Log Cabins and Timber Homes

Log Cabins and Timber Homes

You cannot get more sustainable than a house made from timber. In the past, log cabins were made directly from felled trees with little or no timber processing involved. Today, however, Log cabins or timber homes come in a myriad of designs.  See images below.

traditional log cabin

Traditional Log Cabin

Modern style Timber Home

To maximise the sustainability of your home add as many renewable energy elements as practicable. See Energy and Insulation

Common Questions and Answers about Log Cabins and timber homes

Q. Is a log cabin or timber home suitable for the Irish and the UK Climate?
A. Absolutely, one hundred percent yes.

Q. Will it survive the varied seasons?
A. Without doubt. If the timber used is properly seasoned there is no reason why it shouldn’t last a couple of lifetimes.

Q. Is it suitable for living in the year round?
A. If the correct amount of insulation is used then it will be as warm as the warmest conventional home construction.

Q. Can you offer some advice on purchasing a log cabin or a timber home?
A. Buy from a reputable source.  Carefully examine all the timber home elements as they arrive on site. If you are not qualified to do this then deply the services of a building technician or equivalent. But if you intend to be on site, yourself, during construction make sure you have all the safety gear necesary to enter a building site. At the very least you will need a hard hat, hi-vis jacket and boots with steel toe caps. You will need permission from the installer to enter within the site boundary during the assembly or construction phase.
Important Check list:
⦁ Check each batch of wood during the purchase. This may not be possible at the purchasing stage, so check each piece as they arrive on site. Make this a condition of purchase.
⦁ Try and get a look at where the timber is stored. It must be stored in a dry place with sufficient air ventilation.
⦁ Check in particular for insect damage or signs of rot
⦁ Are all the timber pieces straight? Warped timber pieces could be a sign of disease or insufficient. Enquire whether the wood was dried naturally (seasoned timber) or Kiln dried. wood was seasoned
⦁ Watch out for the different terms such as lumber, wood, logs etc. Lumber is commonly the word used in North America.
⦁ It is worth spending a few Pounds or Euros checking the moisture content of the timber. Devices for checking the moisture content of wood can be picked up in any well stocked tool shop. Make sure you get at least a one year manufacturing certificate and use it within that year. Proper seasoned or dried wood will have a moisture content of about 15%.
⦁ It is also worth spending a little extra on building good foundations. Timber homes can be placed directly on purpose built stilts placed on virgin ground.
Advantages of Log Cabins or Timber Houses:
⦁ Extremely, economical to purchase and install.
⦁ Very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. At least for most of us!
⦁ One of the quickest homes to erect.
⦁ It is properly insulated it will be very energy efficient.
⦁ Timber is very easy to work with.

Disadvantage of Log Cabins or Timber Houses:
⦁ It is difficult to find any downsides. I guess some people just don’t like them. But then again some people don’t like brick finished buildings. Some don’t like stone cladding. It should be said, though, that a well designed Timber House or log cabin will have very little detractors.
⦁ They may need painting or varnishing more often than other type construction.