How Much Does A Log Home Cost To Build?


Cost Estimating

How much does a log home cost to build?

This is by far the most frequently asked question by prospective log home buyers. Unfortunately, it is one that is not easily answered. However, we can give you some rough figures to help you estimate your total budget. The average cost to build a log home in the U.S. is approximately *$150.00-$200.00+ per square foot turnkey. The square footage you need to be concerned with is the actual living area on the main and second floor if applicable. Basement space and garage area are not included in this estimation. You need to take the basement and garage square footage times $35.00-$55.00 approximately to arrive at a cost for construction.

Example:2,000 square foot home- (1,500 main floor) & (500 loft floor) with a full basement and two car garage.

Lower end 

 

    • 2,000 square feet times $150.00 per sq.ft. = $300,0000.
    • Full basement – 1500 square feet times $35.00 = $52,500.00.
    • Two car garage (24×24 or 576 square feet) times $35.00 = $20,160.00.
    • Total Budget =$372,660.00 Turnkey

Upper end

 

    • 2,000 square feet times $200.00 per sq.ft. = $400,0000.
    • Full basement – 1500 square feet times $55.00 = $82,500.00.
    • Two car garage (24×24 or 576 square feet) times $55.00 = $31,680.00.
    • Total Budget =$514,180.00 Turnkey

 

*** Note: covered decks can cost anywhere from $25.00 to $35.00 per square foot.

The term turnkey means that the home has been constructed to a move-in state. Turnkey cost does not include the cost for the land or any site improvements such as installation of utilities, landscaping, road building, etc..

* These figures may vary depending on your building location. For instance, in some parts of the country log homes can cost $350.00 or higher per square foot.


Log Home Cost Savings Suggestions

 

Here is a list of suggestions that can help you reduce the final cost of a log home.

1- Educate yourself! The money you think you have saved at one phase may cost you at another.

2- Do the work yourself if you have the time and knowledge. 30-40 percent of the final cost of a log home is labor.

3- Serve as your own general contractor, but keep in mind that you will need to hire and schedule all subcontractors. Also keep in mind some lenders will not approve loans unless a professional contractor is building the home or acting as builder of record.

4- When designing the home keep it simple. Corners and angles in construction mean time and money.

5- Use modest finishing materials and amenities. Carpet rather than hardwood and vinyl instead of tile.

6- Decks are expensive to build, so make sure you will need the deck space you design for the home.

7- Vinyl windows are less expensive than wood windows.

8- Design only the square footage that you need. It is better to have a smaller home with the amenities you want rather than a larger one without them.


Building Cost Estimation Worksheets

The following cost itemization sheets will help you prepare your budget, and get you thinking about the type of materials you will use in your log home. The exercise will get you thinking about the details and work-flow you must establish if you will be acing as your own general contractor. If you will be hiring a contractor, then this helps you understand the job.

 

1. Preparation: Blueprints, Survey & Start-up Expenses
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Land or lot cost including surveying and any inspection fees    
Insurance    
Designer/draftsperson/achitect & blueprint copies    
Building and soil engineers    
Percolation test    
Building permits and all other fees    
Temporary electricity    
Temporary water service    
Temporary telephone service    
Temporary toilet service    
Septic system    
Well    
Temporary living quarters    
Taxes    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL   W

 

 

2. Foundation: Excavation, Back Fill, Trenching, Grading
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Excavation    
Back fill    
Bring site to rough grade    
Bring site to finish grade    
Landscaping    
Road work for suitable access    
Supply all gravel needs    
Trenching    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

3. Basement: Concrete, Weeping tile & Damp-proofing
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Footing forms    
Concrete walls    
Damp-proofing, foundation & waterproofing    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

4. Basement Floor
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Sand gravel    
Placing sand, leveling, tamping for basement floor    
Damp-proofing, foundation & waterproofing    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

5. Structure: Framing Materials & Labor
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Main sub floor/second floor    
Walls    
Roof trusses if not log    
Stair material and/or pre-manufactured stairs    
Materials for garage    
Basement framing material    
Decks & railings    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

6. Doors and Windows
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Windows    
Doors including garage    
Skylights or specialty    
Installation    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

7. Roofing Material & Labor
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Roofing materials    
Installation    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

8. Siding: Materials & Labor
 Item  Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Siding materials    
Finish (stain/stucco/masonry/work)    
Labor    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

