Log Home Kit Prices Ideas and Helpfull Tips
Everything you need to know is right here.
I’m going to take a guess, you are here because you are seriously thinking about your own custom log home, something a lot of people only dream about. Good for you, you are one step closer to that dream.
Some things to think about before you start are, how much can I do myself, who am I going to need to help me, how do I want it to look when it’s done, what are log home kit prices like compared to traditional homes, financing, remember the more you can do yourself the more equity you will have at the end of the build. I will be covering all of this as we go through the construction process, from start to finish, I will be pointing out some do’s and don’t’s and some things to remember.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED.
This is our story. From a finish carpenters perspective.
First off I would like to thank my father in law for his part in helping to make it all happen, Thankyou Mr. Roy Williams, and my sister in law for taking all the photos of the project, thank you, Lynette.
Located in a rural area of the sandhills in North Carolina, about an hour from Raleigh. I thought to point this out because everyone s story will be different from ours given their location and the conditions they have to work in.
The wife and I had only been married for about a year, we were living in a double-wide, renting, in a pretty nice rural area, work for me, being self-employed wasn’t that steady but it was enough, my wife had a job in management so we were doing OK.
One night we were sitting at the kitchen table talking as we did, when the subject of owning our own home came up and now the ball was rolling, we could have bought the place we were in for a really good price but that did not appeal to her sense of owning a home she wanted a real one, golden rule #1 Happy wife Happy life, don’t forget that one guy’s.
So for a couple of months, we searched we looked and looked some more to no avail, we hadn’t even been to a bank yet to see how much we would qualify for. We even looked at fixer-uppers most of which were already eaten up by termites and the cost of the repairs out-weighed the asking price,
we were getting so disheartened because we didn’t want to leave the area.
Then as if by magic and unbeknownst to me, my wife had been talking to her father about all of what we had been going through and that we had kind of hit a brick wall with the area we wanted to stay in, (heads up, my father-in-law still didn’t think too highly of me at this time because I had taken his #1 daughter away and married her without inviting anyone to the wedding ).
Then out of the blue, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. It was just over two acres of some land that he owned (used for farming ). The next step that had to happen was the land had to be surveyed, transfer the deed get it registered and make sure it was zoned for residential.
OK then now we’re going to build a house, with money being as tight as it was we had to work out a plan that not only gave us what we needed for space but was also going to be inexpensive to build, so it began with a simple spacious traditional stick-built house, with several sets of home drawn plans that we could probably make work, about 1800 -2000 sq ft, now we are ready to pick one of the plans I had drawn and then take it to the next step.
Get them drawn up to a full working set that the building inspector will look at and pass. They call it plan check or red line, that’s where the inspector makes his notes on the plans of the things that he would like to see changed. This needs to be done before you can start construction.
At least that’s what I thought.
The planning, and the Budget.
Now several months later, we are doing our usual thing back at the kitchen table my loving wife just for no apparent reason said what about a log cabin.” NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, HONEY, we don’t have that kind of money.”
So then she went on to say they are not that expensive,” LOOK!” as she pulled up an advertisement on her phone,” there’s a company here selling a log home kit for $12,000, its 1500 sq ft”, HMMMM! now she has my wheels turning and re-running a bunch of math in my head, also at this point, I am trying to guesstimate what the mortgage payments would be, knowing how much we could afford.
Meanwhile, now I am coming up with a whole new set of ideas for the plans, I wanted it to be spacious, not boxy and be practical for our needs and not some model show home and it had to be done on a budget of $125,000 in the hopes it would appraise for around 175K or more.
The reasoning behind this was that we would have enough equity in the home so that when it came time to get the mortgage to pay off all the loans it took to build it we would still have enough money to pay off all our other debts, credit cards etc, and still be under the 80/20 threshold so as to avoid having to get stuck with the additional payment of mortgage insurance.
Now we are both pretty excited about the log home idea, so we called and made an appointment with the log home kit supplier to get the low down and hopefully strike a deal.
I almost forgot to mention how we got the money for the build, my father-in-law came through for us for most of the money, I guess he took a leap of faith and took out a line of credit on some more of the land he owned, on the understanding that we would make all the interest payments on the loan until our home was finished and we got our own financing, and most of the rest came from a loan program that my wife has through her employer, but we were still a few thousand short this had to come out of our paycheck, but we didn’t care too much at this point we would figure it out when the time came, and we did.
