Style and Design
A quite superb corner log cabin with side shed accomodation, the Tiger Vibrissa combines some quality workmanship with attractive styling and quality materials. The building is a traditional five sided design with an apex roof, large double doors, opening side windows and secure storage accommodation built in and accessed through a separate side door. Suitable for a variety of outdoor uses, the Tiger Vibrissa is guaranteed to add class to the corner of any garden.
The overall construction comprises heavy duty 28mm interlocking logs featuring Tiger Sheds' specially designed 4-way chamfered notch-joint system to ensure a tight join with good moisture penetrating resistance. The floor and roof comprise 19mm tongue and groove boarding with the floor supported by tanalised 58 x 44mm heavy duty wooden joists and the roof finished off in heavy duty green mineral felt. The windows are glazed with horticultural glass as standard with upgrades available to single or double toughened glazing. The doors are secured by a three lever mortice lock with brass handles.
The Vibrissa has a footprint of 14'x10' (4.15 x 2.95m). The external heights are 7'2'' (2.19m) at the eaves and 8'11'' (2.73m) at the ridge. The internal equivalents are 7' (2.16) and 8'3'' (2.51m). The double door opening extends to 5' x 6'2'' (1.52 x 1.88m) while the windows measure up at 2'2'' x 3'5'' (64.5cm x 104.5cm).
The timbers of the cabin are untreated with the exception of the floor bearers which are tanalised as part of the manufacturing process. The building will require to receive a final preservative/decorative finish following delivery.
A good range of options is availble for the Tiger Vibrissa. Depending on the supplier you can expect to find: an installation option, toughened glass and double glazing options, a selection of coloured roof shingles, a choice of decorative/preservative finishes for DIY application, a Georgian style window option, various security options and matching planters and raised flower beds.
The Vibrissa is delivered with full instructions for DIY assembly by the purchaser.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
We see the Vibrissa as an upmarket model that needn't break the bank. It's a huge step up from an economy tongue and groove model and with once exception - which we'll come to - there's quality construction throughout as well as bags of style and practicality.
We like the 28mm interlocking log design with its specially designed 4-way chamfered notch-joint system. This should give you a strong, stable and robust building and the logs are nicely complemented by the 19mm boarded floor and roof. We find that many of the cheaper cabins and summerhouses around use solid sheet osb, or sometimes ply, for the floor and/or roof which, while it will do the job, doesn't have the same strength, support capabilities and durability as properly treated real wood and is more susceptible to damage by moisture. Not so with the Vibrissa.
The mineral felt covering to the roof will increase the cabin's weather resistance as will the factory siliconed glazing which is beaded throughout internally. The tanalised floor bearers (tanalisation is a pressure preservation treatment) should need no further work and their 58 x 44mm specification is in keeping with the design of the remainder of the building. Both the double doors are secured with good quality locks and door furniture - and you also have the option of an upgrade if you're particularly security conscious. The only complaint we have really is that the standard model is glazed in horticultural glass and that toughened glazing is considered to be an upgrade. We do feel that this is skimping a little and that in a cabin of this specification and quality, toughened glass should really be a given. However, having said this, an upgrade to toughened glass isn't hugely expensive and we'd certainly recommend you opt for it, particularly if there are young children about.
The Vibrissa should adequately meet your outdoor needs. In addition to the cabin element there's a useful and secure side shed which will safely keep all your valuable garden equipment out of sight. The cabin itself is a good size and ideal for relaxation on a hot summer day, or to keep you cosy outdoors when the weather turns chillier. The large windows will allow plenty of light to reach the interior and can be easily furnished for comfort. The large double doors will accommodate larger pieces of furniture allowing you to turn your Vibrissa into a superb garden room.
Although the interlocking log construction will make assembly of the Vibrissa a little more time consuming than the pre-formed panels you find in budget models, there shouldn't be anything untoward involved for someone with basic DIY skills. You will need an adult helper though - and a stepladder for the roof. We've seen customer feedback to the effect that the cabin can be erected in a single day - and that's probably the case for the basic assembly process. The Vibrissa is a large, heavy building though, and depending on where it's be be sited you may need some additional time to provide a suitable base. Have a look at our Corner Summerhouse Bases feature which will give you some ideas. We think a large wooden building like this lends itself quite well to a modular plastic base filled with aggregate which combines strength with drainage qualities. Virtually all modular bases today are manufactured in recycled plastic so they're not particularly unfriendly to the environment.
And the other thing which you need to keep in mind when it comes to construction time is the need to apply a good quality preservative/decorative finish to the cabin's untreated timbers. In our experience it's better to do his before your wooden building is erected as it's easier to reach all the parts that require treatment that way, particularly the underside of the floor and right into the interlocking joins. The manufacturer's guarantee requires that you treat your cabin annually with a good quality preservative so that's something you should bear in mind. In practice we must say we're not convinced that all log cabin owners are in the habit of applying a preservative finish each year - but there you go. The need to apply preservative is common to the vast majority of outdoor wooden buildings so we don't see it as an issue. Even with pressure treated buildings where the application of further preservative isn't needed we still recommend that a decorative finish is applied and maintained to help stop the timbers taking on a worn and weathered look.
You'll find plenty of options for your Vibrissa cabin. As we've mentioned above, we think toughened glassis a no brainer - and if you go further and opt for double glazing this will in addition help to keep the chill out and reduce condensation internally. The other options are probably a matter of taste. There are a selection of roof shingles which look nice but which are unlikely to increase the roof's resistance to the weather. Indeed with other cabins we've seen reports of rain blowing in under the shingles in a strong wind and causing damp so they may actually be a disadvantage. We can't say whether this will be an issue with the Vibrissa though and so far we haven't seen any reports of problems with the shingles. Whether you need matching planters and raised flower beds is entirely up to you, but increased security is always desirable and it's handy to be able to have your decorative/preservative finish arrive along with the building.
In conclusion, although at the time of review the Tiger Vibrissa was a little more expensive than some of its nearest competitors we think it does have some advantages. The Ropsley/Livia is rather let down by a 12mm solid sheet floor, the cheaper Villandry by a solid sheet floor and roof and the lack of a toughened glass upgrade. If you want to look at alternatives to the Vibrissa we'd suggest the Mercia Corner Lodge Plus gives it its best run for the money. The Corner Lodge Plus is very similar in style and specification but it usually comes with safety glass as standard. The Ripon is styled slightly differently but it does potentially come in a higher standard specification than the Vibrissa. We think the Vibrissa is nudging 5 stars for its size and price range but the horticultural glass costs it - 4.5 stars from us.