So you want an estimate for the total Log Cabin Kit cost?
Once you have chosen which Conestoga Log Cabin kit you want to buy, you can estimate the total log cabin kit cost based on a number of factors related to your build site. Total cost can vary significantly based on the excavation needed (foundation choice, length of driveway & slope/rock), whether utilities will need to be run to the site and if you will be do some of the construction yourself. Other smaller impacts will be the quality of the finish work selections; such as flooring, appliances, fixtures, stone work, landscaping, etc.
Despite all these variables, we understand you still want a ball park estimate. Assuming a relatively simple excavation, utility work and you hiring a contractor to build, a rough estimate of the total cost for smaller cabins would be the log cabin kit cost times 2. For larger log cabins, more complex or upgraded selections the total cost estimate would be the log cabin kit cost times 2.5 or more. Both of these multiples would be lower if you are building yourself.
We often find a variety of formulas to estimate turnkey cost being used in the industry. We have chosen to provide one of the most inclusive log cabin kits in the industry to minimize the other costs associated with the project. Other companies will sell a low cost kit with limited materials, but then your build cost will be higher and require more coordination. All the log cabins we sell are manufactured at our 100,000 square foot factory so we can assure the highest quality kits and that all the parts will fit together. This reduces the time required to build your new log cabin and assures a tight fit to improve energy efficiency (learn more about our Everlast Log).
Below are two examples of log cabins we have built that fit the formulas above. These examples do not imply that your project cost will be similar, but are provided as examples only. Contact us to discuss your specific project needs.
Example 1: Brandywine
This log cabin project cost was 2 times the kit cost, which included permits, survey, excavation, utilities, concrete work, crawl space, insulation, HVAC, kitchen, appliances, bathroom fixtures, landscaping, building contractor plus our complete kit (see our log cabin kit material list).
Example 2: Windsor
This log home project cost was 2.5 times the kit cost, which included a full basement, permits, survey, excavation, utilities, concrete work, insulation, HVAC, kitchen, appliances, bathroom fixtures, landscaping, building contractor plus our complete kit (see our log home kit material list).
Understanding Log Cabin Kit Pricing
The allure of the log cabin has withstood the test of time, and if the structure’s revived popularity is any indicator, it will continue to do so long into the future. Log cabins are also more available now than ever before, with the advent of log cabin kits that make owning one an achievable dream. This article will help you make sense of the price of log cabin kits and what to consider when buying log cabins.
At its very core, the log cabin’s popularity comes from its irresistible coziness. The thick sturdiness of its walls comes completely from nature, and their natural insulating properties retain the home’s heat. The vision of a log cabin is synonymous with safety, shelter and warmth. In all its cultures and iterations, humanity has hardly conceived a more inviting abode.
It is no surprise, then, that these tried-and-true homes are becoming more popular than ever in this age of digital over-stimulation. We seek a return to simplicity, and buying a log cabin as a home or vacation property is a sure way to introduce that simplicity into our daily lives.
Luckily for us, we no longer need to saw down trees ourselves and spend long hours peeling and hoisting the logs. Conestoga Log Cabins and Homes has poured decades of log home expertise into designing, pre-fabricating and delivering log cabin kits for those who dream of a log home. Let’s look at some information on log cabin pricing, as well as how to budget and plan for purchasing one.
What Makes up the price of a home?
In 2017, a new home cost $360,900 on average, and the average size was around 2,660. So what exactly goes into the price per square foot of a house and how can you judge the value of a log cabin?
First, let’s get all the disclaimers over with; home prices vary widely depending on your location, as do labor costs. Prices of materials change due to market forces, trade changes and even the political climate. You can always find ways to make things cheaper or more expensive.
Now, onto the meat of it. Houses are made up of some essential parts; foundation, walls, roof, exterior siding, interior walls and flooring, plumbing, electrical circuitry, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, interior finishing and interior furnishings. No matter how you slice it, each of these items has a cost that doesn’t necessarily increase linearly with size. In other words, a house that’s half as big may not cost half as much – it’s likely it will cost more than half.
