Watch Out For Your Garden Gnomes!

Once you’ve had your log cabin installed in your garden, you’ll no doubt want to spend as much time as possible enjoying your new space – but you need to make sure that you treat it in much the same way as you would your actual house, and ensure that it’s as secure as possible when you’re not around.

Unfortunately, we’re often quite lax about security when it comes to the items in our garden, with product manager for the Co-operative Home Insurance Caroline Hunter noting that one in five households have reported thefts from their backyard.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” she observed, adding: “We’d always advise homeowners to lock away any items that can easily be stolen at night or when you go away.”

The summer months are renowned for an increase in the number of incidents involving property being taken from people’s gardens, so make sure that you’re particularly vigilant at this time of year.

If you’ve got a lot of garden gnomes, you might want to be especially careful, as Co-operative Home Insurance research has now revealed that one in ten households have had these little figurines swiped from their gardens. While they might not be expensive, they can hold huge sentimental value so it’s worth doing all you can to protect them from potential thieves.

Consider putting items in your cabin or in the house, and make sure that all windows are fully secure and even think about putting a lock on the cabin door.

Don’t Tidy Your Garden…

When you buy a log cabin, the impulse is there to make sure that your surrounding garden is always immaculate and very well kept, but if you’re a keen wildlife enthusiast as well as a gardener you might want to leave your outdoor spaces a little bit more unkempt than you’re used to.

By avoiding any tidying-up duties, you can encourage more animals and creepy crawlies to come into your garden and you’ll soon have a thriving world of wildlife and be doing your bit to help the environment as well. Try leaving your seed heads uncut as this will help the birds out a lot, while if you leave your perennials standing you can help overwintering bugs like ladybirds live a long and fruitful life.

Rather than killing slugs and snails outright – they’re still a big part of the cycle of wildlife in a garden, even if you do think they’re more of a nuisance than anything else and are munching away on your tender plants too much – try to control them using barriers like egg shells and copper bands, as well as sand.

There are ways you can garden with a view to supporting the local wildlife without damaging your own plants and putting them at risk from certain pests. Do a bit of research and look into what you can do to strike a balance between a wild garden and one that you thoroughly enjoy cultivating over the weekend. Your cabin won’t look any the worse for it, we promise. For more gardening advice, visit the Royal Horticultural Society website.

Shrub-Spotting With The PlantSnapp App

It can be very annoying when you’re out and about enjoying some lovely fresh air to see a flower or shrub and think that it would go perfectly up against your bespoke log cabin, but there’s no way of finding out what it’s called. It can be virtually impossible to hunt it down and find it again, but now – thanks to the wonder of modern technology – you can do just that, simply by photographing it.

The PlantSnapp App for the Apple iPhone and iPad, developed by 23-year-old botanist George Williams, gives happy gardeners the answers to all their questions within hours of the picture being taken, as well as contact details for a trusted seller – meaning that they could soon have their favourite plant within just 24 hours of spotting it in the park.

“We want people to have access to any plant that catches their eye at the touch of a button and if we can boost the popularity of gardening as a result and in turn make Britain a greener place that would be a wonderful achievement,” he was quoted by the Daily Express as saying.

The app functions by making use of a database of more than 6,000 plant species and a network of authoritative horticultural experts to help people find exactly what they’re looking for. The move could help encourage the new generation of gardeners that have sprouted in the last couple of years, with younger people aged between 25 and 35 now keen to give it a go. The mix of technology with plant life is sure to prove enticing to many out there!

Are We In Line For An Indian Summer?

Anyone who bought a log cabin in August thinking that it was going to be one of the hottest months of the year will have been sorely disappointed. In fact, the month turned out to be cool and wet, with just a smattering of sunny days for them to enjoy their new purchases.

However, the weather gods have smiled down on them at long, long last, with September shaping up nicely to be much warmer than average thanks to highs coming in north from the Mediterranean. According to the Met Office, temperatures in the south and the west of the country could reach up to 26C, much warmer than the average for this time of year of 17C.

Meterologist with the organisation Mark Wilson said that eastern Scotland and the north-east of the UK would stay relatively cloudy and cool, but everywhere else will be able to bask in glorious sunshine. “The further west you go, there is going to be more in the way of sunny spells and day by day we are going to see a gradual increase in temperatures,” he observed.

This is excellent tidings for anyone who’s just installed a new cabin in their back garden. While they can be used no matter the weather, there’s nothing quite like sitting outside in the warm sunshine with a good book and a beer (or cocktail, if that tickles your fancy more). So don’t pack away your sun cream and shorts just yet – it looks like an Indian summer might just be on the cards.

Watch Out For Slugs!

