Frequently Asked Questions

1Why Logs?

Log homes are becoming more and more popular all over the UK, and offer some rather large advantages for homesteaders and commercial clients alike.


Strong, durable and aesthetically pleasing are the obvious characteristics that spring to mind when considering timber as a building material. It is also environmentally friendly. This is in part due to its sustainability as a plentiful and renewable resource, and also because it is a great insulator. It has an excellent capacity to store thermal energy in its dense cellular structure. For this reason timber is very effective in preventing the transfer of heat and cold, maintaining a comfortable temperature all year round. Heating costs are often much lower than that of a conventional brick built house.

2How long will a Log cabin last?

Buildings constructed using the "log throughout" technique will have an indefinite lifespan provided that they are properly maintained. Timber is one of the most durable building materials and there are many examples of log houses in parts of northern Europe and north America, which are well over 300 years old.

3How long does it take for a Alt House Log Cabin to be delivered?

Once the final drawings have been submitted delivery will be approximately 6-8 weeks.

4How long does it take for a Alt House Log Cabin to be constructed?
We pride ourselves on the proficiency and expertise of our assembly teams. Typically a 100m2 structure will take between 10-14 days to complete.
5What foundations are required?
The type of foundation required will be based on a structural engineers specification which in turn is based on ground conditions. Most log cabins only require shallow foundations. This may include slab, raft or strip types. On very rare occasions deep foundations are required (perhaps if there are very large design loads or poor soil at shallow depth) We are more than happy to design and construct any type of foundation however we are also happy for you to carry out this process yourself if you wish, advising you whenever necessary to achieve the correct specification to satisfy building control (if necessary)
6Will my log cabin need re-treating?
Yes. All wood products need maintaining to keep their lustre and to protect them from ultraviolet light, wind and rain. We advise that you treat the outside of the building with any kind of micro porous wood stain. This should be carried out at least once every 2 years to protect the wood and keep the building looking it's best.
7Do I need planning permission for a building in my garden?

In most cases the answer is no, provided it satisfies all the criteria for Permitted Development:

  • It is a freestanding building at least 5 metres from the house and not attached to it
  • It is less than 4 metres high at the ridge
  • It is at least 20 metres from the highway
  • It is behind the building line
  • It takes up less than 50% of the curtilage (garden) of the property excluding the house
  • The house is not listed, or in a Conservation Area

We always advise that you check with your local Planning Office before proceeding.

It should be noted that local authorities would decide on each cabin on a case-by-case basis.

8How can I design my own cabin?
Decide what features are essential to your present and future needs. Are there some rooms in your current home, like a second bedroom or a office, that are essential? Or, do you no longer have a need for 2 bathrooms? Consider a floor plan that supports your activities and will help your home remain functional and enjoyable through the years. Alt House has a number of designs for you to choose from, however we are able to personalise any structure to your suiting. If you provide us with a plan we will do our very best to accommodate your needs. Think about your property/site and determine which rooms should face the best views, be given prominence or tucked away for privacy.
9Can we provide a turnkey solution?
Yes. This is extremely popular with our commercial clients and centres around a "Design and Build", all inclusive package. This option includes both the electrical and mechanical fit out as well as tiling and the installation of all fixtures and fittings (Bathroom and kitchen suites). This procedure is based on comprehensive specifications, including brand names, quantities and colours.
10Are we able to access any site?

One of our representatives will inspect your site before confirming that access is adequate. We are aware that each building we deliver will be influenced by its site and environment. Access and terrain are of paramount importance when deciding the most efficient and safest way to distribute materials. 

We are able to evolve to suit a projects needs. For example we have the capabilities to manoeuvre materials in bulk by forklift or carried by hand where access is difficult.

11Are Alt House buildings constructed to current Building Regulations standards?
Yes. On receipt of your order we will either submit an application on your behalf, or provide a pack with all the information required to obtain Building Regulations approval. Once this has been submitted we will oversee the project until Building Regulations approval has been obtained.
12Can we incorporate renewable technology?

Yes. We are aware that sustainability is extremely important both in our domestic and commercial projects. We pay particular attention to parts "L" and "F" of the building regulations in an attempt to find low carbon solutions. We work closely with a number a companies to ensure that our buildings always perform well with regard to air tightness tests and energy performance.

We are committed to the design of buildings with the capacity to harness renewable technologies.

Whether this be the installation of solar PV or rain water harvesting we are always looking for new ways to make our buildings greener.

13Are log cabins more at risk from fire?
Log cabins are no more prone to the risk of fire than any other structure. On the contrary log cabins are less susceptible to fire than conventional structures. The thick logs make it extremely difficult for flames to take hold. In some instances fire retardant paint is applied on the walls of a corridor or room deemed to be an escape route. This heightens the logs ability to restrict the spread of flame however it must be noted that even without such products logs exposed to fire produce a vapour that acts as a natural fire retardant.
14What about disabled access?
Alt House has a long experience of designing buildings to facilitate disabled access - a process made easier by the log construction method. Simply contact us to discuss your needs so we can incorporate any necessary modifications to your building.
15What about CDM regulations and responsibilities?

We take Health and Safety extremely seriously on every project we undertake. This has even more significance when working on large commercial building sites. 

For this reason we provide a fully-qualified health and safety professional as part of our "project management" service. With NEBOSH qualifications including the Diploma and over 30 years experience in health and safety, our Safety Officer offers a common sense approach and is able to recommend realistic, cost-effective solutions to help us fulfil our legal and moral responsibilities. 

Working alongside our health and safety adviser we are able to achieve a high standard of health and safety management. By developing new health and safety management systems for a specific project or building upon our existing systems, our adviser has helped us to implement better procedures and raise health and safety awareness amongst all staff. 

Our Safety Officer makes regular on site visits to review procedures, carry out audits and provide ongoing health and safety advice, training and management support. 

This work can cover:

  • Health and safety policy
  • General risk assessments
  • Manual handling assessments
  • Personal protective equipment assessments
  • Young worker assessments
  • Display screen assessments
  • COSHH assessments
  • LEV measurements
  • Air quality checks
  • Fire risk assessments
  • Noise assessments
  • Hand arm vibrations assessments
  • Maintenance register
  • Various take such as logs of record keeping
  • Basic health and safety training for key staff