There is no magic number/formula to determine the cost of a home. Many will throw out per square foot numbers ranging from $150 – $300 per finished square foot. This is a very general number and is very unreliable as how much you’ll pay will depend on size, complexity of the design, quality of building materials, finishes and fixtures that you select. To get a better idea of these costs, consult with your local builder/general contractor.
The design and the kind of roofing materials you choose will be a major factor in the bottom line of your budget. If you are working on a limited budget, stay away from designs which include hips and valleys, dormers and steep roof pitches as they will increase your costs. If you live in an area where snowfall is a common occurrence, an ice shield under the first several courses of shingles may be something to consider. Although there is additional cost associated with this method, the security it will bring you is well worth the investment.
Asphalt or Fiberglass Shingles:
This material is the most common, inexpensive option and will usually last 20 – 25+ years… some manufacturers even have a lifetime transferable warranty. If you are searching for something with a more detailed appearance, “architectural” shingles are now available to help you achieve that look.
Approximate Cost: $100 – $200 per square (100 sq.ft.)
This material is becoming increasingly popular as it is considered easy to install and usually comes with a 25+ year warranty. Metal roofing is most commonly made of steel and covered with a very durable paint. A high end option for metal roofing is copper which can last upwards of 50 years.
Approximate Cost: $250 – $600 per square (100 sq.ft.)
Also known as shakes, flow nicely with a log home. They typically last about 20 years but if properly maintained can last up to 50 years. Keep in mind that wood shingles may not be permitted in areas prone to forest fires.
Approximate Cost: $150 – $250 per square (100 sq.ft.)
Slate shingles have a look that is perfect for log homes, they are also very durable, lasting more than 50 years. The roofs framing may need to be reinforced in order to carry the additional weight of a slate roof, often 700 – 800 lbs. per square (100 sq.ft.)
Approximate Cost: $350 – $1,000+ per square (100 sq.ft.)
Plywood or particleboard subfloor is commonly included in a log package. The finished floor is then installed over top of the subfloor. Keep in mind that trends come and go therefore, when selecting a type of flooring, it is important to select colors and materials that will remain timeless.
Carpet feels nice under the foot and creates a feel of warmth within the room. Another advantage of carpet is its ability to act as a sound barrier. If allergies are a concern for you or your family, stay away from wall-to-wall carpet as it harbors various allergens. It is also not recommended if you are planning for a radiant-floor heating system as it will hinder the effectiveness.
Approximate Cost: $2.50 – $4 per square foot
Nobody can argue the beauty of hardwood floors, especially in a log home. Hardwood floor can be prefinished or finished after installation. Regardless, it can be sanded and refinished several times over its lifetime. It does have a couple of negative aspects such as being prone to scratching and it can be slippery.
Approximate Cost: $6 – $20 per square foot
Tile flooring is very durable. It can also be very beautiful. Your options can range anywhere from plain quarry tile to complex patterns and shapes. Tile is excellent for entry ways, bathrooms and kitchens but standing on a such a hard surface can be hard on a persons legs or back.
Approximate Cost: $5 – $20 per square foot
This is one of the most common types of flooring and can probably be found somewhere in every home. Linoleum is relatively inexpensive, easy to clean and is available in many different colors and patterns.
Approximate Cost: $2.50 – $4 per square foot.
Stone floors fit in nicely with the natural look of a log home. Similarly to tile they are very durable but require special skills for installation.
Approximate Cost: $7.50 – $ 20 per square foot.
Electrical & Plumbing:
Electrical and plumbing systems are two of the most essential components of any home. When it comes to these systems, every home is unique job. In order to ensure an accurate price, schedule consultations with the appropriate professionals but for budgeting purposes consider those quotes ballpark estimates.
Electrical work is made up of two components: wiring and fixtures. The wiring includes the load center, the actual wires, the switches and the receptacles. Wiring is generally straightforward and easy to put a price on. Fixtures (lights, ceiling fans, etc) are available in every price range so it can be difficult to assign a specific value to them. We recommend making a list of what fixtures you need and then heading down to your local home improvement or lighting store to see what is affordable to you.
Approximate Cost: Wiring: $3 – $9 per square foot of living space
Fixtures: Consult with a dealer or visit a local showroom
Similarly to electrical work, plumbing is made up of two components: piping and fixtures. Basic piping includes everything from the tie-in to your water source to the point where the water comes exits the wall (or the floor) as well as the drain lines leading away from the fixtures. Piping is also quite easy to put a price on. Once again, fixtures (tubs, toilets, faucets, etc) vary greatly in price, so we recommend another visit to a home improvement or specialty store to price out your options.
Approximate Cost: Piping: $4,500 – $6,000 for your typical 2-½-bathroom house
Fixtures: Consult with a dealer or visit a local showroom
Countertops are not usually included with the cost of cabinetry. While many cabinetry companies also deal in countertops, you are also able to contract with a shop that specializes in them. Nowadays there are so many great options for countertops that it can make for a difficult decision. This is where your budget can be a major factor in your final decision.
Once again, a fitting choose for a log home, wood countertops are beautiful, durable and relatively easy to maintain (ensure that they are sealed carefully around sinks in order to protect them from standing water).
Approximate Cost: $25 – $100 per square foot, including installation
Tile countertops have their advantages, they are heat and stain resistant and they are available in many great design options. However they are not without the some disadvantages, one being the grout, which can be difficult to clean and does stain. Fancy tiles and trim pieces can also increase your costs significantly.