Smaller homes have higher costs per square foot because most parts of a house have a threshold cost. That means there is a basic starting cost to the part or system, and then an increase based on the square footage it is required to service. Take a heating and cooling system, for example: there is the design of the system, the company’s overhead costs to manufacture it and the cost of designing a system for your particular home. That makes for a threshold cost that the installation and the extra parts will then add to.
With log cabin kits, owners have the luxury of knowing the cost of materials upfront and having them delivered ready-to-build.
Other Factors to Consider
As any experienced homeowner or builder will tell you, don’t forget to account for costs other than the raw price of materials in you home. Allow room in your budget for the following factors:
There are many situations in which the work of a surveyor is required to build. Boundary lines are often not well defined, or sometimes you will be building on a new plot of land. It is important to know exactly where your house can legally be located to avoid headaches in the future…for instance, imagine being told you have to relocate an entire house. Surveyors can add several hundred to several thousand dollars onto the cost of a home, but they provide peace of mind and legal certainty.
Water, electric and septic system
Especially if you are building on raw land, you will need to consider the cost of drilling a well, running electrical cables and installing a septic system. Alternatively, you may be able to hook into an existing water and sewer system and take power from a nearby pole. Either way, there will be a cost for parts and labor. Wells cost several thousand dollars, and septic systems will cost several thousand more, so plan for these expenses ahead of time.
Do you already have land to build your cabin on? If not, you’ll need to factor in the cost of new land. Luckily, it is possible to find great deals on land if you look long and hard. When choosing property, don’t forget to account for the previously mentioned water, electric and septic systems…it can be tempting to grab up cheap land without remembering the costs of these essential utilities.
Time is money, or so they say. Construction can take awhile, so don’t plan on it being done in a snap.
A cheaper deal is not always a better deal. Paying for higher- quality materials may add to your upfront cost, but in the long term, it will save you money by saving you the cost of total replacement or expensive repairs – more on this below.
The cost of home items not included in the kit
There is one more set of extra costs to consider, this time more specifically for a log cabin kit. That is the exclusion of certain items needed inside a home. Log cabin kits are typically designed to be economically priced, but they will seldom include the following items:
Having an experienced plumber handle your house’s plumbing system is truly invaluable. That’s not only because it makes your day-to-day life more effortless, but also because water has an insidious way of ruining houses. A good plumber will make sure your water and sewage stay where they are meant to stay, and do not cause catastrophic damage to you home. They will also add several thousand dollars to the house’s cost.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air cooling. An HVAC system will be necessary in nearly all climates, and most log cabin kits do not include it in their pricing. So wherther you want radiant floor heating, a wood stove, central heating or radiators, make sure to factor the price into your budget.
Needless to say, log cabin kits will not come with furniture. Furniture will add many thousands of dollars to the cost of a home. A standard bedroom set, including a bed, dresser and bedside table, is around $1,200 and the rest of the house will need items like sofas, chairs, tables, and lamps.
Finishings like countertops, etc
Many log cabin kits do not include things like tile finishes, countertops or interior trim work. Account for these costs, as well as the cost of materials like paint and floor finishes.
Value and Price Relationship
Consumers want good value for the price – or, at the very minimum, a price that accurately reflects the value. Unfortunately, this is no how things always pan out.
To start at the low end of the spectrum, a cheap log cabin kit is not always a good deal. Often, a company will shave expenses by removing many options that are essential for a finished home to function. That means more costs for you as you go along, and more things you’ll inevitably have to buy to make it all work.
Likewise, ultra-budget log cabin kits may not use the best materials. Cheap wood that hasn’t properly cured, low-quality materials and little attention to detail can be the results. Conestoga Log Cabins and Homes actively fights against this by putting a consistent grade of quality into the materials and designs of homes.
There can be just as much unscrupulous behavior at play on the higher end of the price spectrum. There is a perception that high cost equals high value, and while it is nominally true, vendors will sometimes exploit it to prey upon consumers. Large cabin kits branded as luxurious often cut corners in similar ways, relying on cheap materials and non-environmentally friendly building practices to increase their profits. Because they are claiming a high degree of luxury, they will also mark up the price of basic items.
The takeaway here is to approach log cabin kits with a detective’s eye. Be sure to ask the company questions about what wood and materials they use, and gain some knowledge about the construction methods so you can compare and contrast. Conestoga Log Cabins and Homes guarantees high quality and green building techniques. and is available to speak about the details of kits at any time.
