5 things to look for when choosing Scandinavian backyard cabin


The popularity and recognition of backyard cabins commonly called Scandinavian or log cabins in Australia is 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 5 major things to look for when comparing backyard cabins from different suppliers/manufacturers. Visit of a display is highly recommended before a purchase. 

1. Timber treatment

Timber treatment is essential to significantly increase its lifetime and for long lasting wood protection against mildews, termites, wood-destroying insects and fungi. For the Scandinavian solid timber structures with interlocking tongue and grove system must be treated in the factory by long-term dipping or pressure –vacuum impregnated. Spraying the cabin after the assembly is not a good idea for 2 major reasons: it might not be a suffice treatment as it will not access all the groves of the wall boards and secondly some of chemicals will settle and sink into the ground which may cause soil contamination. Australian timber specialists would strongly advise to avoid untreated timber for building. Under Australian regulations timber used for building above ground has to be treated H3.

Backyard cabin treated wood

  • Essential to significantly increase its lifetime
  • Termite protection
  • Must be factory treated so every grove is treated
  • Avoid spraying chemicals will settle and sink into the ground

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 run through walls from the top to bottom holding the wall boards tight but at the same time allowing natural timber movement. The same engineering is being used for big residential homes in New Zealand for decades. You may find that some builders are screwing boards to each other. No manufacturer of the structures would recommend that.

Backyard cabin stainless steel rods system

Backyard cabin stainless steel rods system

3. Glass, wall thickness, hardware and more

Now let’s get to the details that are very important and makes a huge difference in quality of the cabin you want to enjoy for years to come.

Backyard cabin double grazing windows and weather strips

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, 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.

Backyard cabin nordic spruce vs pine

Nordic Spruce is more expensive material however it is the best softwood you can get. Timber comes from Northern part of Europe where climate is cold and trees grow slowly saving the energy and producing a few thin limbs resulting in more stable timber with small knots.


5. Threshold

Quality backyard cabins and granny flats have aluminum thresholds whereas inferior cabins have timber threshold made of the same softwood which obviously wears out quite fast resulting in gaps and door opening and closing problems.

Backyard cabin aluminum low vs timber high threshold

Also the height of the threshold is a very important feature to look at as you don’t want to snag on the doorstep.

Feel free to contact our selected builder for an advice.  Find your nearest builder click here