WhatShed has spent years developing the expertise to navigate the often-confusing garden building industry. We’ve compiled a series of extensive, unbiased reviews, that are built on our experience in the trade as well as real-world site visits manufacturers, to help would-be cabin and shed owners make that all important decision.
Today, we’re bringing you a review of The Sigma 44mm log cabin range from TigerSheds. We were fortunate enough to pay the company a visit recently and although the showroom does not feature a constructed Sigma, we were free to wander round three of the firm’s other bespoke 44mm cabins – The Shere, The Procas, and The Rho. Each of these cabins uses identical building materials and construction methods as The Sigma.
At first glance of 3D renderings posted online, The Sigma has some serious visual appeal. It’s one of TigerSheds’s more distinct offerings, with a spacious, semi-enclosed veranda area to protect dwellers from the occasional summer shower whilst soaking up the sunshine. The construction of this looks just as robust and sturdy and the models we saw in Leeds and it really does add a “Little House on the Prairie” feel to the Sigma. Inside, the space is vast and highly functional. The high roof in the cabin provides ample headroom in its default dimensions as well as loads of storage space. Unfortunately, there is a rather unsightly beam that somewhat compromises head space in the cabin but we’ve get on to that later.
So, we’ve established that the Sigma is a looker but does the construction of the building and the design choices made by the company offering it match up to these strong first impressions?
What we rate
Massive veranda area. We’re imaging long summer nights sat out there.
Support WhatShed: by making a purchase after clicking a link above, a portion of the sale supports this site.
How We Rate It
LONGEVITY OF MATERIALS9/10
EASE OF INSTALLATION7/10
VALUE FOR MONEY7.5/10
Let's Take a Closer Look...
The Sigma range of log cabins is available in several different sizes, as detailed in the table below. Each of the measurements includes the spacious veranda area too.
If you can’t see the size you were hoping for in the list, fear not. Since the firm mills its own wood, custom dimensions are available on request. Just contact the TigerSheds team to discuss this.
Thanks to its reverse apex roof design, The Sigma stands at an impressive 2932mm. Whilst this certainly gives the building immense “wow” factor, it does mean that it will fall foul of some planning regulations.
Essentially, certain local authorities dictate that garden buildings positioned within 2m of a house must be less than 2.5m tall. TigerSheds does offer to reduce the height of any of its 44mm cabins to remain compliant with such regulations and this is a touch not offered by every manufacturer.
The problem here is that The Sigma is just so tall. To make it compliant with the regulations, you would need to lose 432mm from the total height. This would involve the same reduction to the building’s walls (and veranda area) to retain its original roof design.
With such an adjustment, the height of the walls would be just 1757mm and potentially too low for taller would-be customers. The 44mm range does, however, contain loads of other cabins that can be reduced with less of an impact on the overall space inside, as well as those, like The Rho, that are compliant straight out of the proverbial box.
The Sigma range of log cabins use a slow growing species of wood throughout their construction. Being a slow growing variety, the redwood used is much less prone to splitting or warping than the Baltic white wood used in the cabins of many other manufacturers. Not only did we find that the variety used in The Sigma offers exceptional durability, it also creates a cabin with a more pleasing end finish given that the species is naturally smooth and largely free of knots.
One thing that really impressed us about the service provided by TigerSheds is the fact that all the wood used in its cabins is cut to order. This means that mistakes can easily be rectified, the firm can be hugely flexible with regards to customisation, and the materials are not sat in potentially suboptimal conditions waiting to be bought. It’s worth noting that not every manufacturer has the facilities to mill its own wood.
With regards treatment for your Sigma log cabin, TigerSheds recommends customers coat the structure with a spirit-based product as soon as possible. You should make this a matter of urgency and certainly wait no more than 14 days.
We were a little bit taken aback by the fact that TigerSheds doesn’t actually provide new cabin owners with a treatment within the asking price. These are sold separately. We thought this a little stingy, especially given that the customer will have just spent thousands in acquiring their new Sigma cabin. Surely a 20 quid bottle of treatment thrown in isn’t too much to ask for!
Although not included in the asking price, TigerSheds does carry two products for customers to treat their newly constructed cabins with. The first is called TigerCare and is available in four different shades – Clear, Red Cedar, Mahogany, and Dark Oak.
The company also carries a treatment from Cuprinol’s Garden Shades range. For those wanting their Sigma cabin to really stand out, we recommend this slightly more costly treatment. The colours available are Seagrass, Pale Jasmine, Forget-me-not, Summer Damson, Olde English Oak, and Black Ash.
Based on our own observations, the walls themselves of the 44mm range of cabins are certainly one of these buildings’ ultimate selling points. They’re constructed using 44mm, interlocking logs that use a double tongue and groove joining system. Using such robust timbers and a joining system that is above-and-beyond what is strictly necessary ensures a highly secure, insulative building.
Some manufacturers will save a bit of money in the construction of their cabins’ walls. They will often use either a single tongue and groove joining systems or simple square cut notch joints. When these techniques are compared with those used by TigerSheds, the latter’s efforts to provide the highest quality possible are evident.
Not only are the walls of The Sigma rock-solid in their construction, they also look great thanks to their four-way chamfered finish. Again, not every manufacturer would bother to finish their timbers with such style and we really liked that TigerSheds has gone to such troubles. .
We were delighted to see that TigerSheds’s pursuit of quality doesn’t let up when it comes to the all-important roof. This is constructed to the same high standards as the walls. The boards used are 19mm and fit together using a tongue and grove system. These sit atop rebated purlins, which create a weather-resistant, gap-free roof.
We did find the additional roof support inside the cabin to be an intrusive – albeit necessary – inclusion. It does inspire confidence in the structures integrity but unfortunately takes away from the internal space’s “wow factor”.
Externally, roof is finished as standard with heavy-duty green mineral felt. This is consistent across the entire 44mm range, meaning we got to see and feel it when we visited the showroom in Leeds. We were suitably impressed by TigerSheds’s decision to go for such a robust option as included in the standard price. Some competitors have been known to advertise a price that, when it comes down to it, doesn’t even include a roof covering at all!
For those wanting to add a touch of extra style or insulation to their Sigma cabin, shingles can be included for an additional cost. The shingles stocked by TigerSheds feature an exceptionally high bitumen rating and are the same that can be found on many houses. They come in four different colours to further customise your cabin. These are black, red, brown, and green.
Guttering can also be included for an additional price. This is black and comes in 18-foot lengths. One thing that we really liked about TigerSheds’s service is the fact that all the optional extras are so easy to install. The guttering is pre-drilled and simply screws or nails into place. Meanwhile, the shingles are self-adhesive and can also be tapped in with just a few nails.
Floor and Bearers
Further evidence of TigerSheds’s experience and expertise can be seen in the floor of The Sigma range of cabins. Being the same across all the manufacturer’s 44mm range, we got a really good look at the construction methods as well as a chance to see if there was any give in it. Even with a heavier-than-average foot in the buildings we saw in Leeds, we didn’t feel as much as a wobble!
This exceptional performance is thanks to the 44x57mm bearers that support the floor itself. These are tanalised, meaning that the likelihood of damp penetration from beneath is substantially reduced. Manufacturers’ cabins that do not feature such treatments to their bearers often rot from beneath and ultimately require replacing or extensive restoration work.
This robust framework supports heavy-duty 19mm floorboards. They’re the same as those used on the 44mm cabin’s roof. Again, they’re all tongue and groove connected for an exceptionally snug fit. We’ve seen some log cabins opt for a dangerously-thin 11mm floor before only for their manufacturers to advise an expensive upgrade to a more suitable thickness. Such tactics are thankfully not deployed by TigerSheds.
Windows and Doors
The Sigma features two sizeable, fully-opening windows on the front, either side of two spacious double doors. It also has two side windows that the company can include on either wall of your building to ensure that the cabin works with your space.
The entry-level Sigma features Euro style windows and doors. These are contemporary and elegant enough but can be upgraded for one of the following designs at a cost:
Georgian – give garden buildings a cute, cottagey style.
Full pane – contemporary style with toughened glass as standard. These let loads of light in and give cabins a summerhouse vibe.
PVC – ultimate in safety, double glazing as standard.
Fully boarded – sturdy and practical doors and windows in a workshop style.
The standard glass that comes with the entry-level Sigma is 3mm. This can be upgraded to a toughened, 4mm glass, or double glazing at a cost. This latter option comprises of a pair of 4mm panes with a 6mm airgap for incredible heat-retention and security benefits.
It’s worth noting that although these upgrades will certainly improve both the insulation and protection provided by your cabin, we have found that they’re not strictly necessary. We think the 3mm glass offered as standard is more than thick enough for almost yearlong use of the cabin.
This isn’t always the case with cabin manufacturers. We’ve seen some not include the glass in the listed price or include some plastic-based glass substitute instead. Such cost-saving measures might create greater profit margins, but they certainly do not create greater cabins.
