Log cabin base is known as the foundation in the conventional construction world. Many people don’t see it as an essential aspect of log homes; maybe because they don’t see it after the installation. The base of a log cabin is as important as the foundation of a regular house. The base carries the weight and load (both dead and live) and transmits it to the ground. A good base provides strength and stability and will ensure your cabin is protected from:
- Subsidence – a situation where soil leaves your cabin over a while, thereby removing foundation around it. It can be spotted in the extreme case when you observe that the cabin is bending in a particular direction.
- Settlement – this occurs when the cabin due to its weight and load push the soil away, thereby making the cabin to sink.
Some factors determine the type of base that will suit your cabin. They are:
- The soil and rock type on your site
- The size of the house
- The water table of the soil
- The budget for the project
- The topography of the site
- The design for the drainage
- Rock and gravel contours
In addition to the above ensure that you position your cabin correctly (avoid closeness to walls/fences and trees or large plants) to ease maintenance; such as application of treatment.
There are four primary types of design for cabin base. They are;
There are different ways to install this type of foundation. An easier way is to use timber to create a formwork of the foundation and then pour the concrete to fill it base (8-10cm deep). Alternatively, you can use blockwork supporting wall instead of the timber. For a bigger cabin, you may have to add steel reinforcing to the foundation. It is important to note that the foundation must be ready before the cabin arrives because concrete takes days to cure.
This type of base isn’t common as it is best recommended for a small cabin.
This type of foundation requires less time for installation, and it is also cost-effective. All you need is to create a mixture of cement and sand in the ratio of 1:8 (1 part cement to 8 part sand). Alternatively, you can use a gravel base of about 5100mm. (the depth depends on the design weight of the cabin). Some persons recommend about 40mm thick plain concrete slab.
This type of base involves the use of a timber frame which is elevated by a support such as paving slabs placed at equal intervals. One of the pros of this type of base is that you can easily remove it and place it somewhere else. This type of base is suitable for a site with an unleveled ground because the height of the support (otherwise known stilt) can be adjusted. It is also ideal for a location where it is challenging to pour concrete.
Irrespective of the base you use to ensure the durability and stability of your base make sure that;
- The area of the foundation is more than that of the cabin
- You use an excellent damp proof membrane
- The base is completely level
- The depth of the base used is relative to that of the weight it will carry
Once you have a stable base or foundation for your log cabin, the walls can go up and you can side it with high quality log siding from TruLog!