There are loads of ways to save a few quid when buying a log cabin for your property. Many manufacturers offer a range of different options, allowing customers to optimise their new build for cost effectiveness, style, durability, and other qualities.
In our experience products using low cost specs are usually cheaper for a good reason. They often lack the quality of their more expensive counterparts. This would be fine if you were buying something that you wanted to stand for a year or two. However, when you’re looking at spending potentially thousands on a garden building, you presumably want to get more than a couple of seasons out of it.
Manufacturers often cut a lot of corners on their cheaper log cabins. Common is for the manufacturers to use an inferior timber, such as a fast-growing Baltic white wood, or for them to use faster to construct, but lower quality building techniques. Shiplapping, for example, simply cannot compare with tongue and groove joining systems in terms of its durability and resistance to the elements.
If you’re happy for your building to serve you for a couple of years before it needs expensive restoration, or even more expensive replacement, the best way for you to save some money is to shop around for the very cheapest building on the market.
However, if you’re in the market for something more hardwearing, you really need to lay a bit of money out to begin with. If you start with a high-quality supplier of garden buildings, it will be much longer before you need to replace any components and when you do, the company will likely be much more accommodating.
Wait a Minute, This Sounds Expensive…
Well, you’re right. Buying a quality log cabin isn’t cheap. You’re constructing a whole new building on your property after all. Even if it is made of wood, there’s still an awful lot of labour and materials to pay for.
If you’ve decided to follow our advice about buying the best to begin with, we recommend starting out by browsing the internet for a promotion from one of the higher end companies. It’s not uncommon to see five or ten percent off the asking price and when you’re talking about a building that costs thousands of pounds, such a discount could really add up!
To get you started, here are two vouchers for really great garden building manufacturers. One is for Leeds-based bespoke shed and cabin firm TigerSheds. The other is for the family business turned garden giant Waltons. You can find the vouchers here. With a bit of research, you’ll likely discover many more money saving offers too!
How Do I Buy a Great Cabin?
So, we’ve established that the best way to save long-term on your log cabin is to avoid costly repairs or reconstructions by opting for the highest quality first time around. But how do you know you’re onto a winner? We’re presuming you’re not already an expert on garden building construction!
Check the Materials
If you’re wanting to save money on a log cabin long-term then you need to opt for one that has been constructed out of a suitable building material. Being a log cabin, it’s obviously going to be largely made of wood. However, not all woods are created equal!
Always pay attention to the variety of timber used. You want something slow growing. This will likely set you back a bit more upfront, but the savings will come through not having to replace warped or split wood in a couple of months or years.
Avoid manufacturers that don’t list the variety of wood they use, or that opt for inferior faster growing varieties. Also, it’s good to remember that you can always do a quick search online if you don’t recognise a species. Pop the name into a search engine and you’ll learn whether it’s a good choice for building a log cabin out of.
Check the Methods
A lot of log cabin manufacturers will save themselves a bit of money by opting for inferior building methods. It’s in the construction techniques used that a really great cabin will truly show its colours.
Many customers will be lured in by an amazingly priced cabin, which compared with the market, looks like a fantastic deal. However, just a year or two after said building is constructed, their cabin has become damaged by the elements and components need replacing at considerable cost.
Look closely at how cabins are assembled, compare different manufacturers’ techniques. If you see a super-cheap cabin, look for a second company offering a similar one and see how the different construction methods stack up. If you’re not familiar with common garden building techniques, check out this short guide to the topic.
Ideally, for a durable cabin you want logs to be joined using more than a simple notch-cut joint. Look for products offering single, or double tongue-and-groove instead. These will offer much more resistance to the elements down the line.
Treat it Right
Once you have decided on and bought your new cabin, there is still one more vital step to help its longevity – treatment. Many cabins are supplied untreated and require coating with a spirit-based product as soon as possible. This will dramatically increase the lifespan of your garden building.
Ideally, you should also look to retreat your cabin annually. A good coat of treatment protects the timber from the elements so always make sure it’s topped up. The main cause for cabins to require repair and thus cost a lot more money is through them becoming damaged by damp penetration. So, make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies when you’re applying the product.
We really think that the best way to save money on a cabin is to buy the best first time around. Think about it. If the cabin you buy costs £2,000 and it last ten years. It has saved you a lot more than if you were to go for one that cost £1,500 and only survived five winters. Going for a more expensive product to save you money might seem counterintuitive, but it really makes sense if that more expensive product is simply better in terms of its overall construction.