There are a myriad of garden room suppliers out there and we often get many questions from customers asking what the difference is between a Nordic Room and them. When we started back in 2001 we mainly built in logs. Soon the market was saturated with Eastern European log cabin suppliers and we decided to change to the Scandinavian way of building in timber frame rather than in logs. 80% of Scandinavian houses are made in timber frame so taking this method and adapting it to the UK was an easy step for us, being Scandinavians. We import all the crucial elements from there and dealing directly with the manufacturers let us keep cost down, cutting out middle men. Nowadays, not many log cabins, for liveable purposes, are built as the UK weather is far too humid for the logs to be stable, and many new suppliers have popped up using SIP panels (Structural Insulated Panels) instead. SIP panels are made by specialist that pre-cut all the sections for the garden room suppliers, that then sell it on to you. So what is the difference and what shall you look out for in order to be able to compare quotes and suppliers?

SIP vs Timber Frame

A SIP panel – Standard praxis
Two OSB boards sandwiched together with hard foam insulation between 50-100mm. The standard is to use a plaster board on the inside that then needs skimming and painting. The a breathing membrane, batons and external cladding goes on the outside. This makes a ca 140mm thick wall. SIP panels cannot be altered once it has been produced and delivered as they all come pre cut by the SIP manufacturer.

Timber Frame – The way we construct a Standard Nordic room is the following:
For the timber frame we use 95mm thick C24 certified wall joists. We use 100mm insulation between joist and then wrap it with a Tyvek breathing membrane to regulate condensation. We then add batons to create an air gap for circulation and a 20mm thick Siberian larch T&G cladding that is screwed on. Siberian larch offers a nearly maintenance free surface, high is sap, hardwearing that will grey with time. Continuing from the timber frame inwards; we use an Airtek cold bridge and moisture barrier before we clad with an 12mm OSB board for brazing and adding to structural strength and finally our pre stained Smartpanel wall panels to create that Scandinavian feel. The total thickness of our standard walls are 182mm. This can be upgraded to a Scandinavian+ wall where we add an extra layer of 25mm insulation, 120mm timber frame and a super board from Norway making the wall thickness 218mm. Nordic Room is totally hand made on site by our skilled carpenters and can be adapted all the way to suit odd shaped garden, plants and surfaces.

Quality of Doors, Windows and Materials

Look at what quality glazing the suppliers have; UPVC? U value generally not great as standard. Aluminium? Can be of Chinese production low standard to German super quality should lie reflected in the price. Look at quality of hinges, handles and locks. Glazing used for Nordic Room are of a solid wood frame, double glazing with a super low U value of 1.1. EU certified 7 lever locks and internal security hinges in galvanised steel. We can produce and size, with integrated window panes or tilting system. Produced in Denmark for the residential market with Danish certification.

Internal Finish and Colour Choice

One of the more important aspects of creating your perfect garden space is to get the inside right – after all that is where you will spend most the time! What is your preferred wall finish? Most suppliers use a painted plasterboard as their only option that they paint white. As Scandinavians we love using natural materials with shades of grey and sand. With our Smartpanel system we let you choose colour scheme of our wall panelling and flooring, creating your perfect space. We supply a second generation laminate flooring, imported from Norway, 12mm thick click boards that carries a 25 year warranty as it’s so hard wearing and natural looking. Most companies use a standard 8mm laminate or offer upgrades to engineered flooring etc.

Extra Options to Consider

Do you need a WC, shed or perhaps an extra room inside the garden building? Make sure the company you choose are flexible enough to accommodate any extras you might need. Decking is one extra we provide almsot all our clients with. We don’t do bog standard green treated stripy decking but an imported Siberian Larch decking in a smooth finish, so seamlessly match the cabin cladding. Other things to consider is electrical requirements and heating of the cabin. We import super efficient panel heaters from Norway that almost all our clients have installed. We also work with 3rd party suppliers that can help with electricity and plumbing. Also check for water management. We use drip edges on all windows and doors which is essential to avoid water entering the wall cavity. Warranty is another important aspect. We have a 10 year warranty on our Nordic Rooms and 1 year free maintenance should anything need to be adjusted.

Nordic Wood – Scandinavian Throughout

Nordic Wood Ltd has built hundreds of wood buildings during the past 15 years sourcing all materials from Scandinavia. Our fully insulated Nordic Rooms start from £14.500 built. For further information on our bespoke Scandinavian buildings please contact our Scandinavian office team on 01932 343 228.