Timber Cabins FAQ
Q. How long has "Cabin Life" been constructing these types of Cabin Kits?
Cabin Life has been in Australia since 2011 constructing these types of European style cabins. We first saw these kits in Vienna, Austria 1996 and fell in love with them back then. We were fortunate enough to re-visit Austria at Christmas time 2017 and saw the same timber cabins and houses looking as good as they were 20 years ago. As cost of living and the housing prices got more and more expensive in Australia, we knew that these cabin kits would be a great solution for many reasons.
These days, Cabin Life construct at least 2-3 cabins kits every week throughout Australia.
Q. Can I construct the Cabin Myself?
Yes, if you are a bit of handyperson with tools, then construction is easy. You will need 2 people to put up the main structure and kits under 20m2 should take no more than 2-4 days to complete a basic cabin after the footings are done. Larger cabins of course take a few extra days to construct. All cabins come with plans and are supported with our DIY videos on the website and You Tube.
Q.Where can I find info for an owner builder course
Q. How long does it take to get my Cabin delivered?
Most times we have the most popular 20m2 cabins kit and some of the larger sizes in stock. These kits can be delivered within the week. Other models can take between 10 to 12 Weeks to deliver and it may take 14 to 16 weeks for custom design cabin orders.
Q. Is my cabin considered and exempt development?
Q. Do I need council approval ?
Council rulings vary from State to State : In NSW you are allowed to build a 20m2 Garden Shed , Gazebos or Cabana’s on a residential block of land. Click here for more info.
If you intend to use the Cabin as a granny flat or an extra rent then you are best to speak to your local council. Click here to check what council your home resides in.
Q. What is the process if I need to go through council?
The basic order of things would go as follows: (This is just a guide)
- Soil Test (approx. $550 depending on locality. May or may not be required.)
- Engineering (Approx. $600)
- BASIX (Thermal Rating) 70mm Timber now required to pass BASIX as class 1A Building. (Approx. $440)
- Site Plan (Price Varies)
Here are a few recommended suppliers.
Site Drawings: www.sitedrawings.com.au 0488 720 361
Soil Test: STA Soil Test Australia 07 55 221 995
BASIX: Partners Engineering; David Howard Ph 0421 381 005
Q. Are our cabins fire retardant? BAL ratings.
Our cabin kits can pass the rural fire service rating of BAL 12-19 by raising the kits 400mm above the ground on posts. 90% of our cabin kits are constructed this way. We can also get our cabin kits to BAL29 by using the BCA approved “Fireshell” Bush fire protective coating. Click here to go to Exfire protective coating website. There are several flame retardant sealers on the market.
If you are in a bushfire prone area please contact us for more information. Contact Us
For a downloadable pdf file on the safety of solid timber in fires click here: Fire Resistance Strength Fact!
Q. Do our cabins require Termite protection?
All Cabin Life cabins come with treated base timbers and you should always use treated timber posts with ant protection caps or steel posts for base support as you would on any other type of construction. If using a concrete base it is recommend that you install a termite barrier just like you would on any other type of housing. As our timber walls are made from solid timber there is no cavity for termites to hide. Termites can only travel in dark so in normal construction they can hide in your walls and eat your framing away but as our walls are solid timber so there Is no where to hide.
We also recommend the use of a good quality timber preservative like “Mabons” Timber protection. After a lot of research into different products on the market we have found “Mabons” Timber protection treatment to be definitely one of the best environmentally friendly products on the market. It is easy to apply and dries clear so you can seal or paint the cabin as required.
“Mabons Timber Protect” is a total termite protection treatment, a fire retardant and a mould protector all in one.
Click here to go to Mabons web site.
Q. Do our cabin kits need insulation?
Our cabin kits are made from solid timber. The walls on our cabin kits either come in 40mm, 44mm or 70mm solid timber. Solid timber is a great insulator. The 70mm timber will give you an R value 2.5 when sealed with an exterior finish.
Our solid timber cabin kits all have the best wind tight chalet corner design and the best timber groove profile on the market. Most of our kits also come with ‘Double Glazed’ doors and windows with rubber seals. These features give you a cabin kit that insulates like an esky. If it is warm inside it will stay warm and if it is cool inside it will stay cool.
It is recommended that you use a roofing insulation wool blanket under the roofing iron which goes on top of the 19mm ceiling boards. For colder areas it is a very cost-effective idea to use yellow tongue flooring underneath your timber flooring to create yet another layer of insulation.
Q. What does it mean build price if owner build?
The build price is the cost to construct the cabin kit to lock up. We sell small cabins and large cabins, and some require council permission and some don’t. As we deliver kits all over Australia, we are unable to have licenced builders as installers in every state. So, if you need to go through council and need us to construct your cabin kit up to lock up stage then we have set the price that we are willing to construct the kit for if the client is happy to go as owner builder. Otherwise you will have to employ a local licenced builder which will cost a lot more.
There is a link to an “Owner Builder” course under FAQ heading. The course will take you around 3 hours to do online and will cost you $240. The course is all multiple-choice answers and is very simple to follow.
Q. Do our cabin kits come with bathroom, kitchen and electrical.
No: All Kitchens, plumbing, bathrooms and electrical are not included in cabin kit price.
Q. Are there any hidden extras?
No: All Cabin costings are written on each of our webpages in full view so that our clients know all costs up front. If your specific job site has to be elevated or you have an unusual soil type then a Cabin Life representative will discuss this with you in detail prior to your purchase so you have all the information to make a decision.
Q. What does construction to lock up mean?
Construction to lock up means the cabin built to lock up on raised posts with bearers and joists as subfloor, the full cabin kit is built including doors, windows, hinges, locks and including roofing but not guttering. Guttering to be installed by a licenced plumber. Lock up does not include kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing nor electrical.