One of the most common questions we get asked is how long can you live in a log cabin. For some people, a log home is simply a place to get away from it all – a holiday home replacement for a mobile home, a garden office, a playhouse in the garden or a handy annexe in the garden for guests to stay at the weekend.
Residential Log Cabins
But of course, residential log cabins are quite common in Ireland, and you can certainly live very comfortably in a log cabin in Ireland. They are perfect for long-term residential living. When anyone asks us “So is it possible to make a log cabin a permanent home?” of course the answer to this question is a definite “yes”!
What is the lifespan of a log cabin?
Because we in Ireland are not familiar with log cabins (they are not part of the “vernacular” as the planners would say) it is perfectly understandable for people to be unsure of the longevity of a log cabin. After all, if you’re planning to spend over twenty thousand euros on a building, you are right to ask all of the questions that cross your mind, and you need to be sure and feel secure that, with the amount of money you’re spending, that your investment will last. So, will a log cabin last twenty years, fifty years, sixty years?
Log cabins can last sixty years or longer.
If you treat the timber in your log cabin properly, there is no reason for it not to last a lifetime. After all, boats have been made out of wood for thousands of years, and, once they are treated properly, they last and last. Or think about every front door in the country when we were kids was made of wood too.
The important thing is to keep your timber dry. That is why we build our cabins on bases that are actually smaller than the wood that sits on top of them! It is important that the log cabin overhangs the base on which it sits so that water cannot pool under the wood. That is why you cannot build your log cabin on a concrete or tarmac yard – you must raise yourself up off the ground, and out of the puddles!
Take a look at the video below, which explains how log cabin bases and foundations work.
How long can you live in a log cabin in your garden?
If you have stumbled across this blog, the chances are you may be considering buying a timber home or log cabin. Although, it is most common amongst our customers to build at the back of an existing property. This often simplifies the planning process and decisions that have to be made about planning.
Many of our customers have identified a site and either don’t have the funds to build a conventional house or they simply love the idea of living in a log house and love all of the benefits that come with that:
- the lower cost of building a log cabin
- the speed of the build,
- the sustainability of any log cabin building,
- how easy it is to heat a log cabin
- the style and cosiness of a log cabin
- that one feels closer to nature
Log Cabin Insulation
Living permanently in a log cabin home is actually perfectly possible as long as the correct level of insulation is installed and you fit double glazing etc.
Because of the new planning regulations NZEB (Near Zero Energy Buildings), if you go for planning you will be required to increase the insulation in your log cabin to a minimum of 6 inches. This thickness will vary depending on the type of insulation that you use.
Draught-proofing a log cabin
There is also the issue of air-stripping or draught-proofing your log cabin. This is a very simple process when it comes to log cabins because the construction of the buildings is so straightforward. Air-stripping of a building gets difficult when it comes to awkward construction details with many superfluous edges, such as bay windows or dormer windows. And all of these extra junctions can lead to a complicated, and ultimately unsuccessful job. But with your log cabin, the straightforward designs mean that air-stripping or draught-proofing is also straightforward and problem-free.
Log Cabin Planning Permission
The important thing to note before making your log cabin a permanent home is to make sure you get planning permission if required. Your engineer will also have to sign off on any building for which you apply for planning, so it is important to talk to us before you go any further in your planning process. But do not be put off. It is still possible to get planning for a log cabin. And we are developing different wall structures that will still be cheaper than conventional builds, but will still provide the insulation required, and will be very durable, environmentally friendly constructions.