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Hi, I'm new to log homes, this would be my first. I'm in the research phase, I've been planning to build a log home for about 10 years now though. I'm currently looking to build a 2,096sq ft log home. I'm really looking closely at Kuhns Bros. Aspen Hill model which would have 6X8 D white pine d-logs. Although I am also making appointments with a few other companies as well to comparison shop. I would barely be making any changes to one of Kuhns' existing floorplans. I recently met with the dealer and got a rough turn-key per square footage estimate of $180 per sq ft. I realize this is a very rough estimate, but its higher than I thought it would be. The dealer is in the process of getting me a more accurate estimate from one of their builders because I need something more definitive before I would even consider making that huge of an investment.

My question to all of you log home owners that have built new homes is now that your log home is complete, how much would you estimate your log home cost per square foot? I'm trying to find out how much this can vary? I imagine it has a lot to do with land issues and personal preferences. My tastes tend to be on the lower-end of mid-range priced amenities within the home. I'm not looking to cheap out, but I don't want luxury either, I'm in the middle. Such as wood laminate flooring, manufactured stone, tile, wood-burning stove, forced-air heating, stock cabinets, tile countertops, mid-range fixtures and appliances; an example of a few of my planned amenities.

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I have read so many log home magazines and clipped so many articles and learned a lot over the years. But experience makes all the difference, and I don't know anyone I can ask that doesn't have an "agenda" as to what is a realistic expectation for the cost of a log home. I'm trying to make it work, and I'm trying to do as much homework before I make the decision. I don't have the unlimited budget to make a mistake here, everything will count and I'm a very nervous and practical spender. This is the biggest investment I've ever made. To top it all off, it will be my first home and I'm single (one-income), so I'm treading very lightly here before I jump in! Thanks in advance for your assistance and experience!

Colleen O'Neill

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Colleen, I will ditto the 'cost of land development' advice. We invested around $90,000 in the land, well, septic and excavation costs. Those costs would have been the same if we had built a 1000 sq ft home or a 3000 sq ft home. Other things to consider are the cost of building permits in your area, any special engineering your locale may require and general labor costs in your area. One other thing to keep in mind is time.........I have been amazed at the price fluctuation for materials and labor since we broke ground in 2006. If you are self building and know that it may take several years to complete your project then you are going to be hard pressed to come up with hard numbers (unless you have a crystal ball and can predict what the economy will do - if so, can I borrow it please!! ;-) )
Some thoughts on this topic.

It has been said for years on log home forums, get your lumber and supplies locally. You can get your logs from anywhere. But, lumber, doors, windows, etc. can be found cheaper locally. Why have them shipped off to the log company and then shipped to you? How can the small log company compete in price with the large local lumber yard?

Get fixed bids - not estimates. We even got a fixed bid for our well! The builder was working with 3 properties needing wells and we all agreed to use the same driller if he quoted a fixed (and the same) number for all 3 jobs. All our subcontractors were fixed bid.

On some things we had caps. Time and materials with a maximum set at $xx,000.

Be willing to make trade-offs as you go. Select the lights for a room but have a backup plan in case things are running tight at that point. Be willing to compromise on things that can be changed later.

