How Long Does it Take to Fit a Log Cabin?
I was sent some interesting pictures from a kind customer and it reminded me of all the times I’m asked: ‘how long does it take to fit a log cabin?’
This is a bit of a tough question really and I think it all comes down to trust, whether you trust Yourself, the Plans, the Product or the Company you are buying from and the advice and help you receive from them.
No trust at all
- Yourself – If you are worried about yourself, your ability to read the plans and the confidence you can identify a log it will take longer.
- If you second guess the plans or question what they are showing you too much it will take longer
- If you don’t entirely trust the company or you are looking for faults in the product it is going to take longer as you will be worrying, you’ll be going over every small detail, counting every possible part over and over again, worrying you have one roof board too few or wondering what this piece of wood is, or where is that piece and where it’s going to go. This is going to take you a lot longer to build your cabin.
- If you don’t trust the advice you’ve been given it’s going to take longer, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to argue with a customer (normally a builder or a carpenter) that there are expansion gaps for a reason and that you don’t fix the doors or window frames to the logs.
Without trust in all of the above or at least a few of them your build will take longer.
If you are going to buy from us or others I’d like you to have some trust at least in some of the above. This of course will depend on lots of factors. Can you Trust?
- Yourself – Identify the parts as you unpack and make a mental note of them. Trust that you can read the plans. I’ll add some advice at the bottom of this post with some quick identification hints.
- Plans – Follow the plans that came WITH the building, try not to second guess them or disbelieve them, follow them exactly.
- Trust the advice you are given. I don’t know much about other companies support these days but we try to give you as much information as possible. Personally I spend a lot of time writing and updating these blogs with help and advice and also help out of hours when my and my colleagues family life permits. This advice is also transferable to any ‘Good Make’ of log cabin. Some of it won’t work with rubbish – watch out for cabins when you have to screw the logs together or a roof you can’t actually work on as the purlins are so small. Worse still if you don’t have wind and watertight connections then ignore all of my advice as you have bought rubbish and I can’t help you.
How long Does it Take to Fit a Log Cabin
The pictures Mr C sent to me are further down the page, what I loved is that they are date and time stamped which shows quite clearly how long the build took.
The building is a Wolfgang Log Cabin, a pretty daunting structure for most customers with two rooms and an odd shape. Before you look at the pictures from Mr C, honestly ask yourself how long you think this build would take you.
The Wolfgang log cabin which is 5.3 x 4.5 with an attached shed and porch. How long do you think this takes to install?
How long did you think? I bet some of you will be thinking four or five days, maybe more? Here’s Mr C’s pictures and notice the time stamps on them.
The build started from scratch at about 08:00. The cabin was then unpacked, stacked in components sizes. Critical parts identified and put to one side. This picture is time stamped 0944 so we’re about an hour and three quarters into the fit. Unpacking and moving takes a good hour.
Now at 10:25 and the doors and windows are in and they are almost at the eaves height.
13:47 which is about six hours into the fit and the roof shingles are almost done.
19:07 and the fitters have left site, tidied up and even had time to fit the guttering during the install.
So there you have it, fitted in a day, and this building is probably one of our most complicated ones. If you’re interested these are the plans they will have been following: Log Cabin Plans
But of course, these guys you will say ‘know what they are doing’. There are no real tricks honest, you will have the same time frames as them.
It’s not a matter of ‘they know all the parts’ All they are doing is trusting themselves, the plans and the product. The only edge they will have on someone doing it for the first time is they can identify parts in the plans and sort them as they are unpacking, i’ll come on to that a bit later.
Of course I’ll give a little leeway for inexperience and I would say this cabin should take you, being inexperienced, two – two and a half days. My rule of thumb is for an experienced fitter a 4 x 3m and less is generally one day, bigger is one and a half to two and a monster like the Edelweiss is three to four. For a first timer add one extra day.
This though is only if you have trust and the package is within 100m of the base as lugging it any distance can take a long time.
