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 (24x24 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 (24x24 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
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Footing forms  
Concrete walls  
Damp-proofing, foundation & waterproofing  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

4. Basement Floor
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Windows  
Doors including garage  
Skylights or specialty  
Installation  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

7. Roofing Material & Labor
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Roofing materials  
Installation  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

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

 

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

 

10. Log Work/Timber
 Item Your EstimateAccepted 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 EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Plumbing contract  
Service installation: gas/water  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

12. Heating
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Primary heat source  
Secondary/backup heat  
Installation or heating contract  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

13. Electrical
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Electrical contract  
Fixtures  
Service charge hook-up  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

14. Insulation
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
All wall and ceiling insulation  
Roof insulation  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

15. Drywall and Wall Finish
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Drywall and installation  
Finish materials and labor  
Other  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

16. Kitchen Cabinets & Vanities
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Materials: cabinets & vanities  
Counter-tops  
Installation  
Extras  
Appliances  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

17. Floor Coverings & Labor
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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
 ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Paint non-log walls and ceilings  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

20. Interior Finishing
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Finishing materials  
Finishing materials extras: feature walls, ceilings, etc.  
Finishing labor  
Decorating  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

21. Parging
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Material to finish basement walls  
Labor  
Miscellaneous  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

22. Steps: Sidewalks & Driveway
ItemYour EstimateAccepted Bid Or Actual Cost
Steps - front & back  
Sidewalks  
Concrete drive (placed or finished)  
Retaining wall  
Miscellaneous  
Other  
SUBTOTAL  

 

23. Other
ItemYour EstimateAccepted 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

 

PreparationSubtotals 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!