Readers often ask how much building log homes cost. This is because they’ve seen stunning summerhouses and thought “wouldn’t that be nice?” The beauty of log home prices is that they’re a lot less expensive than you think. Building a modular home often costs premium rates, yet our strategy helps you build a cabin on a budget. We know that it sounds crazy, but our students build log homes for less than a kitchen remodel!
Below you will find how we compared two real-life examples from students who have attended the Log Home Builders Association (LHBA) class. We demonstrate how building any large or small log house is inexpensive. Students can build a home for less than buying, improving, or remodeling would cost.
Heck, most people have done some sort of remodel job on their home. They remodel to increase their equity and improve the aesthetics of the house. The sad fact is most lose money when they remodel. In fact, many of our members build their entire log home from scratch for less than the cost of remodeling just one room in an existing stick frame home.
Now let’s look at some hard numbers and real life examples. These are not professional builders. Rather they are owner-builders who took a 2 day log home building class and then built their own log homes from scratch without any kits.
Log Cabin Costs versus Home Renovations
The cost of log house construction is so inexpensive, that we compare the price of a whole log home to the renovation of one room. For example, our research shows that remodeling a kitchen costs an average of $43,862*. Larry – an LHBA student – managed to build a log cabin home for just $40,000! Larry’s home sold for approximately $390,000 – an incredible return on investment! Larry did not have a mortgage, so the money received was his with no liabilities to take care of.
Naturally, log cabin prices and plans vary, and small log cabins cost a lot less than larger log homes. To be able to compare a whole log home against one single kitchen shows you how low cost it is. Furthermore, renovating a kitchen recoups an average of only 91% of the fee. We will let you do the math on which you think is the better investment!
Larry’s success story is not unique. We can also compare the cost of building a cabin against other room renovations. When Sheri and Debbie (other students of LHBA) chose to build their stunning log cabin home, they spent $20,000. A recent valuation suggests that their home is now worth approximately $400,000! Once more, they have no mortgage so they have put themselves in a fantastic financial position.
When comparing this to the costs of renovating a bathroom (an average spend of $22,977), we see how log cabin are inexpensive if juxtaposed with a regular home. Once more, the return on investment on bathroom renovation is low. An average of 86.4% is recuperated on the initial $22,977 when you finally sell the home.
Comparing some of the more expensive log cabin homes with other household renovations, provides more money saving examples. Homeowners often decide to transform a basement; perhaps for use by a young adult or for other purposes. The average costs of transforming your basement is $51,051 and estimates show that only 90.1% of that is recuperated when sold. Whilst this percentage figure may be more than the others, it is still a loss.
In comparison with a log cabin home, former student Jim spent just $55,000 on this stunning log cabin!! There is little wonder why he has chosen to keep it and is not looking to sell. He has future plans for his son to create a home in this low cost cabin: it will be a happy home for years to come!
There are many more success stories similar to the above, that we could give you. We regularly demonstrate how log home prices compare favorably to renovating your home. Enrolling on our class helps you to learn how achievable building your own log home can be.
Building A Cheap Summerhouse
Maybe money is not the biggest factor in your domestic decisions, and the above examples mean very little to you. Even if you want to stay in your regular house, a holiday log cabin can give you an amazing place to retreat when you need a vacation. Log homes do not just suit people who are looking for an alternative lifestyle, they can be enjoyed by everyone – regardless of what and where their normal home is. In a similar way to a holiday cottage, a summerhouse provides unique experiences which you can’t have on other holiday retreats, and could even be rented out.
Building a log cabin is a meaningful project which helps you learn more about the world around you. We recommend that you start by reading our step-by-step guide on how to build a log cabin. Regardless of your domestic arrangements, participating in a log cabin project gives you an amazing hobby. Even better, the finished product adds to your portfolio of homes. Enrol with an LHBA class to learn more about how anyone (including you!) can build a log home from scratch.
We often get asked “what does a log home cost to build, compared to a stick frame home.” Here is a real life example that shows the huge savings you can experience building a log home instead of stick frame.
We recently had someone attend our 2-day log home building class, who then built both a stick frame home and a log home. Here’s an initial breakdown of the price difference between the two. It shows how you can save over $20,000 building with logs instead of traditional stick framing.
STICK FRAME COSTS
- Exterior wall framing material = $6500
- Cedar siding = $16,000
- Insulation for exterior walls = $2500
- Drywall for the interior of the exterior walls = $4500
- Painting and staining the siding and sheet rock on the exterior wall = $1500
Total cost for the exterior wall of a stick framed building: $31,000
LOG HOME COST
- Logs = $7500*
- Rebar = $275
- Chinking = $540**
Total cost for exterior wall of a Skip Style Butt and Pass log home = $8315
* He purchased his logs from a logger, some members use free logs.
** Mortar was used for chinking, rather than petrochemical based synthetic material.
That builder discovered it was $22,685 cheaper for him to build with logs instead of a stick framing. We have had members finish their homes for less money than that.
The savings didn’t stop there though, because this person also used many tips from our class to save thousands more on building his log home. He saved money on his foundation, roof system, plumbing, kitchen cabinets, et cetera. He used many of our tips on both homes, but a lot of them will only work when building a log home — so he saved money on his log home in ways that are not possible on a stick framed home.
Signing up for a class with LHBA
Your log cabin home needs to be built to the best standards possible, to help you enjoy years of domestic bliss. A class with LHBA teaches you the butt and pass method of log cabin building – a process which is the easiest, yet strongest way to construct your cabin.
The butt and pass method:
- Ensures that your cabin does not settle (when the log structure comes apart)
Does not need keyways (if there is no settling, there is no need for a keyway – the slot cut into buck doors and windows to prevent damage)
- Does not have any settling spaces (spaces filled with insulation above windows and doors to cope with settling)
- Has no screw jacks under the vertical posts
- Requires no kiln dried or seasonal logs.
In essence – by using the butt and pass method to build your log cabin – you remove the complicated, labor-filled, expensive finishing work!
The decision to build a log cabin home requires an initial investment, and the desire to embark on a long term project. However, when you compare it to the costs of buying or renovating an existing house, the financial advantages strongly outweigh any initial concerns. Sign up on an LHBA class, and we will show you how it can be done!
*All remodeling prices are from Remodeling Magazine’s 2005 report on national average costs of remodeling homes. All prices are for a mid-range remodels, nothing too shabby, and nothing too fancy. Here are the 2009-2010 data on remodel costs, prices are up.