Build & Maintenance
Tips and Advice
Please be sure that the foundation on which the summerhouse or log cabin is mounted is absolutely level.
At laying the foundation you have to consider the eave overhang, also in relation with the statutory distance between the building and your neighbours territory. Also you have to make sure that you leave enough space around your log cabin or summerhouse, enabling you to paint it.
A poured concrete foundation is a very solid base and in general it needs no looking after. The concrete foundation only needs to be the size of the log cabin or summerhouse walls with no overhang. Ensure that the foundations are sufficiently deep and strong for the log cabin or summerhouse and that it is perfectly level. Do not build if the foundation is not perfectly level as you will have problems with chinking of the walls, problems with windows and doors or even roof or wall leakage.
Before you start installation:
- Please check carefully if your foundation is level;
- Is there enough space for the building?
- Did you read already the chapter about foundations?
- Please check (immediately upon delivery) the materials included in the kit according to the attached packing list;
In case of incompletion please contact Cabinville and any missing or damaged parts will be replaced;
- Take care that you have some assistance, since doing the job on your own is a bit difficult;
- Normal DIY tools required.
Tips for Installation
- Always take care you work level;
- Always take care you work square;
- Follow the instructions according to assembling guidelines, but also check continuously the intended end result;
- When installing the roof and / or floor make sure that the boards are not pushed too tight together, allow a penny thickness between the boards for expansion;
- See instructions for laying shingles and insulation;
- Floors should never be placed too tight to the walls. Always keep a distance of approximately 10mm from the walls. With most buildings a plinth is included. This plinth must be fixed to the wall and not to the floor.
- Mouldings above the windows and doors should not be fixed to the walls, but to the frames, also because of expansion of the wood (walls);
Wood is a natural product and naturalness and radiation make it unique. Properties as coarse or fine grains, shades of colour, changes of colour and growing together originate in the growth of the trees. Such properties normally go with wood and cannot be considered as a defect. They have to be accepted as an unavoidable property of the product.
Every log cabin from wood will shrink or swell due to weather conditions, a natural property of wood.
The careful treatment (painting) of your log cabin is a vital condition for the life time of your building. Therefore you always must apply a paint with perfect moisture regulating properties. Also the paint should give enough protection against discolouration of the wood through UV light.
Do not take any risk and order the proper paint for your log cabin. Together with a well established manufacturer of paint we have developed an excellent system, which in case you follow the instructions, guarantees a perfect protection and long life time.
For a long life time of your log cabin we advise you to treat all wood during installation with a thin layer of Impregnate or a good quality colourless base. Also the parts which you cannot reach any longer after installation like inside of corner posts, moulded parts and grooves. In this way you limit the penetration of moisture in the wood. If you treat the building only after installation, the paint will not reach all corner parts where water can penetrate, for water is much thinner than paint.
Upon installation you can paint the rest of the building with impregnate or a similar product. Thereupon you can put the first layer of stain, thinned with 10% white spirit, so the wood will absorb the paint properly. The best result you achieve with another two layers on the outside and one layer at the inside. Paint two logs and then go back to the start and paint the next two logs the bevel in the logs will hide any over lapping of the paint and the cabin will not look patchy.
Tip – Very important are the bottom and sides of the windows and doors.
Paint during installation
Paint during installation is mainly possible in case you install the building by yourself. In case you have boarded out the installation to an authorised company you can treat the boards beforehand and impregnate or a similar product.
Kindly note that Impregnate may feel wet for some weeks, but you can stain over during that period.
In case the boards are painted too thick, it might create problems (or damages) during installation. The supplier or installers cannot be made responsible for this. It is your responsibility that the paint is completely dry before the installers arrive and any finger prints left on the wood caused by wet paint is not their fault or problem.
We advise the following procedures:
- All materials to be painted before or during installation once with impregnate/preserver or a similar product both inside and outside.
- Assembling of the building (or have it assembled).
- Paint the first layer of stain, thinned maximum 10% both on the inside and outside.
- Paint the second layer, not thinned on the outside.
Practical tips for painting
- Take care of proper materials.
- Before use stir the paint properly.
- Do not paint in direct sunlight, especially dark colours.
- A good result is mostly better than a quick result.
It is self-evident that the life time of the paint always will be depending on the area, weather and location in the garden. A building placed in more shadow will need less future upkeep than a building located continuously in bright sunshine. Cabinville stains will last up to 5 – 7 years.
It is advisable to make a note of the supplier, colour type and colour number, in case you want to have the same colour again.
Also we advise you to check twice a year eventually peeling-off and / or cracks in the layer of paint. Also window will need sealing around especially gable ends, glass will need a bead frame seal silicon as the silicon separates in time from the glass and will need sealing. Clean the cabin of any sap with sugar soap before painting.
It is advisable to apply a layer of gravel around your log cabin to prevent water from splashing up better still fit gutters as the cabin will get a double whammy of splash back and it is at the most vulnerable part of the cabin.
We advise you to place a door catch, preventing the door or eventually glass from damaging during a gust of wind and a chain to stop the door opening too far if caught by the wind.
Especially during periods with a high percentage of moisture, also the moistness inside the building, will increase. In case you have treated (painted) the building properly, both inside and outside you will hardly notice any effect. The goods inside however might be troubled and in such case air grates are a perfect godsend. Air grates always have to be placed on groups of two, opposite each other, so the wind can blow through the building.
Every log cabin made from wood will shrink or swell due to weather conditions, a natural property of wood. Wood will become thicker but no longer, each wall board shrinks about 1.5mm. Some building are 15 boards high, so 15 x 1.5mm is about 2.5cm. The wood must have the possibility to warp.
After proper treatment and good weather conditions the wood will settle. For this reason no nails or screws are used for the wall elements.
Most problems are caused by nails and / or screws which have been applied by the customer into the corners, windows or doors (book-shelves, curtain rods etc). Such sort of things always should be fixed in one wall board or into the door or window frame only.
Always be aware that the wall logs can warp freely and take care when putting in conduit-pipes, cables, cases, cupboards etc.
If the walls are leaking at the knots or corners due to a high level of moisture in the logs this is through incorrect paint of the wall logs, which is allowing excess moisture to penetrate the logs.