Once upon a time...
While talking with a friend down the pub, the idea was hatched to get a cabin.
The next day after doing a lot of research on line, I discovered that the only way to get a genuine log cabin would be to build one.
And so, the work began, looking for a real log cabin company and some land. After endless google searches, I found Pioneer Log Homes of BC in Canada, the only company who build proper log cabins just the way I wanted – Bingo!
Next, the land. During my research I went to Scotland to look at a Pioneer Log house and discovered that land was plentiful and less expensive, with the bonus of being in totally the right surroundings for a log cabin. I soon drew up a shortlist of land to view, but as luck would have it, the week before I went back up to view the now long shortlist, I was told about some land, with planning, a burn, an old bridge and on a loch in the Highlands!
What more could a girl want for such a project…
I went to see this land first as it seemed idyllic on paper and idyllic it truly was. I did view the other offerings, but this only proved just how good the 1st option really was. So the land was bought, the architect instructed, planning granted and the logs were ordered from Canada.
I moved to site in a caravan with no services whatsoever to the land, but I was determined to be there every day throughout the whole project to manage and learn all about it.
We started felling trees and digging on 20th June 2016 and the whole build was completed February 2017. I was there every single day helping the guys where I could, framing and insulating the roof, did all the internal and external decorating, installing the guttering, stone work on the chimney breast, endless sweeping and tidying up and being tea girl !
I also took care of the interior design, which was by far the most enjoyable to see things really coming to life inside, paying attention to every single detail no matter how small.
Just in case you are wondering, getting logs from Canada was the easy bit!
What started out as just wanting a one-bedroom small cabin turned into a wonderful log cabin that can sleep 6, the garage has been converted into the Bunkhouse and the addition of the Shepherds hut in the woods at the rear. The Boat House has now been finished and sometime in the near future I will build a log burning sauna.
If you are wondering who I am, my name is Alison Hougham, left school at 16, had many different jobs including window cleaner and Firefighter for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, but nothing to do with construction. That was before becoming owner of The Packhouse, an antiques and interiors business retailing lots of lovely things for your home. I am a keen sailor and a hot air balloon pilot – both hobbies have taken me all over the world.
I am very hands on, practically minded and a good organiser. This project was a great learning curve, it was very enjoyable and the whole thing went like clockwork. I am now also the UK agent for Pioneer Log Homes of BC so if I have inspired you, get in touch and I will be happy to share my knowledge and help you to build your own log home too.