How much does it cost to build a log cabin?
How much does it cost to build a log cabin?
$100 – $300 cost per square foot (installed)
$50,000 – $150,000 cost to build a small cabin (500 SF)
$200,000 – $600,000 cost to build a log home (2,000 SF)
Cost to build a log cabin home
The cost to build a log cabin is $100 to $300 per square foot, including labor and materials. Building a small log cabin costs $50,000 to $150,000 on average. Log cabin prices depend on the size, location, features, and whether you purchase a kit, prefab model, turnkey package, or custom-designed home.
|Square feet||Average cost to build|
|500||$50,000 – $150,000|
|800||$80,000 – $240,000|
|1,000||$100,000 – $300,000|
|1,200||$120,000 – $360,000|
|1,500||$150,000 – $450,000|
|2,000||$200,000 – $600,000|
|2,500||$250,000 – $750,000|
|3,000||$300,000 – $900,000|
Cost to build a small cabin
Building a small cabin costs $20,000 to $200,000 on average, not including the land. Using simple finishes and repurposing old fixtures like farm sinks and bathtubs makes the cabin look rustic and keeps costs down.
In comparison, building a tiny house on a foundation costs $33,000 to $78,000, not including the land.
|Square feet||Average cost to build|
|150||$15,000 – $45,000|
|200||$20,000 – $60,000|
|300||$30,000 – $90,000|
|400||$40,000 – $120,000|
|500||$50,000 – $150,000|
|600||$60,000 – $180,000|
|700||$70,000 – $210,000|
Log cabin prices by design
Log cabin prices vary by design type and finish level. Kits and prefab or modular cabins are cheaper than custom stick-built log homes. DIYers save even more money by completing some of the work themselves.
|Design type||Cost per SF installed||Details|
|Log cabin kit||$125 – $275||Entire kit of materials and plans, delivered and built on site as a DIY project or using a general contractor|
|Prefab / modular log home||$100 – $250||Built professionally offsite, then delivered in one or more pieces and assembled onsite.|
|Custom stick-built cabin||$150 – $400||Built on a foundation with materials using stock plans or custom-designed blueprints.|
|A-frame cabin||$100 – $300||Built onsite with materials or a prefab cabin kit.|
Log cabin kits cost
Log cabin kits cost $50 to $100 per square foot for the kit alone. The kits include all of the labeled materials and blueprints for easy assembly onsite. A skilled DIYer can usually build the cabin with help from a few professionals like electricians and plumbers.
Prefab or modular log homes prices
Prefab or modular log homes cost $100 to $250 per square foot installed. Prefab cabins are faster to build than other log cabins since they are factory-built with greater efficiency and no weather delays. The finished modules are assembled onsite in just a few days.
Custom log homes prices
Building a custom log home costs $150 to $400 per square foot, depending on the home’s size, location, and materials used. To save money on a custom log home:
Build a smaller home.
Choose a simpler design.
Use less expensive machine-cut logs from a local distributor.
Hire fewer contractors by doing some of the work yourself.
Repurpose old materials wherever possible.
A-frame log cabin cost
An A-frame house costs $100 to $300 per square foot installed. The A-shaped cabins are popular in ski areas and feature a slanted roof that extends to the ground to avoid snow and ice buildup.
Log cabin building cost calculator
Log cabin building costs vary depending on the property location and elevation, with more remote and mountainous properties having higher land development costs. Timber, logs, and hardware are typically the most expensive part of building a cabin, making up almost half of the budget.
|Design type||% breakdown||Details|
|Planning and permits||<2%||Includes drafting fees, blueprints, and local government approval and inspections required for construction on your property|
|Site prep and foundation||5%||Includes land clearing, grading, tree and stump removal, and a poured slab foundation|
|Logs and materials||40%||Log kits include the logs, log siding, and hardware, while dry-in shell packages also include roof materials, subfloor, windows, and doors.|
|Cabin assembly labor||20%||Cabin framing and roofing labor to assemble the kit or prefab cabin|
|Utilities and finishing costs||35%||
Varies depending on the package contents and finish level. May include:
Design plans cost $0.35 to $5.00 per square foot or $350 to $5,000 for a 1,000 SF cabin.
Building permit costs $500 to $2,000, depending on the property location.
