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Hi and Happy New Year,

My husband, Jack, and I are just starting on the road to owning a log home. At least, that is our dream. We have a lot in the mountains in Pennsylvania. We have sent for and received pricing quotes on log home "packages." However, before we meet with a contractor and get the rest of the story, we would love to hear from a few homeowners who have been through the process. What is the approximate finished cost (not including the lot) of an 1800 sq. ft. home? It would have to include a basement and a garage. Any information would be of enormous interest to us and most appreciated.

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Comment by pat caldwell on February 24, 2009 at 4:02pm
Thanks for the advice Jon.
Comment by Jon Dowell on February 24, 2009 at 12:28pm
I can say, as a woodworker and a log home builder, if you are willing to do alot of the work, you can build a log home economically. Lets be real, our ancestors built their 1 room log cabins with their bare hands, if you have the time, and willing to give it some blood seat and tears, now PC term is "sweat equity", you can build a 1800 sq ft log home for around 100K. Most people are not willing to do that, so I recommend what Rainbow eyes suggested, be your own contractor, do your research, and buy logs locally by the square ft. If you do so, buy not buying a kit, you will save $40 - $50 a sq ft. You can usually get the mill to notch your corners dovetails, etc, for a couple huundred bucks a corner, buy windows local salvage supply before you break ground, and build the house to fit. shop around, get kiln dry logs, and in my area we dry in log homes for $30 -$40 sq ft, your trim and finish will cost you the most. buy the T&G and a nail gun and learn how to install V Groove. buy a draw knife and learn how to peel logs, and then you can have that million dollar looking custom log home, hand peeled logs on your porch looks way better than those kit made milled logs. The details in a log home set it apart from anything else. These are personal touches that you should do yourself anyway. Thats what we get paid to do when todays busy people don't have time to do it.
Comment by pat caldwell on February 13, 2009 at 4:19pm
Clyde, Thank you for the information. Our plans are on hold for now, since our house in DE didn't sell. This will give us more time to do research and the book and report you mention will be added to our list. Again, thanks.
Comment by Western Log Home Supply on February 12, 2009 at 12:59pm
Hi Pat,

I recommend reading the book "The Complete Guide to Log Homes" before diving into the log home process. To find out more specific information about home construction prices I recommend taking a look at the RS Means Cost Data Reports. If you have any questions that I can help you with don't hesitate do give me a call at 719 547 2135. For more information about me and our company please take a look at my profile or visit our website listed below.

Best regards,

Clyde
www.westernloghomesupply.com
Comment by pat caldwell on February 8, 2009 at 6:15pm
Joe, Thanks for the comment. We will look into Whisper Creek.
Comment by joe b on February 7, 2009 at 3:37pm
Have you looked into a whisper Creek log Home? I know you can get into one of those for about $130 to $150 per square foot finished. They have a lot of great advantages such as no air and insect infiltration, and you dont have settling issues to deal with.
Comment by JANIS KUYKENDALL on February 1, 2009 at 4:48pm
We were in the same situation as you and know a little about building a home as we built our home 5 years ago (not a log home) and are now in the process of building a second home for vacation that is a log home. We went to all the companies and checked out all they have to offer and finally picked a company that is local to where we will be building. Our contractor was referred to us by the company and after getting quotes from 3 builders we decided on one. I have found that building a log home costs a bit more. We as you have the lot. 1800 sq. feet 3 bedrooms loft and 2 baths will be 194,000 to build and the package is 79,000. that is a package that is all materials included to the dry in stage. We also have a front porch and a large 23x18 screen porch. I know you can put in a kitchen for 5000 to 7000 and granite is about 2500 for a 13x10 kitchen with an island. We are doing pine floors for 2500 and carpet in the 2 bedrooms upstairs and the loft. You can save on light fixtures and bath plumbing by going to overstock.com and compare prices. Total we are spending right at $279,000 for the house. That is with an unfinished basement. Hope this helps you.
Comment by Ruben Tapanes on January 27, 2009 at 9:27am
Pat, I am a log home builder in the mountains of NC. What i suggest you do to avoid running into additional costs over your budget is to find a contractor that will give you a fixed price contract. That is the way I do it. If I go over budget it comes out of my pocket and unfortunately for me It has in a few occasions. Just make sure you go through every detail before signing a contract. (Everything must be included) Just to give you an idea, I am just in the middle of building a Daniel Boone Log Home(Timberline Model) aprox 1800sf. with mid grade features and it is costing my customers $145 a sq. ft. Turn Key.. Hope this helps
Comment by Western Log Home Supply on January 21, 2009 at 7:12pm
How Much Does a Log Cabin Cost to Build?

Western Log Home Supply
Source: The Complete Guide to Log Homes

The above question is asked by most people before any discussion ensues about log homes in general. The above question cannot be answered unless many questions are asked of the prospective home buyer. As an example, the above question is similar to one asked, “How much does a car cost?”

