Wednesday, 09 March 2022 13:28

Insulated Scandinavian log cabins: what do you need to know before starting work?

Scandinavian log cabins Scandinavian log cabins pixabay

When buying your own log house for living all year round, it is simply necessary to pay special attention to its' insulation. High-quality insulation will not only reduce the heating bills in the coldest season but will also determine the comfort of living and the coziness of the home.

After all, there is no more cozy feeling than returning to your sweet home on a cold winter evening, where the warmth of the fireplace stays inside for a long time because of its' excellent insulation.

In order to assure the high-quality insulation of Scandinavian log cabins will be easier, we had decided to share the most important tips concerning the topic in this article. We will also answer one of the most important questions – how much professional insulation of a wooden house could cost.

4 steps towards quality insulation

Looking at the practice, the heating of a wooden cabin is still limited to installing a stove or fireplace for many customers, but this is far from the only job if you want to enjoy a comfortable temperature in your log home all year round. To ensure that Scandinavian log cabin kits will retain heat in all weather conditions, take care of the quality of the four most important insulation works.

1)Assure quality wall insulation

If you plan to spend time in a log house all year round and its area is larger than 30 m2, the question of whether the house needs additional insulation – should not even be considered. It will not only ensure that the heat in the heated premises will stay for a long time, but will also prevent large amounts of moisture from entering the house during the cold season and cold when it is not being heated.

If you decide to insulate your wooden house, it is especially important not to start insulation works immediately after construction. If you can not wait, the fact that after the construction a wooden house settles about 4-6% of the height should be well appreciated. For example, if the wall of the house is 4.5 m, its' height will decrease by 20 cm after settling. Therefore, if possible, it is recommended to wait with the insulation of the house walls. Otherwise, polished styrene, foam, or other materials will likely be damaged if the house is insulated immediately after construction.

High-quality insulation of Scandinavian log cabins walls is usually associated with the fact that all possible wall insulation works - are performed from the outside. According to the basic knowledge, the insulation of the house from the inside – is not practical. To insulate the interior walls of a house that has already been built well, it is very often necessary to dismantle the floor, and if the work is not done in the highest quality, such a process also provides excellent conditions for rodents or mold. Externally insulated Scandinavian log cabin kits also have a lower wall temperature load – the temperature of walls remains stable all year round.

When it comes to the choice of materials used for insulation, there are many possible options. However, when choosing an insulation material, we recommend paying attention to the fact that the material used is vapor-permeable. It should also “breathe”, should not accumulate moisture, and be resistant to the growth of microorganisms. It is also important to pay attention to the thermal conductivity coefficient - the lower the coefficient is, the less insulation materials will be needed, and the conductivity will respond to heating costs in the long run.

Recently, a particularly popular insulation material is considered to be polystyrene foam, which is attached directly to wooden walls during the insulation process. When insulating wooden houses in this simple way, special polyester panels are attached directly to the wood. However, although due to its simplicity, this method is gaining great popularity, according to experts, it is not an option that ensures the highest insulation quality due to the airtightness of the polyester material. Much more recommended material due to its exceptional quality is recently considered polyurethane, sprayed directly on the wall surface.

Log cabins are often insulated with mineral stone wool, which is described as another, much better choice than polyester foam. However, it is important to keep in mind that using this method will additionally require a polyethylene film to help absorb water vapor that is harmful to the wall. Stone wool is frequently replaced by eco-wool, which has many important pluses. Although many suppliers equate the resistance of eco-wool with the resistance of stone wool, the joints connecting the stone wool, in contrast to the use of eco-wool, cause a significant amount of heat loss. The fibrous structure of the material, which is characteristic of stone wool, also, in rare cases, begins to accumulate moisture, which over time destroys the walls of the house. Unlike rock wool, spray wool releases accumulated water, and the cellulose in the wool allows it to adapt well to the wood surface. Eco-wool is also known as a non-flammable material, so by choosing this method of insulation, you will not only ensure high-quality thermal insulation but also enjoy additional protection against fire.

It is true that whatever method of insulation you choose, it is important to pay attention to the coefficients of heat transfer U and heat resistance R. The heat transfer criterion will allow the thermal insulation or the amount of heat that can penetrate through the insulation partition to be assessed. The lower the U value, the less heat will penetrate. Looking at the coefficient of thermal resistance, the higher the resistance, the warmer the partition

2)Insulate the floor

Although Scandinavian log cabins insulation solutions often focus on the walls of the house, we can name the cold floor as one of the main problems in wooden houses, which is difficult to solve the real carpet on the floor. A particularly innovative material, polyurethane, which is especially suitable for the insulation of wooden floors, is characterized by the fact that it can combine thermal, waterproofing, and sound insulation functions. The material adheres perfectly to the insulating layer, is homogeneous, so it does not require additional sealing, and its density ensures resistance to loads.

