Log cabin Vs. summerhouse – What is the difference?

Whilst it is common to think that a log cabin is synonymous with a summerhouse, they are in fact different from one another.

They are similar to one another in the fact that they are both exterior buildings that can be mostly comprised of wood. It mostly boils down to four different things. So, to make it a bit easier to digest, we are going to break them all down and explain what exactly they both are and how they are different from one another.

The shape and construction

Log cabin

The biggest difference between a log cabin and a summerhouse is the construction that is used for building them. It is almost always the case that log cabins are constructed via overlapping corner connections – one of their most common characteristics. Because of this construction style, log cabins will almost always be either rectangular or square.

However, summerhouses can be built using other various construction systems. Because of this, summerhouses can be built in a variety of shapes including octagonal or even pentagonal. This is helpful as it allows you to have an outside space in a wide variety of areas, regardless of the size or shape you have available.

This is not to say that log cabins do not also have advantages. Usually, log cabins are much stronger, sturdier and more durable than a summerhouse.

The Design


Whilst it is common to associate a log cabin with its well-known rustic design, there are now a wide variety of log cabin designs and variations on the market. Although summerhouses offer more variety, log cabins do still have various design options too.

However, summerhouses without a doubt are more versatile than log cabins and offer a huge range of design options. As previously mentioned, this makes summerhouses ideal for compact or irregular shaped gardens.

Summerhouses usually give you the option of an apex roof which usually is not the case with a log cabin. This could be advantageous if the roof colour is important to you as you can change the colour of the roof shingles.

Wall thickness and overall size

The thickness of the wall isn’t necessarily something where one option comes out victorious over the other. This is because log cabins and summerhouses are both usually available in different wall thickness options.

A thicker wall option would be advantageous if you wanted your building to have more stability and durability – i.e to make it feel more like a house than a shed! Thicker walls allow a building to have more insulation and using insulation will mean that you can use the space throughout the year.

On the other side of the coin, you may only plan to use the garden space during the summer months and then use it for storage the rest of the time. If that’s the case, a thinner wall would be sufficient.

For the overall size of the building, you will usually find that log cabins offer more space than a summerhouse. This isn’t always the case as both are available in a wide variety of sizes, but it is more common to have a log cabin installed when you have a lot of useable garden space. Summerhouses are more commonly used when you require a building in the space of a small or odd shape.

The construction process

Log cabin construction

The construction process of a log cabin and a summerhouse isn’t all that dissimilar, but there are a few main differences.

They both require a flat and level foundation to start. Then, the wall sections or logs as well as foundations beams go down. Next, the wall sections or logs are built up layer by layer and this is where the two differences come into play.

For a log cabin, the cross section is put into place after the walls have been built which creates the overlapping corners. Summerhouses, on the other hand, the corner post needs to be slid into the corner before the walls are built up as this is what holds the walls together.

The final steps for roof construction again are quite similar. How the roof is actually constructed depends on the type of roof you have opted for but is installed similarly.

We hope you found this post on log cabins vs summerhouses helpful. If you have any further tips or advice, please feel free to leave them below. We love hearing from you!

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Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

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