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Building Your Dream Log Home

By Greg Smith Published 11/24/2009 | Real Estate

Are you the type of person who dreams of really getting back to nature, to have that little (or moderate sized) house in the woods with a babbling creek nearby? Then you may have also been imaging a log home. But what is involved in building this unique structure?

The cost of building a log home is often virtually the same as a conventional house. However, in some cases, it can be as much as 50 percent more, depending on the style and amenities. This increase can also be attributed to the additional labor costs to construct a log home in your area..

Buyers have the option of  purchasing a precut log home "kit" or package from a manufacturer, or hiring a contractor to build a custom, handcrafted log home. Transportation  costs must be factored in to the complete budget if the products are being  purchased out of state, or any distance from the building lot.

Finding a contractor that has the qualifications to build a log home is critical. Get quotes from three companies, and ask to see portfolios and references as to their background and experience. You may also want to speak to log home manufacturers for recommendations on qualified contractors.

Several components should be addressed in the price quoted from contractors. These include (but are not limited to):

  • the primary cost for the basic structure
  • all fixtures for lighting and plumbing
  • electrical materials and installation
  • interior doors and all hardware
  • drywall on all rooms   selected for finishing
  • fireplace materials and completion
  • windows - including sills and trim
  • cabinets, including countertops

Providing the general contractor duties yourself can save a significant amount of money, but it could also cost you equally in time and frustration, especially if you are not experienced in the process.

The cost of building a log home can vary, especially from state to state where the cost of living varies greatly. This is another reason why quotes should be obtained from builders familiar with the construction process of log homes. 

One very important factor is to have adequate protection from moisture via the roof design, including proper overhangs and eaves troughs. Exterior finishes to protect the wood are also crucial. As in any home with wood siding, the amount of exposure to the elements will determine the maintenance schedule. Excess sun, wind or rain may require refinishing the logs on your home more frequently.