For this review, we’ve chosen to look at the BillyOh Dorset Log Cabin range from Garden Buildings Direct. The Dorset is a fantastic option for those looking for an affordable, well built and attractive log cabin to enhance their garden. Whether you are looking for a summer house, a garden office, a space for kids or a spare guest accommodation, this is a highly versatile structure that can meet many of your demands. What’s more, starting at just £1249.95 for the 4.0 x 2.5 m model, it’s very reasonably priced for the size and quality on offer.
The Dorset Log Cabin range offers a wide variety of sizes starting at 4.0m x 2.5m and increasing all the way up to 5.5m x 4.5m in 50 cm increments. You can expand the width, the length or both depending upon your needs and the size of your garden.
What we particularly like about the Dorset Log Cabin is that it can be customised to meet your specific requirements depending on what you want to use it for. One important custom feature is the choice of wood thickness: you can choose from 28mm, 35mm or 44mm thick walls, an 11mm or 19mm roof and either 11mm or 19mm flooring. For those wanting to use the building simply as a summer house, the 28mm walls and 11mm roof would suffice, but if you are looking to use the building throughout the colder parts of the year or for sleeping in at night, then the thicker walls would give extra protection from the weather and reduce the need for heating. All walls are interlocking providing protection from water and cold weather.
With the flooring, the 11mm would be fine for day to day use, but if you were using the cabin as a gym, or to house heavy equipment or furniture then the 19mm would be the better choice. As an alternative, you can just buy the bearers and fit a floor of your own choice, perhaps your own hardwood flooring.
Other structural options include the windows. Firstly there is the choice have either to have a side window or not in some of the wider cabins. The window would certainly add to the attractiveness of the house and bring in more light which would be ideal for those wanting to use the cabin for working in. However, for reasons of privacy, perhaps to stop a neighbour peering in, you do have the option whether to choose or not. If you wish, you can even have it fitted on the rear of the building!
Another window option is the choice of whether to have toughened glass double glazing. In reality the option is whether to save money or not, because the sensible option is to choose the double glazing for all the benefits it brings. However, if you are simply using the cabin for a place to use during the summer then you could save a little by leaving it off the spec you choose – though be aware that if it you do order the single glazing you will need to glaze the windows yourself whereas the double glazing is pre-glazed. More importantly is the choice of whether to have Georgian style or modern style doors and windows. Both of these look attractive, but before you choose you need to think carefully about how the log cabin is going to look in your garden, how it fits in with your house and the kind of place you want it to be. It’s a personal choice. The doors themselves are a generous 6′ 2″s high, allowing easier access for taller people and bulky furniture.
Choice seems to be the key word when it comes to the BillyOh Dorset range. It’s a little like choosing a car and being given a list of all the options on the spec. For instance there is a variety of 4 weather proofing colours and an even wider range of protective paint finishes available. The roof can be protected in three ways: left as plain treated wood, covered with felt or covered in a selection of coloured roof shingles to help complete the design and finish of your cabin. Whilst more expensive, the shingles option is the better choice as it will last for much longer and protect the whole structure. Again the choice of colours depends upon your own taste.
Another important feature of the Billyoh Dorset Log Cabin is that you do not need to have planning permission to install it as it is under 2.5m high. However, if you have a raised base, you may go above the limit. The manufacturers recommend that you check local building regulations before purchasing – you may have restrictions on your deeds or there may be conservation area regulations etc which apply on local areas that you need to be aware of.
The Dorset has an overall height of just below 2.5m will means you won’t have to apply for planning permission. Before you purchase a cabin with us we do recommend that you get in touch with your local council for more information on building restrictions and regulations in your borough.
Construction will take two people, one of whom should have some knowledge of general DIY woodworking. Erecting the cabin will take a couple of days and if installing a shingle roof, a day or so more will be needed to complete this task. Customer reviews on the company’s website show that most people manage to do this quite easily and that the company have a very good customer service team available for those needing help. Always a good sign for those undertaking a project like this.
The Dorset Log Cabin comes with the following standard parts:
- 28mm, 35mm 44mm tongue and groove walls
- Roof with your finishing of choice
- Pressure treated bearers
- All fixtures and fixings to complete the log cabin
- Clear and easy to understand assembly instructions including building plans and itemised parts
- Doors and windows
- 11mm or 19mm flooring
- 11mm or 19 mm roof
Delivery is free and Redshed are offering a pricematch
Whilst the choice of options is excellent and gives you the chance to really build the log cabin of your choice, you have to take into consideration the cost of the extras available. Whilst you can purchase the 4.0m x 2.5m for just less than £1300 the significantly larger 5.5m x 4.5m version with all the top spec walls, windows, floor, roof, roof covering and weatherproofing will cost you around £3,500. Choose what you need depending upon what you want to use the cabin for.
For more information and to purchase visit Garden Buildings Direct