aWe could, and we do, tell you repeatedly that our Log Cabins are better than our competitors. However, as the popular saying goes ‘seeing is believing’. With this in mind, we have bought 3 cabins from one of our competitors, who shall remain nameless, and constructed them alongside our own cabins at 3 of our branches. We originally bought the first cabin with the intention of simply seeing what our competitors’ products were like but, as we constructed it, we started to notice some issues and thought our potential customers would really benefit from being able to make the comparison themselves, especially as the competitor does not have a display garden themselves
The first issue was the quality of the wood. Like everyone who unwraps a delivery, we wanted to go through and ensure that everything that we had ordered had arrived in good condition. The wood had not been planed correctly which left rough surfaces, and some boards were a lot thinner than advertised.
Naff Cabins Vs Ours
To add further to the low quality of the timber, our competitors use Pine and not Spruce. Although Pine is cheaper to buy than Spruce, meaning some of our competitors may look like they are selling the same Log Cabin for a lower price but that’s because it’s cheaper in quality tooPine has more knots and sap throughout the timber, compared to Spruce, which results in horrible dark patches sporadically positioned through the cabin, the timber from the competitor also had a very large number of dead knots in it (as opposed to live knots).
Dead knots will fall out of the timber and create a hole from one side of the timber to the other, live knots won’t. With our own cabins it is rare to have dead knots at all in a cabin, with the competitors cabins there was no less than 12 which you could use to see all the way through the timber. Perhaps you could place pictures over these to cover them up but you will always know that they are there.
Despite the initial low quality of the timber we proceeded to build the Log Cabin. As we were starting to build the cabin we noticed something else different about the timber, it wasn’t lining up properly. Their wall logs only have a 2 notch system, which they use regardless of what wall thickness you order.
It’s so loose that as you build the cabin you notice gaps that run straight through the walls at the corner joints. That allows drafts to come through the cabin. This is unlike our 4 notch system, which we use on all wall thicknesses, except 19mm. It creates a dog-leg that vastly reduces the drafts and daylight that can enter the cabin at the corner joints.
A few months after we had built the cabin we then saw that more gaps were being formed as the braces that this cabin uses in the corners are not slotted so they don’t allow the cabin to settle at all whilst the timber walls dry out in dryer seasons. This holds up the top wall log whilst the other logs settle and a large gap forms underneath this top wall log along it’s length that will certainly let wind and rain through.
As we have many years of expertise in timber, we knew this was going to happen even as we built their cabin. However, we followed the instructions given and used the materials supplied in order to end up with the same product that their customers will end up with.
Our own cabins feature storm braces that are adjustable. They are slotted to allow for this expansion and contraction in the timber. These connect the top of the cabin to the bottom allowing for natural expansion. Without allowing for them to become disconnected in stronger winds.
In addition, the dog-leg being created by our 4 notch system all of our systems,is tighter than our competitors. We work to closer tolerances as we know the machines that cut our logs are accurate. Our tighter notches and joints result also result in a stronger Log Cabin which is evident if you visit our show sites and try pushing the walls of the competitors cabins versus pushing the walls in our own cabins.
We thought that we would give the Log Cabin the benefit of the doubt; maybe the connection of the roof would suppress any gaps in the Log Cabin? No. The roof was a little difficult to fit, even for our installers. Our competitors us a tongue and groove top wall log rather than wall logs designed specifically for the roof angle. This meant the nails are rarely accurately hammered in, leaving a very unattractive finish! Our top wall logs are different to our other wall logs. They are specially cut so they fit neatly along the top of the cabin at the angle of the roof boards. That way you are left with a neat, tidy finish.
The finishing touch was probably the most shocking in terms of quality finish, if you can believe that. The ‘window’ was made out of styrene, and worse still it bent in the middle. Styrene is a cheaper alternative to our toughened glass. However you truly do get what you paid for. The product is more prone to breaking, scratching and becoming foggy when you attempt to clean it.
There really is no comparison between our Log Cabin and the ‘Naff’ cabin on display. We can tell you this until we’re blue in the face (happily) but why not come down and visit the ‘Naff Cabin’ in our display garden! You will be as shocked as we were.