How to…..Construct a Log Cabin

Here is our handy guide to help you build your Logspan Log Cabin. As can be seen, it is not difficult and if you have the right tools and some friends/family to help this can be a great project that should not take to long and give you a fantastic sense of achievement.

These instructions should be used in conjunction with the Build Plan provided in your Log Cabin kit.

Please read these instructions carefully before attempting to build up your Log Cabin.

 

PRE-BUILD

 

STORAGE

If you are unable to start building immediately after delivery it is important to stack the material horizontally and cover it to protect it from the weather. Indoors is ideal.

 

TIMBER

Wood is a natural product and it will vary with climate changes. However, with proper care, you will be able to enjoy your log cabin for many years. During very hot dry weather small cracks may appear in the wood. These will disappear when the weather changes. Small cracks in no way affect the integrity of the cabin!

 

TOOLS LIST

Essential Items

  • Cordless Power Drill with TORX bits – Size TX20 & TX25 (sometimes called T20 or T25)
  • Jigsaw – You will likely need to rip the last floorboard & roof board down
  • Rubber Mallet – white rubber headed mallet (black rubber mallets will mark the timber)
  • 19mm Clot Nails
  • Stanley knife hook blade
  • Stanley knife standard blade

Non-essential Items

  •  Air compressed brad gun – Useful and very quick for putting the floor down Ladder & Step Ladder

 

This list does not include the standard tools required for any joinery tasks.

 

BASE

It is very important the base is firm and level. Although the base may appear level, it is vital that attention is taken to ensure that the base is level. If it is not, problems will occur. The walls may come together okay but the roof boards will not line up and it will cause big problems. Most problems can be avoided by checking and rechecking that the base is level. We recommend the cabin be built on a solid concrete base but other forms of base such as wooden decking, or concrete slabs can also be used.

DO NOT START BUILDING YOUR CABIN IF YOUR BASE IS NOT LEVEL

There are a number of options of base for putting your building on. When building a base for a log cabin, it is best that the base be the exact size of the base frame of the cabin. This allows water to run off the roof and drain away rather than water sitting against the base frame or bouncing up against the walls of the cabin. However, this is not essential as long as there is good drainage.

Below are a number of guides for different types of bases.

Timber Base

Slab Base Concrete Base

UNPACKING & ORGANISATION

When opening up the pack of timber, it is important that care is taken in order not to lose any pieces. Most pieces are for use while others may just be for packing. Remove all the small items first and store somewhere dry. Next, take the doors and windows off. They are heavy.

To save a lot of time later, we suggest you take a little time now to lay out the wood in groups according to size. If you do this it is an easy matter to find the right pieces. Please note: some groups may differ in size by as little as 10mm.

As you unpack, you will notice there are a number of treated (green) timbers in the pack. Set them aside, you will need them first.

When taking the large plastic sheeting off, don’t throw it out as it could be useful for covering parts from the weather should you have to carry your project over to another day.

 

BUILD

(1)

First, the base frame should be screwed together. For the walls, place the first logs on top of the base frame, starting with the half logs, one for the back wall and one for the front wall of the cabin. These two logs should be secured to the base frame with a screw at each end. Make sure that the two logs adjacent to these logs fit correctly and square before securing to the base. See (Fig: 1)

Fig: 1Figure1
Fig: 2Figure2 (2)

The building should be checked if it is square after reaching 3 or 4 wall sections high. To check use a measuring tape and measure the distance from diagonal corners. Knock the logs tightly together. See (Fig: 2).

(3) FITTING THE DOOR(S)

After you have laid the third row of logs you should start installing the door. The higher you build the walls it becomes more difficult the put the door in place. Take the door and frame, place it over the logs and slide it down pushing it tightly into place against the log. Next, attach the door handles so you can open the door! Keep building up the wall until you have reached the height of the window. See (Fig: 3).

Fig: 3Figure3
Fig: 4Figure4 (4) FITTING THE WINDOW(S)

After you have laid the seventh or eighth long log (check your Build Plan) and two of the shorter logs, you should fit the window. Slide the window into place, making sure it is tightly into place along its length onto the wall beam. Do not fix the door frame to the logs before the cabin is complete. It is enough to fix the bottom rail of the door with one or two screws, to prevent movement during build. See (Fig 4).

(5) FINISHING THE WALLS

Once the door(s) and window(s) are in place, build the walls up to the purlins as indicated in your build plan. Since the logs of the front and rear apex sections are not connected to the logs of the side walls, you should secure them by screwing this section to the lower logs at one end. Take care not to go too close to the edge which may split the logs.