A basic consideration of home cost is what part of the United States are you planning to build. Will you be building in California, New York, Arkansas or North Dakota? There can be a great disparity in building costs between these various regions of the country. Costs may be higher in California than in Arkansas due to the fact that living costs may be higher in California than in Arkansas. In some states, there will be greater requirements of the builder and more approvals from various state and local agencies before a permit can be granted to build the home. Some states do not have building codes or stiff building code requirements or in terms of engineering and contractor licensing and thus costs will be lower. Building materials can also be higher in some states and in some areas of individual states than in another location. Thus, where you plan to build is a major consideration when the cost of a log home is analyzed.

Other considerations to consider are:

1) The type of log home you intend to build. Will it be a precut package, a custom hand-crafter log home or random length logs from a local sawmill. The price of these various components can vary greatly and thus it is a major variable in the cost of building a log home.

2) Do you intend to ship logs in from another part of the country so that you can get the home and the home plan that you desire. Shipping can result in extra costs, but should not be prohibitive when one considers the total cost of the home.

3) Do you plan to have a full basement, maybe completely finished, or are you going to build on a slab or crawl space. There can be a great difference in these various forms of construction.

4) People must remember that the logs are just a small portion of the costs that will be entailed when building a log home. The type of roofing that is to be used such as exposed beam, conventional 2x rafters, or a truss roof can affect the cost of the home. Do you plan to use a specialty metal roof or use regular asphalt shingles?

5) The insides of the log home can run up the cost of the finished home. For instance, a stone fire-place, with hardwood floors, custom cabinets, top of the line bathroom and kitchen fixtures, specialty lighting and electrical components, and interior wall finishing. Most people have the misguided belief that once the house is shelled in, they are near completion. This is not true! There is a lot of labor and materials that will go into the interior of the home before it is finished. It is at this stage that many people opt for the better cabinets, lighting fixtures, carpet, etc. and destroy their budget. One a budget is determined, stick to it or you will get intos a lot of trouble with the funds you have allocated to the project.

6) To get an idea if you can afford a log home, you need to check building costs in the area in which you plan to build. If nice, custom homes are being built in your area for $125 per sq. ft. then you can use this as a guide. However, if this seems feasible, then start shopping for a log package and a builder. A local builder can give you some idea what building costs are running in the area. In the end, you will have to bring a completed blueprint to a builder and tell him exactly what you want for flooring, cabinets, roofing, etc. He will also have to look at your lot to see if it will require more or less work than normal to put in a foundation, septic system, driveway, etc. As a last reminder, if the building costs are in the $125 per square foot range, that does not mean that you can the put in a deluxe bathroom, teak floors, imported crystal lighting fixtures, etc. Keep your feet on the ground when designing your home….unless your do not have financial constraints.

7) One might hear that a completed log home costs will run 2 or 3 times the price of the log package. This is not an accurate way to judge the cost of your finished log home. For instance, one package may sell for $30,000 and another of $60,000, but the less expensive package may well have fewer materials furnished. Thus you have a range of $90,000 to 180,000 for a completed home which are both the same size. Components that go into a log home (or any home for that matter) can vary greatly in price from the low end to the high end. Which end of the building spectrum that you plan to build will make a big difference in the final cost of the home.

8) To use a multiplier against the cost of the log package is like getting the price of an automobile by using a factor against the weight of the vehicle. The final, only reliable way to get a finished cost of your log home is have a builder(s) go over your prints after you have them exactly what you want in the house as to materials and components.

9) Finally always have a buffer in your budget of 5 to 10% to cover price increases or unforeseen expenses. If you are on a really tight budget, don’t just throw caution to the wind and say, “lets build it as it will work out.” It might, but if you are wrong you may or the bank may end up with a not quite completed home.

10) I have worked with people who what their “dream home” which is going to be a log home with the best of everything that can be had. They cannot get a loan to cover such a project so they eventually went to a factory built convention home because it was “less expensive.” If they had gone to a more realistic floor plan with fewer “bells and whistles”, then they could have had a log home that would have fit their budget. Be realistic when setting goals for your hew log home. Don’t design something that is completely out of your financial range. The belief that log homes are a very expensive way to build is just not true. What happens is that some people put in too many costly features that runs up the price of the home.

- About Clyde:

Clyde Cremer brings a lifetime of expertise to the design and construction of high-quality log homes.

- Master of Forestry degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin University
- Associate degree and a Certificate as a Forest Technician from Lassen College
- Charter member and served as a Director of the North American Log Builder’s Association
- Founder and director of the Connecticut Wood Producers Association.
- In 1977, he founded American Log Homes, where he still serves as president
Contact Information:
American Log Homes
869 E. Industrial Blvd.
Pueblo West, CO 81007
719 547 2135
Comment by Paddie & Andy Ferraro on January 18, 2009 at 7:38pm
Pat, we have been in our home just a year and honestly at times we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel...when we got the quote from our log builder he told us that the cost of the home finished would be double the log package...hate to tell you it was 7 x the price of the package! There are so many variables in building log. We love it but honestly, we wouldn't build again.

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