting doors into the wall it is necessary to remove the tongue of the log below the door so that the metal threshold bar can sit on a flat surface and be fixed down by screwing. It is not necessary to remove the tongue from the log under windows.
Standard doors and windows are designed to open outwards; this ensures that they are watertight.
Standard windows and doors come with decorative cross bars pinned on. These are optional, so it is entirely up to you whether you leave them on or not. You may need to take them off for decorating and will need to take them off to fit double glazing.
To refit, position the vertical crossbar in the centre of the window and pin top and bottom, then fit each horizontal bar across making sure you space them equally and pin at the ends. If refitting after installing double glazing, the vertical bar only will need a small cut out to increase the step length and provide clearance for the glass beading in its new more forward position.
ROOF BEAMS & GABLES
Roof beams are fixed to the gable by nailing.
Once you have assembled the correct number of log levels according to your plans, it will be noticed that the side walls are half a log higher than the gable walls. This is correct and is ready to receive the ‘gable’ to complete the wall log puzzle.
The gables are usually pre assembled and shaped to suit the roof style and prepared ready to receive the roof beams. These sections are heavy and will need at least two people to lift and locate into place. When the gable is inserted it is vulnerable to blowing or flopping over so ensure it is supported until you locate the roof beams into place to give more rigidity.
The roof beams are prepared with notches on their underside that locate over the gables at the root of their slots. The roof beams should be fixed to the gables by nailing. Make sure that the top of the roof beam is level with the slope of the gable before fixing in place as mistakes would be difficult to rectify.
Fit the first board at the front, then repeat along the length of the roof. Nail each roof board to each roof beam and to the side wall as you go.
Before you start, identify the roof boards from the floor boards. These are generally 19mm thick but will vary in length..
Divide the roof boards equally and place ready either side of the cabin. Fit the first board at the front of the roof, lining it up with the edge of the roof beams. The tongue should face the direction of laying and with the decorative angled side down towards the inside of the cabin.
Nail each roof board to each roof beam and to the side wall as you go. Take the next board and make sure the tongue and groove fits together perfectly and nail down. Repeat along the length of the roof, both sides.
When you reach the last board, it may be necessary to saw it to fit. Measure the distance to the end of the roof beam, then saw along the length of the roof board and fix into place.
Note – if you have a cabin with a wide gable, you may find the roof boards are supplied in two lengths. In this case you will need to fix the boards in an alternating pattern. Start with long & short, then short & long and repeat this pattern along the length of the roof.
SHINGLES AND ROOF TILES
You will need are a hammer and a sharp knife for trimming. The shingles are fixed to the roof boards (or insulation boards if you have chosen the roof insulation option) with clout nails. 3 shingles make up each 1 metre shingle strip.
Prepare a starter strip to go along the eaves by cutting the flaps/shingles off the strip.
This should leave you with a rectangle which should overhang the eaves edge by approximately 35mm.
Secure them all along the edge using clout nails and cut off any excess at the end with a sharp knife.
Starting at one end, take a full shingle strip and place it over the starter strip making sure you stagger the joints.
Secure with clout nails in the positions shown in the diagram. In the video you’ll notice our construction team are using a tacking gun. Both methods are fine.
Do not over hit the nails. The head of the nail should be flush with the tile.
Carry on along in a line with full shingle strips, butting up the joints. Cut away any excess at the end with a knife.
Line up a full shingle strip using the guidelines. Make sure your lines are straight and a correct tiling pattern is achieved.
Secure firmly using clout nails as you go. Again trim any excess. Carry on to the top of of the roof with the last course as near to the ridge as possible.
Cut each strip into 3 individual tiles as shown. Bend the shingle over the ridge and nail down firmly making sure the tiles are facing the correct way for the prevailing wind. Take the next shingle and overlap it on top of the first one. Continue along the entire ridge
COMPLETING THE ROOF
The cabin should be completed to roof level with the roof boards and rain slats fitted.
Do not fit the side, front or rear fascia boards yet.
You will have received extra materials as stated in your Insulation fitting instructions.
The pressure treated timbers are to provide a border down the front edge of the roof from ridge to eaves, down the rear edge from ridge to eaves, and all along the eaves. It sits on top of the roof boards. The timbers may need to be trimmed to length.
The horizontal member at the eaves is best fitted by screwing up from the underside of the roof boards. It should be positioned 20mm up the slope from the tips of the roof boards for a standard 19 degree roof slope (or 34mm for a 30 degree roof slope).
It is recommended that a vapour control barrier is laid on the roof below the insulation layer.
The insulation material is 50mm thick rigid urethane with a 6mm plywood facing. It lies within the borders, usually in portrait orientation, with the plywood upwards. The boards need to be screwed through into the main roof boards using 70mm screws. Each board simply buts up against the next. Some pieces will need to be cut and these may be laid in any direction. It is best to cut an angle on the uppermost boards so that the plywood meets at the ridge.
It is recommended that a breathable membrane is laid over the insulation before the shingles or other roof covering is fitted. This is usually included in the pack. It is essential to use such a membrane on roof pitches below 15 degrees but is generally good practice on all roof pitches.
Side fascia boards may be cut to the appropriate length of the building. They are fixed to the side of the pre-fitted border. The purpose of setting the margin timber slightly up the roof slope is to aid the positioning of the fascia boards vertically, rather than toeing inwards. The roof is now ready for the roof shingles or covering to be fitted.