It’s taken forever – Richard you’re WRONG!
If you are considering one of our log cabins no doubt you will have a scan through some of our reviews. Have a look at the reviews for Asmund Corner Log Cabin, this is one of our best sellers.
You’ll see lots of varying time scales in the various reviews from 1 day all the way to 5 days
- My wife & I constructed the cabin with virtually no assistance in 5 days which went well
- The cabin itself took my brother and myself only a few days to completely assemble and finish
- All in all 11 hours and the cabin was fully erected and roof tiles in place
- It’s taken me about 5 working days to construct, single-handed
- Quick construction – 3 days in total, four once I have finished the shingling.
- It has taken three adults two days to complete the build.
- I paid a local landscaping contractor to build mine, and it took 2 men with carpentry skills 2.5 days to assemble it
- very easy to assemble
- instructions for assembly are easy to follow to construct.
- As occasional DIY’rs I couldn’t believe how quickly we built it
- The cabin was quite straightforward to put together, taking about 4 days to build in total (Two people)
- My husband and Son, put it up in no time at all, with no problems
- It took 1.5 days to erect with 2 men.
So yes, you could well shout at me after you have found it’s taken longer but I still stand by my assessment is that it’s all down to Trust in yourself, the Product, Plans, Company and Advice.
It’s interesting that some customers get it banged up really quickly, yet the review left by a poor lady who hired a ‘landscaper with carpentry skills’ to build hers took 2.5 days and had a lot of problems, I remember well talking those ‘Fitters’ through it.
If you are employing fitters such as carpenters, joiners or builders gently point them to all our advice. A log cabin could be totally new to them even if they don’t admit it to you. Don’t rely on their trade giving them the information on the correct way to install a cabin.
As a quick example this was an installation by ‘Professional Carpenter and joiner of 20 years experience’
Very large gaps in the wall logs were appearing and the customer was in discussion with me after this happened six months later. She assured me it was installed by a carpenter of 20 years experience (I shudder when I hear this statement) and she had used him for loads of work and that his work was of an excellent standard so therefore the building was defective.
Gaps were showing in her building
I explained to the customer exactly what was wrong with this log cabin several times but she would not take my advice and kept referring to how experienced the carpenter was that had installed it.
See there’s the Trust issue again!
The customer was very uncooperative and after discussions I agreed to visit her. If it was our fault I had agreed we would supply a complete new building and also cover all the costs for installation and painting. But, if it was not our fault she would pay for the inspection and rectification.
Our customer trusted her experienced carpenter and refused to trust me.
Nails in the fascia going through to the logs.
I found several nails going through the window and door fascias which went into the logs. Doing this will stop your building from moving and you will either have gaps or splits.
After I removed all of these the whole thing settled back down again to where it should be and all gaps closed straightaway. Remind any fitter, no matter what trade – WOOD MOVES and doors and windows have to be independent to the wall logs, I guarantee you a tradesperson will always overlook this if they have not installed a cabin before.
Removing all the fixings the logs closed up to where they should be
More problems with her cabin caused by a ‘Professional Painter’
In my inspection I also looked at the moisture content and depth of treatment for her. It got worse and her ‘professional painter’ had cocked up as well – Moisture content and depth of treatment in log cabins
The lady was a bit miffed having to pay me for the visit and the ‘Experienced Carpenter’ who met me on site with her was incredibly embarrassed.
If you’re employing a trade, gently remind them to have a look at the various pieces of advice there is and they will fit quicker, be cheaper and you and I won’t be having a discussion in a few months time.
So what’s the secret?
The secret to a quick install is all in the identification of parts in the plans and not worrying about what you do not understand. I always tell people I talk to: ‘Take it one stage at a time’.
All will become clear as it goes up and do not focus on bits you do not understand until you reach that point. The biggest mistake with an installation is over thinking it. Fitting a log cabin is Easy!
We start our day fitting and note the package number we find on the packaging, just in case we have problems later and need to ask for parts, claims etc, if you buy from us we will always ask for this number so you may as well note it down just in case.
