Build a Handcrafted Log Cabin For Under $50,000 – A Log Home Guide For the Do-it-Yourselfer

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

Living in a mountain retreat, lakeside resort, or country ranch lifestyle, is continuing to grow in popularity. Studies show that people who trade their urban lifestyle for a simpler, less stressful natural setting, where they can relax more often, are also living healthier lives, and actually live longer as a result!

In recent years many of us are embracing this lifestyle as never before. But… Many of today’s custom log cabin owners have become frustrated with the cost and length of time it takes to build their home. One would think that modern methods should reflect shorter construction times, but custom log homes today, on average, do take longer to build. This is due in part to some proven methods that cannot be improved upon, going back in history to European craftsmanship, skills, and techniques still used today in the effort required to properly build a quality custom home built to last. This approach requires patience from the homeowner, but can lend itself to a beautiful dream home, with high quality of craftsmanship.

This is the standard of quality that folks today expect, but it comes with a price. You can avoid the higher cost of building a custom log cabin by doing most of the work yourself. It is possible to build a 1200 to 1500 sq. ft. Log Cabin for under $50,000 (land not included)

The right approach requires thought, creativity, and an efficient, yet patient application of skills, but can be very rewarding due to the custom nature of a handcrafted home. Comparing a log construction time frame, with that of a Custom, stick-frame home, is misleading.

Log Homes of equal square footage will always take a bit longer to build on average. A log builder with a good crew should be able to properly dry-in an average size milled D-style home in less than three months, after the log package has been delivered to the building site. A “Hybrid” (Log Accents & Stick Frame Construction), should take a little less time to dry-in. A do-it-yourselfer building a handcrafted home will take 6 to 8 months on a part-time building schedule, but you will be continuously saving a ton of money.

After dry-in is completed, it could take from 3-5 months longer to finish or “turnkey” a milled style home or a “Hybrid”. These time frames could be even longer if you are building a handcrafted log home. The handcrafted cabin is the most time consuming style of construction, but is widely accepted as the “Ultimate” in a unique one of a kind log cabin. Weather, commute to the site, suppliers, building inspectors, or other factors can change this guideline. So… prepare yourself for this journey, and you will ultimately enjoy the rewarding experience of your own log home Lifestyle, with your own design and tastes, in the home you really want and can afford to enjoy.

How much does it cost to build a log home?

With this in mind… building a log cabin does not have to cost a fortune to become reality. If you choose to do most of the work yourself, you can probably build your home for as little as $45 per sq. ft. On the other hand, if you have all the work done by a builder, and purchase upscale fixtures and features, it could cost $250 per sq. ft. or more.

Although to suggest a certain price per square foot is only a guideline/starting point, I do think that an affordable custom log home without an owners participation can be built for around $110.00 – 150.00 per sq. ft… That is, if you don’t go hog wild!

Bear in mind that depending on where you are at, you will always realize a larger home equity when you are building it yourself from scratch!

Tips for Building the Best Log Cabins

Building a log cabin may be your best idea yet. There are so many great things you can achieve with this. There are tricks and secrets that can help you come up with the very best construction for all your needs. Some of the things to consider include:

Keep logs dry

It is important to ensure that you use materials that are dry to a certain level. When the moisture content is lower, then settling is not an issue and you will not need the settling jacks. The design should also include roof overhangs that are long, good landscaping and decks need to be covered soon after construction. The overhangs need to be around 3 feet. Also, avoid sprinkler systems being too close to the completed cottage.


This is another important thing to consider. The design allows you to get the most out of the home. It also aids in any future maintenance needs as well as energy efficiency. As much as this is important, you need one that you can afford. Consider this as you make a choice. You need a design that is prudent. The overhangs should be large. In addition, the very first course needs to be some feet from the ground. The grade should slope from the house.


Everything has to be planned well, so as to ensure all factors are considered. When you make all considerations early, maintaining the home will not be that hard. If the house is exposed to the sun too much, then it may need re-finish/re-stain more often. When exposed to a lot of moisture, then you will have to deal with wood decay sooner than later. It is, therefore, necessary to plan, so as to protect the home from the elements. Moisture and sun should be kept off, by all means if you want a house that will serve you for a long time.

Choose the right manufacturer

One of the things to consider is who will make the house for you. As you are choosing, do not think of the price alone. Each company has its own quality standards as well as completeness level. It helps to know exactly what you are bargaining for by getting a very detailed quote/estimate. You should then make a decision based on this.