Cost of logs for log home
The cost of logs for a log home depends on the building style, wood material, and log sizes used. The three main styles of log homes are:
Full scribe – Also called stacked homes, these are the most traditional and expensive, using horizontal logs cut with notches, then stacked on top of each other to form the interior and exterior walls.
Post & beam –The most popular style of cabins, post and beam construction uses round vertical log posts that carry large horizontal logs on top to form the structural frame with metal fasteners and brackets. The walls are then filled in with other materials, using fewer logs and saving money.
Timber frame – Also called square-cut or hybrid homes, timber frames are built in the same way as post and beam homes but use square logs rather than round logs, to create a flat profile with a more contemporary look.
|Cedar||More expensive than other woods, but the aromatic wood is naturally water, insect, and fungus-resistant with a low shrinkage rate, so the logs don’t need to be kiln-dried.|
|Pine||Cheaper material that needs more maintenance. Pine has a high shrinkage rate and is prone to large cracks. The pine requires kiln drying to kill insects in the wood and preservative treatments to prevent rot and insect damage.|
|Spruce||Good choice in New England, as the inexpensive wood grows well in high altitudes. Spruce has a moderate shrinkage rate and is prone to decay and fungus unless kiln-dried.|
|Oak||Hardwood is commonly used for larger log homes, oak must be kiln dried to avoid warping. White oak is resistant to decay, while red oak must be treated.|
Site prep costs for cabin building
Site prep for cabin building depends on the location and elevation of the property, the type of fill used, the building pad size, and the number of trees to remove. Site prep may include the following costs:
A land survey costs $380 to $540.
Land clearing costs $1,200 to $3,700.
Excavation costs $2.50 to $15.00 per cubic yard.
Land leveling or grading costs $0.40 to $2.00 per square foot.
Cabin construction cost
Cabin construction costs $100 to $300 per square foot on average, depending on the material and professional labor costs. Construction costs may include:
An architect costs $100 to $250 per hour to draw house plans.
A general contractor costs $50 to $150 per hour or 10% to 20% of construction costs.
A concrete foundation costs$5 to $10 per square foot installed.
House framing costs $11 to $30 per square foot.
A new roof costs $3 to $6 per square foot installed for asphalt shingles or $7 to $15 per square foot for wood shakes.
Siding installation costs $3 to $13 per square foot, on average, depending on the material.
Electrician services cost $50 to $130 per hour.
Wiring installation for new construction costs $4 to $9 per square foot.
Plumber services cost $45 to $150 per hour.
Rough-in plumbing installation costs $4.50 per square foot.
Log home finishing prices
Log home kits and prefab modular cabins may have the bulk of the interior finishes included. Log-only kits or dry-in shell packages have additional finishing costs of $35 to $110 per square foot. Costs may include:
An interior designer costs $50 to $200 per hour.
Drywall installation costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot of wall or ceiling surface area.
Insulation costs $1.00 to $4.50 per square foot installed.
HVAC systems cost $7,000 to $16,000 with ductwork.
Flooring installation costs $6 to $10 per square foot installed, depending on the material chosen.
Light fixture installation costs $70 to $300 per fixture or about $3,000 for the home.
Installing new windows costs $150 to $1,000 each for a full-frame window with a sash.
Interior doors cost $155 to $688 each for bedroom, bathroom, or closet doors.
Kitchen cabinet installation costs $3,200 to $8,500.
Kitchen countertops cost $50 to $150 per square foot installed.
Kitchen appliances cost $2,500 to $6,800 for a complete set with installation.
Sink installation costs $330 to $1,300 for each kitchen or bathroom sink installed.
Installing a driveway costs $3 to 12 per square foot.
Landscaping costs $50 to $100 per hour.
Utilities prices for a log home
Unless you plan on “roughing it” in the woods, a remote cabin needs power, water, septic, and heat. Getting utilities to vacant land costs $9,000 to $34,500 on average.
Costs for major utility services may include:
Running power costs $5 to $25 per linear foot.
Installing solar panels costs $10,600 to $26,500.
Drilling and installing a well costs $25 to $61 per foot.
Installing a septic tank system costs $3,300 to $5,000.
Installing a natural gas line costs $500 to $2,000.
Installing a propane tank costs $700 to $5,700 if natural gas is not available.
Installing a fireplace costs $1,900 to $3,300 for a traditional wood-burning fireplace or $2,300 to $4,000 for a convenient gas fireplace.