Lay the floor boards across the pressure treated floor bearers ensuring the tongue & groove fits together perfectly and nail each board to the bearer underneath.
Identify the 19mm pine floorboards by their length. Start with the first floor board parallel to the wall of the cabin. Ensure that the tongue of the board is facing away from the wall. Allow a small gap to allow for the natural movement of the wood.
The chamfered corners should face downwards to provide a flatter top surface. Fix the first board with nails in each of the pressure treated bearers. Now take the remaining floor boards and fix them one after the other, making sure that the tongue and grooves fit together perfectly. You may need to saw the boards in places to fit around any strengthening walls. If the last board is too wide to fit, measure the remaining space and saw the board to fit correctly, it is best to not fix the last few boards until the last one has been sized and fitted in place flat down.
If the floor is long, the floor boards will be in two or more lengths. It is best to stagger the joint, so on the first line lay a short board then a long board and on the next line lay a long board then a short board. Continue the alternating sequence as you cover across the floor.
Continue to the edge and then fit skirting boards.
FITTING CABIN FLOOR INSTALLATION
For a standard un insulated floor, the floor bearers are designed to run left to right across the building and at intervals of approximately 50cms at central distances from front to back. . This method has open sides.
For the insulated floor there are some additional materials required, extra floor bearers and insulation boards.
It is necessary to create an enclosed space for the insulation material. The additional materials should provide floor bearers that run along the length of the building under the side walls. For them to fit, it is necessary to reduce the length of the original intermediate bearers equally for each side. Additional material will be needed to be cut to the appropriate length of the building.
The insulation needs to be cut into convenient strips to fit between all the floor bearers. The board may be laid in any direction and pieces may be butted together.
Generally it is good practice, although not essential, to lay the insulation on a plastic membrane, available at most good DIY stores, and to sit the boards on thin packers to provide a small air gap beneath the insulation boards (if space allows within the height of the bearer).
It’s very easy for Cabin Manufacturers to just offload packs of wood with some instructions and leave you to it. We at Beaver Log Cabins are committed in ensuring that you receive only the best service from us and whilst there are going to be variations in the process of building different types of log cabins, the tips shown above for the interlocking version will help you on your way to achieve your objective of enjoying the pleasure of making good use of your Log Cabin for many years to come.
Get in Touch
For more information on installing Beaver Log Cabins or on our full product range, phone our office or email our team today
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 errect the correct foundations.
FoundationA 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 componentsOpen 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. Group them together relevant to the process of the installation i.e. roof components together, doors and windows together etc.
Foundation frame/joistsWhere you have a foundation frame, ensure that it is laid perfectly flat.. Check the measurements of the diagonals. These should be identical in order to be sure that everything is perfectly square at each corner.
WallsWhen fixing wall logs, please be sure that they are groove side down and tongue side up. Ensure that all tongue and groove are fitted properly in each row of wall logs. Any slight incorrect fixing will only be exaggerated as you build higher. Follow the wall drawings and use the correct components. Fix them to the frame and continue with the next row of logs up.
ImportantAfter having installed the first row of logs double check the measurements diagonally from corner to corner as before. Recheck that wall logs have been properly fitted until you are perfectly sure that everything is perfectly square and even.
When the walls are high enough to show two or three wall logs high, each side of the windows, it will be time to install the windows and doors.
Doors and WindowsDoors and windows come in ready for installation so that the units can slide into the door/window opening from the top. The Doors and Window packages come complete with all the relevant fixing components.
Doors always open from inside outwards.
Tilt and Turn windows always open inwards.
Standard single and double glazed windows always open outwards.
ImportantAt this stage try to avoid fixing the door/window frames to the log walls.
If you do want some kind of fixture, just use a couple of screws in the lower part of the frame, as when the logs dry out and the cabin settles, firm fixtures at this stage could lead to some distortion.
Final adjustments of this nature to the doors and windows can be made a couple of weeks after the cabin is complete when it has fully adapted to the elements. . Doors and windows can then be re-adjusted and aligned and firmly fixed.
ApexDepending 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.
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.
RoofBefore you proceed with roof boards, check that all walls are completely level.
Start with roof cladding from the front edge of the roof, smooth side of board upwards. Tap the boards lightly and make sure you push the tongue into groove leaving about 3mm expansion gap, to allow for swelling of roof boards when absorbing moisture from the air.
Use a stable and secure ladder. Do not step on the roof as cabin structures are safe for even loads of roof shingles etc. but cannot be safe enough for single point loading. Roof boards must be even with roof beam ends and the last board must be trimmed with a saw. Having installed the Roof cladding, and/or the roof felt, proceed with the fascias and felt battens. Make sure that when using shingles that the side and front fascias are covered protecting them from moisture.
FloorWhen the cabin is built and protected from the elements, that is the time to install the flooring. Place the floor boards on the joists and foundation frame, tap them lightly against one another and leave about 3mm expansion gap between them. Use so called secret nailing when fixing them to joists through the tongue at an angle. If necessary, cut the last boards to the suitable width, leaving about 5mm gap to the wall. Floor beadings will cover all expansion gaps between floor boards and wall. Beadings must be cut into the required lengths and fixed by small nails. Depending on the time of year and weather conditions , floorboards may swell or settle. Dry wood absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and the floor expands. Expansion gaps between floorboards are therefore of paramount importance
PaintingWood 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
The above is just 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.