Why slow grown spruce timber?

Slow Grown Spruce Dunster House

We don’t need to tell you why the construction of our Log Cabins is better than some of our competitors; we make this perfectly apparent with our ‘Naff Cabins’ that we have built in our show gardens. There are no tricks to this, we simply bought a Log Cabin off of one of our competitors and, although we knew that there would be quality differences between the cabins, we didn’t expect that they would be so apparent.  We offer to let you step inside this cabin and see it for how it really is.

Through our extensive knowledge built through years in the market, we have found that typically the Garden Buildings available are made from either Pine (which is a redwood) or Spruce (a whitewood), or some companies simply say Softwood or mixed Softwood (which means they don’t really know what they’re selling and it’s a mix of Pine and Spruce, but they’re just using what they can get hold of that week).   We choose to use Spruce.

Spruce Vs Pine

Pine is more permeable than spruce due to its cell structure so it absorbs water quicker and is therefore more susceptible to rot, water damage and blue mould. Blue mould is a common fungus which you may be more familiar with growing on stale bread than on timber; it grows on Pine timber quite readily and discolours the timber as well as damaging it over time, but it does not affect Spruce.

When it comes to your final product, Spruce also far outweighs the aesthetic qualities of Pine and Softwood. Pine tends to change colour in the light, starting off with a slight pink tinge and slowly becoming darker over time meaning that the Garden Building you initially purchase is not the Building you end up with. This becomes worse when the Company provides Softwood as this is often a mix of whitewood and redwood meaning you often have two logs of Spruce next to three logs of Pine resulting in a Garden Building that quickly becomes stripy.

No loose knots

Another perk, as if you needed one, is that Spruce has fewer knots than Pine making the final look of the Garden Building cleaner and lighter.  With all wooden products you expect to find knots in the wood, adding to the character of your product. Our competitor’s cabin has a number of loose knots, some of which have fallen out during production, transportation and construction. Some have even fallen out while the cabin has been stood in our garden!

The tight quality control over Dunster House products aims to stop logs with loose knots going to customers because once the knot has fallen out the interior can be exposed to the elements, forming damp inside your cabin. Occasionally one slips through (not the twelve shown in our competitors cabin) but even if we were as lax on quality control as they are, Spruce tends to have less knots than Pine, so it’s much less likely.

Spruce is naturally less resinous than pine meaning that it will produce less sap than in our competitor’s cabins. Unfortunately our competitor’s cabins are not made with the same quality material, so sap runs have been seeping from panels leaving a sticky mess on the walls, floor and shoes of anyone who has the cabin! This can happen with Spruce as well to be fair but, once again due to the material used, it is less likely.


Another way in which our Competitors often seek to save money on their timber is on the bearers. Many of them will just dip their bearers, some might call pressure dipping. The timber experiences a bit of pressure as it sinks a couple of centimetres below the surface of the liquid. This colours the timber with a very cheap colourant and as it leaves the factory it looks good. However, it offers far less protection than proper pressure treated bearers. A dipped piece of timber may be expected to last a year before it needs to be re-treated. A pressure treated piece of timber can be expected to last 10 years without any need to retreat it.

Come and have a look

Check the quality of any product you’re buying before you commit to spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on it. Step inside a ‘Naff cabin’ at one of our displays. They are cheap and poor quality. Even their company doesn’t have any display gardens. It manages to remain so cheap by selling from the internet.  Even if you don’t have time to visit us yourself, lots of other people have done so. We’re still the UK’s number 1 Garden Building retailer because of the high quality of the products we sell at very reasonable prices.

Our Garden Buildings are high quality and long lasting. Offering you a place to create fond memories with your family, friends. We hope you make the right choice of Garden Building. It’s important that you purchase something that will last a long time and that you can be truly proud of.


March 17, 2015

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