When you make an investment in a log cabin whether it be as a house to live in, or as a garden cabin you expect it to last. The key to long life for a wooden building starts with the wood it is made from.
Our cabins are manufactured by Jörnträhus in a small town called Jörn in the far North of Sweden. In the North of Sweden the summers are very short so there is only a short growing season for the trees. Consequently trees grow very slowly, and the grain is very hard and dense.
In the forests where Jörnträhus source their wood it is illegal to cut down a tree before it is seventy years old. The median age of the trees when they are felled is eighty to ninety years old.
When comparing cabins from other suppliers check on the age of the wood used. Another aspect of Jörnträhus's devotion to quality is the type of wood they use. All Jörnträhus houses and cabins are made from Scots Pine ( Pinus Sylvestris in Latin).
By comparison take a look at this picture of one of our competitors cabins. The owner bought a cheap cabin from one of the Baltic states. He thought he had got a bargain, but this is what the logs look like after only 12 months!
Note all the splits in the end grain, and how the logs have been cut inconsistently. Notice also how shallow the tongue and groove is on the logs. The logs are merely sitting on top of each other. They are not being firmly gripped like the Jorntra log. The moral of this story is that all wood is not the same. Quality matters.
Scots Pine is more expensive than Spruce, but studies have demonstrated that it is a superior building material. For example the paper "Nordic Scots Pine vs. Selected Competing Species and Non-Wood Substitute Materials in Mechanical Wood Products" by Mika Grekin published by the Finnish Forest Research Institute concludes that Scots Pine is denser and less prone to twist and split compared to Norway Spruce.
Scots Pine and Norway Spruce are names of the species of tree. It does not mean they come from Scotland or Norway.
Another demonstration of Jörnträhus's skill with wood concerns the way logs are cut. Jörnträhus always cut the logs such that the centre of the tree, the 'heartwood' is facing the outside. This heartwood is older, harder and more resistant to the weather than the younger sapwood. Cutting the logs this way takes more time and costs more money, but results in a more durable cabin.
When comparing cabins from other suppliers take a look at the end grain of the logs. Is the heartwood always facing out?
The door should be fitted once the first three rows of logs have been placed. Locate the long Aluminium bars and screw then to the side of the door frame 18mm from the front edge of the door. The Aluminium bars are them selves 18 mm wide so you can use them as a spacer without having to accurately measure. Do not put the bar near the bottom or top edge of the door frame.
Then open the door in its frame to 90 degrees open and lift the door off its hinges. Place the door to one side. The frame is a lot easier to lift into position without the weight of the door.
Lift the door and insert the aluminium bars ito the slots on either side of the door opening. Place some scrap wood underneath the door frame. This will make it easier to insert the floorboards under the door frame later on.
2. Is it legal to build my own home?
The short answer is yes but the reason the question sometimes gets asked is that building regulations include a requirement to comply with what is called regulation 7 - Materials and Workmanship.
This section of the building regulations means that you must use approved materials tested and approved under a recognised certification scheme such as CE marking - and competent workmanship.
When building the house yourself compliance with this clause can be established by showing you have followed the manufacturers instructions, or by demonstrating you have followed British Standards.
Compliance can also be demonstrated by using certified contractors for some parts of the build or by testing the workmanship was adequate.
You are most likely to meet the need this with electrical and gas work that legally requires certified tradesmen. Electrical work for example must be tested and certified by a 'part P qualified' electrician.
Similarly building control will almost certainly insist on a drains test if the work was not carried out by a certified groundworks contractor.
Note that Health and Safety regulations impose a different set of obligations that are not policed by building control yet need to be considered when building, for example working at height regulations, CDM regulations etc. Most of these can be covered by a good project manager.
The floorboards in a Tallbo cabin are very good quality, so it is worth doing a good job installing them.
Before starting to lay the floor identify the floorboards on your pallets. The floorboards are wrapped in plastic film. They are tongue and grooved on the side and on the ends, and have three slots running along their length on the back side. Be sure to identify the floorboards correctly because it is very embarrassing to have to ring us up and admit you have put the ceiling on the floor.
The floorboards must be cut to length. Larger cabins will need joins in the floorboards. Even for smaller cabins compare the number of floorboards required with the number delivered so you can know if you need to plan for joins. The floor will look better if joins are randomly distributed.
The floor will look much nicer if you use 'Blind Nailing'. Use a 50mm nail, preferably an oval nail since it is less likely to split the wood. Nail through the tongue at an angle of 45 degrees. Use a nail punch to drive the nail home so you do not damage the floorboard with the hammer. When the next floorboard is fitted use a piece of scrap floorboard to protect the tongue, and hammer the scrap wood until the tongue fits tightly into the groove. The nail heads will be completely concealed.
Avoid walking on the newly laid floor in muddy boots. The floor should be sealed once the cabin is completed. You can seal the floor either with a varnish for a harder more glossy finish, or with a wood oil for a more silky finish.
Troll varnish and Norsk Treplei wood oil is available from Bespoken.
Bespoken use high quality doors from GK Doors that are made in a modular way so that individual panels can be easily replaced and even changed completely. This procedure shows how easy it is to replace the top panel in a door with safety glass which is available as upgrade option from Bespoken.
At the top corner on the hinge and long edges of the door is a screw with an Allen head. Undo these screws. Carefully slide the top rail off. The top panel can then be carefully lifted out. The replacement glass panel can then be inserted in its place. Note the silicones seals on both sides of the glass. Assemble in the reverse order.
Not all woods available in Ireland are cut from sustainable, aged forests. Bespoken recommends its clients buy traceable products.
If you are thinking of replacing your mobile home, or setting up a new one where permission is available for a new site look no further....
We have given prices excluding VAT as it is different depending on whether you require supply only (23%) or supply and fit (13.5%) in Ireland. Mobile Homes are charged at differing rates please view the Revenue for further details.
In Northern Ireland the VAT situation is different again. Please read the Customs and Excise pages of the UK.
For customers in Northern Ireland please view the following: