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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Log Home

Log Home Cost


How Much Does a Log Home Cost?

 
low costDo-It-Yourself: $7,500-$50,000+high costPrefabricated Kits: $10,000-$100,000+
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Log homes can range from simple one- or two-room cabins to elaborate, multi-story, upscale residences and, if properly built and maintained, are energy efficient and fire resistant. The cost can often be comparable to a custom-built house.

Typical costs:

  • The least expensive approach is do-it-yourself using recycled materials, and costs will vary depending on the time devoted to the project and the resources available. Estimates range from $7,500 to $50,000 or more. Tools and personal safety gear can cost $850-$1,100 or more, according to the Great Lakes School of Log Building[1] . A homeowner in the Midwest[2] estimated spending $10,000-$15,000 for cedar beams, double-glazed windows, flooring, plumbing and other materials, or $11-$17 a square foot, with many items bought inexpensively at auction. A member of the Log Home Builders Association paid $100,000 for materials to build his luxury log home.
  • Prefabricated kits of materials for a basic log structure can range from $10,000-$100,000 or more depending on size and what's included. . These kits are generally custom-built in the company's yard and then re-assembled on the building site. B&H Cedar homes[3] sells kits for $27,800-$75,200, but these contain only the log and beam components and not items like 2x4s, plywood, windows, doors or plumbing, which can easily (and sometimes less expensively) be purchased locally. Coventry Log Homes sells kits starting at $12,000 for logs only for 576 square feet, up to $241,500 for a complete package for a 3,360-square-foot upscale home. Estimates of the average cost for labor and materials to have a log home built (either custom or from a kit) range from $90-$150 a square foot, depending on location, quality of materials and the complexity of the project, plus $35-$55 a square foot for basement or garage spaces. A 2,000-square-foot home with a basement and a two-car garage could cost $252,000-$415,000.
  • These price ranges typically do not include the cost of the land, or property improvements such as adding roads, a septic system, utility lines, drilling a well, or similar necessities.
  • LogCabinLiving.com provides a detailed worksheet to estimate building costs for a log home, outlining a typical five-month construction schedule.
Related articles: Timber-Frame Home, Architect, Building a Custom Home

What should be included:
  • It typically takes from several weeks to eight months to build a log home, depending on the size, complexity, weather, and the number and availability of workers. Set aside a large, flat space (preferably covered with gravel) for storing the logs during the construction process, so if needed they can be covered with tarps to protect them from the weather.
  • In building a log home, walls are created with horizontally stacked logs. Traditionally these are round, but some log home kits use squared-off logs. There are two basic categories of log homes: handcrafted and milled. A log cabin manufacturer/builder provides a video of the process[4] .
  • Cedar logs are naturally rot-resistant, making them better for damp climates, but cedar also usually costs more than pine logs, which are suitable for most climates.
Additional costs:
  • Some companies include shipping in the price of a log cabin kit. Depending on the distance to the building site, this can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the total cost. Some kits include items such as windows, doors, floor coverings, interior walls, stairs and other features, while basic kits do not.
  • Many regions require a building permit for a log cabin home. Costs for a permit range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
  • It's possible to build a log home without prior building experience, but training is required. Several companies offer classes, and costs can range from $800-$4,500 or more. The Log Home Builders Association offers a two-day classroom workshop for a $795 lifetime membership fee; the Great Lakes School of Log Building[5] offers a 10-day course for $945-$1,150; and Lasko School of Log Building[6] has a 12-week, building-career-oriented course for $4,450-$4,650.
  • Interior walls, wood floors, plumbing, windows, doors and other finishing touches will add to the total costs. For details see How Much Does Wood Flooring Cost, How Much Do Windows Cost, and How Much Do Doors Cost.
  • Log homes require regular maintenance, with a preservative/sealant stain applied every three to five years. The logs should be inspected annually for excessive cracking. Exterior cracks that open upward will need to be caulked as part of the regular maintenance. LogHomeLinks.com provides a Fall Maintenance Checklist[7] .
Shopping for a log home:
  • The building site can create limitations building a log cabin; purchase the land before selecting a specific design style. Whenever possible, visit model log homes to get a sense of how a specific design feels inside.
  • When buying a kit, ask how the kit will be delivered, how the logs are dried, and which building process is used. LogHomeAdvisor.com provides detailed tips[8] for what to consider when choosing a log home kit company. AboutLogHomes.com lists questions to ask before buying a kit[9] .
  • The International Log Builders' Association provides lists of handcrafted[10] and machined/milled[11] log home companies, as well as log home building technical standards[12] . Lists of companies by state are also available at LogHomeLinks.com[13]
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External Resources:
  1.  www.schooloflogbuilding.com/faq.htm
  2.  answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070817172039AAwyTIy
  3.  www.cedar-log-homes.com/log-home-kits-price.htm
  4.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=F28ddUdeopQ&feature=related
  5.  www.schooloflogbuilding.com/logcourses.htm
  6.  www.laskoschooloflogbuilding.com/Training-Program-Details.html
  7.  loghomelinks.com/articles/fall-checklist.htm
  8.  www.loghomeadvisor.com/loghome/loghomeplans.htm
  9.  www.aboutloghomes.com/kits-info.htm
  10.  www.logassociation.org/directory/builders_us.php
  11.  www.logassociation.org/directory/machined_homes.php
  12.  www.logassociation.org/
  13.  loghomelinks.com/log-homes.htm
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