How much do log homes cost?

Artisan Custom Log Homes

May 17,2016 in Pre-Project

We understand that you have probably been dreaming about building a log home for a few years. There are a lot of options and decisions that are involved in designing and building your log home. One of the biggest decisions is deciding how much you can afford to spend on building your custom home.


There are a few things you need to consider when researching the cost of building a custom log home:

  • • The initial cost to build your log home structure
  • • The cost for finishing your log home (site prep and foundation, interior finishes, local trades etc.)
  • • The lifetime and maintenance cost of your log home
  • Let’s compare the initial costs to build a full scribe, timber frame and post and beam custom home.


Full Scribe vs Timber Frame vs Post and Beam Cost Comparison


Full Scribe Log Home Costs


A full scribe log home can include any or all of the following:

  • • Log home shell and delivery to your property.
  • • Reassembly on the foundation.
  • • Interior stairs, railings, windows.
  • • Exterior door and cladding installation.
  • • All engineered hardware.
  • • All hidden gasketing for reassembly.
  • • Labor for at least 2 of Artisan’s skilled builders to help in the reassembly.

The client or general contractor will take it from there with roofing ready to be installed within days.


The average price of a full scribe log shell tends to be more expensive than a timber frame and post and beam log shells with an average cost of $50 Cad – $90 Cad per square foot. This equates to a 2,500 sq. foot 3-bedroom log home costing between $125,000 Cad and $225,000 Cad, with another $100 – $150 per sq.ft being spent to completely finish the home.


As a general rule the log work for a full scribe log shell is approximately 1/3 of the overall cost to build and is the most expensive of the three types due to the labor and complexity of the build.


Post and Beam Log Home Costs


A typical post and beam shell can include any or all of the following:

  • • The post and beam structure.
  • • Reassembly on location.
  • • Interior stairs and railings.
  • • Pre-framed exterior wall and roof panels.
  • • Windows and doors.
  • • All engineered hardware.
  • • All hidden gasketing for reassembly.
  • • Labor for at least 2 of Artisan’s skilled builders to help in the reassembly.

When comparing cost, a post and beam log shell will be less expensive than a full scribe log shell depending on design and personal >


Timber Frame Log Home Costs


Typically the least expensive of the three options is timber frame because timber frame homes have timbers only in the interior of the home with less exterior timbers exposed. Again cost depends on the complexity, size, design and type of timber used.


Just as described with all Artisan log homes, a typical timber frame shell will include:

  • • The timber frame structure.
  • • Reassembly on location.
  • • Interior stairs and railings.
  • • Pre-framed exterior wall and roof panels.
  • • Windows and doors.
  • • All engineered hardware.
  • • All hidden gasketing for reassembly.
  • • Labor for at least 2 of Artisan’s skilled builders to help in the reassembly.

The average cost of a timber frame shell will range between $45 per square foot and $65 per square foot.


Average Home Finishing Costs


Finishing costs includes site preparation, foundation, interior finishes, local trades etc.

It’s important to remember that your log home structure will not include all of the finishing needed to make your house a home. Finishing items will include site preparation and foundation, interior finishes, local trades and other details.
So with this in mind let’s touch on some of the finishing costs that apply to full scribe log homes, post and beam and timber frame.


Full Scribe Log Home Finishing Costs


As previously discussed a full scribe log home is the most expensive of the designs to build and may also be the most expensive when it comes to finishing costs. Because the walls are log and don’t have gyprock or insulation, electricians, plumbers and other trades will be required to use special techniques to finish your home.


Additional costs may apply to cabinetry and shelving to ensure they will remain level after the structure fully settles.


Don’t worry, Artisan will provide you with a very comprehensive “how to” finish your log home manual.


Post and Beam and Timber Frame Log Home Finishing Costs


The finishing costs for post and beam and timber frame log homes are very similar. Due to their hybrid design between a traditional log home and modern home, many of the walls will be framed allowing for several options for cabinetry and easy access for electricians, plumber and trades.


Log Home Lifetime and Maintenance Cost


Log homes, when designed properly, can last for 100’s of years. During a visit to Estonia where one of Artisan’s owners, Josh, taught a log building course in 2013, he toured some log building dating back to the 18th century!


Re-stain Logs – It’s recommended that your log home, no matter which >


Washing Logs – We highly recommend you wash the exterior of your log or timber home every Spring. This ensures that dust and mold spores don’t have a chance to embed themselves into the wood.


Caulking – Artisan takes a lot of pride in building our homes so they will never need any calking or chinking. By utilizing hidden gaskets we can assure you that your new home will stay weather-tight and energy efficient for generations to enjoy.


Adjusting logs for settling – This only pertains to Full Scribe log homes. During the first 3-4 years of living in your log home, you will have to monitor and adjust your log home as needed. We will provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to do this properly.


To Sum it All Up

Regardless as to whether you are building a full scribe log home, timber frame log home or post and beam, there are three things that determine the price of your log home: The size of your log home, the type of timber being used and the cost to deliver your home to your destination. We will work with you through this planning and designing stage to help you build your dream home within your budget.