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Old March 6, 2010, 10:04 PM   #1
ajhcmaj
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Cost to buy a log cabin kit and finish out

I wanted to know if anyone know first hand or has some information because maybe a family member or friend did this.

Does anyone know the all in cost (cost per sq ft) for a log cabin kit, installation, and finish out. I know the more elaborate finish out will increase cost, but just looking for rough average.

I see like a 1500 sq ft kit for like 60k, but wondering what it might cost to finish out the plumbing, electrical, permits, having someone to erect it, etc.


Just rough all in costs per sq ft is appreciated.


Thanks
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Old March 6, 2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ajhcmaj View Post
I wanted to know if anyone know first hand or has some information because maybe a family member or friend did this.

Does anyone know the all in cost (cost per sq ft) for a log cabin kit, installation, and finish out. I know the more elaborate finish out will increase cost, but just looking for rough average.

I see like a 1500 sq ft kit for like 60k, but wondering what it might cost to finish out the plumbing, electrical, permits, having someone to erect it, etc.


Just rough all in costs per sq ft is appreciated.


Thanks
It's been a while since I looked into this, but about 7 years ago, I had this same question. So I emailed a local log home company and asked. I was told that the total finished cost tended to be about 4 times the cost of the log package. Thus, if the log package for an 1500sf cabin shell is $60K, expect to spend another $180K to finish. It seemed absurdly high to me, but I was just "kicking tires" so I didn't pursue it further.
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Old March 6, 2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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I just dug up the email response I received:

---------------------------------------------------
Greetings from Precision Craft Log Structures! My name is Todd Domeier and I am a Project Manager here at the company. I understand you have some interest in the Yellowstone. The 8" log package for that plan begins at $41,822. The 10" log package begins at $51,477, and the 12" log package begins at $58,709. Usually to determine what the final cost would be, you would multiply the log package by four.
----------------------------------------------------

And here's the floor plan that info pertains to:

http://www.precisioncraft.com/loghom...llowstone.html


Apparently, prices have increased dramatically, if the above rule of thumb still applies.
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Last edited by Elan; March 6, 2010 at 10:25 PM.
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Old March 6, 2010, 10:24 PM   #4
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wow

cant believe it was that much either.. .figured maybe 2x's. know this isnt 100% true, but just thought you stack the logs on, put some plumbing and electrical in, and you are good to go. Know it is more complex, just initially thought it would be easier then a regular home.
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Old March 6, 2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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cant believe it was that much either.. .figured maybe 2x's. know this isnt 100% true, but just thought you stack the logs on, put some plumbing and electrical in, and you are good to go. Know it is more complex, just initially thought it would be easier then a regular home.
It's pretty complex. I have a good friend who built a log cabin. The sub-structure including the jacks (needed to address shrinkage), etc, is pretty involved. Also, I think that the interior finish of the exterior walls can get quite expensive, depending on the desired look.

That web site I gave has estimated turnkey prices for their models. Just make sure you're sitting down before you have a look.
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Old March 7, 2010, 11:35 AM   #6
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Find out the costs from tradesmen

Asking the log home guy to give you a figure might not be such a good idea. Although with a '4 times the log price' he's probably scaring more people off than he realizes. It could be less in your area - or more.

Much of the plumbing and electrical will be determined by how many and how much. And WHERE these things go. My sister-in-law and her husband-to-be (still married - 20 years) built a log home and still live in it. It's beautiful but what a pain to build and 'let settle' for several years after it was built.

They bought the home (shell) from some company. It came on two semi-tractor trailers and one guy who was going to be the supervisor on putting it together. This company made the log home at their factory (cut the logs, put them together and trimmed 'em to fit each other based on the plan that my s-i-l approved) then disassembled it right on to the trucks (top of the house was on the bottom of the load). When the trucks got to the site (basement had already been built) the logs were lifted off with a crane (hired by my s-i-l) in reverse order. LOTS of family and friends were the workers. The first level was the hardest and the supervisor (s-i-l paid additional to house him at a local hotel for several days) because it had to be just right so the other logs would fit perfectly. They put about 10 nails in this bottom layer to hold it in place and then each log was put on top - without any nails - until all the logs were used. I won't mention the special tow truck that cost several hundred dollars to pull one of the semis out of the mud and into place (did I say it was raining cats and dogs half-way through?). 45,000 lbs of logs and truck. It was amazing to watch.

