If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Building a flat pack log cabin

  • 24-09-2022 7:48am
    Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭

    Hi all. I'm thinking about building a flat pack log cabin. I love the idea and look of them. They're obviously cheaper than buying a house too. I'm at the total starting point, just dreaming at the minute. Just looking for info about the process. Have to buy land etc. Anyone any experience of doing something like this? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a million.

    Post edited by Spear on

Best Answer

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    Ok thanks. How do I close this discussion please?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,590 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    You're in the wrong section of boards, so will probably get deleted/moved

    But. I'd not bother trying. Planning permission be very, very hard to get.

    While it may be possible to achieve building regs with a log cabin. The flat-pack ones are not going to comply

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    Why is that? It's a proper 2 or 3 bed 'house'. Proper insulation etc. Sorry I know nothing about the process. I'll have to dig deeper I suppose. Thanks for your reply.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,814 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    Buy it and put it up. Enforcement doesnt seem to be a priorty. Also there really isnt a viable alternative for most people.

    Mains connections will be impossible id imagine.ESB wont touch it and no water/ waste connections.

    I know a man who built a tiny home out of blocks. The traditional way. Hes more than happy. Its 30sqm but does him fine. Might be the way to go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    Thanks for your reply. See this is what I need. The things about the esb and stuff I'd never think of. I'll have to really suss it out. Thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,590 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    Planning enforcement is real and costly.

    Slap up at your own cost and no mortgage as banks won't touch it. No electricity. Defend in courts at own cost. End up bankrupt knocking your house.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6,209 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Planning can be enforced especially if a neighbour objects.

    You would need water, sewage and electricity connections.

    Land with planning permission for a house is very expensive.

    Land without planning permission is hard to turn into land with permission. Things like access to a public road, mains sewage, there is also local regulations like minimum density etc.

    If you go ahead and build without permission and no one noticed after 7 years they can't force you to knock it down. However it would be very hard to sell in the future, no one could get a loan, and no solicitor would touch the paperwork. If you wanted to modify or extend later it would be really difficult as planners would not allow any changes whatsoever even though it can't be knocked down.

    The actual cost of the building is only a fraction of the total cost of getting a house. I doubt these houses would have all the energy efficiency needed of proper houses so be expensive to run, and may not meet fire regulations etc.

    I would think long and hard before buying land, there is a serious chance the planners will make you take it down. I was recently involved in objecting to a planning breach and after a planner visit a fully built site has 9 areas where it does not comply with permission given. Fines in millions are theoretically possible. They may be required to knock parts already completed 3+ years.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 24,616 CMod ✭✭✭✭Spear

    Moved to a forum that's related to the topic instead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123


  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Pardon the pun but there will be a raft of regulations that you won't be able to comply with ... planning and building regulations. Unless you decide to build in the middle of a forest then you will most likely not get planning permission and even in such a location the land zoning needs to be adhered to and there will be difficulties in getting connected to common services. If you carry on without planning then you are in breach of statutory regulations.

    As you said you are dreaming and honestly that's all it will be.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    There is no chance of getting planning permission for a flatpack house, so as several others have said you'll be in breach of planning law. You will find it impossible to get a mortgage and very likely impossible to sell it as anything more than agricultural land, even if no enforcement action is taken.

    Then again, I can easily think of several places in several local authority areas that are flagrantly in breach of planning law and the local authority has done nothing. Plonking a log cabin on an acre looking onto a main road will get you in trouble, but in a clearing in the woods? Who knows? Electricity can in theory be taken care of with solar panels, mobile broadband could be used. Adequate insulation, airtightness, & solar gain could minimise the space heating requirement.

    Resale value is a theoretical problem for your next of kin in a property you're living in & intend to stay living in, as long as the property is actually worth living in.

    The real (practical as distinct from legal) challenges with going off-grid would be potable water and sewage— even if you don't give a toss about complying with the law (and ignoring the law always has significant risks attached) ensuring you have clean water to drink and dispose of your bodily waste properly should be non-negotiable, because cholera probably isn't any fun...