Approximate Cost: $15 and up per square foot, including installation
Solid-surface materials make excellent countertops. Scratches are considered easy to repair and sinks made from the same material can be included as an essential part of the unit. Generally, manufacturers require that fabricators and installers be specially trained.
Approximate Cost: $50 – $100 per square foot, including installation
Stone countertops are very trendy right now. They are very durable, heat resistant and top of everything they look great. If not sealed properly they could stain.
Approximate Cost: $50 – $100 per square foot, including installation.
This old faithful is still the most popular choice. The fact that they offer a combination of value, performance and endless color options makes it hard to beat. New edge treatments are also available which adds to your design options but also to your budget as well.
Approximate Cost: $8 – $20 per square foot, including installation
Most log homes have at least some built-in cabinetry, most commonly in the kitchen and bathrooms. We are also seeing the addition of built-ins in other areas of the house, everything from bookcases to window seats. Such special touches don’t come cheap. To reduce your costs, choose a more common wood like oak or maple. You could also opt for painted cabinets that can be made from less expensive materials.
These are the cabinets that you buy off the shelf at your local home improvement store. They are your least expensive option, but there is little flexibility when it comes to design. If you’re looking to cut some costs we recommend using stock cabinets in the bathroom and use those savings towards upgraded cabinetry in the kitchen.
Approximate Cost: $50 – $350 per linear foot, includes both upper and lower cabinets
Over all, these cabinets offer the most value for your dollar. While the styles are a little more limited than custom cabinets, you will end up with cabinets that are designed to fit your space perfectly.
Approximate Cost: $150 – $600 per linear foot, includes both upper and lower cabinets
Hands down, you will not find anything more unique than custom-built cabinets but… they don’t come cheap.
Approximate Cost: $300 and up per linear foot
Most home owners try to incorporate as many full-log walls as possible but many opt for a few non-wood walls in an effort to save money and/or to provide contrast and color. In doing so it provides you with a few more décor options such as a smooth surface on which to hang artwork or to place furniture.
In terms of wall surface, dry wall is the most common. It goes up quickly and it is easy to paint. That being said, it is a rather fragile material and requires some skill and experience to make those seams disappear. If your home has very high ceiling that will increase your costs significantly.
Approximate Cost: $1 -$1.50 per square foot depending on finish level… A level 5 finish can cost as much as $2 per sq.ft.
Before drywall came along, plaster was the popular wall covering but that doesn’t mean that it is out of style. Plaster is more expensive than drywall but it adds a beautiful texture to the walls. There is a new one-coat system available now that is only about 25% more expensive than drywall.
Approximate Cost: $2 – $3.50 per square foot
*Don’t forget to consider your exterior wall finish such as siding material, stucco and masonry work.
It’s difficult to put an “average” price on HVAC systems as there are so many different variables involved including climate as well as window size and layout. The prices below are just rough estimates to assist you in planning your budget. Talk to a local supplier to get a better perspective of the system that will best suit your needs and the costs associated it.
Forced-air systems are a good choice because they are usually the least expensive and they share the duct work for both heating and air-conditioning. The negative aspects of these systems is that they can provoke air-borne allergies and can be ineffective in rooms with vaulted ceilings if not designed properly.
Approximate Cost: $2.50 – $3.50 per square foot of living space
These systems offer a more even heat compared to forced-air systems but do not include air-conditioning. In-floor systems are incredibly comfortable but on the high side in terms of cost.
Approximate Cost: $3.50 – $6 per square foot of living space
There are some other options available such as heat pumps, solar, electric baseboard, wood stove and fireplace with wood, gas or both.
Approximate Cost: Consult with a dealer or visit a local showroom
This is another area in which the cost depends of the design of your home. As a rough estimate you can approximate that a typical home has a window area equal to about 15% to 20% of the floor area (this figure would increase by about 30% is you have large glass in the gable walls). The prices below are based on approx. 15% glass-to-floor ratio.
This is usually the cheapest option. They are very durable but have low energy efficiency
Approximate Cost: $1.50 – $3 per square foot
Vinyl units are a tad more expensive and have excellent durability, low maintenance, and fairly energy efficient
Approximate Cost: $2 – $3 per square foot
Wood-trimmed windows are more visually appealing on the interior of your home but if left untreated on the exterior they can become vulnerable to insects and decay. Very energy efficient but can be high maintenance.
Approximate Cost: $3 – $4 per square foot
This is the most expensive option. Metal on the exterior reduces maintenance while preserving the appeal of wood on the interior. They are very durable but have less energy efficiency than wood.
Approximate Cost: $3.50-$5 per square foot
Additional Costs to Consider:
* Land or lot cost including surveying and any inspection fees
* Insurance and taxes
* Building and soil engineers
* Percolation tests
* Building permits and all other fees
* Temporary services (i.e. electrical, water, toilets, etc)
* Concrete including footings and forms, gravel and sump box, weeping tile and damp-proofing
* Site development (i.e. driveway and sidewalks, well, septic, excavation, backfill and grading)
* Log Package including delivery, reassembly and a crane if necessary
* Log finish (i.e. wood preservatives, staining and fungicide)
* Soffit and fascia material including gutters and downspouts
* Insulation for all walls and ceilings as well as the roof
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