Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In praise of log cabins

This is a guest post by Vicky Fisher of Wonkee Donkee Forest Garden

Watching bits of our neighbour’s shed roof whistle over our fence at the height of Tropical Storm Ophelia, I couldn’t help feeling: a) glad I don’t work in a treehouse like the trendy folk at Microsoft (see Alex’s post from Monday), and b) just a little bit smug that our own wooden garden building didn’t lose so much as a splinter.

That’s because when I started working part-time from home and needed my own space, we plumped for a log cabin instead of one of the more fashionable garden offices that seem to be springing up all over the place.

What’s so great about log cabins? Well, they may not come with their own compost toilets, built-in filing cabinets or cup-holders for your skinny lattes, but they are solid, comfortable, and macho enough to see off any storm. There are lots of different types out there, too – from traditional chalets that look like skiing lodges, to cool modern designs ideal for the aspiring executive.

I wouldn’t go for just any cabin though. Some aren’t much better than sheds. The most important criteria in my opinion are:
Walls – The thicker the better. Our cabin, the Melbury, has 44mm thick walls made from kiln dried timber, which apparently is the best kind as it’s less likely to warp.
Roof – Unlike our neighbour’s shed, the roof on our cabin is almost 8 inches thick, so is unlikely to go anywhere in a hurry.
Floor – Go for a good solid one. It’s tempting to skimp on this to save money, but a thin floor doesn’t provide much insulation and can allow damp to spread up from the ground. Our cabin’s floor is 28mm thick and feels nice and solid, great for pacing around while waiting for inspiration to strike.
Windows – Natural light is really important to me, so we picked a cabin with particularly large windows and glass doors. And as I was intending to work out there all year round, double glazing was a must.

I love my log cabin. Most of all, I enjoy the underlying woody fragrance that wafts around the room while I’m working – I’m sure it makes me just as creative as the Microsoft crowd, but without having to spend millions of dollars. Not that I’m jealous…

Now you’ll have to excuse me, but I need to go and help my neighbour retrieve the rest of his shed roof. Without looking too smug, of course.
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