Moving a log cabin


This is just a quick note on moving a log cabin. I recently moved and, because I am lucky enough to live and work at home (I am head of sales an marketing and therefore able not to be based at the main office with the Riff-Raff!), I also had to give consideration to where my next office would be.


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Having worked in a four by three metre log cabin office for six years, I decided that I was not about to leave my trusty office behind me and so in a last minute mad rush before moving made the momentous decision to take it with me. I wasn't even sure if moving a log cabin was practical, especially when it had been standing for so long.


Moving a log cabin
Who stole my walls? The log cabin walls were laid out after dis-assembly, ready for labelling...

So, did it work? was moving a log cabin a good idea? The short answer is yes (well mostly!). The long answer:


Is moving a log cabin practical?

Bear in mind, we are talking of a flat log, garden cabin here... I must also stress that I am in sales, not construction (we have teams for that!). I put this up (and disassembled it) with minimal DIY skills amd a little borrowed family 'elbow grease'. The main problem I had was not, as I had suspected, separating the wall elements. They came apart beautifully. After six years of faithful service, the walls came apart with a relatively gentle pull upwards. I was pleased to see that there had been no deterioration in the elements that I could see. It's not often you get to inspect a structure in such detail. The ground bearers were as good as the day I placed them down. All in all a great advert for the durability of the cabins.


So, what did I learn?


Label everything
Make sure you label the elements and where they came from as you disassemble the cabin. You don't have to mark them so that it will show when you rebuild, simply label the elements within the joints that are covered, using a pencil, and they will then be hidden again once you construct the cabin. I then made a rough diagram and marked on the elements too. This enabled me to check all elements off when I reached the other end of the move! In addition, If you don't label, many of the elements are interchangeable, but as the colour fades dependent upon what's covering the wood and how much sunshine you get, which side the wall faces and how you brushed on the preservative etc., you really want that to match up later!


Don't nail things down!
Because of the fixing system, the wall elements just slot together. That meant that they simply moved apart as I pulled on them. However, the floor boards were written off as we had to crowbar them up. The majority of the roof boards were in pristine condition and did not split as we punched them up from below. The greatest lesson I learnt is that if you are going to want to take a small log cabin with you when you move, use screws when you put it up! If the floor boards had been screwed down with dross head screws and the roof boards the same, I see no reason why any element of the cabin was not salvageable, apart from the roof felt, which is very easily replaceable. Obviously, if you have plumbing, and electrics, this would make the expense rise, but on the whole, this was a worthwhile procedure.


Would I do it again? Yes. Would I ever use nails again when building a cabin that I wanted to move, no.


Have you ever built a log cabin or other structure in your garden or elsewhere? Perhaps you're building a cabin and are thinking of moving it? Let us know any thoughts and tips, or comments and stories you have...

Last update: 11.09.2015
Posted on January 22, 2017


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