Foundations are necessary to ensure that the weight of your log cabin doesn’t cause it to sink into the ground beneath. This means that your timber home needs to have solid and strong foundations to bear the weight effectively. Good foundations should work to protect your cabin from subsidence and settlement issues, which are both caused by soil movement in the ground beneath.
Concrete – This type of base should cover the whole area (and a little bit extra) of you log home floor space. Concrete bases need to be laid over a layer of hardcore – broken blocks or large stones. The hardcore allows water to drain and prevents damage being caused from the ground underneath.
Strip Foundation – This type of base is more commonly used when constructing brick built homes. It is made by filling an area with a strip of cement so that it can have weight bearing timber pillars inserted into it. You can use a strip foundation method if the site has a solid soil base without any pre-existing standing water. Strip foundations should really only be used if you are constructing a single story wooden lodge.
A trench foundation – is a variation of the strip foundation base. A thin trench is dug out and then completely filled with concrete. It differs from the strip foundation because it isn’t additionally filled with concrete building blocks.
Solid dock foundation – For this type of foundation, holes are dug into the ground, where the four corners would be and then filled with concrete and and steel pillars. The log cabin floor is then constructed to sit on these four pillars. The solid dock foundation is the most cost effect form of secure base that you can use.
Paving slabs – If your building a log cabin to use as an office or a summer house, then you can get away with having paving slaps as the foundation base material. You will need to remove the top level of soil or grass, and ensure that the top of the slab is level with the rest of the garden. It’s not always necessary to fill the area with cement before fixing the paving slabs in place as the weight of the cabin will hold them in place. If the site area isn’t level, you can fill it with sand or dry cement and then lay the slabs
Plastic slabs – Whilst these aren’t suitable to bear the weight of a residential log cabin, they are useful for sheds and summer houses. Ideally, they should be laid over an already existing solid base such as concrete or paving slabs, however, providing the ground is level you can lay them directly onto grass. If you are using this form of base you’ll need to ensure that the shed or summer house rests on weight bearing logs and not directly onto the slabs to protect it from rising ground conditions.