This helped us come in ON BUDGET for the whole project.
Colleen,
Your plans and questions are pretty much a mirror of my own experiences. Square foot, log type, and company are all similar to mine. Looks like I'm a couple steps ahead but far from finished. My 2 quotes so far are the complete log package only, and are right around $80/sq ft. One plan was complete custom, and the other was minor changes to an existing stock plan. From that I am hoping to be able to complete the site work, well, septic, driveway with cash and hopefully be able to finish the house around $130-$150/sq foot. I hope that will be possible with mid range finishing materials, but as you said, any other opinions would be greatly appreciated. Once I get a few builders on board I think I'll have a better idea. I wish I was ready to build now, I keep seeing log packages discounted up to 20% and the interest rates are rock bottom. Keep me posted and good luck!
Hello Colleen,
The advice you have been getting is excellent! I would just advise you to make sure you get a reputable builder. We thought we had one and what a big mistake! We chose another one on the companies preferred builders' list and she got us so far over budget that now we are finishing it ourselves. These are very costly mistakes that we could not afford to make and not in our budget.
We chose a Heritage Log home plan to suit our property in Western NC. The question that Heritage could not answer was "What is the total cost to build this home ,turn key on our property?" They didn't have the knowledge, as they had never seen the property ,nor can anyone answer that. There are so many variables. Our property was sloped and after starting excavation had to be blasted several times due to granite and then there was the well, we had to go down 860 ft before we reached a desirable amount needed and additional cost of 10g. Our excavation was about $100,000 that included the drive. Being ready for retirement and limited on funds this, unfortunately, has been the most stressful experience we have had, when it should have been the greatest! We are almost in the log home and hope to look back with only the good memories of doing the finishing touches. Best of luck Colleen, with your dream home. The more info you can get the better off you will be.
Sharon
I was going to share our wonderful experience as a new topic. But having read the description of Sharons experience I'd rather add to it We have a binding contract to buy a lot in Lake Lure. It is a cash deal without a financing contingency. It does have contingency's for feasiblility studies, however. This is what differentiates us from Sharon's situation. There is an area of of rock on the left rear corner of the lot. We want to put the septic drain field in this area and we will be building a furnished walk out basement. Like Sharon we dont have the financial resources to pay for these added costs. We are paying the cost for a soil engineer to conduct soil tests to determine the extent of the rock formation and if it would cause us added costs to remove. We are going to have the health department test for the water quality while they are doing the ground perk test. We are going to have a topography analysis completed by the civil engineer as they mark the land survay. Lastly, we are going to drill for drinking water before we close. If in our opinion the added costs exceed what we consider reasonable we can opt out without closing. We could easily have $10,000 invested with these tests and thats a lot of money. But it could be a lot more if we blindly purchase and build without investigating potential exposures first. This forum and sites like it have convinced me that I can't be too careful.
Gatorgene
Gene,

Those are good precautions. They may not apply to every area though. Here in CT, drilling for water is not much of concern unless the land is located near any environmental problem (did a house once near an old landfill, well was required for a building permit).

If your worried about costs for removing the rock, I would suggest talking to an excavator. A soil scientist can tell you the extent, but the excavator is the one who is going to charge the bucks to remove it.

Not sure how the health dept is going to determine the water quality from the perc test. Here in New England, a perc test is a 1' foot deep hole in the ground that shows how fast the ground will absorb the water. The well pulls the water from 400' ground springs which has been filtered by the earth, much different from the water at surface. Unless you are doing a very shallow well.
Hello, i'm new to this forum and this topic is similar to one i posted on another forum but got a completely different response. Please check it out at the link provided below if you like.
Please note that i addressed the question in the "general log homes" section where 'all' users are welcome.

Also, note that the thread was locked without a chance for any further discussion.

http://www.loghomebuilders.org/calculating-builders-rates
Yes Allen, I agree.
The informative reply's Coleen received were very helpful and that reinforces a strong community.
Knowledge and sharing is key. I didn't see that over there.

Thank you
Hi Colleen,

My husband and I just put down a deposit with Kuhns Bros. We are going to build a log home in West Jefferson area. We already bought the land. Same type of log you chose. Our turn-key quotes ( not including drive way ) is at $255000 for a 2760 SF log home with a 1050SF finished basement. I am real nervous too whether we are paying too much. Like you, we don't have any home building experience. And this is probably going to be the biggest investment in life.I can still choose another builder at this point if we know the price is too high. But the problem is we don't know. He seems to be a professional builder and did give us some good suggestion on the floor plan.

My e-mail is xiumeisaunders@aol.com and I look forward to hearing some good suggestions too from all of you. Thanks.

Tracy
Is that 2760 SF with the 1050 in the basement included or 2760+1050?

Not sure what building costs are in NC, but I couldn't even build a modular home for that price here in CT.
Randy, thanks for your reply. The 2760 SF is with 1050 SF finished basement.
You should go through a log and siding wholeseller for your items you cant get locally at a building supply store. kit companies always charge three time more for EVERTHING dont get burned by package companies!!

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