After you’ve had your beautiful new bespoke log cabin installed in your garden, you need to make sure that you keep a weather eye open for an invasive species of slug that is being spotted slithering their way around many lawns and allotments in the UK at the moment.

The Arion vulgaris – which also goes by the name of killer slug – has become famous for its cannibalistic tendencies, often feeding on meat, dead mice and each other, as well as crops and plants… so if you have something that you’ve been lovingly tending for the past few months, it’s best to do all you can to protect it now.

Frost is particularly effective at killing adult slugs, but the weather has been so mild for September that icy conditions are still a long way off unfortunately – and it would seem as though the slug infestation could continue, as three months of above average temperatures for this time of year are now being forecast.

If you do need to take immediate action and can’t wait for Jack Frost to put in an appearance, here are our tips for tackling the slug problem head on. Protect your prized plants by cutting out circular shapes of sandpaper that extend beyond the leaves and place them at the base of the shrub so the slugs can’t slink their way up.

Dry cat or dog food can be used to lure slugs away from your plants as well, while copper is also thought to be a deterrent, so perhaps put it around the tops of your flower pots to stop the slugs from getting at them.

Winter Care For Log Cabins

Investing in log cabins is a great idea and they can be a beautiful addition to your garden, allowing you to spend even more time outside with your friends and family. However, you need to make sure that you know exactly what you have to do to maintain your new purchase so that it stands the test of time.

First of all, make sure that you treat it as soon as it is built and in your backyard so that it can withstand anything that the great British weather chooses to throw at it. If you leave your cabin untreated, you will see it deteriorate so this is very important.

Choosing the right kind of treatment is also important and there are several products to choose from so make sure you find out which is the best for your particular cabin. Water-based treatments can be applied directly to the wood without a primer, while oil-based treatments soak into the timber and allow it to contract and expand. This is a great choice as these stains are more durable and you won’t need to redo it as often.

British winters can be quite harsh, so you need to keep an eye on your cabin throughout the colder months. Look out for any possible leaks or rain damage and make sure that you act quickly to fix any problems if you do spot them.

With just a little bit of care and attention from you, your cabin should last a very long time, so do some research to find out exactly what you need to do maintenance-wise.

For ideas on how to decorate your cabin once you’ve brought it home and had it built, have a look at the Houzz website, which has all sorts of tips and advice.

Hot Topic: Vertical Gardens

One of the biggest trends to have emerged in the world of flora and fauna in the last 12 months is the UK’s penchant for vertical gardens – which would look perfect adorning the sides of your brand new log cabin.

This is being seen primarily in cities where the space for growing plants is relatively limited, so enterprising businesses and homeowners are making use of their walls and turning them into beautiful green spaces so they too can enjoy a bit of the countryside in their own urban backyard.

It’s also relatively simple to make a green wall, so don’t be put off if you’re worried you might not be able to do it. All it takes is a bit of research and some time, and before you know it you’ll have a beautiful living wall of your very own.

If you want to do it the conventional way, invest in some wire or a trellis and wait for your choice of plants to grow up it. However, you can take a shortcut and fix irrigated planting modules to a frame with an air gap and geo-textile membrane, which will take much less time and have your garden looking tip-top very quickly indeed.

These gardens also tend to be quite self-sufficient and won’t require too much work, so if you’re not hugely green-thumbed they might be a great choice. They will need a bit of looking after, with the plants replaced periodically, but for the main they just tend to manage themselves.

Buy A Log Cabin & Beat The Weather!

Outdoor entertaining is something we all want to do from time to time but the great British weather doesn’t always make this possible. However, if you buy a log cabin that comes with a porch or large veranda you can enjoy a bit of al fresco dining whatever the weather – and whatever time of year it is.

This summer has been such a good one that we’ve all been very spoiled when it comes to BBQs and Pimms in the garden, but it can be a bit annoying to bring everything outside from the house time and time again. The best way around this is to create a specific outdoor space so you don’t have to continuously bring the kitchen table outside.

If you have a cabin in your garden, you can keep all your outdoor tables and chairs either inside or on the porch, so there’s no need to bring things out from the house. You can even enjoy spending time outside during the winter if you have a log burner installed in your cabin, which will keep you all toasty and warm while having a few glasses of mulled wine outside this Christmas.

Everyone likes having friends and family over from time to time and having a cabin in your garden means you can treat them to a very different experience when they come over for dinner. You don’t always have to put supper on in your cabin but it makes for a very nice change of scenery if you can make the move outside.

Try Before You Buy A Bespoke Log Cabin

Investing in a bespoke log cabin is a big decision and not one that should be rushed into lightly, so if you’re thinking that such a space would be the perfect addition to your property it might be a good idea to book a stay in a similar building and have a little holiday.