Important to note, appraisals vary by location and market conditions and are based on recent sales within the last six months of similar homes.
The log home kit.
Having done very little research into what is out there as far as all the different kinds of kits that are available, we didn’t care too much at this point. It was game on. Mamma wanted a log home!
Another point to consider is A true Log Home Kit, compared to a log home Package the kit can cost more than double what we paid. The difference between a kit and package, with the kit all the logs will be pre-cut for you and be labeled, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, whereas with the package you will get enough logs to build your home and these have to be custom cut and fitted on-site, which on my end still worked out less expensive than the kit.
So now we are with the supplier, who actually mills his own logs, with our notes, and sketches in hand ready to work out the details, we didn’t look elsewhere for other kits/pkgs as we were pretty happy with what we thought was a fair price for the money, and after being taken on a tour of one that was under construction we were satisfied and made the deal, the cost of the package was $26,000.
This is what we got for the money.
We first got a mini set of plans to look over based on my rough pencil drawings and make any changes of things that we didn’t like anymore or now had other ideas on. (Good Idea!) We did, we made changes then got another set of mini-plans to look at.
Three sets of full working plans to build from for a 2000 sq ft log home. Note one set goes to the planning dept for the building inspector to approve.
All the logs for the kit which were the half round, rounded on the outside and flat on the inside.
All the half-round siding to cover the roof section gable ends.
All the lag screws and weather striping for the logs.
It also included all the doors and windows for the home.
The windows were what they call builders grade and come unfinished. Something to consider that I wish I had done from the start was to get rid of the builder’s windows and try to negotiate vinyl windows instead or have them taken off the price and get our own windows somewhere else.
A major advantage of a log home over conventional is the insulation properties of the logs, I swear, my electric bill is at least a third less of what it used to be given the size of what we have now.
Caveat emptor. Buyer beware.
One thing that helped persuade us on the deal was the rough estimate to get the logs erected, the home we were shown that was under construction was about 4 or 500 sq ft bigger from ours and he told us that he had a name and number for the crew that put them up and that he only charged the owner about $7,500, that sounded like a great deal even as good as I am with wood this was part of the project I wasn’t going to tackle on my own.
What I should have done was met with the crew prior to actually scheduling them to come and start, and got an actual quote from them, when he arrived at the site he told me it was going to cost $14,000 I about fell through the floor, but we ended up at a price of $10,500 after I explained to him that I must have been misled by the salesperson.
Something to take note of GET IT IN WRITING, DO Your HOMEWORK and never trust the word of a third party trying to sell you something.
Something else you might want to consider including in the project is looking into some of the solar programs that are out there today. I did not do this at the time but I wish now that I had. I will get into more details later about the types of solar that are available today.
Getting ready to break ground.
The checklist :
Got the land.
Got it surveyed.
Got the deed recorded.
Got an address.
Got it zoned for the home.
Got the plans.
Got the permits.
Assuming you don’t have a general contractor to take all of this off your hands, when you go to the county planning office to get your permit you will be getting one for an owner builder, basically you are now the General Contractor and regardless of your time, position in life or your job, when you call for an inspection at a particular point of the build you’re the one who has to be there when the inspector comes, downside to that is, all you will ever know is what day he’s coming, times are not scheduled so if you’re not there for the inspection it will be a failure. These can cost extra money if you miss them.
A simple rule when dealing with a building inspector is to always be courteous to him, ask some questions if you need reasoning or to better understand something, but never question his authority and WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T P!$$ HIM OFF, it will cost you money. Remember this. He is now your best friend until you get the certificate of occupancy.
One thing you will need is a copy of the survey to show the building inspector and the health department where you plan to build the home on the property.
I have put together a menu for you to go through for every step of the construction process. With all my ups and downs included. You will also find links to everything you might need.
I hope that the information you get from my site and all the information within it helps you out, and I would greatly appreciate any of your own stories that may help others out, and be made aware of the some of the mistakes not to make if you choose the self-build path, please leave me a comment.