|Best of the Best||Great Value||Cheapest||compare 4||compare 5|
|Greenway Leighfield||Greenway Ettrick||Greenway Newburgh L Shaped||Greenway Hawthorn||Malvern Astwood|
|Roof type||Reverse Apex||Reverse Apex||Apex||Pent||Reverse Apex|
|Roof material||18mm tongue & groove||18mm tongue & groove||18mm tongue & groove||18mm tongue & groove||12mm shiplap cladding|
|Roof covering||Shingles (extra)||Shingles (extra)||Shingles (extra)||Shingles (extra)||Cedar shingle roof|
|Walls||44mm tongue & groove||44mm tongue & groove||44mm tongue & groove||70mm tongue & groove||12mm shiplap cladding|
|Floor||18mm tongue & groove||18mm tongue & groove||18mm tongue & groove||28mm tongue & groove||12mm tongue & groove|
|Framing||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||57mm x 32mm|
|Insulation||Roof + floor (optional extra)||Roof + floor (optional extra)||Roof + floor (optional extra)||Roof + floor (optional extra)||Walls, floor and roof (optional extra)|
|Door||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock|
|Windows||1 opening, 1 large fixed||2 opening||2 opening||5 opening||2 opening, 2 fixed|
|Window panes||Double glazed||Double glazed||Double glazed||Double glazed||Single (upgrade to 4mm toughened double glazed)|
|Dimensions (overall)||580cm x 430cm / 19′ x 14’1||540cm x 346cm / 17’9 x 11’4||450cm x 450cm / 14’9 x 14’9||450cm x 674cm / 14’9 x 8’0||244cm x 183cm / 6′ x 8′|
|Other sizes||3.9m x 4.0m, 3.9m x 5.2m||8′ x 6′ upto 14′ x 12′|
|Treatment||Untreated||Untreated||Untreated||Untreated||Pressure treated roof. Weather resistant paint|
|Guarantee||5 years manufacturer warranty||5 years manufacturer warranty||5 years manufacturer warranty||5 years manufacturer warranty||10 year anti-rot guarantee|
|Summary||Large log cabin with wide sheltered doorway. Thick logs can be combined with floor and ceiling insulation to provide a comfortable temperature year round. Stylish floor to ceiling windows provide great illumination.||Sealed doors and windows for improved insulation. Made with FSC certified timber. Georgian windows add classic styling.||L shaped log cabin with chalet style interconnecting logs. Double door can be located at front or to the side.||Contemporay style log cabin with extra thick 70mm double tongue and groove cladding. Five opening windows. Comprises three rooms in total.||Pressure treated cedar shingle roof as standard. Comes pre-painted in choice of 20 colours. Painted MDF internal lining.|
- 1 Buying Guide for Insulated Log Cabins
- 2 Insulated Log Cabins – Features to Consider
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Insulating Properties of Wood
- 5 Different Types of Wood and R-Values
- 6 44mm or 70mm Logs
- 7 Heat Loss through Ceiling and Floor
- 8 Celotex Insulation Kits
- 9 Log Cabin Roof Insulation
- 10 Celotex Floor Insulation
- 11 Insulated Log Cabin Kits – Self Build or Installed?
- 12 Insulated Log Cabin with Toilet
- 13 Other Insulated Log Cabins we Considered
Buying Guide for Insulated Log Cabins
Having a log cabin with insulation allows you to enjoy your outdoor space year-round. If your log cabin is destined for work use, as an office or studio, it’s worth spending that little extra to ensure you’re comfortable and not passing the winter months in perpetual cold. In our review we consider the main facets of a well insulated cabin and help you compare some of the best on the market at the moment.
Insulated Log Cabins – Features to Consider
- The thickness of logs is important, particularly if walls themselves are not insulated
- Good seals on doors and windows to prevent drafts
- Minimise log expansion caused by moisture absorption; use wood preservative, paint or pressure treatment.
- Sufficient roof overhang to protect external surfaces from rain run-off
- Ensure a water resistant insulation material is used
Frequently Asked Questions
What does R-value mean?
R-value is a measure of the thermal insulating properties of a material. The higher the number the better.
What is Celotex insulation?
Celotex is a laminate board which combines rigid foam and reflective aluminium foil to provide effective insulation. It comes in varying thicknesses with different thermal ratings.
What is the R value of Celotex?
25mm celotex has an R-value of 1.10, whilst 40mm celotex has an R-value of 1.80
Insulating Properties of Wood
Wood has been used as a building material for millenia. In climates with cold winters, thicker logs are used and any drafts are minimised through a process known as chinking. The same tenets hold for the milder UK winters; thicker walls and a draft free interior are vital, along with some form of insulation for the ceiling and floor.
