Building a cabin house
Wowed by the Douglas’ rustic home? Get the lowdown on what building a cabin involves
Cabin homeowners swear by the warmth, cosiness and feeling of being close to nature that you get with this type of dwelling. Factor in the ease of construction, sustainability and arguably modest costs involved, and this eco-friendly solution to Britain’s housing shortage is fast growing in popularity. However, gaining planning permission isn’t always easy, so undertake thorough research before committing.
Style-wise, cabins tend to suit rural locations. You’re less likely to get planning permission for one on a street of Victorian terraces, but they can be ideal for woodland settings or back garden boltholes like the Douglas’ – provided the council will give consent. A detailed overview of the current planning rules and regulations can be found at planningportal.co.uk. If you are buying a cabin from an overseas firm, you may need to source an engineer in
the UK to finalise your plans for Building Regulations approval. However, some cabin manufacturers, such as Finlog, are able to arrange this for you.
Speak to the experts
Whether you opt for a bespoke or a ready-made design for your cabin, be sure to find a manufacturer, architect or builder who has experience with cabin homes in the UK – they will have knowledge of the planning system, building regulations and structural warranty providers, and they’ll be more familiar with the climate, too. When it comes to materials, timber for construction is typically sourced from Fsc-certified sustainable forests, mostly in Canada and Scandinavia. However, it is possible to obtain it from woodland in the UK, too: visit fsc-uk.org for more information. Self-build kits are another option. These are often supplied with instructions, but it may be worth signing up for a course to learn the basics – British Log Cabins runs a two-week workshop.