Anyway, once the logs were there (took just one day - even with the rain), the roof was put on by Amish workers - shingles too. Adjustments had to be made for settling - for the roof, windows, doors, etc. This is something the log home company should advise you of (with some specific numbers if possible). You should own a chainsaw and have it handy for various 'sculpting' so your windows don't break and the doors still operate. When the windows and doors were put in, a few includes above each was left open for settling purposes. The area was stuffed with insulation (something that gives) and periodically taken out as the logs because more settled and dried out. They used the chainsaw to trim if the calculations were a little off. One time they weren't paying attention and a window cracked. After about 5 years, they were able to finally 'finish' trim around windows and doors.

You really need to plan ahead for the electric and plumbing - and if you do it right (and don't change it) - it will be 'easy' because you can make the necessary runs and holes as you lay the logs (but you still have to account for settling!) if any of those things will be in the outside walls or any log walls you use in the interior. You can also put much of the electrical in the baseboards if you go with baseboards.

So planning is the real key here. If you do it right, the cost of plumbing and electrifying your log home should not be much different than a 'regular' home.

The biggest issue, as I've said, is settling. If you don't plan for that or keep on top of it you can get squished. Interior walls - same thing (couldn't attach at top at the beginning - sometimes had to cut off the top including drywall). Cabinets in the kitchen - same thing (don't attach them to different logs).

So get some numbers from some tradesmen in your area for the work that will need to be done. Tell them exactly what you are doing (building a log home from such-n-such a company).

Different log home construction methods will have different degrees of settling. I think the average settling in my s-i-l's house was about 8".

Good luck!
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Old March 7, 2010, 11:56 AM   #7
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The numbers I was quoting were turnkey. Obviously, if one does some or all of the construction/finishing work themselves, the cost could drop dramatically. Also, the cost will be very location dependent due to material delivery costs.

The site I gave shows the turnkey price of the plan I listed (1500 sf prow cabin) to be $440K, or about $300/sf. I have no idea how much the log package prices have increased in the past 7 years.
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Old March 7, 2010, 12:18 PM   #8
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The numbers I was quoting were turnkey. Obviously, if one does some or all of the construction/finishing work themselves, the cost could drop dramatically. Also, the cost will be very location dependent due to material delivery costs.

The site I gave shows the turnkey price of the plan I listed (1500 sf prow cabin) to be $440K, or about $300/sf. I have no idea how much the log package prices have increased in the past 7 years.
You may want to look into a resale log home if you want one. You could purchase it at a good price in this market. Your logs must be ceder. A friend of mine built one and every year the home receives a coat of sealer.
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Old March 7, 2010, 03:09 PM   #9
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Your logs must be ceder.
Not sure why you think cedar is the only way to go. Mine was built from lodgepole pine. No problems in the 35 years they've been up.

Can't really help you with costs. Not only would my estimates be 35 years old, but I have no idea what mine cost altogether. Lots of help from my Dad and his friends. Finally hired help for about the last month when my construction loans were running out.

Mine was also 1500 sf plus a basement and my first mortgate was $30,000. (I owned the land.) Can't even buy a new van for that any more.

Sheila
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Old March 7, 2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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When I was pricing log kits 20 years ago the finished price was $100 per square ft. Solid wood is EXPENSIVE! Stick built is high enough. My buddy planned on a log kit, and decided on 2X6 stick built exterior walls with log siding. The advantage is the interior walls are drywall, and much more friendly to decorate. Once you go full log, the view never changes. Plus, the walls are much easier to fish wiring and make modifications down the road. With all the changes in home entertainment and computer systems, I'm glad I don't have solid walls. I was also turned off by the number of settlement issues people had with full log kits. FWIW, I was going with the Kuhns Brothers kit - I was very impressed with them, and I suggest checking them out just for the comparison.
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Old March 8, 2010, 01:30 AM   #11
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Not sure why you think cedar is the only way to go. Mine was built from lodgepole pine. No problems in the 35 years they've been up.

Can't really help you with costs. Not only would my estimates be 35 years old, but I have no idea what mine cost altogether. Lots of help from my Dad and his friends. Finally hired help for about the last month when my construction loans were running out.

Mine was also 1500 sf plus a basement and my first mortgate was $30,000. (I owned the land.) Can't even buy a new van for that any more.

