How to buy?

What to look for when buying a log cabin.


As with most things size matters. We would recommend you go for the largest cabin space that your budget allows. You can use it for a whole host of activities. A quiet space, a party space, to serve drinks during the BBQ, sit and chat with friends, the possibilities are endless.

Timber Used

We only use the best timber, slow grown in cold climates. The more slowly timber grows the less likely it is to split, warp or shrink. Beware of home grown timber for this type of product as it really isn’t suitable at all.


A floor is included with every log cabin, except the Bradenham, a garage, and Bere (suitable for a hot tub). In our view a floor is needed to finish off the product properly. The walls don’t sit on the floor as they do for a normal garden shed. The walls do sit on floor bearers. There is no reason not to include a floor other than to cut costs. If you don’t want a floor we can give you a price for a building without one.

Doors and Windows

We have many different types of windows and doors. If the design of the building doesn’t have the windows and/or doors you like let us know and they can be swapped for the ones you want, usually free of charge.


All windows open, with night vent fasteners and casement stays at no extra cost. This helps prevent build-up of heat within the building on sunny days which will have an effect on the movement of the timber. We would recommend you choose a building with opening windows.


All windows and doors are properly morticed and tennoned – the ‘bars’ aren’t just plonked on the front. All the frame and bars of both windows and doors are profiled and very attractive. It’s the small details that matter to us.

Draft Proof System

All buildings, except those made from 19 mm logs, have a draft proof system – rubber seal is rebated around the frame of doors and windows to create a cushion which gives a tight, snug fit and reduces noise levels, eliminates cold draughts and slow heat loss. The rubber seal cannot be seen when doors and windows are closed.

Thickness of Walls

We offer cabins with wall thickness in 19 mm 28, 34, 44 and 70 mm logs thickness. The thicker the log, the more insulated the building. The temperatures in the UK rarely get low enough to warrant 70 mm level of insulation – but it looks amazing.

Ridge Height

The ridge height on the majority of our Cabins is 2.5 m, which means it is unlikely you will need planning permission. Occasionally on very large buildings this is not possible.

Planning Permission

The majority of our buildings are below 2.5 m in height, which means that generally planning permission is not required.


One of the inherent properties of timber is that it absorbs moisture when conditions are wet and that moisture will evaporate on warm days. This has the effect that the timbers will swell and constrict depending on weather conditions.

To counteract this natural movement our Cabins have a tongue and groove system. Any system that restricts the movement of the timber will cause the logs to warp and bow.

No Wall Fixings?

The individual logs of a log cabin are not usually screwed or nailed into position. The joints are tongue and groove which allow for natural movement. Be wary of any building that is screwed into place with a restricted level of movement. If you imagine that each log may expand 3-4 mm 15+ logs all expanding at the same time is a lot of movement overall. You would be wise to check that any device designed to control natural movement allows for this.

In the UK there is generally little problem of the walls being blown apart by storms. The roof would need to have been blown off before the walls could be affected by wind. Fit the roof securely and it’s unlikely there will be a problem.

Floor Bearers

The floor bearers on most of our cabins are pressure treated. You are unlikely to be able to treat the floor bearers again and they are quite likely to sit in water. Pressure treating forces treatment into the timber protecting it from water and insect attack. The floor bearers on 19 mm cabins are untreated. We advise using a damp-proof course to protect them and thereby extend the life of your cabin.

Roof Timbers

All of our roofs are fully supported with sufficient timbers of suitable thickness. The quantity and thickness will vary depending on the expanse of roof.


Most buildings are supplied with 3 mm horticultural glass, some with full length solid sheet glazing are supplied with 4 mm toughened glass. Most may be upgraded at additional cost to 4 mm double glazed units.

Horticultural glass is fine generally. If you have small children or the intended use of the building means that breakages are of a greater risk we recommend upgrading to toughened glass. It will still break under the same force as horticultural glass, but if it does break the glass will be small pieces and less likely to cause injury. Horticultural glass will break in to shards.

Double Glazing

Double glazing is offered as an optional upgrade. It is 2 sheets of 4 mm toughened glass made into a double glazed unit with 6 mm of space between the sheets. It has all the advantages you would list for having double glazing in your home, but whether to select it or not will depend on what your intended use for the cabin is. If budget will allow we recommend the option is taken so your building is future proofed.


Shire offer a warranty. For any warranty from anyone for anything the item needs to be looked after. The difference is we don’t charge for it. It’s completely free. We are confident that if a building is treated at least annually you will have very few, if any, problems and in the unlikely event that you do, just give us a call. Floor joists are pressure treated (no interlocking log cabins are pressure treated) and metal fixings are galvanised as a minimum, some are chrome.


Log cabins are not treated beforehand. The wall timbers cannot be pressure treated as this process causes the timber to expand. When it dries out and constricts gaps will be left between each log.


Window and most door fittings are chrome. The lock is a mortise lock, with a unique key. The lock to storage sections is a rim lock with a knob handle.