Budgeting for Building Log

Budgeting for Building Log

Milled Log Construction - Budgeting and price per square foot
Milled Log Construction


Our favorite question, and one we get regularly is “How much does a log home cost compared to a stick frame home?” Our answer has always been “That depends.”  I know this seems like a non-answer but the reality is that it depends on lots of things such as type of log construction, square footage, roof system complexity, interior finishes, landscaping. I think you get the picture.

How do you figure out what to budget for square footage if you build with log?

Let’s answer some questions so you can make an educated decision:

What type of log construction do you want / prefer?

  • Milled Log Home – logs are milled to a consistent diameter in a controlled production environment.
  • Hand Crafted Log construction, including Timber Frame and Dovetail – logs are hand fit to craft a one-of-a kind structure. All are old world beautiful but require highly skilled craftsmen so cost more due to increased labor and skill required to formulate these masterpieces!

What type of wood are you wanting: fir, spruce, western red cedar?

  • Some wood species are plentiful so are priced accordingly while other wood species that are hard to find or in limited supply will cost more.

Size does matter.

  • 10 inch logs provide the best bang and bank for the buck! They have great insulation value and are cost effective.
  • Larger logs cost a bit more so it really depends on the look you want as to the diameter needed to create that look.

So where does that leave you? On average, we recommend starting your log package budget at around $45 to $65 a square foot for Milled and go up from $85 to $125 for Handcraft, Timber Frame or Dovetail. From this point you can figure out the remaining finished budget numbers with your builder. With modest finishes, most Milled Log homes tend to range from $175 to $200 a square foot with Handcraft Log Homes ranging $350 and up a square foot. Regional variances and personal preferences will affect these numbers. This is simply to give you an average ballpark in your discussions with your builder.

Every home build is different and is tailored to your specifics. We hope this provides you a bit of guidance as you start your journey to YOUR DREAM LOG HOME.