Luckily, there are lots of places you can go to discover the delights of these cabins for yourself. Glamping – or glamorous camping – is big news at the moment, with all your needs more than catered for, and you’ll see that you can use your cabin for absolutely anything you like… there couldn’t be a more flexible option for adding a bit of extra space to your home.

You could head off to the Cotswolds, for example, and take advantage of cabin life by a beautiful and secluded lake. All the cabins provided by Log House Holidays come with modern and stylish bathrooms, contemporary fitted kitchens and a hot tub, so you’re sure to have an amazing holiday and come away with lots of great ideas for what you could use your own cabin for.

Because of the way cabins are built, they are a brilliant escape from the summer heat and will keep you lovely and cool, while during the winter you’ll be able to cosy up with the family quickly, particularly if you install a log-burning stove inside.

Whatever you decide to use your cabin for, you’ll find they make a brilliant addition to your home and you’ll be the envy of all your friends once you’ve had it installed.

Do You Dare DIY?

When investing in a lovely new log cabin, it might be wise to bring the experts in to fit it in your garden, given new research revealing that one in 10 Brits have had to make a claim on their home insurance because of a botched DIY job.

According to the LV= home insurance study, in the last five years two million homeowners have done a bad DIY job, with five per cent calling out an expert to come along and fix the problem. In all, £67 million has been paid out by us Brits to fix DIY disasters.

The jobs we’re most likely to muck up include filling cracks in walls, plastering, tiling, applying sealant around baths and showers, and painting and decorating, so it might be a good idea to avoid doing these if you can.

“Homeowners need to be realistic about how much they can achieve without professional help,” managing director of the company Selwyn Fernandes remarked. “Be realistic about whether you have the skills and the time to undertake such a task.”

We think this is brilliant advice and certainly something you should do your best to stick to when it comes to your new cabin. These are great additions to any garden and you’ll treasure it forever – as long as it’s put together right. If you do it yourself, you run the risk of it collapsing around you and not only destroying your beautiful garden, but also potentially risking the lives of your friends and family, so do the sensible thing and give the experts a call.

How to care for your bespoke log cabin

Once you’ve invested in your bespoke log cabin, you need to make sure that you protect your investment and really look after the new addition to your home, regardless of what you use it for. Because they’re made from wood, you need to make sure that you stain the outside regularly every couple of years or so using a good wood preservative to help save it from being battered by the weather.

If you look after your cabin well, then you’ll find that it will last you for years to come, but you do need to keep its best interests at heart. You must make sure that you install guttering, which is an absolute necessity for any cabin owner. Rolled aluminium guttering is the best option for any timber building and you need to make sure you clean this out regularly so that water can run off and is always diverted away from the building itself.

When it comes to actually having your cabin installed, you must make sure that you pick a patch of ground that isn’t damp and isn’t anywhere that water collects regularly. If you don’t have a huge amount of choice about where to put your cabin, make sure that the base is slightly raised so it’s not sitting in water.

And, like any house, you need to keep an eye on the roof and ensure that it is kept in good order. Make sure that you arrange to have it inspected once a year, so you can deal with any problem areas as they arise.

http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=log%20cabin

Don’t forget to lock your log cabins

The summer months mean lots of lovely sun and spending as much time as possible out of doors, but unfortunately they also mean that thieves increasingly target sheds that may not be properly locked, so if you are about to buy a log cabin, you need to make sure that you secure it adequately when you are not at home and at night.

Regrettably, it would seem that homeowners are rather relaxed when it comes to their shed security. A new study from M&S Bank has found that 23% of people with garden sheds admit to leaving them unlocked, while over one in ten say that they never actually secure it. This is in spite of the fact that the average shed has £597 worth of property inside it!

Head of general insurance at the bank Neil Rogers observed that the value of garden items, whether kept in the shed or in the garden itself, can quickly mount up. “We would urge householders to check whether their home insurance provides adequate cover for theft from both the shed and garden, and take the time to review what security measures they may need to secure the garden and ensure that they’re covered should the worst happen.”

He went on to suggest a couple of tips to help keep your garden secure this summer, including investing in good quality padlocks for the garden gates and shed doors, fitting locks to windows and locking property away in the shed at night time, whether this is your barbecue or your bicycle.

http://www.easier.com/124501-protect-your-garden-from-thieves-and-vandals-this-summer.html

What would you use your log cabin for?

When thinking about investing in a log cabin for your garden, it could be a good idea to give a little bit of thought to what you intend to use this space for before you buy so that you can make sure you get the one that is right for you and your family.