Turnkey: What is it, and what is included?
Turnkey cost is a ballpark figure of the full cost of a completed and livable home. It includes things like excavation, utility hookups, appliances, stonework, and more.
To get a rough idea of the turnkey cost of a log cabin kit, take the cost of the kit and multiple by 2.0-2.5 (see examples above). This figure will vary based on the amount of excavation required, if there is a basement or garage, cost of the site utilities (water, sewer, electric), complexity of the design and amount of work you’ll be doing yourself.
how To Budget for the investment
Budgeting for a home purchase is not as scary as it might sound. It really breaks down into a few simple steps. Pull our a pen and pad and take a few minutes to give these points some consideration:
- First, how much of a down payment can you afford? Your monthly expenses aside, this is a huge part of buying the house. The higher your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments and the less interest you’ll have to pay over time. This money often comes from savings, though many people will get creative and try selling a vehicle or something similar to help bulk up their down payment.
- How much take-home pay does your household bring in? If you are going into the purchase with a partner, tally up how much income you bring in each month. Make sure the number is the after-tax figure, as you don’t want to budget for income you’ll have to pay to the government later.
- Add up your monthly expenses. These are going to be things like rent, utilities, health insurance, car payments, food, gas, subscriptions, phone plans, going out to eat, shopping for clothes and more. Some of these items will be inflexible, like health insurance and utilities. But others such as food and subscriptions have some wiggle room to help you make a budget work.
- Now, make a list of expenses that will be added when you buy a home. Homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and utilities are all factors when you own a home. You may need yard work or snow plowing during certain times of the year. Because you may not have experience with these costs, try asking friends who are homeowners to see if they can give you some guidance.
- Once you become a cabin owner, what costs will disappear from your expenses? You will be spending vacations at the cabin, so money spent on hotels will go away or if living fulltime in your log home, expenses may be lower than your current residence. Look at all your expenses and figure out which ones will go away.
- Do some basic arithmetic to figure out how much you have to spend on housing. Add up all your income, and subtract the expenses you’ll have with home-ownership. Do not include those costs that went away in Step 5. However, do leave some room for emergency repairs, health crises and more to avoid an unexpected expenditure from wrecking your budget.
- The leftover figure is how much you can afford each month for your house. The Internet has no shortage of mortgage calculators, so you can start playing around with figures to determine monthly payments and total house costs. Enter the down payment you would be able to afford, plus the going interest rate, and by entering the total cost of the house, you will see what the monthly payments would be.
What to Budget for long-term
In the long term, consider how life may change. For example, will you be having children? What about pets? Do you foresee a parent ever moving in with you?
It can be hard to plan for the unknown, but the future-you will look back and thank the present-you for having budgeted for surprises. The best way to do so is to set aside a certain amount each month for savings. Not only will this put a nest egg in the bank, it will also allow you to grow into you budget as expenses add up.
Construction Loans vs. mortgages
The traditional mortgage is essentially a loan made by a bank for a person to buy a house. the person pays a down payment to secure the mortgage, then pay monthly installments with interest. The terms of a mortgage can be for different numbers of years.
Construction loans are much shorter-term than mortgages. Typically, they are paid out in stages as the home is being built. The lender gets detailed plans and a timetable for construction, and pays the builder as the log cabin is being built.
Construction loans are offered by fewer banks because some only provide loans on finished buildings. So you will want to find a lender that can provide a construction loan during the building process and will convert the loan into a mortgage when the cabin has been completed. Construction loans typically require a down payment, but do not require principle payments. Principle and interest payments only start after the loan has been converted to a mortgage.
Conestoga Log Cabins and Homes – What you get from us
We believe the log cabin, though it may be Scandinavian in origin, has become an inseparable part of the American identity. The log cabins kit is not a way to get money from the consumer, rather, it is a way to make such a special type of home affordable and achievable for more people than ever before.
Whether you are looking for a cute, tiny cabin in the woods or a larger log home, Conestoga has plenty of options for all budgets. Peruse our selection of log cabin kits or call us to help with you custom design.