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One word why you build with ceder logs. TERMITS.
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Old March 8, 2010, 01:52 AM   #12
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One word why you build with ceder logs. TERMITS.
I know, left the e off Termites. Sometimes, the fingers are faster then the brain.
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Old March 8, 2010, 06:41 AM   #13
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I can't help you with costs but I remember my parents looking into building a log cabin in the early 80's and being shocked at how much more expensive it was to build a log cabin then a convential home.
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Old March 12, 2010, 08:16 AM   #14
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My experience (may not help on sq. ft. costs)

I am sure my experience is not the norm but here goes:
We owned about 100 A. that was my grandfatherís tobacco farm. I had an old farmhouse at the site to live in ( in addition to our real home about 170 mi. away) during construction which may have saved quite a bit. We had talked about a log home or a conventional second home for about 25 years and becoming familiar with the maintenance and other issues mentioned above had just about decided to go the stick built route. Then ebay changed our lives. A Midwestern woman had put a deposit down with a NC log home company that refused to credit a refund to her estate when she died before construction could begin. They would credit the deposit toward another builder so the deposit was put up for auction on ebay. I called my wife at work and she agreed we should put in a low-ball offer and I guess because few are comfortable buying a home (or a pile of logs) on ebay WE WON. After about six months dealing with lawyers for the estate and the log company we finally ageerd to pay the estate and just about double that amount to the log company to buy a larger floor plan (from about 2000 sq. ft. to almost 4000 sq ft.,1400 ft of the increase being a full size concrete wall basement) and to cover kit price increasers .At that stage the completed price worked out to about 10 times the log kit price. But this is what we ended up with:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/log_cabin

The unfinished basement and land clearing added about $30.000 including four 6 in X 12 in. X 50 ft, steel beams. The floor over the basement to put the logs on about $15.000. Log construction including labor and materials for metal roof , 2nd floor floor, interior walls, windows, doors, stairs, porch and 2 decks , floor treatments ( hardwood, slate, and tile), massive amounts of custom (mostly cedar) interior trim, and kitchen cabinets. almost $100,000.00. Kitchen appliances and granite, $5,000.00. High SEER heat pumps and back up furnace in 3 zones $25,000.00. Plumbing including tubs and sinks $15,000.00. Electricity is somewhat high because of having to deal with logs and a back-up generator $20,000.00. Well and septic system, $10,000.00. Road improvements (.5 mi.) $5,000.00. Furniture and wall hangings (almost Ĺ at auction) $20,000.00 (We are continuing to upgrade stuff).Rough total over log cost $245,000.00 Plus a lot of my labor and a lot of driving. I am not a finish carpenter but I have decided to call any of my carpentry errors rustic. Guess you could add farm pickup, tractor, and big mower.
In spite of this it appraised higher than my investment in a depressed housing market.
I donít know if I would have started if I had known how long completion would take (1.5-2 years) but it is a great getaway and grandkids have already claimed rooms and seem to enjoy the room both inside and outside (city kids) I would be happy to answer any additional questions but again I am not sure how typical my project is.
Yours, Jim
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Old March 16, 2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Survey

Forgot about $3,500.00 for survey to cut cabin off the 100 A. Seems extra land only complicated apprasial. Yours Jim
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:27 AM   #16
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But this is what we ended up with:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/log_cabin
Yours, Jim
I'll be right over. Lovely home!
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Old June 21, 2013, 07:27 AM   #17
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We built a Katahdin Cedar Log home in Maine 3 years ago. From start to finish (total turnkey) it took about 4 months. It is about 1700-1800 sf including a walk out finished basement and would say it ended up at about $200 sf. We did NOTHING - the builder did everything, stain, inside and out sealing - again we did NOTHING so we paid for it - happily! We love it. I really think the main thing is the builder!! Get a good one. Here is a pic.

You need to go over to loghome.com and check it out - go to the forums and search for my page - judy peacock - and see more pictures of the house and all the animals we see on our trail cameras we have set up all over the woods. We love getting up there (this is a 2nd home) and checking the cameras to see what we see. Here is a Black Bear we caught on video - turn up the volume!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC1SoDdHR70
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:00 AM   #18
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Years ago (1970's) a guy I worked with bought a big log home package As I recall it was over 2500 sq ft. . The prices he got from contractors to do the work plus the cost of the package was about the same as a regular stick built home....I assume things wouldnt be much different today

But he built it himself. He and all of his friends. Every weekend was a party at the building site. He even went as far as buying a used back-hoe and did the site work himself. When the work was done he sold the back hoe at a profit.

It was legal at the time (I dont know the rules where you are now) to do everything, incl, plumbing and electric yourself, as long as you did it to code and under permit and had it inspected.

So hire the work done and pay as if it was any other type of construction...Do it yourself and save big bucks. (and also learn who your real friends are)
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