Different Types of Wood and R-Values
It stands to reason that different woods are more suitable for certain uses. Softwoods such as Cedar have a higher R-value than hardwoods. Cedar is generally considered to be the best kind of wood for log cabins.
Spruce and pine are two other excellent types of wood and are widely used in log cabin construction. These are sourced from Finland and other Scandinavian regions, the short summers result in straight wood with tightly packed grains. Whichever wood is used, for year round comfort, some form of additional insulation is required.
Cedar, Spruce and Pine are excellent softwoods widely used in log cabin construction
44mm or 70mm Logs
I’d recommend that insulated log cabins have walls 44mm thick or more, otherwise too much heat will be lost through the walls, leading to higher heating costs during winter. In the UK, many cabins are available with walls of 44mm, with a more limited range at 70mm. In my research I found several 44mm cabins with insulation options (see comparison table above) but only one insulated 70mm log cabin, the Greenway Hawthorn.
Palmako do a few cabins which are constructed using 70mm logs, such as the Palmako Heidi. However, insulation isn’t currently offered as an upgrade so you would have to add it yourself; i’ve included a brief summary of the insulation process further down.
Heat Loss through Ceiling and Floor
It’s important to note that whilst the thickness of logs is important, over 70% of heat is typically lost through the roof and floor, since these are normally constructed from thinner wood. Therefore it’s paramount that you address these two areas as a priority.
In a wooden cabin, 70% of heat is typically lost through the roof and floor
Celotex Insulation Kits
This brand has become something of a by-word for insulation in the garden building industry for a few reasons:
- Celotex has an insulation factor about twice rockwool
- It’s hydrophobic so won’t absorb water
- No condensation risk if properly installed
- It’s lightweight and inexpensive
One of the drawbacks is that cutting it to size can be messy, and you’ll need to wear a mask. Using pre-supplied kits and having it installed by a professional is advisable to ensure no mishaps in the insulation. Below is a summary of the process for installing it in Greenway log cabins
Log Cabin Roof Insulation
- Fit batten flush with roof edge
- Fit thermo-protective membrane over entire roof with 10cm overlap
- Tape all joints and seams with foil tape to fully seal the roof
- Insert celotex sheets, ensuring they’re flush against the edes of the batten, any gaps will need to be filled with insulation board cut to size
- Affix 11mm OSB roof boarding over the insulating layer, taking care to not over-screw
- Lay felt or shingle tiles
Celotex Floor Insulation
Insulation board should be fitted below the floor-boards but off the ground to prevent rising moisture. A quick summary of the process is below:
- Affix 50mm screws 30mm below the top of the floor joists, this will act as a support on which to lay the insulation boards
- Cut the boards to size and lay
- Tape the joints using foil tape
- Lay floor boards
Rather than lay all of the insulation in one go, do it in sections and lay the floor boards on top as you go. This will give you a base to work from and prevent you accidentally putting your foot through an insulating board.
Snug fitting insulation will prevent cold spots on the floor and ceiling
Insulated Log Cabin Kits – Self Build or Installed?
Most garden building companies deliver your log cabin as a kit which you can assemble with the help of a friend or a handyman. They also offer an optional service where you pay to have your new log cabin assembled by experienced professionals at your property.
This is a stress free route to take since you can be assured of a good job, although be sure to have a suitable base ready.
If you’ve already decided to self assemble be sure to keep the materials organised and have a willing friend or neighbour on hand to assist. You should also want to check the weather forecast. Windy or rainy days can make the task more difficult and potentially dangerous, particularly if you’re finishing off the roof.
If you don’t have the time or tools, consider paying a professional to assemble your log cabin
Insulated Log Cabin with Toilet
There are a few log cabins with multiple rooms, but it’s difficult to find one with the option of insulation. The Hawthorn is one of the select few which ticks both boxes. It’s available in two sizes, the larger of which has two small rooms to the rear. These make a perfect toilet or shower room.
It thoughtfully includes thin elevated windows at the rear for privacy. Adding some frosting to the windows might be advisable; For a practical and cheap solution you could buy some adhesive “privacy film” from amazon and cut to size, that shouldn’t cost more than £15.
The extra thick 70mm log walls mean that maintaining a comfortable temperature in autumn and spring is much easier. When combined with roof and floor insulation this is a good choice for year round use (select the insulation upgrade when ordering). You could use a portable gas heater, or if you’re feeling adventurous you may even be considering a log burning stove.
As a garden office this works very well, particularly given it’s suitability for year round use and the two smaller rooms. You’ll no longer have to interrupt your time in the cabin to trudge up to the house bathroom. If you’re self employed or contracting you can probably write the heating off against your tax bill.
Other Insulated Log Cabins we Considered
These are some other buildings we looked at, but which didn’t quite make the cut for the top 5.