Read This : Log Cabins – What to Look For

If you’re running out of space in the house but don’t want the bother and expense of building an extension, a log cabin may be a relatively quick and easy solution.

This type of structure can make an ideal home office, playroom, workshop or games room, providing an attractive outdoor retreat as well as adding interest and value to your home. Here are a few practical pointers for anyone considering a log cabin:

What’s the difference between a log cabin and a summerhouse?

Log cabins share some features in common with summerhouses but are larger, more substantial buildings made from much thicker timbers. Their walls are built up using interlocking precision-cut logs which slot together so tightly that no fixings are required. Floors and roofs are normally constructed from close-fitting tongue and groove timber, resulting in strong and watertight structures suitable for a whole range of uses.

The logs are usually made from kiln dried wood. This process extracts moisture from the timber to a precise level, which reduces warping and minimises the risk of splitting.

What are the main points to look for in a log cabin?

Not all log cabins are the same. Wall density can range from around 28mm up to more than 50mm, and floors are usually between 19mm and 28mm thick. Some cabins are double-glazed, making them usable in all weathers, whereas others may only have single glazing, so check before you buy.

As for roofs, most are around 19mm thick and available with a choice of covering. Felt shingles are widely considered the most attractive, but you can also get corrugated bitumen panels and felt sheeting.

Consider the shape of the building as well. Log cabins with pitched roofs tend to be taller than those with flat or sloping roofs, which can sometimes limit where you are able to place them in your garden. And traditional chalet-type structures with roof overhangs often take up more ground space than modern minimalist designs, so remember to allow for this when measuring up.

Do you need planning permission for a log cabin?

If you are thinking of erecting a small detached building such as a log cabin, shed or sun room in your garden, you will not normally need planning permission. These are the main points to bear in mind:

1. You are not allowed to place a building beyond the front wall of your house – in other words, in the front garden.

2. No more than 50% of the land around the original dwelling can be taken up with outbuildings or extensions – so if you have a small back garden, measure carefully to make sure there is enough space left over for a cabin before you commit yourself.

3. Height is a major factor. If the cabin is less than 2.5m tall at its highest point, you can place it within 2m of your boundary – otherwise, you will have to position it further away.

Do log cabins have to comply with building regulations?

Building regulations are safety rules that govern how well a structure is built. They won’t apply if your log cabin is less than 15 square metres in size and contains no sleeping accommodation. Even if the cabin is between 15 and 30 square metres, it will usually only have to meet building regulations if it is situated less than 1m from your boundary.

However, if you are hoping to use the cabin as a granny annexe, guest room or holiday let, then it must comply with building regulations because it will include sleeping accommodation. This applies to any size of cabin and is down to safety reasons. More information is available on the government’s Planning Portal website.

Where’s the best place for a log cabin?

Put the cabin on a level part of the garden. Leave a good gap all around the building so you can reach the walls to apply treatments or carry out repairs, and remember to allow for roof overhang when measuring the space available.

Don’t position the cabin where it will block out your neighbours’ light, and be aware of planning rules – if the building is more than 2.5m tall, you should not place it within two metres of the boundary.

Consider the direction of the sun, as you may not want sunlight beaming straight in if you’re going to use the cabin as an office. Think about convenience too. If you’re planning to install electricity in the building, putting it near the house will make it easier to connect a power supply.

What base do you need for a log cabin?

Good foundations are vital for any garden building. If the base isn’t strong enough, or is even slightly uneven, the walls will eventually warp.

For adequate support, it’s best to put the cabin on a 150mm thick concrete base. A paving slab base should be sufficient for smaller cabins of less than 30m², as long as it is completely level. Try to make the base exactly the same size as the cabin for a neat appearance.

Smart Ways About How to Make Your Home Child-Friendly

Babies and toddlers are a source of joy and happiness to a household, but they are very prone to accidents. They are at a phase where they can walk around and explore, but they not really aware of dangers around them. That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or guardians to make sure that the homes toddler and babies live in are safe and child-friendly. Here we will look into some of the common accident areas in the home and discuss how you can make them safer for your kids.

Stairs

The stairs is the first one you should inspect. The danger of being careless when using stairs needs no explanation. Even adults easily get injured when they go up and down the stairs recklessly. And the injuries from stair-related accidents are often serious. Here are some ways to make stairs safer.

