A log cabin should be made to last. If you use the right type of timber, site the cabin on good foundations and treat the timber regularly with a good quality timber preservative the log cabin will last forever and a day.
With that in mind you want to choose a roof covering that will last along with it and will still look the part.
so what choices do you have?
The most common choices are:
Mineral roofing felt on a roll
Corrugated bitumen sheeting (Coraline/Onduline)
Metal sheeting (Metro Tiles)
Real cedar shingles (Cedar Shake)
Each has advantages and each its disadvantages. We will take a look at them in this timber log cabin blog.
Mineral roofing felt:
Possibly the most common option, especially on cheaper buildings. Roofing felt can be a cheap option in the short-term. A good quality felt reinforced with either polyester or fibreglass will normally last for between 5-10 years if it is not being rubbed upon by overhanging tress.
Felt is available in a choice of colours to compliment the area surrounding the log cabin including: Red, Green, Grey and Blue.
Felt is also an easy and fast option for covering you log cabin roof.
Felt shingles: Felt shingles are supplied in short strip of approx 1m long. They normally have a bitumen adhesive backing that sticks them together when they get warm. This can be a disadvantage when laying them in cold weather and may need heating with hot air gun or blow torch to make them stick when very cold. Always check manufactures instruction for this as some felt shingles are specially designed not to need heating and may cause damage or be dangerous if you do heat them, also be careful of fumes from heating bitumen based products.
Felt shingles are available in a wide range of colours similar to felt and also in different shapes to suit your log cabin.
Felt shingles are normally thicker than mineral felt on a roll. The life expectancy of felt shingles can be up to 20 years (although we do have some customers that still have felt shingles in good condition on cabins we supplied almost 25 years ago.)
Felt Shingles are a slightly more expensive option than felt in the short-term (currently at around £10/m2) however due to the longevity of them they are cheaper in the long run.
Corrugated Bitumen Sheeting: This is a popular option on stable blocks and farm buildings.
This is from the Onduline website:
“Easy to cut, shape and fix
15 year insurance-backed water proofing guarantee*
Excellent colour retention properties
Withstands windspeeds of up to 120mph (192 kph)
European CE Declaration of Conformity
High insulation and sound absorbency performance
Does not rust, rot or become brittle
Available in 4 environmentally sensitive colours
Flexible, ideal for renovation projects”
Metal roof sheeting is more of an industrial product however it does get used, mostly in the form of Metro tiles, on log cabins on commercial projects.
Some of the big advantages are:
The option of pre-insulated panels, saving a lot of time and effort for making the roof warm and saving money on heating
The speed that a roof can be clad with metal sheeting
A very long life span if the sheeting has a good protective finish to it
Metro Tiles have very good asthetics that look like real tiles at a fraction of the weight and cost.
The down sides can be:
If the sheeting does not have a good finish it can discolour or rust
In heavy rain if there is no insulation it can be very noisy and therefore a problem when people are using the cabin as a residential cabin on camp sites or fishing lakes.
Cedar Shingle: Cedar roof shingles are by far my favourite option for log cabin roofs. They offer a more traditional cabin finish whilst offering very long lasting protection. Cedar shingles will start off with a warm red glow to them and then fade to a lovely silvery grey finish over time.
Cedar Shingles are also about the most expensive option costing around £50-£100 per M2