How Much Does It Cost To Build A Log Cabin? Full Breakdown

Planning to build your own log cabin can give you a feel-good factor. But, don’t let the uncertainty around the cost of building a cabin put you off!

If you haven’t yet started planning, then make sure to read beginner mistakes that cause log cabin projects to fail.

Then take a look at log home plans to make sure you have an idea of what you want to achieve.

From the cost of foundations and groundwork to windows and doors to insulation and roofing, let me break down the costs of log cabin homes for you.

This post will detail my cabin build costs and the average cabin construction costs.

Many of you might know cabin construction techniques, but this post will reveal all of the materials and costs incurred in building a cabin home.

So keep reading if you want to understand the major costs of constructing your own log cabin home.

Site Preparation and Foundations

Clearing a construction site
Once you’ve decided upon the plot for your cabin, the first place to start is preparing the site for your cabins foundation.

This happens in three main stages:

  1. Clearing rocks and vegetation.
  2. Removing turf and topsoil.
  3. Levelling the site and staking the cabins perimeter.

Top-tip: Clear 5FT extra each way – if your cabin is 20FT by 15FT then your site preparation area would be 30FT by 25FT.

What you are trying to achieve is a clean and level site to work from for the installation of your foundation.

Depending upon your cabin’s site, you may be able to relocate all of the debris to another area (if the site is large enough). If you can’t, then you will have to pay for the debris to be removed from the site – this is the option we took.

Average Cost
The typical cost is anywhere from $1-43 per square foot of site cleared. The variance is so great because you may not have the ideal, level, and relatively clear site.

The cost of demolishing and clearing old structures, leveling uneven or hilly land, and removing trees add extra expense to the task.

Actual Cost

Our site was an easy one, which cost $4,500 to be cleared. This included the contractor removing all excess rubble, turf, and vegetation off-site.

Once the site has been leveled you can then proceed to lay your cabin’s footings and foundation.

There are lots of different construction techniques for foundations that are applicable for log cabins such as concrete pads, piles, and plinths.

We selected a concrete pad for our cabin based on the recommendations of a structural engineer and geographic surveyor. The typical cost for the professional’s advice is around $500 each.

A pad required less excavation work to extract cavities for the foundation, hence there was less waste coming off-site.

If your soil type is peat or clay then foundations can require substantial piles to get beneath the damp levels, which is expensive.

Actual Cost

Our cabins foundation cost $4,600, which included the rebar, concrete and hard-core for the cabin’s base, as well as the engineer and surveyor.

Total cost for site preparation and foundations: $9,100.

Drainage, Gas, Water and Electricity (Utilities and Services)

Installing the electrics for your cabin

Utilities and services are always a hot topic during cabin construction!

Installing utilities and services for your cabin has the potential to radically alter the total finished cost, depending upon your preference of on-grid or off-grid.

If you are looking to go off-grid and use a self-sustainable power supply, such as wind turbines and/or solar panels, then don’t forget the costs of battery banks to store the power.

I would recommend reading about the full costs of off-grid utilities to get a better understanding.

Continuing the cost breakdown for utilities and services, Mike Holmes, a log cabin builder in Montana, says:

$3,000 to $8,000 is a good estimate for the new installation of utilities and services for a cabin.

My cabin’s utility and services costs were:

  1. Plumbing $1,200
  2. Electrical $3,600
  3. Water $900

If you have purchased an old cabin, which requires restoration, or a piece of land with previous occupancy, then speak to the previous owner. There is a chance utilities and services may already be installed.

If the utilities are already installed then you will just be required to pay a service connection fee – this will be around $500, depending on which municipality you’re in.

Installing utilities and services requires lots of groundwork, typically trenches to lay the piping, so it’s worth getting a builder and surveyor on-site early to assess the work required.

Installing the utilities and services early will prevent you from having to re-work foundations and re-hire expensive plant machinery to dig trenches which could have been done during the start of your cabin build.

Actual Cost

Our cabins services cost $5,700, which included the plumbing ($1,200), electrics ($3,600) and water ($900).

Timber and Roof

Log cabin timber

Timber and logs can quickly become the most expensive part of your cabin build.

For some lucky folks, they will have a natural supply to use. For us, we purchased road-side soft timber logs in lengths of 32FT for just over $2,400 – most of the logs were 14” in girth or greater.

Most logs are priced between $0.2 to $1 per board foot. How many board feet are in a log can be determined using the Doyle Scale.

Once we purchased the logs we got them hauled to a local sawmill to prepare and cut them to size. Then another expense to get the logs hauled back to our camp!

