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Self Build Guide

We have put together an image gallery ​if you want to self build your log cabin, simply follow our step by step image guide below for guidance and read the instructions at the bottom of the page.

 

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Assembly Installation Guide

Types of base for your building:
A: Pressure Treated Wood Base Frame
Custom made frame to fit exactly the building, allows for any undulations or slope.
This is a quicker and cost more cost effective solution without too much disruption.

B: Wood Sleepers
For grounds that are very uneven and require digging out to get a level base.

C: Dense Building Blocks
An easy quick solution for uneven grounds or where the building needs to be raised.
Dense building blocks should be laid out in strip formation running in the same direction as the buildings base bearers.

D: Paving / Patio Slabs
General paving / patio slabs laid level with sand and cement.
Can be laid in strip formation with a DPC or membrane.

E: Concrete Pad / Slab
Ideal for bigger buildings and when the ground is fairly level and not liable to flooding or sitting water. 
Agree the placement before starting works making sure the roof overhang, guttering is allowed for.
Essential to have level flat and square, raised just above ground level to allow for drainage. Best to have the concrete as close to the exact size of building so there is no splash back from the rain. 
If there is paving or a walk way, ideally to have a stone pea shingle channel following the outline of your building, this will help with drainage and keep splash back to a minimum.
Concrete base depths and sizes will be dependant on ground conditions.
In general dig out to 100mm. Use shuttering to take the level to 110mm, 10mm above ground level.
Then replace with 60mm of compacted type 1 as a sub base layer, add a DPM sheet over the top.
Add 50mm of poured concrete.
For large bases it is worth including reinforced mesh sheets to help avoid cracks and keep the structural integrity.

NOTE FOR ALL BASE WORKS:
ALWAYS use DPM (damp proof membrane) and or DPC (damp proof course rolls) to separate the base layers from the building. This will ensure minimal moisture ingress up through the walls and floor.

Fixings Required:

F: Roof Boards
40mm screws or 50mm serrated nails to fix the roof boards to the roof joists / purlins / apexes. A nail gun using serrated 50mm nails is the best and fastest option for fixing roof boards.
The tongue and groove roof boards should be tapped into place, do not force together, there should be some room for expansion.
Nail or screw the roof boards from the outside externally through to the roof joists / purlins / apexes.
Use a chalk line to guide you externally where is to be screwed or nailed to avoid missing the roof joists / purlins / apexes.
Treat the exposed roof boards especially the cut ends liberally with wood preserver.

G: Base Wall Bearers & Floor Joists (green tanalised wood)
Base fixing are determined on the sub structure. Ideal would be 'Fischer hammer fixings' for fixing the base wall bearers and floor joists to concrete or block.
It is recommended to use a DPC roll below the base and floor joists for concrete slabs.
It is recommended to use a DPM sheet above the base wall bearers and below the floor joists.

H: Roof Shingle Tiles & Felts
Galvanised clout head nails maximum 20mm. 
The roof tiles have self adhesive strips on the back but nails must be used as well
There is a tile fitting diagram available.

I: Wall Boards
If screws for walls are required to force into place, use good quality wood screws 120mm long. 
Drill down through first log and take up into second log. 
For walls logs without interlocking sections between windows and doors, it will help to use a temporary batten to hold in place.
Avoid screws and nails except where necessary, the building will naturally move through the seasons.

J: Floor and Decking (the internal floor should be fitted last)
Screws 4x55mm or nail gun for secret nailing of the floor in the tongue and grooves. 
Leave a space around the entire floor for expansion, the floor will be a floating floor and not directly connected to the walls.
Dependant on the DPM method used we recommend a DPM bigger than the floor area folded up around the walls and trimmed back when the floor has been completed.
Alternatively add DPC to top side of each floor joist before fixing the floor boards.
The last piece of floor board will need to be cut and trimmed to fit.
Use small screws or pins for the finishing pieces of skirting around the floor edging.

Installation:

K: Base Wood
Place the treated (green or brown) base wall bearers and floor joists (basement) evenly spaced.
Wall bearers & floor joists can be secured to the ground, if a concrete pad use Fischer hammer screw anchors through the wood into the concrete.
If the cabin is on wet or soft ground or there will be excess rain then we recommend using a membrane. 
Cut plastic strips or use a membrane roll DPC and place along the top and bottom of the base wall bearers & floor joists, this will help ensure no water transfer through the base bearers to the main body of the building. 
Do not place a big plastic sheet under the complete building this will stop drainage and keep the base wall bearers & floor joists in sitting water; if using a DPM place this above the wall bearers and below the floor joists.
The best way to use the DPM is to have a 1 piece sheet under the building and fold from the outside to the inside over the first level of timbers, staple in place to hold the fold, you have a complete seal from external elements.