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,999 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    D'ya think we'd have a housing crisis if you could just buy a flatpack and put it on a piece of land?

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    Jesus lads I only asked a question.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭Murph85

    unless you have land etc or a family member and are prepared to risk it, forget it. No way you could buy land with that level of risk. You could buy a large camper or van and convert it... There is a brilliant show on netflix I think it was about this, the home needs to be moveable,so they build it on a lorry trailer chassis. Lovely home, moveable, so doesnt require planning permission...

  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 45,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭muffler

    So you ask a question and get some great replies yet you don't appreciate them. Makes me think twice about trying to help people in this forum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,999 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    It is a nuisance. The economy as we know it would collapse if the monkey was suddenly removed from everyone's backs and they no longer have to scramble to pay rent or mortgage and they suddenly have heaps of disposable income. The government wants to keep the economy going so if you "find a way around" high house prices they will put the kibosh on it to keep everyone on that narrow path towards mortgage/rent payment.

    The government uses planning and zoning laws to maintain property prices relatively high but not too high so that houses become unobtainable and people give up. But their control mechanism is a bit ham-fisted so in the present time you do in fact see people giving up and not bothering, but the government stood idly by to see this situation develop intentionally. They have to think ahead, covid caught them on the hop and so did the supply chain problems and now they will turn things the other way and get prices to drop slightly followed by maintaining it at that level.

    The average worker bee might earn 40k * 40 years = 1.6 million over a lifetime

    Out of that 1.6m a big chunk of it will be for houses + mortgage bank interest + rent + insurance + utilities . All this money goes to big companies at the centre of the economy and there is a massive chunk of tax revenue generated off it as well.

    If you live in a modern western economy like Ireland the money is only being flushed through you. Your money ain't really yours. You are being perpetually exploited and kept on the conveyor belt to keep big organisations rolling in cash

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,040 ✭✭✭corcaigh07

    Do you have a link for the flat pack log cabin, out of curiosity?

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    I was only asking as I don't understand how they can sell them if its so impossible to get planning permission etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,999 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    They are plonked down outside an existing residence and rented out / put out of view. A lot of it is people chancing their arm and getting away with it even though they do officially need planning permission. I stayed in something similar that was being hoored out as an AirBNB for 125 a night one time. If you get into any trouble you could possibly disassemble it and re-erect it on another site.

    There was one that came up for rent recently on and apparently the planning permission was OK so it must not be completely impossible

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,975 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    Because it's not the legal responsibility of the seller to comply with building regulations or obtain planning permission, they probably don't make any claims about either, and consumer protection in Ireland is incredibly weak.

    It's basically caveat emptor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,975 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    What do you mean by "apparently the planning permission was OK"?

    Daft doesn't AFAIK check planning permission.

  • Advertisement
  • Subscribers Posts: 39,906 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    45mm timber walls..... ?!?!?!

    living in that for your lifetime will probably cut your life expectancy by about 15 years, and your quality of life will be very much interrupted by health issues.

    there are very real reasons we have building regulations, and despite Ubbquittious posts looking for us to create trailer parks, it will not happen, and for many good reasons.

    yes, there are some very difficult serious issues with our planning and cost of compliance building regulations, but the actual regulations themselves, while very onerous, are there for our best interests.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,999 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    No it wasn't daft who checked the planning it was some other poster.

    Strangely enough I know people who own a trailer park and also people who own in individual "trailers" and all I keep hearing is how warm and easy to heat they are. Though this does not mean the OP's flatpack log cabin will be the same. They have really pulled the wool over our eyes by insisting we all live in concrete boxes with artificially inflated prices. Every time lots of money is printed like during covid it tends to "find a home" in property and actually makes it worse for people trying to buy.

    I think around 2010 when all the new regs were created it definitely wasn't for your own good to prolong your life expectancy.