Top-tip: Try to use logs with a girth greater than 12” – this will save you money during insulation.

Weather proofing your logs is essential; there are lots of techniques for achieving this – I decided to use Permachink. If you aren’t familiar with caulking a log cabin, then look at our tutorial.

The Permachink cost $500 and then an additional $550 for foam backers.

I then used Permagard to treat the timber logs once they were delivered to site. This was very time consuming and cost around $300, but it gave me peace of mind that the timber had been treated properly.

Once the cabins structure is built, you will then need to decide upon your roof. Choosing the right roof and color can really finish the cabin to a high standard and make it look great.

Roofing comes as thatch, shingles (felt or cedar), tiles, EPDM rubber, slate or tin.

I decided to use a tin roof because it was the perfect color, durable, and fast to build with.

I used 2m x 950mm Bitumen Corrugated Sheets which cost just under $30 per sheet.

Actual Cost

Our cabins timber and roof bill was $6,600. This includes purchasing, preparing, cutting and constructing the logs.


Log cabin insulation

When it comes to insulating a cabin there are almost as many choices as the timber you use.

I would suggest that you insulate the floor and roof as a minimum for your log home.

Did you know that 65% to 70% of all your log cabins heat is lost through the floor or roof?

Top-tip: If you are using smaller girth logs (less than 12”) with a single skin, then I would recommend you look to install a dry-wall interior for better insulation.

Alternatively you can create two skins, and in the cavity between the double-wall you can use insulation or wool to help insulate the cabin.

For those of you new to insulation, watch Steve Maxwell’s fantastic beginner guide:

YouTube video

Insulation works in two ways:

  1. Keeping you warm in the harsh winters
  2. Keeping you cool in the hot summers

Insulating your cabin is a must if you are planning to use the cabin all year round.

After our concrete pad was laid I used a damp proof membrane and then used 50mm Kingspan floor insulation. I purchased the Kingspan from my local builder’s yard.

Kingspan or Celotex are both reliable brands of PIR insulation board, very good for floor insulation.

For the roof’s insulation you can chose between two options:

  1. Insulating the inside of your roof
  2. Insulating the outside of your roof

Typically, insulating the inside of your roof is much faster and cheaper than the outside .

We decided to insulate the cabin from the inside and used 100mm Kingspan PIR board.

Actual Cost
As the waterproof membrane was purchased during the foundation stage, all of the insulation (50mm and 100mm kingspan) cost a little over $2,000 in total.

Interior, Windows, Doors and Fixings

Inside a log cabin

Let’s talk interior.

By this point your log cabin will be ready to receive windows, doors and interior fixings to waterproof the cabin.


You will have already used Permachink to seal the logs and a waterproof membrane for the foundation slab to prevent damp rising.

When it comes to the floor, we used pre-treated tongue and groove finish. The tongue and groove was nailed into the floor joists, which were installed during the foundation and insulation phase.

As we had used thick logs we didn’t want to cover them, so, we left the inside of our cabin exposed – apart from the floor and ceiling.

Actual Cost

The total cost of all the tongue and groove for the flooring was $1,290.

Moving onto the doors and windows.

At this point in our cabin build, our cash supplies were dwindling. We decided to up-cycle the windows and doors from craigslist.

We have 4 double windows, which are all double-glazed. In addition, the door has two glass panes, which are double-glazed too.

You can spend lots more on doors and windows. Do some research into r-values and u-values and their thermal properties!

Once you have installed the doors and windows your cabin will now be completely waterproof.

Think of it now as an empty canvas!

Actual Cost

The total cost of all the windows and doors was $500.

Total cost for Interior, Windows, Doors and Fixings was $1,790.


Building a log cabin yourself was one of the reasons we suggested why you should live in a log cabin.

So in our opinion, labour should cost nothing but hard work and sweat!

If you aren’t able to, or, are considering hiring professionals to build you a cabin, this can increase your build cost dramatically.

If you hire external labour, such as builders, architects and project managers, it will be the single most expensive cost:

Project manager – 5%-10% of total cost, realistically from $5,000 to $50,000.
Builder/carpenter – 15-20% of total cost, so anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000.

Actual Cost

The total cost of all the labour for my log cabin was $5,500.

I did most of the construction – apart from site clearance, structural engineering and surveyor activities.

Tools and Equipment

Tools for building a log cabin

Having the right tools to build your log cabin will make your construction process much easier and faster.

When purchasing tools for my cabin; I made the decision that I was going to purchase high quality tools which would last for years.

Since then, I have used the tools on multiple projects.

