Question: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Log Home?
“The question of cost is usually one of the first — if not the first — people have when they call us,” says Mark Elliott, Vice President of Coventry Log Homes, Inc. “The best thing we can tell someone is that the cost of a log home is comparable to a quality-built custom home.” Of course, that raises the question — how much does a quality-built custom home cost? While it would be great if there were a one-size-fits-all answer, the fact is, there are just too many variables at play to lay out an accurate figure.
Even a price-per-square-foot quote from a log home company isn’t a reliable way to assess projected costs. Here’s why: When you build a log home, most companies will provide the price of a log package, and what’s included in a package can vary drastically from one company to the next. For example, Coventry’s packages include windows and doors, along with porches and decks, while another company’s quotes may only cover the log shell.
Plus, the price of your log package is only the beginning of your home’s final cost. You’ll also need to add in permitting, site prep (including lot clearing, laying a foundation and building a driveway), and running utilities to the property, along with roofing, interior finishes (such as flooring, cabinetry, light fixtures and appliances), landscaping and more. Take note: you’ll have to keep labor-related costs in mind if construction fees aren’t included in your package.
Mark also notes that location can heavily impact your bottom line: “Depending on where you in the country you build, it can make a huge difference in costs. For example, you might need special materials if you’re in a fire zone or a seismic zone,” he explains.
While all these details might seem overwhelming, there is a silver lining. Because there are so many variables at play, you as the homeowner are squarely behind the wheel when it comes to your total spend. If you’re looking to get your feet wet with a basic build, you can do that. Or, you can go all out with all the bells and whistles. “Depending on the quality of finishes you choose, Coventry homes finish up around $180 to $300 per square foot,” says Mark. Citing one client who hung a $10,0000 chandler in their great room, he adds: “You can change the cost of the same 2,000-square-foot home greatly in either direction."
If we’ve got your head spinning with numbers, take heart. There are plenty of helpful tools that will take the mystery out of building a budget. For example, Coventry offers an online calculator that allows you to input the total amount you want to spend which it then uses to create an itemized projection of how much you should allot for a log package and other variables, such as site work, labor and appliances.
Mark also recommends making using of “multipliers,” which is industry speak for taking the listed retail log package price and multiplying it by three or four to get to your ultimate cost. “If you’re building somewhere like Colorado and choosing higher-end finishes, go with four,” he advises. “If not, you can start with three.”
Of course, the best way to know how much the home of your dreams will really cost is to reach out to a log home professional. Most companies, including Coventry, will be happy to walk you through the particulars (and price) of your dream home. And, once you’ve arrived at a number, you can be sure of this — log home living will be worth it.