Things to remember when Building your Log Cabin

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A log cabin is a small log house, especially a less finished or less architecturally sophisticated structure. Log cabins have an ancient history in Europe, and in America are often associated with the first-generation home building by settlers.
Construction with logs was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio in his architectural treatise De Architectura.

He noted that in Pontus (modern-day northeastern Turkey), dwellings were constructed by laying logs horizontally overtop of each other and filling in the gaps with “chips and mud”. Historically log cabin construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably being built in Northern Europe by the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). C. A

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Three factors you need to consider when building a timber home at the ocean

When deciding to build your dream log home next to the ocean, or close to the water there are a few things to consider beforehand namely;

  1. What kind of timber is suitable for construction.
  2. How much maintenance is needed after completion of building.
  3. How quickly will the structure deteriorate because of insects and moisture.

When you choose to live next to (or over the ocean) it is important to get experienced builders that will use the correct construction material for the application. We at Sabie Poles understand our customers’ concerns about quality and treatment, and our CCA pressure-treated H6 logs can assist in your construction project.

Marine Timber is treated to H6 Hazard Class to provide protection against fungal and insect attacks in a Marine situation. You can learn more about the hazard classes here.

For marine applications (Hazard Class H6) a dual treatment of both CCA and Creosote is used. TANALITH C CCA offers comprehensive protection (medium to high risk) against wood-boring insects, termites, and fungal decay.
What does the H stand for?

H levels represent the level or degree of biological hazard that timber will be exposed to in a specified application. Marine piles (H6) are protected from entry of organisms at the ends due to the method of construction in that one end is embedded in the seabed whilst the other is above the high tide range. If end entry were possible, the attack would occur in the unpenetrated inner heartwood Of the logs. Because piles are the load bearers of the walkways or the jetties, or the main structure onto which the cladding attaches to the log cabin/house – it is necessary to use the highest standard of CCA pressure-treated H6 quality.

The benifits of Treated Poles & cladding fo errecting a timber cabin

Treating poles and cladding and construction timber will eliminate and prolong the decay of your structure.
Wood is a natural material – even manufactured woods are essentially natural products – so they are all prone to be attacked by environmental factors such as direct sun, rain, various types of fungi, and insects, and highly concentrated salt in seawater.

Fungi:
Fungi feed on wood and cause decay, mold, and most sapwood stains. There are essentially two types of fungi: those that destroy the wood by decaying it, and those that stain it – sap-staining fungi. The latter is less of a problem as the wood’s strength is relatively unimpaired, but the staining looks unsightly.

All fungi that grow on wood need a temperature range of between 10-30°C and thrive best in temperatures around 20-25°C. Fungi that destroy wood by causing its decay need the moisture content level to be in the 30% range. Fungi also need oxygen (which is why they cannot attack wood that is saturated) and they need food – the wood itself.

Building a log cabin/home with cladding and CCA pressure treated poles and timber

Many areas have stringent setbacks and building requirements you’ll have to consider and workaround. You also might be building on a sloped lot or have tree lines to contend with while situating the house to achieve the best views and most functional floor plan. This is when you need experienced people that have been in the pole industry for a long time.

Fortunately, if you work with a log home company, and reliable Timber Suppliers like Sabie Poles who are experienced and knowledgeable about building on waterfront properties, you should be covered!

Don’t Skimp on Storage

Some homeowners who live on the water also might need storage space for boats, canoes, fishing poles, or jet skis. Ensure to use the same material which is treated to the correct degree – this will last a lot longer than using untreated material, and will provide the best protection for your assets.

Building a boathouse near the water is ideal, but an additional garage or shed structure is the best option. On your home’s main garage, also consider adding a door on the waterside of the structure to accommodate added storage if needed. Additionally, storage should be an enhancement to your building – so use CCA pressure-treated construction timber as well as CCA pressure-treated cladding.

Adding a boathouse to your cabin where you can stash all of the water gear you own

When it comes to design, a dock that’s partially covered will protect your boat from the elements while still providing plenty of sunshine for swimmers.

A roof constructed of CCA pressure-treated lathes is definitely the answer! Not only is will this work wonders for keeping your toys safe, but it will also look stunning as well.

Some examples of what our timber looks like (from an interior design perspective)

A swim ladder or boat ramp makes coming ashore easy. We supply decking/poles/ and timber to create walkways that beautify and make walking safe from the shore/dam/lagoon or the beach
Remember to have a corner where you could keep your fridge for all the beverages!
At Sabie Poles, we have years of knowledge and experience to lead you to choose the accurately treated timber.
A Wendy house build from our CCA pressure-treated log cladding and timber will also add additional storage space for the garden tools – but who wants to work in the garden when you are living next to the ocean?

Protecting Your Log Home: The Science Behind Water & Sun Damage

Protecting wood/poles and timber surfaces in a beach or waterfront environment is a challenge. You are faced with numerous variables that contribute to erosion and degradation of the wood, including sunlight, wind, moisture, salt, and sand. (the winds’ consistent blowing of sand against a building can cause considerable damage to your building). Wooden deck-type walkways are common on the beach or lake areas and when you decide to build a walkway invest in CCA pressure-treated H6 for your structure!


Exterior finishing products should be of good quality. Stains or varnish should be applied and reapplied as often as every two to three years.

Darker stains and those in shades of gray contain more pigment and, therefore, provide better protection. The best stains have the elasticity to move with the logs as they acclimate, especially in the first few years after construction. Always keep in mind that timber is alive and expands and shrinks according to weather. Heat (sun and the sun’s reflection from the water)makes timber shrink and water and moisture make timber expand!

Do you remember the old farmhouse with the timber floorboards? Always squeaking during the night. Took a long time before you grow old enough to understand the expanding and shrinking qualities of floorboards!

Timber care products – which we recommend for various applications can be used to stain your log cabin/house.
There is so much that you can do with CCA pressure-treated poles and timber – this list of possibilities is endless!

At Sabie Poles, there is a world of knowledge and experience we’ll be happy to help you with the correct Poles and timber as well as accurate advice on the hazard class you will need, feel free to contact our offices any time.

What is the cost of log homes?

Log homes typically cost 20 to 30 percent more than a conventionally built home. The same size log home is typically worth 30 to 40 percent more than a conventional home. Log homes usually sell much faster than regular homes and home prices differentiate according to locations/timber treatment costs/transport and the availability of timber as well as your design.

CCA pressure-treated square timber is a product developed as upright bearers and can also be used as cross-bearers. The square side of the timber provides a flat surface onto which other poles, boards, or ceilings, and decking can be attached.

What are the common mistakes people make when building with poles?
  1. Use untreated poles. It will rot and decay much sooner that CCA pressure treated poles.
  2. Wrongful application: Poles that is not suitable are used (poles that is too thin will not bear the load on top of it.)
  3. Wrong angles: If poles that is used at an angle must be supported by a cross braze – many people ignore this crucial building method and their structure “sway” or topple over. Forgetting Building Codes
    Many people mistakenly assume that a pole building doesn’t require building codes. But just like any other structure, you’ll need to obtain a permit for your project and adhere to local building codes. Obtain any necessary permits before you start construction, and make sure to review the codes. Some towns in South Africa did not allow owners to build log homes or cabins in their jurisdictions. Make sure beforehand regarding the regulations!
    It might just save you a handful of tears and bags full of money!

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