You need to decide if you’re looking for cheaper tools, for just this cabin, or, if you’re going to spend more to purchase higher quality tools that will last.

Each tool will have a variety of options from size to brand, so make sure you carefully consider each purchase.

I have added the specification next to some of my more expensive tools.

  • Chainsaw – (Stihl MS 230 Duro) ≈ $400
  • Sawbuck (i.e. sawhorse)
  • Axe (Gransfors Bruks) – 1.6KG ≈ $300
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Cordless drill/screwdriver (Makita) ≈ $500
  • Handtools:
    • Cant Hook – 42” used to handle the timber
    • Hammer – 18oz
    • Ripsaw – 22” long and 5.5tpi
    • Tape measure – 50FT
    • Level – 40”
    • Pliers
    • Scribe
    • Steel square
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Spikes and string

Top-tip: Being able to re-use tools for multiple purposes is essential.

An example would be to use a chainsaw for logging and cutting timber; instead of purchasing a chainsaw for logging and a table saw to cut the timber to size.

Actual Cost

Purchasing all of the tools above cost approximately $1,900.

If you were to purchase cheaper brands this could be reduced to around $900.


Building a log cabin on a budget is achievable. Not only is it achievable but it is possible.

Our build cost just over $27,000, excluding purchasing the land and the interior.

Keep in mind that the size and complexity of your cabin are the most significant factors for cost. Economies of scale can be achieved for larger cabins, but, these savings are minimal compared to the outlay.

Use this list as a resource for budgeting for your future cabin. Select the specific materials and costs based on your log home’s specification.

For some this post will help them decide if they can afford to build a cabin, and for others it can be used as a comparison against typical brick and mortar homes.

I’d love to hear from you if you have built your own cabin on a budget – leave us a comment to let us know how much it cost!


  • Hi, thanks for the informative post. Can you comment on the size of the cabin that you built for this cost? I didn’t see it (or missed it) when reading the post.


    • Hi Dan,

      Glad you enjoyed the article – the cabin was 800 square feet in size. It has a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living/dinning room.



      • This is sooo informative, thank you very much. My wife and I are 2 retired women and we have decided to take on the task of buying land and build our dream. I am a city girl and was very skeptical about moving forward with this but then i read this and am now okay with moving forward with her to build it. Are there any changes in price to be aware of?
        Thanks again,

        • Hi Deb and Dawn,
          The only changes to consider are the changes of material costs, and the cost of inflation in prices, which is negligible I’d imagine! All the best with your build, keep in touch, I’d love to see your progress! David

  • Were costs for adding things like closets or shower tubs accounted for here? I am interested in buying a lot and planning to do this. I realize I have a lot more to consider than that, but first I need to determine if I can afford to do this right. Also do you have any idea how much costs would be (roundabout) for professional builders to do much of the work? I want to do what I can well, but for things like plumbing or electrical, where I only maybe know a hairs worth of what it takes to truly build a good home, how much would I be looking at for professional help?
    Also, I wanted to thank you for going in depth to write this article and providing such wonderful information! This is invaluable right now as I’m a prospective builder. I actually feel comfortable with some construction.

    • Hi Paul,

      The final figure quoted was for an empty shell- so excluding the shower tub and internal fittings…

      In terms of costs for professional builders, this can vary significantly depending on your location. You’re best speaking with several local contractors to get an average quote.

      Many Thanks,


  • Janet,

    Thanks so much. This was very informative. I would like to build a similar size to start with, and possibly expand over time ( depending on which kids still live with us when we decide to move permanently). I also plan to do most of the labor as yourself. I am not a carpenter but I’ve learned enough from my father and father in law who are skilled carpenters and tradesmen. They will also be overseeing the project. If you wouldnt mind, I would love to see some pictures of your finished product. Thanks again for the added inspiration!


    • Hi Michael,
      I’m so happy the article has helped you
      Absolutely. We’re just finishing up creating a dropbox gallery so I will share this with you once it’s finished.

  • Want to build a community of different structures log cabin houses. Have one property want to reface and revitalized to a log cabin styled home. Starting with the front porch.

  • Thank you for this very helpful and inspirational post. I’de love to see some pictures if you’re able to share. I’m in the early planning stages of constructing a log cabin. Thanks so much for this great breakdown.



    • Hi Cody,
      Absolutely. We’re just finishing up creating a dropbox gallery so I will share this with you once it’s finished.
      Good luck with your cabin!

  • Id love to see pics too! I’ll be building an off grid cabin soon and need to get an idea for size. 800 sq ft sounds perfect

    • Hi Curtis,
      Absolutely. We’re just finishing up creating a dropbox gallery so I will share this with you once it’s finished.

