Yes. The average person can build a log home even if they have no prior building experience. The methods that we teach can be used by almost any average, healthy man or woman. We’ve even had teenagers attend our class and then go out and build a beautiful log cabin. One of them, Jerry Smith, took our class at 15 years old and built a log home on his parents property. His log home was awarded a ‘Log Home of the Month’ award from us, and it can be seen on our page featuring log homes built by our students.
Yes. We have seen beautiful log homes built for less than the cost of a trailer home, a mobile home, or even a used RV.
On the page about our log home seminar, there is a story about one of our students who built a log home (using the techniques we teach) to build a log home for only $8,000 including plumbing and electricity. That’s eight thousand, not eighty thousand!
There is another story about a family that built their log home for only $7,500 (again, seventy-five HUNDRED, not seventy-five thousand) using the same techniques. That family’s story was published in The Log Home Builders Journal.
Yes. We have had many students build a log home without a mortgage. We have had other students report that they built two log homes and sold one of them to pay off a mortgage on their current home.
If you are interested in the socio-economic potential of a log home, you might want to visit our testimonials page and read some of the stories there from students who have taken our log home class and built their own log home.
Yes. All of the tools that are required to build a log home will fit in the trunk of a car, with the possible exception of a nice long extension ladder (which isn’t actually required, but comes in awfully handy).
Most people are shocked to discover that it is possible to lift all of the logs using these simple tools and it does not require a crane. Even the ridge pole (the log that forms the peak of the roof) can be lifted with the same tools and technology.
Once you understand the technology that we teach in our two-day log home building class, you will be able to lift almost anything, not just logs, almost any height you want. Skip often jokes that he could lift his Case 350 bulldozer and set it on the roof of his house all by himself. Not only is it possible to do, but the strength of a log cabin that is built ‘correctly’ can withstand such a load.
All of the log home building tools you will need are primarily standard carpentry tools that can be bought for very little money at garage sales, flea markets, eBay and second hand stores.
This is not a complete question because there are so many variables. However, the following information might be helpful.
In THE LOG HOME BUILDER’S JOURNAL (page 22) is an article that at least partially explains how long it takes to build a log home. The article is called, ‘SUCCESS STORY,’ and it is about a married couple who took Skip’s class and then built a log home in approximately nine weeks — only working on it part time.
The names of the couple are included in the original article, but will be omitted here so these people won’t get a bunch of phone calls. In fact, let’s call this couple ‘Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.’
The article begins with a large photo of their beautiful home – including the caption:
‘John Doe, his wife Jane and son Johnny standing in front of their new ‘9-week’ owner-built log home.’
Then it continues as follows:
‘John Doe is an investment advisor. He is trained to advise people in the purchase of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and tax shelters. John and his family just finished building a new log home in the Seattle area. He was one of the many recent builders who attended the last local Association meeting. We asked John to tell us briefly how long it took them to build their home, and how much it cost.’
‘Well,’ said John, ‘we bought the land on July 12. On July 13 we cut all of the trees for our home except the rafter poles. We only needed to cut 15 trees, because we were able to get three logs form each tree. Each one of the logs was 29’ long. The average log diameter was about 17 inches. Except for the rafters, 45 logs were enough to build the entire house. After cutting the trees we spent the next week preparing the building site, then we built the foundation which took a week and a half. While we worked on the foundation we also had time to peel the logs, so when the foundation was finished we were ready to put up the log walls.’
‘In two days, the log walls were completely finished, and the ridge pole was up.’
‘It took an additional week to cut and skid the rafter poles, and another two days to nail them in place. Then it took two more days to cover the roof with 2 X 6 tongue-and-groove boards.’
‘Basically, we completed the shell of our home in nine weeks. That included nine Saturdays, four Sundays, and one to two hours of work each evening.’
‘The house is 25’ X 25’ square, with two stories, totaling 1250 square feet. We used almost the exact same construction plans that Skip Ellsworth gave us when we attended his log house building seminar. We used the butt method of log construction which is one of the methods we learned from Skip. We even did our own electrical and plumbing work, and our own septic tank and drain-field system. We found the building code people very easy to get along with. In fact, we didn’t have any problems at all with the King County Code people.’
‘We’re living in our new home now, and we’re very happy with it. We did everything the way Skip taught us and it all worked out perfectly; we even sent three friends to Skip’s seminar.’
‘The house is almost finished and we are just about ready for our final inspection. The house cost us a total of $10,000. However, $2,500 of that money was spent getting power lines put in. Technically, we have only spent about $7,500 on the house itself.’
‘Not a bad investment…’
[End of Article]
To a limited extent, the above article answers the ‘how much time’ question. However, in reality the amount of time that it takes to build a log home is generally determined by some very SPECIFIC factors.
In other words, the question would need to be asked in a very SPECIFIC way before it would have any meaning at all – as follows:
‘How long would it take a SPECIFIC person to build a SPECIFIC Scandinavian-chinkless log home – that has 5,500 square feet, a full basement, three stories, 22 corners, 12 gables, 24 interior log walls, 12 hand-made exterior doors, 22 hand-made interior doors, 28 hand-made windows, 3 hand-made rock fireplaces, a 2 X 6 tongue and groove sub-floor, a finished floor of Swedish Finished Oak, a hand-split cedar-shake roof, four stairways, 2,000 square feet of deck-space on the first floor, 800 square feet of deck-space on the second floor, 600 square feet of deck space on the third floor, a propane heating stove, 210’ of heating ducts, 3,000 square feet of wall-to-wall carpet, a 20’ X 30’ swimming pool, a rock patio around the pool, a 9’ X 12′ sauna, a three car garage, etc., etc., etc.?’
The amount of time would also be effected by such things as; what kind of tools are available, how many people are helping, how level the building site is, how many hours are spent working on the project each day, if the logs were already seasoned (or if they still need to be seasoned), etc., etc., etc.