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!