9. Fascia: Soffits and Gutters
  Item   Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Soffit and fascia material    
Gutters and downspouts    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

10. Log Work/Timber
 Item  Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Log shell    
Trucking to site    
Any duties/taxes    
Reassembly    
Wood finish/fungicide/mildewicide    
Crane    
Staining/wood preservative    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL   W

 

11. Plumbing
 Item  Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Plumbing contract    
Service installation: gas/water    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

12. Heating
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Primary heat source    
Secondary/backup heat    
Installation or heating contract    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

13. Electrical
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Electrical contract    
Fixtures    
Service charge hook-up    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

14. Insulation
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
All wall and ceiling insulation    
Roof insulation    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

15. Drywall and Wall Finish
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Drywall and installation    
Finish materials and labor    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

16. Kitchen Cabinets & Vanities
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Materials: cabinets & vanities    
Counter-tops    
Installation    
Extras    
Appliances    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

17. Floor Coverings & Labor
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Carpet & linoleum    
Floor tiles    
Wood flooring    
Installation    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

18. Ceramic Tiles/Bathroom Accessories
 Item  Your Estimate  Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Mirrors/medicine cabinet    
Tub/sink/toilet/faucets etc…    
Accessories; towels bars, paper roller, etc    
Other    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

19. Painting
 Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Paint non-log walls and ceilings    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

20. Interior Finishing
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Finishing materials    
Finishing materials extras: feature walls, ceilings, etc.    
Finishing labor    
Decorating    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

21. Parging
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Material to finish basement walls    
Labor    
Miscellaneous    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

22. Steps: Sidewalks & Driveway
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Steps – front & back    
Sidewalks    
Concrete drive (placed or finished)    
Retaining wall    
Miscellaneous    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 

23. Other
Item Your Estimate Accepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Damage deposit to developer    
Financing land ( accrued interest)    
Mortgage application & appraisal    
Rentals    
Heat & power    
Appliances    
Fireplaces; mantel, brick, hearth or other materials & labor    
Built-in vacuum systems    
Burglar alarm system    
Trim, wallpaper    
Curtains/blinds    
Miscellaneous extras    
Workers compensation (if trades not covered)    
Delivery and shipping costs    
Tools    
Fence/patio/decks    
Garden/landscaping    
Other    
SUBTOTAL    

 


 Cost Summary & Loan Calculation Sheet

 

Preparation Subtotals From Tables Above
1. Blueprints, Septic, well, driveway survey, etc.  
Foundation  
2. Excavating, backfill, trenching and grading  
3. Basement: forms, footings, concrete/preserved wood, weeping tile, damp-proofing  
4. Basement floor: sand, concrete, & finishing labour  
Structure  
5. Framing materials: sub-floor, walls, trusses, etc.  
6. Doors & windows  
7. Roofing   
8. Siding and/or stucco, exterior extras  
9. Fascia, soffits, and eavestroughing   
10. Log work/shell/timbers  
Mechanical  
11. Plumbing   
12. Heating   
13. Electrical  
Finishing  
14. Insulation  
15. Drywall  
16. Kitchen cabinets, vanities  
17. Floor coverings  
18. Ceramics tiles, bathroom accessories  
19. Painting  
20. Interior finishing  
21. Parging (covering foundation)  
22. Steps, sidewalks, & driveway  
23. Other (eg. appliances, fireplace, garage door, etc.)  
TOTAL $  

 


Construction Schedule

This is a typical construction timeline for a log home.

Month 1
Obtain building permits
Prepare site
Clear road
Drill Well
Install septic system
Install electric power
Dig & pour foundation/basement walls

Month 2
Build subfloor
Deliver & erect log package
Select kitchen cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures, finish flooring materials, and other amenities
Build second floor and roof
Frame interior walls
Frame gable ends and dormers
Install exterior doors and windows

Month 3
HVAC, electrical & plumbing rough-ins
Insulate roof, gable ends and dormers
Hang drywall and/or tongue and groove
Install metal roof or shingles and fascias
Begin preparation of log walls for staining

Month 4
Install interior doors
Install interior trim
Paint/stain interior
Install kitchen cabinets and vanities
Install exterior siding on gables and dormers
Install exterior trim, soffits, porch ceilings
Stain exterior

Month 5
Lay tile, vinyl, hardwood or carpet flooring
Complete HVAC installation
Install plumbing and electrical fixtures
Call for final occupancy inspections
Move in and start planning your open house!