· Adding a slip-proof matting on individual steps

· Adding a soft rubber mat on the exact spot where the stair ends on the bottom to reduce injury

· Teaching children stair safety

· Putting a non-slip grip on the stair handles

Electrical outlets

Electricity is important for our modern society, but they are not supposed to come into contact with human skin because they can cause myriad injuries. Most adults know better than to poke their bare hands inside an electrical outlet, but not children. One of the common causes of child accidents is electrocution. So if you have children, make sure your electric outlets are safe.

· Installing power outlet covers help a lot in keeping your child safe especially if the outlet is not being used.

· Covering outlets with furniture so it is difficult to reach by children

· Renovating the house to transfer outlets higher beyond the reach of kids

Bathrooms

The danger in the bathroom is slipping. Young and old people can fall victim to the lack of friction caused by soapy wet tiles. But sometimes, there is no way around it. Bathroom tiles will get wet and slippery. Here’s what you can do.

· Place anti-slip plastic or rubber mats on the bathroom floor

· Change the tiles with anti-slip tiles through renovation

· Add some soft cushion on the corners of the sink and rubber cushion on the toilet seat to avoid injuries.

· Make sure that the soap is secured in the tray so it does not accidentally fall off and cause an accident.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the place where you cook your food, but it is not the place for children to be alone by themselves. Unfortunately, they do sometimes come to the kitchen and play with whatever they can find there including knives, forks, and other sharp objects.

· Make sure that the oven has child safety features so they can’t open it and come inside.

· Secure knives in high places so children can’t reach it.

Cabinets, Shelves, Corners of Tables and Posts

Children love to explore because for them everything is new, an adventure, but the cabinets and shelves are not places for them to try to climb. Make sure the cabinets and shelves are secured by the wall behind so they won’t fall down in case a child does climb up on them. The corners of tables and chairs as well should have cushions in case a child hits his or her head.

By child-proofing your home, you can rest assured that your children can enjoy growing up without getting into accidents, which can put their lives in danger.

Top Trends – Staircase Design

Home interiors, like clothes, shoes and even cars, tend to evolve with the times as particular styles fall in and out of favour according to the fashion of the day. The same can be said, up to a point, of staircase design. Obviously, you can’t change your stairs as easily as your decor, so it’s important to pick the right style first time.

So what’s hot and what’s not in stair design at the moment? Here are five trends to look out for:

1. Glass

More than any other, this feature has seen a huge surge in popularity lately. Glazed stair balustrades are becoming increasingly sought-after as people look to maximise the feeling of light and space that they can bring to their surroundings. Although glass stair panels used to be mainly the preserve of modern homes, nowadays they are often used in traditional interiors to give a contemporary twist and boost the flow of natural light around the property.

Of course, you don’t have to stop at the balustrade. If you really want to make your neighbours jealous, you can have the treads and risers made from glass for a stunning 21st century effect.

2. Clean lines

The general consensus in the field of interior design at the moment seems to be that less is more. In my line of work I have noticed a recent shift away from decorative stair balustrades to simpler, cleaner shapes. While ornate turned spindles, newels and caps are still selling well, there has been greater interest in sleek, minimalistic designs such as square and stop-chamfered styles.

3. Curves

As manufacturing techniques have improved over the years, the demand for curved stairs has been gradually rising. These staircases need quite a bit of space but can provide a wonderful focal point. With their classic flowing lines, they are suitable for modern and traditional homes alike. Spiral stairs, too, are proving popular – especially with owners of smaller properties, and those looking for a secondary staircase. They can still look stunning, but don’t take up as much floor area.

4. Mix of materials

Another rising trend is blending different types of material together for an individual look, known as fusion (also popular with foodies!). When choosing a handrail you are probably best off sticking with timber, as this is the most comfortable material to grip. However, when it comes to the balustrade infill there is much more choice. As well as glass panels, you can experiment with spindles made from metal, wood or a combination of the two – and mix and match with glass if you want.

Metal spindles have become particularly popular lately, thanks to the wide variety of designs now available. Most are made from mild steel shaped to resemble wrought iron, which helps to keep both production costs and spindle weight to a minimum. You don’t have to stick to just one style of metal spindle, either. Alternating two different designs can be a great way to give your stairs an individual touch.

5. Storage

As the square footage in new homes has generally shrunk over recent years, storage space has become an important issue. It’s no surprise, then, that more home owners are asking for integral storage to help keep clutter out of sight. This can be achieved by fitting shelves or cupboards underneath the staircase, or even by incorporating drawers into the actual steps.