It is also recommended to choose polyurethane for the insulation of log house floors because it allows achieving much higher thermal insulation compared to the same amount of other materials used in the process. When you decide to use polyurethane, the floor is quite often sprayed directly from above, thus stopping the penetration of cold air through the floor if it is not completely airtight. However, if you are not talking about a completely new house with a wooden board or another old floor, we recommend breaking it down before spraying the polyurethane. When using this material for floor insulation, it is especially important to pay attention to the fact that the insulation layer on the walls rests on them at least 10-15 cm, thus avoiding the “cold bridges” often formed during floor insulation.

3)Assure the tightness of the roof

Cold bridges are characterized not only by poor insulation of the floor but also of the roof. Therefore, it is recommended to invest in roof insulation for log houses to make them retain heat for a long time. The truth is, if the roof is used as a simple attic, the focus can be put on the insulation of the ceilings. For the warm air to remain in the room after it rises, the ceiling must be isolated extremely well – it must not contain the slightest cracks. When it comes to the materials used to insulate the roof of a wooden cabin, foam is probably the most commonly used for insulation of the ceiling. It is important to know, that the price of it largely depends on the density of this material. If you are considering higher quality insulation, we recommend using foam boards with a milled edge. They have a particularly excellent bond, which helps to ensure good thermal insulation.

4)Invest in quality doors and windows

To achieve the highest insulation results in the house, it is especially important to keep in mind that how well the heat will adhere to a log house depends not only on the insulation of the walls, roof, and ceiling. According to general estimates, as much as 25% of heat houses usually lose due to poor isolated windows and doors, and 10-15% because of the ceiling. For this reason, when deciding to undertake insulation work, first of all, find out the weaknesses of your Scandinavian log cabins in terms of heat. There are many cases when additional investments are made in the insulation of the house ceiling, walls, or floor when the biggest problems are poor quality, leaky windows, or doors of the house.

It is easy to guess that the most popular option that guarantees high thermal insulation is plastic windows and reliable quality doors. However, there are cases when such doors and windows in log houses are not choices because of the authenticity of the house. It is worth knowing that even in these situations you can increase the thermal insulation in other ways. For instance, in the case of wooden windows, the option of replacing the glass with a thicker one could be considered. For windows maintaining the authenticity of the house, shutters can also be fitted.

Another possible option is to apply a special sealant to the places where the glass is attached to the window frame. The glass framing tape can also be replaced if necessary. As long as the outdoor temperature is below zero, a special insulation tape can also be glued over the entire perimeter of the frames. Cracks in the window frames visible to the naked eye can be plugged using cotton wool, paralon scraps, or other heating material.

When it comes to the doors of a wooden house, special attention should be paid not only to the front door but also to all the doors leading to the cold rooms or hallway. The main option of insulation could be to fill the gaps between the door frames. If you are faced with a situation where cold air enters the room through the bottom of the door, try to attach special brushes to the bottom which can be bought or made from special rubber yourself.

Scandinavian log cabins: how much does the insulation cost?

Regarding the cost of high-quality insulated log houses, it is important to emphasize that the price of the materials chosen for insulation has probably the greatest influence on all the expenses. Given the wide choice of materials, it is difficult to make preliminary calculations of the average cost of insulating a wooden house. However, knowing the price of the materials selected for insulation and the necessary dimensions of the future home, you will calculate the cost of all the works including materials very simply. To make the calculation principle easier to understand, we have decided to share a real example of such calculations below.

We calculate the cost of wall insulation for a medium-sized, one-story log house with an attic. The dimensions of the walls of this house are 10x10 m, the average height of the walls is 4.5 m, the average width of the air gap is 7 cm (0.07 m), the area of ​​windows and doors is about 30 m². The calculation process looks like this:

1. Calculate the total area of ​​the walls (including the area of ​​windows and doors):

(10 + 10 + 10 + 10) x 4.5 = 180 m²

2. Calculate the insulation area (excluding the area of ​​windows and doors):

180 - 30 = 150 m²

3. Calculate the approximate amount of thermal foam required for insulation in m³:

150 x 0.07 = 10.5 m³

4. Estimated approximate cost of house insulation:

10.5 m³ x 130 € / m³ = 1365 € + VAT

It is important to know that the calculated volume can theoretically vary by up to 20% depending on the construction of the building. In practice, this difference varies by about 10%. The calculation of the price would include the costs of injecting thermal foam, drilling and filling holes, and landscaping.


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