- Take the tanalised lengths of timber off the package or the profiled foundation beams, put them straight onto your base and do not worry about them.
- You will find a big bag of nails and roofing tacks, put these to one side. Yes we send lots, don’t worry about them.
- Do not open the floor packs if you have these. These will be on top of the main package. Put them away somewhere, you don’t need these until the cabin has been built.
- Take the plastic off carefully and try to keep it in one piece, it might be handy to use this if it chucks down later or to cover the purlins / rafters / apexes to protect them from the sun.
- The pack is not going to be in fitting order so don’t expect it to be.
- Start unpacking and look at the various log sizes as you go, put each log size in it’s own area. Do not think about anything at this point, just unpack it and lay out the logs of the same size on top of each other. Make extra stacks next to them if needed you can go about ten logs high before the stack gets a bit unstable. Try to keep them supported, it helps if you have some timber to lay and support them on.
- Anything you can’t identify – Don’t start looking at the plans for it and don’t worry about it, put it to one side and remember where you put it and roughly what it looked like.
- Rafter and purlins are easy to spot. Put them to one side and away from the build, keep them straight, supported and covered from a hot sun to stop any warps.
- When you come across a log that has been cut horizontally in half put it straight onto the base, this is a starter log and the beginning of the build. It may also be a top log but worry about it later.
- Roof boards will all be together, put these to one side and do not worry about them.
- As you unpack you will come to the plans and generic instructions. Put these to one side, don’t even look at them. You can also see far more detailed generic instructions and videos online that I have written to compliment those received with the log cabin if you fancy reading them: Installation Manual
- Keep unpacking and for most buildings you will come to doors and windows, put these somewhere safe.
You should now have an area full of logs, bits and bobs. Don’t worry about any of it, and don’t panic at the site of it – ‘one section at a time’ and this is what all professional fitters will do.
Quick Identification of parts
So here’s a few heads up, look for these as you unpack the cabin and Do NOT worry about any of them, recognise them and put them to one side depending on your cabin.
Starter logs, these are logs cut horizontally in half
Normal logs, nothing is different with these, they are all the same even when attached to a half starter log. If you have posts for canopies these may be longer than required. You can cut these down to fit as required.
You may find odd cut logs, put these to one side until you need then and do not worry about them. When you come to that section in the plans then look at them. Do not over think a build – it’s Easy!
Some times with the corner log cabin look for a log with the tongues cut off. Put it to one side and worry about it when you need it.
Please see this link for more help following on from this article : Installation tips for Tuin Log Cabins
As I always say:
If you have any questions at all regarding installation please always ask us, even out of hours as several of us often check emails for helps requests on our days / time off.
If you need help out of hours send an email to [email protected] and entitle it Fitting Help and myself or other experienced fitters will get back to you. It helps if you send us a picture(s) of what you are seeing and a brief description of the problem.
As a side to all of this, I must brag a little, I try to be impartial in my advice here but I did love these comments from Mr C:
I will be sending you pictures from start to finish. Superb initial service and advice. Super-fast delivery and the truck driver was helpful and polite. Len and team brilliant in building the cabin. All in all the best service I have received and what a beautiful cabin. Many thanks
After I asked for permission to add his pictures to a blog Mr C wrote:
Please be my guest. When its painted and done up I will send you some more. I will go on the review page shortly. It is on my face book and friends from Scotland to Sweden have seen it. Whoever has come to do electrics and paint have been very impressed, by the standard of finish and the quality of wood. So By browsing the internet that Saturday you were the first one to reply promptly and with all the details I needed, I hit the jackpot!
Mr C’s Review of the Wolfgang was:
Superb initial service and advice. The office girls new exactly want I wanted.
Super-fast delivery and the truck driver was helpful and polite
Len and team brilliant in building the cabin
All in all the best service I have received and what a beautiful cabin. The quality of wood and finish is very good.Many thanks xxxxxxxxxxx