Log home prices by brand & location
Log home prices vary by brand and location, with many companies offering nationwide delivery. Log home packages are not created equal, so be sure you understand if the package includes just logs, the entire structural shell, a dry-in package, or a complete turnkey home before ordering.
|Brand||Price range per SF*||States served|
|Amish Made Cabins||$132 – $163||Free delivery in Kentucky|
|Blueridge Log Cabins||$150 – $250||Nationwide delivery|
|Conestoga Log Cabins||$90 – $167||Nationwide delivery|
|Coventry Log Homes||$118 – $168||North America, Alaska, Hawaii,Japan, Ireland, Australia|
|Deer Run Cabins (Amish built)||$99 – $129||Free delivery within 200 miles of Campbellsville, KY|
|eLoghomes||$45 – $85||Nationwide and outside the US|
|Finger Lakes Log Homes||$35 – $46||Upstate New York|
|Honest Abe Log Homes||$125 – $145||Nationwide delivery|
*Prices are for materials only; delivery and installation not included.
Are log cabins more expensive to build than traditional houses?
Many people are shocked to learn a log cabin is more expensive than the cost to build a traditional house at $100 to $200 per square foot. Cabins built on rural property have added costs for utilities, road access, and surcharges for material delivery to remote locations.
|Factors||Log cabin||Traditional home|
|Cost||$100 – $300 per square foot||$100 – $200 per square foot|
|Size||1,000 square feet average, withsizes from 150 to 4,000+ square feet||2,000 square feet average, withsizes from 600 to 4,000+ square feet|
|Materials||Logs or log siding||Wood, brick, or concrete|
|Build time||3 – 6 months for a small cabin||6 – 9+ months for an average-sized home|
|Maintenance||Routine maintenance required||Maintenance-free materials available|
|Sustainability||Environmentally friendly logs are a renewable resource, especially when using standing dead timber.||Less environmentally friendly since brick, concrete, and metal siding are not renewable resources.|
Log cabin building FAQs
Are log cabin homes worth the cost?
While log cabin homes can be more expensive to build and insure than traditional homes, they are considered worth the cost for their rustic charm, energy efficiency, and overall serenity. Additionally, log homes hold their value over time more than regular homes.
Is it cheaper to buy or build a log cabin?
It is often cheaper to buy a pre-built cabin than build one yourself, especially if you consider the time involved in building from scratch. Building a log cabin may require getting a short-term construction loan to finance the build, then converting the loan into a long-term mortgage.
How long does it take to build a log cabin?
A small log cabin can be built in 3 to 4 months or faster if built from a log cabin kit. Building a large custom log home can take 8 to 12 months.
Can you build a log cabin without a permit or planning permission?
Depending on where you live, building a small cabin under 400 square feet may not require a permit or planning permission. Larger cabins need to be inspected and pass regulations to be legal and insured. Even off-grid cabins require the proper permits from your city or county.
How long do log cabins last?
Log cabins can last 50 years or more. Building a log cabin on a strong foundation and performing regular maintenance will help your cabin last for generations.
How much maintenance does a log cabin require?
Log cabins require some maintenance, depending on the climate and the wood used. To keep your cabin in good condition for many years:
Inspect the cabin and foundation twice a year.
Replace any rotted logs and repair cracks or sinking in the foundation immediately.
Wash the exterior to remove dirt at each inspection.
Stain the logs every 3 to 4 years.
Seal or caulk the logs every 4 years or sooner if needed.
Keep the roof and gutters free of debris.
Getting estimates from log cabin builders
When looking for a log cabin builder, follow these recommendations:
Search for licensed, insured, and bonded builders with experience building log cabins.
Get 2 or 3 estimates to compare.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
View their portfolio of previous builds online.
Try to visit a recently built log cabin to see their work in person.
Select a log cabin builder that fits your budget and timeline.
Request a written contract including the timeline, payment schedule, and warranty details.
Arrange a payment schedule that avoids large down payments and requires final payment after completion.
Questions to ask
Be sure to ask your log cabin builder these important questions:
Is your business licensed, bonded, and insured?
How long have you been building log cabins?
What is included in your estimate?
What unexpected costs are likely to come up during the project?
Will you take care of the permitting process?
Is my lot suitable for a log cabin? What site prep is required?
How long will the cabin take to build?
When can you start the build?
What deposit do you require? What are your payment terms?
Do you have a list of preferred financial lenders?