I know I’ve been saying this for the last 12 months at least but I am definitely considering buying a log cabin for the garden to use as an office for me.
I need a dedicated space for blogging but at the moment, every spare space in the house is accounted for – as you’d expect with two teenagers who use our house as a base for their friends often (which I love so completely not a moan).
So, if like me, you’re in the market for a new log cabin for your garden, you probably already know that finding the perfect one can be pretty tricky. There are absolutely loads of different manufacturers all with different ideas about how to construct a quality garden building.
With such a wide variety of different materials and techniques used in the building of cabins, without knowing a little about woodwork and construction, customers can often be left feeling bewildered. To make matters worse, some manufacturers cut as many corners as they can along the way and the resulting cabins might look great on first glance but are likely to succumb to the elements, months or years down the line.
With that in mind, here are some ways you can make sure you don’t get ripped off when buying a log cabin. With our advice, you’ll be able to spot just when a manufacturer is cutting a corner versus when you’re looking at a piece of quality craftsmanship.
Get a Good Price to Begin With!
The best way to make sure that you don’t get ripped off is to make sure you get the best possible price to begin with for your new log cabin. Shed manufacturers often run promotions throughout the year. These vouchers and money-saving coupons are great, particularly given that you’ll be potentially spending thousands on your new cabin. That five or ten percent off could turn out to be a sizeable saving!
A couple of great garden building manufacturers currently running promotions are the family-run Leeds-based of TigerSheds and more occasionally Waltons. You can see the Tiger Sheds discounts here and you can see the Waltons discount codes here . If you browse around, you’ll likely find some other offers for other companies too.
Know Your Materials
Different shed and cabin manufacturers use different materials. Now, if you’re in the market for a log cabin, you’re presumably going to want the thing to stand for some time. That means you need a suitable wood that isn’t going to warp, twist, or split.
Some shed manufacturers will save a bit of money on their products by creating them out of an inferior wood. The timber for these cabins will be sourced from fast growing trees, which, although considerably cheaper, is nowhere near as durable.
Look for a cabin made from a slow growing variety of wood. If in doubt, you can always Google a specific type if you’re unsure about that kind of thing. Beware of cabins that are made from poorly-suited species of wood for construction Two cabins can be identical apart from the type of wood, with one standing for many years after the other has rotted away to almost nothing.
Also, if you can’t see the type of wood the cabin is made from, this should be a red flag. Is there some reason why they don’t proudly display it like some manufacturers?
A really positive sign is when a manufacturer owns its own sawmill too. By cutting wood to order, pieces are far less likely to have been exposed to damp than they would be had they been sat in a warehouse waiting to be bought. What’s more, when things do go wrong, the company will be much better equipped to source replacement components for your cabin. Finally, manufacturers operating their own mills are far more likely to offer additional customisation options and can afford to be much more accommodating to the customer. Such flexibility is great, particularly given that you’ll probably be spending thousands on your new cabin – it’s important for it to be right!
Know Your Methods
Do a bit of research into garden building construction methods. Learn about shiplap cladding, tongue and groove joints, and everything in between. Learn how they impact the overall structure you’re buying. The difference between a double tongue and groove joined cabin and a basic square cut is simply vast. Cabins that are well-fitted together are not only safe and long lasting, but have a real luxury feel to them, and that’s the aim, right?
Doors and windows to log cabins are another place where loads of manufacturers try to save a bit of cash. It’s common to see cheap cylinder locks, flimsy hinges, and externally hung fittings. Look out for manufacturers that offer a higher-quality, joiner-finished end product. The difference between inferior cabins and those crafted by skilled professionals is night and day. Pay attention for doors and windows that have been rebated into their framework as a sign that you’re dealing with a quality merchant, as well as stylistic touches such as architraves.
The Devil’s in the Details
If you see an amazing price for a cabin when browsing around, be wary. Thoroughly inspect exactly what is included in the price. Some companies will lure a customer in with an unbelievable price only for them to find out that a host of optional extras are needed to even make the cabin sturdy enough to withstand a storm.
Here are some common shortcuts that some shed and cabin builders have been known take:
- Inferior glazing. Entry level sheds by some manufacturers only come with plastic or ludicrously thin glass.
- Thin floorboards. Anything below 15 or 16mm is dangerously thin.
- No roof covering included. Without adequate protection, the roof is likely to be the first thing that needs replacing on a cabin.
- Sloppy craftsmanship. Are edges rough and unfinished? Does it feel like a quality building?
- Timber thickness. Pay attention to how thick the logs used for the walls are. Within reason, the thicker the better.
Buy with Confidence
By reading up a bit about cabin construction methods and understanding them, as well as browsing the cabins by many different manufacturers, you will get a much better feel for what makes a good cabin and what makes a shoddy one. This will help you to make an informed decision about your new garden building. As a fairly costly purchase, you don’t want to rush into it.
When you do finally find the cabin of your dreams, remember to hunt around for a voucher to see if you can save a few quid on it too!
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