Build a Handcrafted Log Home for Under $50,000 – A Log Home DIYer’s Guide

Do you dream of owning your own log home or cabin?

Living in a mountain retreat, lakeside resort, or country ranch is becoming increasingly popular. Studies show that people who trade their urban lifestyle for a simpler, less stressful natural environment where they can relax more often also live healthier lives and, as a result, even live longer!

In recent years, many of us have embraced this lifestyle like never before. But… Many of today’s custom log home owners are frustrated by the cost and time it takes to build their home. One might think that modern methods should reflect shorter construction times, but custom log homes now take longer to build on average. This is in part due to some tried and tested methods that cannot be improved upon, dating back through history to European craftsmanship, skills and techniques that are still used today for the effort required to build a quality, bespoke home that is built to last. This approach requires patience on the part of the homeowner, but can result in a beautiful dream home with high quality craftsmanship.

This is the standard of quality people expect today, but it comes at a price. You can avoid the higher cost of building a custom log home by doing most of the work yourself. It is possible to build a 1200 to 1500 square foot log home for under $50,000 (land not included).

The right approach requires thought, creativity, and an efficient but patient application of skill, but can be very rewarding due to the individual nature of a handcrafted home. Comparing a time frame for building log to that of a custom bar frame house is misleading.

The construction of log houses with the same number of square meters always takes a little longer on average. A log builder with a good crew should be able to properly dry an average sized D-style milled house in less than three months after the block pack is delivered to the site. A “hybrid” (log accents & stick frame construction) should take a little less time to dry. A do-it-yourselfer building a handcrafted house will take 6 to 8 months on a part-time build plan, but you’ll save a lot of money consistently.

After drying is complete, it may take 3-5 more months to complete or turnkey a milled house or a “hybrid”. These periods can be even longer if you are building a handcrafted log home. The handcrafted log cabin is the most time consuming construction method, but is widely accepted as the “ultimate” in a unique log cabin. Weather, site commutes, suppliers, building inspectors or other factors may change this policy. So prepare for this journey and you will ultimately enjoy the rewarding experience of living your own log home, with your own design and taste, in the home you really want to enjoy and can afford.

How much does it cost to build a log home?

With that in mind…building a log home doesn’t have to cost a fortune to become a reality. If you choose to do most of the work yourself, you can probably build your home for as little as $45 per square foot. On the other hand, if you let a contractor do all the work and buy upscale fixtures and fittings, it could cost $250 per square foot or more.

While suggesting a specific price per square foot is only a guideline/starting point, I believe an affordable custom log home can be built without owner involvement for around $110.00 – $150.00 per square foot… That said, if you do not drive yourself crazy!

Remember that depending on where you are, you will always get greater home value if you build it yourself from the ground up!