    What happened was Brian Lenihan/Michael Noonan saw what was happening and were like "Oh ****! People arent scrambling nearly hard enough for these brick boxes anymore" and they pushed the throttle forward to the very end only there was so much slack in the system that time it took years for it to have any effect. Negative equity was seen as this terrible thing because it allowed people to cut free from debt slavery to the banks but if the politicians did not intervene the way they did it is unlikely we'd have a housing crisis now

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    That is not a house. That is a glorified shed.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,906 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    again, youve said the grand total of nothing in regards to the issue at hand. The rights and wrongs of liberal conservative ideology which is the basis of our economic policies and political leanings at european level are definitely up for debate, but really nothing to do with teh micro issue in the this thread.

    these cabins do not comply with building regulations, and are very likely to be refused planning permission.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,999 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    I was only making the point that the regulations exist mainly to keep the economy going and living a comfortable life in a wooden cabin is not necessarily impossible once you are able to avoid the wrath of the planning crowd.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,906 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    I was only making the point that the regulations exist mainly to keep the economy going 

    well that's patently wrong.

    They existing first and foremost for the safety and protection of the occupants.

    fire regulations, stairs regs, material regs, structural regs, waste and drainage regs, sound regs all exist for the safety and protection of the occupants.

    energy efficiency regulations exist for the protection of the climate, to reduce the need for fossil fuel based heating.

    accessibility regs exists for that buildings are accessible to all, regardless of disabilities.

    there is literally no regulation which exists to ensure the economy keeps going. If anything the onerous nature of the regulations actually works against economic growth because it makes the initial construction more expensive as they become more technical.

    you simply havent a clue.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,880 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    Planning will be your major stumbling block.

    I've 2 examples to give you.

    Locally to us somebody set up quite a large caravan (not sure what you call them, the kind you find in a permanent stand in a caravan park) in a field.They have it up on blocks, with wooden stairs up to the door, proper deck out front.Kids swing set in a fenced off area next to it, built a metal shed on the other side next door to it.It is basically against one boundary of a field, in the middle of a load of fields.They haven't tried to hide it in any way.You can see they have two very large containers to hold their water supply.They have no planning, amd I was lately told they have been asked to remove it by the council.I understand their aim was to bs there 7 years then claim they could go for planning (can't remember, is that retention or squatter's rights, or whatever).So now they are embroiled im a battle with the council.They clearly have no water connection, no sewage connection and a generator for power.It is all visible from the main road.

    Second example is a friend who lives in a house the style of what you have linked.It's not warm.A stove heats the main room, and there are a couple of electric heaters.Outside of that it's extra blankets and fleece pyjamas in winter to keep warm in the bedrooms.

    I can understand why you would consider it in the current housing situation but unless you have family land or land with PP already to build, or land with an existing dwelling on it, I don't think it is worth doing it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭badge1123

    Thank you for that.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    That would depend entirely on your definition of "wooden cabin".

    Can you live comfortably in a timber frame structure with wood cladding, heavily insulated & appropriately with solar PV and/or wind turbine plus sink a well and organise for sewage treatment? Double-slabbed with plasterboard internally and with an appropriate smoke & fire detection system for fire safety?

    Sure, why not. Most new homes are timber frame, and the only reason for cladding in masonry is because masonry exteriors are what's fashionable. Properly detailed & maintained timber framed & cladded structures should stand the test of time as well as block built. And there are good reasons for focusing on homes made exclusively from wood (including insulation)— you can replant a forest of sitka spruce after harvesting it, but you can't regrow a quarry.

    Can you live comfortably in the "house" the OP linked? Not unless you define "comfortably" as almost any space with minimal protection against the elements. Because it's a big shed.

    Even if you don't care about complying with the law, getting as close as you can to the building regs (exceeding them if practicable) is just a good idea— because a home which is healthy, safe, and requires little or no external energy input to keep it warm and bright is never going to out of fashion.

    I mean, I 100% agree that construction professionals & the various trades will absolutely gouge you for the privilege of providing their knowledge, skills, experience & labour to get a property in up to the standard required by the regs. But that's a strong argument for educating yourself and taking advantage of knowledgeable friends & family to get to the same end point— it's not an argument for saying "shur forget the regs, a caravan is as good as a house, shur plenty of people living in them". Because— fun fact— those people die much much younger...

  • Advertisement