No matter which style you opt for, you can be assured that each of the windows and doors is silicone treated, beaded internally and externally, and rebated into their frame. The resulting windows and doors provide exceptional resistance to the elements and their joiner crafting was obvious to us when we got the chance to inspect them in Leeds.
The frames of the doors and windows are of no lesser quality than the fittings themselves. These really allow the TigerSheds team to show off their skills. Not only are fittings rebated into frames for a perfect draft-free seal, they feature beautiful architraves both inside and out. Such stylistic touches are not strictly necessary but we think they help to create a real feel of quality.
In terms of security, the external double doors of The Sigma are all fitted with three-lever mortice locks as standard. Again, the company could have saved themselves a few quid by using an inferior cylinder lock but, in our experience, that’s not the TigerSheds way. In addition to this robust mortice lock, the doors are bolt locked top and bottom for extra peace-of-mind and additional security features can be including for an additional cost.
As demonstrated, there are loads of optional extras for The Sigma by TigerSheds. To further personalise the cabin, however, a load of non-listed upgrades are also available.
Since TigerSheds has the facilities to cut its own wood, the position of windows and doors can be adjusted, and partition walls can be included. Such limitless customisation simply isn’t possible with many manufacturers that outsource building materials. Those interested in such drastic alterations to The Sigma should contact the company directly to discuss the price.
In addition to the previously mentioned upgrades, flowerbeds, planters, and decking can also be included. These all feature the same exceptional craftsmanship as the walls, roof, and floor of the building itself and can be used to transform the space immediately surrounding the cabin.
One thing that we found a little frustrating with the TigerSheds service was the online sales module. Not every upgrade to the building is listed. We were forced to contact the company to see if those featured in the brochure were indeed available for The Sigma. A sales representative did confirm with us that are they are indeed available via Live Chat and that it is the sales module that is at fault.
Delivery and Installation
TigerSheds offers to deliver The Sigma free of charge. To perform this task, a team of the firm’s own professionals arrive in an 18-ton HIAB truck with a crane attachment.
Using heavy machinery to move the cabin’s larger components substantially reduces the risk of damage occurring during either transit or delivery. By contrast, some manufacturers elect to deliver their cabins by hand. We’ve seen customers complain about damages caused because of this too.
To make delivery even easier, TigerSheds offers customers a two-hour time frame of their choosing. Evidently, the firm wants the receipt of your new cabin to be as disruption-free as possible to your daily routine.
A full professional installation can also be included at an extra price. This is great for those suffering from mobility issues or the elderly. Alternatively, those who simply want TigerSheds to take responsibility for making sure the cabin goes up properly might also find this option appealing. It’s not exactly cheap though and in all honesty, seems a little overpriced given that most able-bodied folk should manage it in a matter of hours with a few friends.
The Sigma is an eye-catching cabin with a lot of “wow-factor”. That said, it doesn’t feel overly showy. It’s reverse apex roof and spacious veranda give it a classic, homely vibe and we can definitely image folk falling in love with its cute, cottagey feel.
The manufacturer has gone above and beyond the call of duty many times during the design of the cabin. Touches like the rebated purlins, draft-sealed windows, and tanalised floor bearers all highlight Tigersheds’s commitment to providing exceptional quality and, ultimately, longevity as standard.
We just loved the inclusion of the veranda and found that its construction matched up with that of the rest of the cabin perfectly. We can absolutely imagine the eventual owners of a Sigma cabin sipping a cold drink on a summer’s day out there.
All that said, the service from TigerSheds isn’t immaculate. We were let down by the lack of treatment included in the price, as well as the company’s confusing sales module, and the cost of the professional installation. Oh, and there is also that pesky but necessary beam too.
These are just minor drawbacks to an otherwise exceptional cabin though. If a veranda is a deal-breaker for you when buying your new log cabin WhatSheds highly recommends The Sigma.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
This is high quality all the way through.
LONGEVITY OF MATERIALS9/10
As long as you treat the cabin on an annual basis and do not abuse it then we feel that you could actually get a life time of use from this building.
Without forcing you to make bad compromises but giving you just the right amount of options to customise.
EASE OF INSTALLATION7/10
This is a two person job, but as long as you can both tell the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver, you will be fine.
VALUE FOR MONEY7.5/10
This is one of the best value log cabins we have seen.
Final Thoughts: Final Thoughts: We love the smooth design and are sure you will too when it is standing with pride in your garden. The quality of materials they have used all the way through the building along with the frame makes for one very solid and long lasting log cabin. If you want a log cabin that looks good and is very strong, then you will struggle to beat this one.
Prices around: £4699 to £5899
View Product on Recommended Retailers Site... View Product