L: Wall Logs
Place first level of wall logs (x4), these are normally 2 half height wall logs and 2 full height sized wall logs. 
The first row of wall logs will sit directly onto the base wall bearers, use a DPM or DPC between the base wall bearers and the first row of wall logs. 
On Some models there will be a first row wall log with a cut out for the door.
Screw the first level of wall logs into the base bearers, it is very important to check it is totally square and level. (If not square and level you will have problems later in the build)
Add the wall boards until half way up and then introduce the windows and doors, normally this is done by slotting the windows and doors down over the wall logs.
Do not use screws directly connecting the windows and doors to the wall logs, they should 'float' to allow some movement.
Only add screws to wall logs when necessary, if wall logs need manipulation to fit and sit properly then you can add a screw through the grooved section. Drill down 50% of the wall log and catch 50% of the wall log underneath. 
Only add screws if the wall logs are twisted or bent, the weight of the building when completed will settle and move the wall logs tight into place.

M: Windows and Doors
Windows and doors should not be screwed directly into the wall logs.
The window frames and the door frames; frames should be screwed together if in part form before fitting.
Expanding foam is the best way to fit a window or a door frame, add the foam around the frames to create a good seal. 
The finishing fascias around the doors and windows can be sealed with quality silicone during fitting.
Let the windows and doors settle into place after a few months, only then add screws into each corner of the door and window fascias. 
This method may require adjustment seasonally.
Use a good quality silicone sealant and apply liberally around windows and door fascias inside and outside. (CT1 or HB42 sealants are our recommendations)

N: Roof
Roof purlins / joists roof sections will sometimes need manipulation to sit in place, try and avoid any cutting, some planning may be necessary. 
Roof boards should be nailed 50mm serrated or screwed 40mm into the roof purlins / joists. 
Fix roof boards into every purlin the top of the wall finish and the apexes to ensure a good fix.
The roof boards tongue and groove should not be forced tight to allow for some expansion and contraction.
Add the fascia boards using battens supplied.
The return fascia boards that sit over the roof can only be fixed when the roof shingle tiles have been completed.
The guttering timber battens for the end of the roof boards should be fixed before the roof shingles are applied
Remember to treat all exposed timbers especially the roof boards cut ends, fascia boards and detailing features, it is easiest and best to do this before the tiles or felt applied.

O: Roof Shingle Tiles
For best results add a roof membrane before the roof tiles are fixed. 
Roof shingle tiles work best when warm, if very cold then some manipulation will be required, tiles will settle and stick when the weather is hot.
Make the first row at the bottom of roof boards (eaves) the opposite (straight edge) way round and then the next row directly on top the correct way up (shaped edge). 
Allow the first row to overhang by 150mm.
Fold the top row of shingle tiles over the ridge.
Cut the shingle tiles into sections to place along the ridge.
Use a quality gutter sealant or flexible silicone to bead along the apex, fascia boards of the roof edge.
If required you can add the return fascia boards once the roof shingles have been completed
click here to download our roofi shingle tile fitting guide

P: Baulk Clamps / Storm Braces
On the plan the baulk clamps (storm braces) go into the corners.
Position these towards the top of the building almost to the top of the wall edge. 
The small hole put towards the top and screw through with a large screw or add a washer and screw tight into the wall board. 
The slotted hole (positioned towards the floor) you can put a large nut and bolt with washers or a large screw with washer, do not make very tight, just loose. 
This will allow the cabin to move but limits the total amount of movement.

Q: Floor
Best to keep the base joist timbers separated from the floor joists with a DPM or DPC.
Screw or nail floor boards into place. Leave a small even gap all around the edges for expansion. 
The small skirting trim beading you can put around the floor to cover the gap.

R: Wood Treatment
Treat inside and out with good quality wood treatment, do not leave for more than 7 days untreated. 
Inside can be treated in a natural clear coat, paint windows and doors a few times to ensure a good seal.
Apply wood treatment liberally to all the exposed roof boards, especially the cut ends. Check and retreat the roof boards yearly.

NOTE:  The best products cost more & offer better protection, take the time to do this properly or pay a professional, the end result & extended life of the building, it will be worth it.

S: Silicone Sealants
A good quality silicone sealant should be added around the windows and doors inside the building and outside the building. 
Silicone sealants should be used in the corners of the wall log joints inside and outside.
It is also recommend using silicone along the top of the wall where it meets the roof on the inside.

T: Guttering
Guttering is essential to help protect and maintain the life of your building.
The roof finish, shingle tiles, felts etc, should over hang the roof boards enough to allow water to drain directly into the guttering.
Best guttering for timber buildings and log cabins is rolled 1 piece guttering. If using PVC check seasonally for any movement.
Ensure the guttering downpipes are turned away from the building so water is not pooled or drained near the walls or under the building.

U: Decking
Decking place with a small gap to allow for expansion and good drainage. A coin space can work.

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