 

(6) THE PURLINS

The purlins should be attached as illustrated in your build plan. Check to make sure the joints of the ridge, upper wall logs and purlins form a flat horizontal surface. Use a spirit level to check the sides, front and back walls are vertical. Screw each end of the purlin to the apex.

 

(7) INSTALLATION OF ROOF BOARDING

Start by assembling the roof boarding. Knock the separate boards lightly together. Fix roof board to each purling with 2 galvanized nails and finally nail the roof board to the wallboard. Fit the roof edge reinforcement pieces along the edge of the roof. When you get to the last boards on the end, you may need to rip down the length to finish flush with the end of the purlins.

 

(8) FLOORBOARDS

Place the floorboards on the bearers and secure with the nails provided. Knock the separate boards lightly together and fix to each floor bearer with galvanized nails. Do not push the floorboards length ways tight to the walls. There will be a gap to be left that will be covered by a 20 x 20 skirting board.

How to ….Apply Bitumen Roof Shingles to a Log Cabin or Garden Building

 

Introduction

Here is our handy guide to help you construct your waterproof roof for a Logspan log cabin or any other garden building using bitumen roofing shingles.

These have the benefit of being hard wearing, being simple to apply and not breaking the bank.

The shingles should be applied once you have all the roof boards fixed down and the roof edge reinforcement and roof side boards attached to the eaves sides.

DO NOT attach the fascias, felt fillets or diamonds until after you have shingled the roof.

  • Do one side of the roof at a time.
  • Start at the front of the cabin
  • Start at the eaves edge
  • Shingles and ridge should be fixed down using felt tacks/clout nails in a suitable length. Nail each shingle in the following positions.

Figure 1

  • Hexagonal shingles will have a self-adhesive strip on the back which you need to remove the film from before laying. You still need to nail the shingles down.
  • Ridge roll has a film on the back but this should not be removed.
  • Keep any excess you cut off because you might be able to re-use it later

You can run a translucent waterproof silicone under the shingles at the front, rear, eaves and apex of the log cabin for added protection but it is not compulsory.

Starter Strip

You will need to create a starter strip along the eaves edge of the roof.

Square shingles

Take a length of shingle, cut one of the squares off using a Stanley knife. Lay the shingle on the roof (front eaves edge). It should fit flush to the front of the log cabin roof but overlap the eaves edge by approx 1cm. Fix down.

Figure 2

Next, take a full length of shingle and lay it next to the previous one. Continue doing this until you reach the rear of the cabin. Cut off any excess shingle overhanging the rear with a Stanley knife.

Hex shingles

You will need to make rectangular lengths to work with so using a Stanley knife and ruler cut the hex bottoms off the shingle lengths to leave a rectangle.

Figure 3

Once you have rectangles to work with complete the starter strip the same as for square shingles above.

1st Row 

Starting at the front of the cabin again, take a full length of shingle and lay it directly on top of the starter strip. Fix down and continue to the rear of the cabin. Cut off any excess.

2nd Row

 Square shingles

Take a full length of shingle and position it above the 1st row so that the centre of a 2nd row square fits up to the end of a 1st-row square. You should have covered the nails but do not overlap the shingles too much or you will run out.

Figure 4

You will have some shingle excess overhanging the front of the log cabin, cut this off with a Stanley knife.

Hex shingles

Take a full length of shingle and position it above the 1st row. The 2nd row hex bottom should fit above the top of a 1st row hex top. This will create a full hex. You will be able to see some of the black at the top of the shingles in the 1st row. You should not be able to see any of the nails.

Figure 5

You will have some shingle excess overhanging the front of the log cabin, cut this off with a Stanley knife.

Continue to do the rest of the row in the same way.

Do as many rows as are necessary to reach the apex of the roof.

Do the same on the other side of the roof

Ridge

Using shingles

Cut full lengths of shingle into thirds. Start at the front. Bend a third over the apex and nail down on both sides. Overlap the next third on the back end of the 1st one and fix down. Continue until you reach the back. Do not overlap the thirds too much or you will run out.

Using ridge roll

Starting at the front bend the roll over the apex and nail down on both sides. Run the roll to the rear of the log cabin, nail down at the back and then cut off any excess. Go back and nail down the roll along both sides at regular intervals.

 

For more information please see our website: Logspan