Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Log Cabins

What about the Irish weather?

The major concern with Irish weather conditions is wind driven rain. All our log cabins have extra window seals, sealants, damp proof membranes, base bearers are pressure treated to ensure long life in the damp Irish climate.

What about fire?

Massive wood is a surprisingly fireproof material. Wood contains about 15% of water. Therefore, before wood can catch fire, all water has to evaporate. In a fire, a massive wood house will char, but it will not collapse in the same way as steel-structured houses.

We predicate that the tightness of log houses is very important not only for the living comfort and energy consumption but also for the fire safety of a building.

Materials in most conventional houses include highly inflammable and toxic plastics and m.d.f. It has been proven that in a fire log walls and laminated beams burn at a certain speed without loosing their strength thus giving the occupants more time to get out

Yes. This is one of our key assets. We will always find the best solution for every client. The first step in the bespoke process is to put your ideas down on paper and send us through a sketch of your dream cabin and we send you the price estimate with detailed floor plans. Because of experience we know exactly what it takes to build a log cabin or a log house and we want nothing more than for you to have your very own log cabin! A few clever ideas can transform a neglected corner of your garden into an inviting outdoor space.

Can I get a planning permission?

There are no specific regulations for log houses. Each application for a development is unique and each site is unique. Planning Authorities are slowly coming around to accepting different construction solutions. Check out Planning. The general rule is that, any building under 25m² and less than 3.9m high to the side or rear of your house does not require planning permission. We advise customers to talk with their local authority as their situation may be different. Planning permission is the customer’s responsibility however we can provide you with contacts and professionals to help you through the process if required.

How much does the log cabin cost?

The prices of our log houses fluctuate depending on customer’s desires and styles. We have to consider basic requirements such as square feet of living space, log thickness, insulation, amount of windows, doors, number of bedrooms, bathrooms. We use top quality materials –  a seriously good quality log, made to last and withstand Irish weather conditions and still comes in cheaper than a conventional house.

How long do log cabin / timber building last?

There are two main things governing lifespan; quality of materials and quality of construction.  Like any other building a log cabin requires maintenance as any domestic or commercial building. A quality wood treatment, guttering and general maintenance every few years keeping check on things and the building will last a lifetime. Log house is a durable choice – the oldest log homes are already hundreds of years old.

Will I be able to use the cabin all year round?

Our log cabins and log houses are designed for use throughout the year. We are also able to insulate your cabin which means warmth in the damp weather and that your cabin will stay cool in the summer.

How warm are they?

It is a very energy-friendly house. Wood is the best insulation material nature has to offer, as it has something called “thermal mass,” a natural property in the logs that helps keep inside temperatures of homes comfortable in all seasons. This allows log walls to collect and store energy, then radiate it back into the home. In the winter, thermal mass can help reduce heating bills significantly.The breathing quality of the log house takes care of the quality of indoor air and helps stabilize room humidity. Timber is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Our log homes retain 40% more heat than block or brick.

What kind of heating is recommended for a log home?

You can choose practically any feasible energy solution for your log home. It also depends on the power sources you have and your budget. Most frequently used is gas or oil heating, electric radiators, however you can choose the stove.  Like central heating radiators in the home, electric radiators are wall mounted but have an electric element instead. Electric oil filled radiators tend to be free standing, the oil retains heat, maintaining warmth for longer after they are switched off, which again can be via a thermostat or timer. Bottled gas run on propane and are a good idea for buildings that have no mains electricity. Gas bottles can be installed outside the building to feed a fixed gas heater, or there are freestanding heaters which enclose a small gas bottle. Underfloor heating can be effective as a secondary heat source. Infrared heating panels are a great alternative to other conventional heating solutions.

What  is the interior?

The benefit of log cabin is that once the logs are in place, you’re done – they form the interior and the exterior! But your final surface covering could be anything you would like including plasterboard.

What kind of foundations to choose?

There are different types of foundations to use for strength and stability. Your log home should have a strong and durable base to be built upon. For residential log cabins the best option is a level concrete base, however you can put it on concrete blocks and timber frame (especially when the ground is sloping), strip or pile foundations.

What about insulation? 

Insulation works in two ways:

  1. Keeping you warm in the harsh season
  2. Keeping you cool in the hot summers

As example, 90mm wall thickness – the timber provides enough insulation and you might not need extra insulation. 90mm timber is ideal – it’s dense enough to keep in the heat even when it’s raining or hailing outside. Thicker logs also provide better sound insulation, so you’ve more chance of cutting out the world outside (including better protection from wind). We recommend to insulate 44mm and 68mm log cabins.

 What wall thickness do you do for the cabins

Optimum Homes offer Timber Frame, Machine Profile Log (28, 34, 44mm, 68mm, 90mm wall thickness) or Handcrafted (from 120mm) Log Cabins/Houses.  Optimum Homes specialists will  give you advice on  the best possible and most reasonable wall thickness for all our wooden buildings.

The basic rule with wall thickness is the thicker the timber, the better the insulation and durability. There is a short guide to help you decide which timber wall thickness would work best for your log house, garden room or log cabin:

28, 34mm timber walls are ideal for sheds, storage rooms. The timber is robust enough to offer protection against the elements, and secure enough to keep bikes and garden equipment out of harm’s way.

44, 68mm timber walls most suitable for residential cabins, garden rooms, summer houses, offices, workshops and pavilions to be used all year round.

90mm timber is particularly recommended if you don’t want high winter heating costs (as 90mm timber will help much more with heat retention). This log thickness also provides a more luxurious environment. Thicker logs also provide better sound insulation. With 90mm+  timber walls all these buildings can be used throughout the year, and they provide the best durability, warmth and security.

Can I get a quote on electricity and plumbing?

Optimum Homes can quote this if the customer wishes. All our electrical work, plumbing, heating, sewage, water mains connection are carried out by our sub – contractors. 

How long will my log home take to be delivered?

In general, a log house package is ready to be delivered within 3-8 weeks from the order date. This will give you plenty of time for preparation of the groundwork on which you will place your log cabin or log house.  The transport time of course depends on the distance and delivery method.

How long will it take to build?

This is all down to the size of the building. As example, one room log cabin approx 1-2 days. We are always focused a great deal of attention on a log home building technology. Experience and a broad knowledge of construction ensure that the woodwork behind every our built house is dimensionally accurate. It also makes the on-site installation and building processes quick and easy.

Is it possible to self build the cabins?

With buildings of up to 60 sq meters, it is possible to construct them with only basic carpentry skills. Over this, and you should get professional help or ask us for a quotation on assembly for the structure. All our log cabins come with instructions on how to assembly them.

What can I use my log building for?

You can use the log building for a variety of purposes including house for living, home extensions,  home offices, home cinemas, inspiring art studios, bars, music rooms, home studies, holiday home, gyms, the list goes on…

As example, home office is a  serious workplace where you can meet clients with a sense of pride and confidence. You’ll probably use your home office every day, so running costs are important. All log cabins offer high levels of natural insulation. So they are economical to keep warm in winter, while staying pleasantly cool in summer. Minimal routine maintenance will keep your home office in tip-top condition year in, year out, with no need for internal decoration.

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Including bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, etc