      • hello David , thank you very much for that article , I am in the process of preparing myself with enough time to finally get my dream log cabing ( less than 1000 sqf ) . I am starting from scratch , I have no land yet ( looking for a suitable location in the Central FL area and checking different log cabings companies and their floor plans . Would you be able to send pics of your cabing ? Any advice will be very much appreciated . I am planning on assisting to couple of Log Homes seminars near my area to lear about timber , building techniques ect . Is Cypress wood the best choice for Central Florida ? or White pine ?
        Cypress is more costly , right ?
        Thank you for your time .

        Respectfully ,

        Elvis Quezada

        • Hi Elvis,


          You’re right in that cypress is generally more expensive but the ‘best’ depends on what you’re building and also what your budget is. Make sure to read my lumber selection article where I discuss this in much more detail.


      • Hi David,

        I live in South africa and would like to find out if its possible to build a real LogCabin 7m x 12m on 2.4m stilts. reason is i would like to fit a pickup under for parking. is there anything i need to look at for proper supporting stilts.?


      • Hi David
        I own some land with lake front in Nova scotia Canada an are planning to build two cabins one about 1500sqft
        and one about 800 /900 sqft
        I’ve read your article with great interest, I’ve had some truly scary prices to build a log cabin.
        If you have any pictures I would appreciate a look.
        kind regards

  • Thank you so much for all of your.information we bought a log cabin shell which is 1100sq feet and we was going to do it ourself but know we have a bump in tbe road. If you get a chance i would love to see pictures and if you wouldnt mind telling me a est of cost i would appreciate it. My husband was going to do all of the work but he has become disabled and now im like what do i do now can i afford it pay someone or buy a trailer . I am so lost. Thank you so much

    • Hi Michelle,

      We are more than happy to help you, sorry to hear about your husband. Please would you let us know what work you’ve currently done on the cabin and what you intend to do and then we can help with an estimated cost.



  • I have enjoyed the article and I am considering building a cabin. I am looking at building on top of flat river stone as a foundation. I would like to know what your thoughts are on that as I have access to lot of rocks. Please let me know your thoughts or concerns.

    • Hi Dewey,

      It’s certainly possible it just depends on the condition and depth of the stone. In all likely hood though you would still probably need to add a cement base to the foundation.

      However, without seeing the stone in person it’s hard to say.

      Do you have any photos you could email me so I can take a look?


    • Hi Michael,

      Providing you do the correct maintenance and prevention it isn’t a problem. We have an article on our website detailing the preventative steps you need to take.


    • i lived in a log cabin a short time. i only had a problem with carpenter bees. they drilled holes in the wood to nest. there were 100’s of them, hard to get rid of. this was in vermont and i dont remember any bees or wasps, probably no more than normal on a house.

  • I would love to see pictures. We are considering doing this in the future. Also curious about approximate overall cost. Thanks!

  • Thx for taking the time to write this article, good guidelines.
    We are in the process of purchasing some land in AZ that may not already have a cabin on it (depending cost, etc…) so, building our own cabin may just be what we need to do.
    Can you send some pics?
    Thx. Jim

  • Hi I’m in the stages of planning my log cabin and i’d love to see some photos of your cabin being built and finished if possible, could you also send me a link for the Permaguard and what is the best way to treat the logs when you get them delivered. Thanks!

    • Hi Michael,

      Sure, please use our contact form and email us. We will then arrange for someone to send the pictures to you.


  • Thank you so much for this article. So detailed. I’m interested in bulding 2-3 bedroom cabin with porch as primary residence in Louisiana. Please share pics with me.

  • David – fantastic video and great info! Have some land in Oklahoma and just in the beginning process and not sure where to start. Not sure if you want to take on the venture of back and forths but seems you know what you are doing and I don’t! Let’s begin? 🙂

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for the offer but I’m not looking for any more work at the moment!

      Best of luck,

  • I saw your information on the site. I was asking, any additional information on sites or reading materials you may have found out after the fact in building that could be of assistance. Thank you again David!!!

    • Hi Shan,

      If after reading the information on the website you’re feeling confident of building a log home. I would suggest you take a look at This is a step-by-step guide covering planning, site selection, designing, building and living in a log home. It includes comprehensive details on log harvesting, foundations, construction techniques, notching and maintenance with detailed color diagrams & photographs. Hope this helps, David

  • I would love to receive pictures of the process as well! And also I was wondering what is the time frame this all happened in?

  • Hi David,

    Did you end up posting any pictures somewhere?
    I’d really like to see some if possible.


