Groundwork Preparation for a log cabin

It is important to consider the groundwork preparation for a log cabin, to ensure its long life and easy installation. A sturdy base with adequate positioning is essential to get the best results. If you are in any doubt just ask!

Why should I build a base for my Log Cabin?

Assemble all garden buildings on a firm and level base. Construct the base from an appropriate, durable material.

Without the correct base, buildings can be very difficult to assemble. This may lead to the future deterioration of the product. Doors dropping out of alignment and becoming difficult to operate, or the source of water leakage for example.

Furthermore, inadequate groundwork preparation for a log cabin is also likely to invalidate any guarantee that your product may carry. We can provide you with a free estimate for this work if required.

 

Where should I build a base for my Log Cabin?

When deciding where to position your Log Cabin, you need to take a few things into consideration. Groundwork preparation for a log cabin does not just mean the base the cabin will sit on. It also includes the position of the cabin and the surrounding area.
Firstly, remember not to place the base too close to any walls or fences, there may be a slight overhang on the roof of the garden building.

Secondly, placing the base next to trees or large bushes could also cause problems from overhanging branches. If these are likely to grow and come into contact with the building, cut these branches in advance.
Once the Log Cabin has been assembled, check overhanging foliage regularly. For example any rubbing on the roofing felt may lead to your Log Cabin becoming susceptible to rain and extreme weather conditions.

When deciding the optimum location for your base, consider the access available to your Log Cabin:

  • Ensure the base position allows access around each side of the garden building to apply wood treatments or preservative.
  • Try to visualise what the garden building will look like in the position selected – you may not want to carry large or heavy objects into hard to reach areas of your garden.
  • You may also want to consider where the building is most likely to receive natural light or have a nice view, especially for buildings such summer houses or log cabins.
  • Finally, if you intend to fit an electricity or water supply to your garden building, therefore consider where would be most appropriate to cater for this (i.e. distance to mains electricity/water supply).

 

How should I build a Log Cabin base?

To construct a professional base, we recommend using a reputable local builder or handyman. However, if you feel comfortable with the task, then it is relatively straightforward to construct your own. Alternatively, we can provide you with a free estimate for groundwork preparation for a log cabin.

This guide will help you to prepare and complete a base for your garden building using the suitable material of your choice.

 

Concrete base method

Strongly recommended for larger Log Cabins.

To start:
  1. Remove any vegetation from the area where you have chosen to construct your base.
  2. Use pegs and string to mark out an area for your base. Measure the lengths between opposite angles to ensure the area is square and not slanted. These lengths will be equal if the base is square.
  3. Excavate the ground in the marked-out area to around 8” (200mm) deep.
  4. Within the excavated area, lay approximately 3” (75mm) of firmly compacted hardcore, scalping or brick rubble to act as a sound foundation and level with compacted sand if appropriate. You may wish to use a rake to aid with the levelling process. Remove the pegs and string.
  5. By measuring, cutting and fitting timber rails or steel shuttering to the shape of the base, board up the base around the perimeter/edge of the base. Use a tape measure, spirit level, and tri-square to ensure the base with shuttering is 100% level and square. Add steel reinforcement, as required placed on bricks to support it off the base level. This will help prevent the base cracking in years to come.
Laying the slab:
  1. You should then lay approximately 5” (125mm) of concrete. Concrete can be produced using either bags of dry mixed concrete with small amounts of water added at a time, or making a mixture of ‘all-in’ ballast, cement and water. For this second alternative, it is mixed in the ratio of 1 part of cement for 5 parts ‘all-in’ ballast. ‘All-in’ ballast is sold in 40kg bags at most building merchants or DIY stores (Note approx. 1.25 will be required to produce around 1 cubic foot of concrete). Do not allow the mix to become too wet as this will weaken the concrete.
  2. Spread the concrete evenly in the shuttering, taking particular care to push the concrete into the corners and edges. Arguably the best method to lay the concrete is to do it a layer at a time and compact it until the shuttering frame is full. Leave the concrete flush with the top of the framework and smooth it out using either a wooden or plastic float.
  3. The concrete must then be covered over with sheets to allow it to dry naturally. Please note however that the concrete must not be allowed to dry out too quickly and so spraying it with water may be necessary, particularly in warm and dry weather conditions.
  4. Once firm and dry the base is now ready for you to begin assembly of your garden building.

 

 

 Paving Slab method

To start:
  1. Remove any vegetation or grass from the area where you have chosen to construct your base.
  2. Use pegs and string to mark out an area for your base. Measure the lengths between opposite angles to ensure the area is square and not slanted. These lengths will be equal if the base is square.
  3. Excavate the ground in the marked-out area to around 2.5″ (63.5mm) deep. Remove the pegs and string.
Laying the slab:
  1. Within the excavated area, lay approximately 1.5″ (40mm) mix of one-part cement to eight parts building sand. This will create a dry sand and cement mix. Level this mix – you may wish to use a rake and a spirit level to aid with the levelling process.
  2. Starting from a corner lay the paving slabs and tap down with a rubber mallet. Make the surface of the paving slabs slightly higher than the surrounding ground, consequently rain water will be drain away quicker. Use a spirit level to make sure all the slabs are square, level and firmly butted together.
  3. Brush off any excess sand and cement mix – the base is now ready for you to begin assembly of your log cabin.

 

If you have any questions about groundwork preparation for a log cabin then simply ask us. (It’s something we know a bit about)