The company should have the highest level of integrity and they should deliver on all the promises that they make. They should use materials that are of the highest quality and they should also be able to offer you advice based on their personal experiences as well as knowledge. The information provided should also be articulate enough for you to make the most sensible decision and achieve your dream home. Reputation is very important.

The site

It is important to select the best site for the construction. As stated earlier, protecting the cabin from the elements is important. Therefore, you need to select the ideal site for the construction. Determine the direction of the sun and wind.

Always go for a home that fits your lifestyle. Make it unique as possible. This is one of the best ways in which you can define yourself.

Why Is It Worth Building A Log Cabin By Yourself?

Log cabins are probably not a common sight in your neighbourhood, nevertheless, their current popularity is undeniable. Just think about how alluring they look and how warm and cosy they are inside. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a welcoming place? There is no need for a large wooden mansion, a small cabin can also make a great home. It is still as sophisticated as a larger house, but being smaller makes it more affordable. Let us not forget the fact that it is environmental-friendly.

Common houses inconveniences

Common houses are made with a variety of materials. They typically require a lot of work by different construction professionals. Surely, if you were to try and build one on your own, it would take you a lot of time and money, if you were at all able to do it at all. There is also the risk that many things might go wrong while you are building this house and some of these issues might be hard to solve especially if you are all alone. The bottom line is that building a house is not something that even the most skilled handyman thinks about doing without the help of several other workers. Moreover, the burden that building a house puts on your financial resources is considerable as well. For many people, building or buying a house is the biggest investment they will make in their life.

Log cabin Advantages

A log cabin can have all the features you are looking for in a home. You can build it to be exactly how you have dreamed it, like the house you always wanted to live in. Moreover, wooden cabins come at a relatively low cost when compared to more common modern houses. In addition, you can save more money if you are handy, a quick learner and unafraid to tackle this construction project on your own. Even if you have never built a log cabin before, you can set aside a little bit of time to learn what you need to know before you start building. To make your life easier, you can buy your log cabin as a kit from a manufacturer. Then all you need to do is assemble it by following the provided directions. Even then, it is always a good idea to research the best practices and necessary precautions to take in order to build a strong and durable wooden home.

You are likely to spend less money building a log cabin by yourself than doing a renovation in your regular house’s kitchen, for example. Actually, you could build a log cabin, and not the cheap kind, for much less. The price might go up if you choose to build a very large log cabin. This is where the money you save on the construction crew will make a difference.

One of the things that make building a log cabin worth your while is the materials used. Trees are a great natural resource, and more importantly, they are renewable! While there are certain logs that are preferable for building wooden houses; you will not feel limited in the choices available to you. Builders on a tight budget can find inexpensive but high quality wood.

Fast building and durable structure

Because log homes last longer than any traditional houses, you will be saving money over time. In fact, a wooden house that is well maintained can last for centuries. There are log houses in Europe that are over 800 years old; there is also a wooden church in Russia, which is reported to be more than 1700 years old.

A significant aspect of log cabins is how fast you build them. You can speed up the process depending on the types of logs you are willing to use. By buying all pre-cut and drilled wood material, you will save a lot of time in the building process. By doing this, you could have your log cabin ready for you to move in and enjoy in no more than two weeks.

If you are concerned about how the weather will affect your log cabin, there is no need for worry. Wood has a natural property that helps keep the inside of the home comfortable throughout the different seasons of the year. Which means that if it’s cold outside, the wood contributes to maintaining the house warm; and if the weather is hot, the logs will keep the house cool. This will of course save you a lot of money. Indeed, heating costs will be kept at a minimal level in your log cabin, in the winter. The same principle applies to the cooling system in the summer, for there is natural ventilation occurring through the walls. Having a wooden house is a great fit for you, all year long.

Typically, a log cabin is not as big as a conventional house; which leaves your property with more free space to work on any other projects that you might have. Some people have always wanted to have a garden, for example. Think about how beautiful, relaxing and even inspiring a garden right next to your door could be! However, if you would rather keep on building, you could add a storage area, for example. Or perhaps you simply want a swimming pool for you and your family to enjoy when the weather is warm.

Ultimately, you can come up with many good reasons for building a log cabin by yourself. For some people, it’s the rustic, warming and intimate look, and for others it’s because it is practical, cheap and easy to make. There are also those who really enjoy making things with their own hands. For these people, being able to say that they built their house on their own is a good enough reason. Is it worth building a log cabin by yourself? The answer is a resounding “yes”.

Building Your Dream Log Home

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 home “kit” or package from a manufacturer, or hiring a contractor to build a custom, handcrafted 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.