  • Hi,
    I just purchased some beautiful lake shore land. It has great layout for a walkout basement with a small log cabin. Any chance you would show me some pictures of it?

  • Hi David,

    Myself and my partner are looking at building our very own log cabin, your brake down was fab thanks! would you be able to send me some pictures of your cabin please

    Kind regards

  • Hi David,

    Your article with the detailed cost break-down was quite inspiring. I am thinking of constructing a low cost yet sustainable log cabin like the one you have described through the article.

    Could you please share few pictures of your cabin including the exterior (showing the lot).


  • I am interested in building an affordable log home in North Georgia I would like to know more info
    could you possible contact me
    Thank you
    Dan Walsh

    • Hi Dan,

      Feel free get in touch with what exactly you’d like to know through our contact form.



  • Hi David! Im thinking to build a cabin and i would like to see some od the floor plans and pics of the ones you build and total cost please.

  • Thank you for the article. We are in the planning stages of building a log cabin, and this article really helped. Can you please send pictures of the finished cabin you built? We have an old cabin at the site we are planning on building our new cabin and we are still looking for plans to see what would be better at the site. It is only a 1 bed 1 bath with loft or maybe with a basement, and from what you built it sounds like what we are looking on building. Thanks for your time.

  • Can you send me pictures of your cabin as well please? I want to build one around 1,600 sq feet. Does that mean the cost would basically double? Thanks!

    • Great article. My husband and I have been thinking of building our own log cabin for quite awhile and this article was perfect and right on time. Like a lot of the other readers we would love to see pics of the cabin you are referring to please. Thanks

  • If I buy a land, how do we handle for city or county approval for cabin?
    and After we have cabin, how they estimate the property tax for land and this new cabin?

  • It sounds too good to be true. You present the info so organized, logical and understandable for a (got a clue) non-builder that it scares me… I mean to actually ‘think’ I could do it. I want a small log home with large home features miniaturized. That’s all the cool style but small, cozy and affordable. Is there such a plan or is my hearts desire ‘custom’… which is contrary to affordable?
    Merry Christmas,

  • Hi David,
    We are building a log cabin on our property out back this year and we are very interested in seeing pictures of your finished cabin. Your article has been very helpful as well! My email is

    Thank you,

  • Great article. We’ve wanted and looked for almost 30 years to build one. We haven’t been in a position to do it until now.
    Can you send me the drop box to view your pics? Also, where did you build it. I don’t remember seeing an area. My mother lives with us now and wants her own 800’ cabin next to ours.
    We’re a little outside San Antonio Texas so not a lot of logs or companies to work with. There are quite a few kit companies around here.
    But we haven’t found one that we feel isn’t trying to poke our eyes out.
    I’ll check out your plans. Thanks for being so willing to help the rookies out with advise.

  • Hi,
    Great breakdown of costs and resourcefulness of materials. Thanks. We own an 1870’s hewned log cabin, on a 65′ x 100′ lot we own next to our home in SW Montana. It is currently used as a storage shed. It is approximately 18′ x 24′. I have always thought of restoring it as a small rental home. There is certainly room to add onto it to increase size of living space. My wife has always said it would cost just about the same to restore it as it would to build new. When I look at your numbers, I wonder. It is located such that the foundation could be built, and then just lift it on, or, it could be taken apart and reassembled completely re-chinked in the process. Either way, it sure beats other options I’ve seen for building new. Your thoughts?

    • Hi Dennis,

      Thanks for your message. It’s difficult to tell without seeing pictures. Feel free to send them to us via email.

  • Hi David

    Good to see this thread still going even after a few years. I have so many questions…. There is NOWHERE that allows calcs in the costing equation such as %of DIY vs Pros/Labour so I am making best guesses, I’m can put my hand to most things so expecting to get a pro in for a section then I’ll finish it the same way. Is it really cheaper to use and treat your own wood? I have 22 acres of hard wood where I’m going to build and don’t mind felling back an acre or two but assumed it would be cheaper just to buy the timber than screw about getting it hauled off, cut, treated and returned – ideas? Finally re ‘Economy of Scale’ I’m planning quite a large cabin (1800 Ft2) but ALL open plan apart from bathroom, does not having internal walls etc reduce avg cost per sq ft?.

    Thanks in advance


    • Hi Lee,

      Great to hear from you and I’m glad you’re excited about your project! Let me give you some basic numbers to work with.