What might be worthwhile is looking at the people entered into 2014’s Shed of the Year competition for a bit of inspiration to see what they use their cabins for. One nominee, for example, constructed a working pub which might be a great idea if you’re particularly sociable. Patrick Lynch turned his shed into Charlie Browns, which can hold 60 people, has a jukebox and two slot machines, a pool table, sound system, fridge and optics and pumps.

Alternatively, you might want to take a leaf out of Paul Slim’s book, who turned his shed into a cinema after his girlfriend asked him to relocate his film collection (3,000 titles in all!) out of their living room. Known as Reelwood, the shed now holds a 119″ silver screen, six sofas, a surround sound system and a few games consoles as well for added entertainment.

“I used to have the films in my house and they pretty much took over the whole living room,” Paul remarked. “People are generally in shock when they first see [the shed] and walk in.”

There are all sorts of things you can use your cabin for, but it’s definitely worth giving it some thought before you install it in your garden.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/488945/Amazing-Shed-of-the-Year-nominees

Boost property value with log cabins

Planning on selling your home in the near future and want to make sure that it’s as appealing as possible to prospective investors? Then you might want to buy a log cabin, as chances are such an addition to your property could add a lot of value to your house and make it easier to sell.

The designs of these cabins are much more sophisticated and versatile than they once were and having something so special at the bottom of your garden can really make the difference when it comes to selling up and moving on.

They add a huge amount of space to a house and provide people with a bit of a bolthole, somewhere they can go to escape the hustle and bustle of family life if they feel like they need a bit of a breather. So many people are making use of these cabins for a variety of reasons, whether they need an office and there’s no room in the house or are keen to set up a craft room and want to keep the kids at bay in case they come in and break something precious.

Such cabins are also great if you’re planning a party during the summer months. You’d like to think that the rain will hold off, but just in case it doesn’t it’s brilliant to have somewhere your guests can shelter until the sun comes back out again.

Regardless of what you use your cabin for, homebuyers will have their own ideas for the space, but having one installed in the garden could make the difference when it comes to agreeing upon a sale.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-1708640/A-shed-could-add-value-to-your-property.html

Log cabin decorating ideas

After you’ve invested in your handmade log cabins and it’s safely ensconced at the bottom of your garden, you can start having all sorts of fun decorating it with your family. But what should you do? The possibilities are endless so we recommend sitting down to decide what you intend to use the space for and adjust your décor ideas accordingly.

Since these cabins are made entirely from wood, it perhaps makes sense to stick with a more rustic, natural feel when it comes to interior design. Using materials like sheepskin and leather would look lovely when it comes to upholstery and rugs, so see what you can find that you can drop into your cabin easily. There are lots of beautiful home wares to be found on eBay and other sites like Preloved that make use of such materials, so have a look to see what second-hand items you can find.

You could also make good use of pottery and vintage items like iron cookware and hang them up as statement pieces instead of pictures, which would complement the rustic feel of the wood of the cabin to perfection.

When it comes to paint, you might be a bit reluctant to cover your lovely new wooden walls but if you do decide you’re happy to paint them over, a dark red would look particularly beautiful, although you should just throw in a few simple splashes of the colour here and there rather than covering the entire cabin in this one shade. Just make sure you stain the outside of the cabin to help protect it from the elements.

Passion for gardening ‘growing’

Britons are spending an increasing amount of money on their gardens – which could include the installation of a log cabin as the crowning glory of their outdoor space – with new research revealing that an average of £647 has been spent by homeowners aged between 25 and 34 in this area in the last 12 months.

This is almost double the average spend of £366 seen the year before, according to the Lloyds Bank Insurance Britain at Home survey, with 14% saying they are focusing on this part of their home to increase its value, while 19% want to entertain people outside and 29% just really love gardening.

Furthermore, 19% are now in possession of a greenhouse, while 29% have spent money on flowers, plants and new trees. Trampolines and barbecues are also proving to be popular for homeowners at this time.

Frances Tophill, horticulturalist and presenter of ITV’s Love Your Garden, noted that there is a real interest in homeliness at the moment, which includes everything from cooking, baking and gardening to arts and crafts. “It’s interesting that this trend is growing against the rise of technology and in a post-recessionary climate,” she added. “There is a sense of holding onto traditional pastimes in an increasingly fast paced modern society.”

However, it was also found that 37% of people didn’t have a lock for their garden and 24% don’t have insurance for their outdoor items. It’s important that you look after your outdoor space in the same way as you would your home, so do check that you have the appropriate insurance in place.

Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme

Last week we completed a very special project for the Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme. We worked alongside an architect who designed 2 cabins for classrooms for children and adults with special needs to interact with animals at the school.

The doors were made especially for wheelchair access and all the glazing was upgraded to the highest quality safety glass.

Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme 1Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme