The popularity and recognition of backyard cabins commonly called Scandinavian or log cabins in Australia are quite impressive. People love the studio cabins. There are quite a few different manufacturers in Europe offering their backyard cabin kits. From the first sight, it might appear all very similar backyard cabins; however sneaky hidden and also visible features will make a huge difference in the quality and the longevity of your cabin.
So, there are five major things to look for when comparing backyard cabins from different suppliers/manufacturers. Visit of a display is always a good idea before purchase.
1. Timber treatment
Timber treatment is essential to increase its lifetime significantly and for long lasting wood protection against mildews, termites, wood-destroying insects and fungi. Scandinavian solid timber cabins are treated by long-term dipping or pressure-vacuum impregnated at the factory.
2. Engineering with stainless steel rods
You can find many different levels of quality of Scandinavian structure cabins in Europe. Some manufacturers produce well-engineered quality cabins, and others focus on cheap shed-type temporary shelters. If you are looking for the solid structure system for years to last, look for a stainless steel rods system that runs through walls from top to bottom holding the wall boards tight but at the same time allowing natural timber movement. Residential homes in Europe, USA and New Zealand use the same tie down system for decades. You may find that some builders are screwing boards to each other. No manufacturer of the structures would recommend that.
3. Glass, wall thickness, hardware and more
Now let’s get to the details that are very important and makes a huge difference in the quality of the cabin you want to enjoy for years to come.
Glass. You can get a basic glass from some cabin manufacturers and safety glass or double glazing from others. The choice is yours depending on the usage of your backyard cabin or a shed.
Wall thickness. There is a difference in wall thickness usually 34mm or 44mm of solid timber used for summerhouses or backyard studio cabins. Cabins with 44mm thickness walls give you 30% more comfort inside in terms of insulation and soundproof. Combine it with double glazing, and you have the best backyard cabin you ever wished for.
Hardware and more. Look for quality door handles and window opening mechanisms that will last. Also, look for window and door weather strips that stop heat/cold, dust, insects, noise and rain – very important for that extra lift in comfort.
4. Timber species
Cheaper backyard cabins are usually made from Pine, material that is least stable softwood used for building. Timber has large knots and is darker in colour compared to superior material Nordic Spruce used for quality buildings.
Nordic Spruce is a more expensive material when compared to pine. However, it is the best softwood you can get. Timber comes from the Northern part of Europe where the climate is cold, and trees grow slowly saving the energy and producing a few thin limbs resulting in more stable timber with small knots.
Quality backyard cabins and granny flats have aluminium thresholds whereas inferior cabins have timber threshold made of the same softwood which wears out quite fast resulting in gaps and door opening and closing problems.
Also, the height of the threshold is a significant feature to look at as you don’t want to snag on the doorstep.
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