      If you purchase a log cabin kit for $50,000 then labor will be $50,000 to build and another $50,000 will be required for additional costs such as land, sub-floors, interior finish, and foundations. So a $50,000 kit costs $150,000 finished including labor fees. This is known as the golden ratio of 1:2 (without labor) or 1:3 (with labor). Obviously, you are not purchasing a kit, but you can work backward. So, find a kit that is 1,800 square feet and use the cost of the kit with the ratios above to get rough estimations of cost!

      Is it cheaper to use your own lumber? Yes. However, you should factor in the cost of your time too! If you have a job and time is precious, then re-think this assumption.

      Yes, not having internal walls reduces cost per square feet of construction, but may increase your HVAC costs depending upon the design.

      Hope this helps,


      • I’m just curious how much would it cost to just have someone build it for me because I have no idea on how too

  • Hi could I get those pictures too? Thanks

    Where wad the cabin built and was there lots of loopholes and costs for the land etc?


      • Dear David,
        I am planning to build a cabin of my own, your story is very informative and i would like tosee pics of your cabin.

        Thanking you in anticipation.

      • Hi David ,
        Myself and my husband are contemplating building a log cabin within the same size as yourself is there anyway you can send me some pictures so I can swe how the rooms sizes looked , it’s going to be a guest house for my parents when they fly over to stay .
        Also once you added on th4 kitchen shower bath etc how much is the total cost ,

        • Hi Stephanie,

          Good luck with your project. I have sent the dropbox URL to your email address. In terms of fixtures and fittings cost, this entirely depends upon the quality of the finish you choose.

  • Hello David,

    Really happy you survived your journey, I will be starting mine soon (maybe this summer?). Your journey/ post was amazing, and really want to thank you for sharing. I’ve been researching for quite some time on the matter, and your break-down provided was “SPOT ON” for what I been looking for.

    I retired from the military in 2014 and then finished my doctoral. I work for the government now and need to concentrate on “Family.” I’ve missed out on a lot of family time with my wife, son (19yrs) & daughter (21yrs) due to military training and numerous deployments. I believe it’s time to get back some missed time. Building a log cabin and spending some quality time with the family will bring about some great memories for the future.

    Again, thank you for sharing.


  • Hey there, I’m a 3rd year electrician from Kelowna, BC in Canada. The cost to live here is crazy expensive because of the “sunshine tax” lol So my plan in the years to come is to educate myself and get er all figured out while I save up for a lot. i just seen this article and am about to read your free 2 chapters from the guide. I’ve dreamt of owning a log home since I was four and got a Lincoln log set for Christmas haha . Anyways I was also wondering if you could email me those pics your the best thx 🙂

      • Thank you for the positive message that it can be done. I am in western Washington state which can be very difficult. But I kno we can do it and you just made us more excited!!! I would love to see ur pics too

        Thank you

  • We live on 5.5 acres in Mississippi. I am exploring options for my mother to move out here with us. We’ve received a quote of 60k from a contractor to have an addition built. This seems like it might be a better option. In a reply to one of the comments, you said that the $27,000 was the shell and no interior. Does that include having electricity, sewer, etc, ran to it? I was thinking probably not, but wanted to get clarification. I’d also like to see your pics. Thanks!!!!

    • Hi Kelly,

      These prices include our cabin’s services costs which were around $5,700. This included installing all the cabin’s services, but we didn’t require them to be run to the cabin as they were existing.

  • Good day!, This was an awesome read, Thank you for taking the time to break it down. I would love to see the photos if you don’t mind.

  • I am in love with this idea and your beautiful cabin. Didn’t know if you could send me pics of interior??

    After installing interior finishes how much was the total cost?


  • great article – Im about to buy land and build. Please send me the pics – and how long it took you to build? (how many people built). Many blessings for your life.

  • I would love to see pictures. Also, what is the timeline? We just purchased our first 20 acres and plan to build a cabin within the next two years. But I need a little bigger because our special needs adult son will be with us. Your post is inspiring!

  • I would also love to see your photos. We just bought some land for a cabin and we are starting to budget for the build. We are hoping for something a bit bigger than yours( maybe 1500 sqft), but your infomation is great.

  • Hi!
    Thank you for all the great info. Could you send me the photos or a link also?
    Thank you!

  • Hi we have been looking for our first home to purchase and after reading your article this sounds alot better then dropping over $100,000 on a house thats not even ours! Can you please send pics of your cabin it would be much appreciated thanks!!

  • Hi David! WOW! How nice of you to have shared all of this information AND to respond to all the inquiries you’ve received!

    I am considering building a small log home also… 800 to 1000 square feet. This has been so helpful! Would you mind sharing your pictures with me also?

    Thanks again and take care,


  • Hi David,
    We thinking to build one would be great if you could email some pictures! Thanks for all the information
    Thank you Maria

  • This article was really well done. It explains so much. We are planning to build a small off the grid cabin for now. Then in a few years build a larger one on the same property overlooking the ocean in Nova Scotia, Canada. We would love to see pictures of your 800 square foot cabin. Thank you, Karen and Peter

  • Hello David, thank you for all the extensively detailed information. I’ve downloaded and skimmed the first two chapters of your book, and appreciate your responses to reader comments (it’s so helpful to have a real answer about how much I really will have to pay for various approaches!). Could you please send to me whatever additional information and photos you have about your build? I’ve never done full-on construction before, but I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity a few times, and do a lot of repairs and small improvements to my old home. I’m hoping to learn enough to take the leap and build my own cabin.
    Kind regards,

  • Hi David,

    My husband and I are about to start our cabin this spring in Alaska, and I would love to see your cabin pictures, please.

    I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your information. Thank you! And God bless!

  • Excellent article!!! If you are still sharing them, I would love to see the pictures of your Cabin build and finished product. Thank you! I am at my email address given. Thank you, again!

  • Hi David,

    Truly a helpful article. I’m in the planning process and would really like to see even some basic pictures. We are in Wisconsin and I’ve been dreaming about doing this for years. We don’t even have land yet but the lifestyle and the price tag make this super appealing. Any pics you’d be willing to share would be appreciated. I provided email with submission. Thanks for inspiration!

  • Hi David,

    I am contacting you to possibly get your guidance with my cabin build. I already have the foundation walls in place and have been trying to get prices for over 18 months to dry-in my cabin and the prices have been all over the board. I am not having much luck hiring contractors and builders are not interested unless they can do a turn key job. I have tried to find a contractor for labor only to stack the logs and dry-in. I have tried to go through a builder and have him provide all material to dry-in ( very expensive ), and now waiting to get a kit price from another log home company. With the economy doing so well it is very difficult to get help and when you find help their prices are out of site. I have my plans and trying to decide if its worth pursuing this project.

  • Hello! I too would love to see pics of your cabin. Also, how long did it take you to build it? Thanks for an excellent article.

    • Hi Kristalyn, thanks for your message. The cabin took just under a year to build. It wasn’t a full time job though! Many thanks, David

  • I just bought land to build a cabin. Would you mind sending along photos of yours? Thanks very much in advance.


  • Hello, David!

    Thank you so very much for all of this information! I have been researching cabin kits for a couple of weeks now but your article, and one other, have me thinking it will be best to build. Could you please send me pics of the exterior and interior finish of your cabin? I am hoping to build a 2 bedroom – with a loft that can be used as an additional sleeping area – hopefully around 1,500 sq. feet. Following your format, would the cost be around $40,000 plus appliances and labor costs? I hope to get going on this soon. Any pics or additional info you are willing to provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God Bless.

    • Hi Janet, building a cabin yourself will usually be cheaper than buying a kit. I’d usually recommend adding around 1/3 of the cost of your materials to allow for labour. Good luck with your build! David

  • my dream – to retire, is A-frame log cabin, 1 bed and 1 bath, after lot I have $120K, open concept bottom floor and bedroom upstairs and looking over rail to below. NOTHING fancy, in your opinion, its doable ? I would have little input other than helping do whatever a 65 yr old woman can do? So?? thanks in advance for your opinion for me to afford?

  • Hi David!
    My husband and I own a cabin on 9 acres. We would like to build an addition…master bedroom, bath and walk-in closet, as well as a family room…maybe 800sf.
    Can you recommend any publications that could get us started?
    We have a budget of about $40k, maybe a little more.
    Thank you, so much, for any help you can offer!!

    • Hi Kelley, thanks for your message. That sounds like a great addition. I would recommend contacting some local log builders in your area. All the best, David

      • Hi David.
        I’m wondering about how much it cost you to run electric wiring thru your cabin. Did you trough the logs? Did the electrician run the wiring thru the logs? How many outlets did you have and what was the cost for that? A local contractor says it’ll cost $17,000 for the electrical for our addition. That sounds really high to me.
        Thank you!

        • Hi Kelley, thanks for your questions. The electrical system cost me around $3,600 and I did some of the installations myself. The best advice I can give is shop around and get a quote from a few reputable electrical contractors, that way you will get a better idea of what a good price is. Remember – if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Thanks, David

  • Excellent article Dave. Extremely informative. I have a quick question for you, can you talk about the cost on the 32’14” logs, how much was that part of the build cost? The property that I am looking at putting a log cabin on has 122 acres of mixed Bush. I’m thinking I could buy a portable sawmill, mill up what I need as needed and then I will still have the sawmill after the house is complete. Any insight would be very appreciated.

    • Hi Michael, the logs are often one of the most expensive parts of the build so if you’ve found land that you can use the logs on I’d definitely buy your own portable sawmill and fell your own logs. All the best with your build, David

  • Hello,

    I am just a bit confused on one topic. Your Golden Rule states it will cost around $125/sqft for a home-based, but your cabin is 800 sqft, and instead of $100,000 like the rule would imply, your house cost less than $30,000. Could you please explain?

    Thank you for your time, and your helpful website!


    • Hi John,

      You’re quite right to question that.

      The golden rule is very much a guideline that includes all labor. If you cut costs wherever possible and do the work yourself then you will save a lot (provided your time isn’t worth too much) and likewise, if you pay for new, top-quality materials and labor then it can cost more than the guideline given by the golden ratio!

  • Hey thanks! Your article is extremely informative. I am 73 with several physical conditions which make it impossible for me to build my own home. Is there a company that you would recommend that builds log cabins, uses the right techniques to avoid water damage, mold, and cures their wood with something that will not turn out to be poisonous in the coming years? I have checked out a number of the layouts on Elog Homes and like some of them, always watching out for those with enough overhang as you recommend. I do see that the way they join their logs is not as you recommend to avoid capillary action but is there one method they offer that you recommend over others? And perhaps a treatment that can help? Many thanks!

    • Hi, Michael, I hope you are well. As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat. It’s a horrible saying if you ask me, but it applies to log joints too. I put together an article on log notches which you may find useful when it comes to deciding. If you’re still uncertain you can leave another comment or email me directly at Good luck! David.

  • Hi, We are looking at a piece of property just south of Santa Fe, NM and we would like to purchase a log cabin kit to build on it. My husband is a builder and built our last house. It was beautiful, but not a log cabin. We both want a log cabin. I’ve heard it’s warm in winter and cool in the summer. Is there anything you could tell us that would help us make a decision. We’ve heard it comes with all the logs that are already cut to go wherever they are supposed to go. We haven’t picked out a company yet. we are still looking on line. But he wants it ready to put together. He knows all the ends and outs of building a regular house, so he wants to give a lot cabin a try. He also has a friend and worker that can help him build this. Of course he has to be paid. Any advice you can give will certainly be appreciated.

    • Hi Lowery, we have a piece on log cabin kits that should help you when it comes to deciding. Also, to ensure it really is warm in winter and cool in summer, do the insulation properly! Good luck, David.

  • Hello,

    Thank you for this. My wife and I just purchased waterfront property in Bouchette in Quebec Canada. There is a structure currently on site but needs to be taken down. Our plan is to put up a new log cabin and have been looking at a prefab for about $60,000 for about 900 sq ft. This includes windows, doors, roof etc…essentially dried in. This does NOT include the labour to put it together on site. That is about another $30,000. I have been contemplating doing something myself but I am now 50 years old. I am fairly handy but would certainly look to have the old structure torn down and taken away and the ground leveled. We have hydro on site with septic as well. Do you think this is something that could be done with some help of course but looking to keep budget in mind as well. I have a good variety of power tool already and would happily add a STIHL chainsaw to the mix 🙂



    • Hi, Steven.

      You’re so very welcome, I’m glad you found your way here and have benefitted from this piece.

      That must be exciting for you, I always enjoy it when a new project comes along! For the demolition, I admit I don’t have the experience to share with you. As far as rebuilding goes though, you’ll be fine with some DIY experience.

      Two main resources I can recommend for you are:

      1. 7 Essential Log Cabin Tools Required to Build a Log Cabin
      2. How To Build Your Own Log Home

      The second on that list is a paid-for eBook that puts all of my and others’ experience in one place. It will help prevent common mistakes which are costly in the long run!

      Whichever way you decide to do it though, good luck, and feel free to email me some pictures of the process at


  • Hi, David.
    What a great shared article on building a log cabin. Posting the breakdowns and tips gives me an idea on how to proceed on building a log cabin home for our retirement. I’ve always dreamed on living and owning a log cabin since my youth. Reading your post revived that dream. I have a 10 acre land in Lovelock, NV that I purchased with my late aunt over 20 years ago. It overlooks I-80 and the mountain is behind the land. I would love to have a log cabin home there to retire. Hubby & I can’t build it ourselves, so I’m praying the professionals can build the 1500-1800 sq ft at an affordable cost. Please share your pics with us. Thanks.


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