Everyone likes to imagine about a new log home and all the trimmings, but costs are also a very important element. At times it can be difficult to get accurate cost estimates due to all of the variables found in construction. Below are our 10 most frequently asked questions for turnkey pricing.
Question: How much does a log home cost for a turnkey?
Answer: Turn key means when a new homeowner only has to move their furniture into the new home. “Turn the key and move in”.When researching turn key pricing on log homes, first you must determine which style of log home you are interested in building. The two types are Manufactured Log Homes and Handcrafted Log Homes.
Question: How much for manufactured log homes?
Answer: Currently an accurate estimate for a milled log home is approximately $150 to $170 per square foot. This price typically includes a full unfinished basement and septic.
Question: How much for handcrafted log homes?
Answer: For a handcrafted log home approximately $180 to $200 is a good estimation. A third type of log home that also deserves to be addressed is the Round Post and Beam Homes. These home utilize round handcrafted logs for the superstructure, then standard building materials to complete the home. This home is sometimes referred to as a hybrid home or hybrid wood home. An estimate for a turnkey solution for Post and Beam homes would be $200 per square foot or more, depending on finish materials.
Question: Where and when would these prices not apply?
Answer: These prices are based on average sized homes. Locations such as tourist towns or exclusive areas can be much higher. In Jackson, Wyoming, for instance, we were unable to locate a general contractor for under $350 per square foot in the spring of 2009. Big Sky, Montana is another high priced area. But for a $150-$200 per square foot is reasonable national average for full turnkey log homes.
Question: What are things that will change a price of a log home?
Answer: Areas of homes that can consume lots of funds are the kitchen and the bathrooms. With the wide varieties of everything from cabinets to flooring, light fixtures to appliances, a kitchen can be completed for $10,000 or $50,000.
A very sound idea for future homeowners to do is this: once a homeowner has an initial building contract submitted to them by the General Contractor then the homeowner should go shopping. Construction contracts typically have multiple allowances built into them for things such as interior doors, flooring, cabinets, paint, stain, lighting fixtures, and plumbing fixtures. Once the owners have the contract in hand they should go to the stores, choose the finish material they want, and write down the costs of each item they desire. Then the contract should be adjusted accordingly. For example, if the kitchen cabinet and bath vanities allowance is only $12,000 but the cabinets you choose are $18,000, then the contract allowance amounts should be adjusted accordingly.
It is a very true that, “A homeowner dictates the final turnkey price more than they realize.” So do yourself a favor and try to analyze if each allowance is in line with your personal projected costs.
Question: What about home construction costs in remote locations?
Answer: Limited access properties are definitely subject to more unpredicted costs than building where there are public utilities and paved roads right to the building site. Some of the most common cost increases are seen in the driveways, septic systems, well, and access of utilities on the job site.
Question: Electricity costs?
Answer: If no electric is in a near proximity of the home, electric costs will be substantial. It is up to the homeowner to pay to run the line to the home of the property. Most commonly electric suppliers will only run a few hundred feet above ground for free or a very small price per foot. If an electric line is to be run underground then the homeowner has to pay for all of the line extension. For one home we built in Madison County, Montana, it cost us $7,500 to bring the electric to the home.
Another popular choice is alternative energy sources such as solar or wind power. From talking with installers for these types of systems it can be a large up front cost, but very rewarding with the electric bill is only a few dollars per month.
Question: How do septic costs and well costs come into play?
Answer: Septic can range from no problem, to major headaches. Major headaches come into play where there is not enough drainage for the system. This can be the case if the ground is sheer rock with no topsoil. Sometimes holding tanks must be used instead of a septic system. Then these tanks must be pumped regularly.
Septic problems can also arise when a home site is close to a body of water or river. The ground water can be high and provide difficulty for septic drainage. Note: A bank may not lean on a home without a standard septic system.
Well depths are another unpredictable item. Well drilling is charged by the foot. The deeper the well, the more you will be charged. Also the deeper the well the more powerful of a water pump the well will require.
Question: Are driveways another major issue?
Answer: For remote locations be sure to plan a separate budget for the driveway alone. Even if you have three contractors bid on it, the safest thing to do is to budget for the highest bid plus 20% more. And don’t be surprised if that isn’t enough. Also consider installing the drive when the weather is the optimum. Mud, wetness, and rain and cost the home owner substantially.
Question: When do prices change on basements?
Answer: Basement costs are another area that is hard for the builder to accurately predict costs for. If the soil is fairly rock free, digging costs will be less than if rocks and boulders are discovered. A smart idea is to tell your excavator ahead of time that slightly adjusting the footprint of the house is allowable. Sometimes a slight shift of a few feet to one side or the other can save the homeowner the cost of heavier equipment or dynamite blasting to remove the boulder.
The most accurate way to get a good cost estimate for the home site you are considering is to have a builder visit the site with you, even before you purchase it. Locating someone who is experienced in building in similar locations can give you the most accurate cost estimate for your home.
Thanks for reading and feel free to visit us online at Cowboy Log Homes.
Building log dreams since 1997,
Mike and Sue Lemmon Cowboy Log Homes 7359 Raven Dr. Belgrade, MT 59714 406-388-3458 [break]