The Log Cabin

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Projecting Your Log Cabin Cost

How much will it cost to build your log cabin? The first step is to come up your cabin design and manufacturer. Take your time with the design and get it right up front. Changes down the road can become expensive.

The easiest way is to project the cost it to pick a log cabin company that will give you a price for a turnkey finished home. They will include wiring, plumbing, fixtures,appliances etc. They provide you with one stop shopping. It greatly simplifies the process but will it get you a fair price? You don't know unless you do your comparison shopping.

There are shortcut ways to estimate the cost. The first is apply an average cost per square foot for custom built houses in the area to the square footage of the cabin. The second is to gross up the cost of the kit price provided by the log home manufacturer by a factor of say three. Without going into further detail, I personally find neither of these methods to be sufficiently precise.

Therefore, you have to build up the cost from scratch. You start with the log cabin companies kit price and a list of the kit's contents that includes, at a minimum, your home plans and all the precut logs and log connecting hardware that you'll need. You'll need to hire a general contractor/builder to determine and acquire the remaining materials and perform and/or subcontract the construction. Get a bid from the contractor for the labor and materials. I would definitely hire a contractor with prior log cabin experience and check out some references.

There are always contingencies. For example, I will need excavation for a basement on my property. Only God knows what's ten feet under the surface. In any case I would factor in at least ten percent for unexpected costs.

Make sure you've included everything included in the turnkey price; floor coverings, painting, staining, etc. Add everything up and you've got a decent handle on your final tab. Compare it to the turnkey price as a guide. If it's substantially different, figure out why.

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