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.
- 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
- 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|
|2. Foundation: Excavation, Back Fill, Trenching, Grading|
|3. Basement: Concrete, Weeping tile & Damp-proofing|
|4. Basement Floor|
|5. Structure: Framing Materials & Labor|
|6. Doors and Windows|
|7. Roofing Material & Labor|
|8. Siding: Materials & Labor|
|9. Fascia: Soffits and Gutters|
|10. Log Work/Timber|
|15. Drywall and Wall Finish|
|16. Kitchen Cabinets & Vanities|
|17. Floor Coverings & Labor|
|18. Ceramic Tiles/Bathroom Accessories|
|20. Interior Finishing|
|22. Steps: Sidewalks & Driveway|
Cost Summary & Loan Calculation Sheet
|Preparation||Subtotals From Tables Above|
|1. Blueprints, Septic, well, driveway survey, etc.|
|2. Excavating, backfill, trenching and grading|
|3. Basement: forms, footings, concrete/preserved wood, weeping tile, damp-proofing|
|4. Basement floor: sand, concrete, & finishing labour|
|5. Framing materials: sub-floor, walls, trusses, etc.|
|6. Doors & windows|
|8. Siding and/or stucco, exterior extras|
|9. Fascia, soffits, and eavestroughing|
|10. Log work/shell/timbers|
|16. Kitchen cabinets, vanities|
|17. Floor coverings|
|18. Ceramics tiles, bathroom accessories|
|20. Interior finishing|
|21. Parging (covering foundation)|
|22. Steps, sidewalks, & driveway|
|23. Other (eg. appliances, fireplace, garage door, etc.)|
This is a typical construction timeline for a log home.
Obtain building permits
Install septic system
Install electric power
Dig & pour foundation/basement walls
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
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
Install interior doors
Install interior trim
Install kitchen cabinets and vanities
Install exterior siding on gables and dormers
Install exterior trim, soffits, porch ceilings
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!