How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (2024)

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (1)

Written by

Tamatha Hazen

Edited by

Kristen Cramer

Fact-checked by

Tom Grupa

Cost to build a log cabin home

The cost to build a log cabin is $100 to $300 per square foot, including labor and materials. Building a small log cabin costs $50,000 to $150,000 on average. Log cabin prices depend on the size, location, features, and whether you purchase a kit, prefab model, turnkey package, or custom-designed home.

Cost to build a log cabin by size
Square feetAverage cost to build
500 $50,000 – $150,000
800 $80,000 – $240,000
1,000 $100,000 – $300,000
1,200 $120,000 – $360,000
1,500 $150,000 – $450,000
2,000 $200,000 – $600,000
2,500 $250,000 – $750,000
3,000 $300,000 – $900,000

Cost to build a small cabin

Building a small cabin costs $20,000 to $200,000 on average, not including the land. Using simple finishes and repurposing old fixtures like farm sinks and bathtubs makes the cabin look rustic and keeps costs down.

In comparison, building a tiny house on a foundation costs $33,000 to $78,000, not including the land.

Cost to build a small cabin
Square feetAverage cost to build
150 $15,000 – $45,000
200 $20,000 – $60,000
300 $30,000 – $90,000
400 $40,000 – $120,000
500 $50,000 – $150,000
600 $60,000 – $180,000
700 $70,000 – $210,000

Log cabin prices by design

Log cabin prices vary by design type and finish level. Kits and prefab or modular cabins are cheaper than custom stick-built log homes. DIYers save even more money by completing some of the work themselves.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (2)
Log cabin prices by type
Design typeCost per SF installedDetails
Log cabin kit $125 – $275 Entire kit of materials and plans, delivered and built on site as a DIY project or using a general contractor
Prefab / modular log home $100 – $250 Built professionally offsite, then delivered in one or more pieces and assembled onsite.
Custom stick-built cabin $150 – $400 Built on a foundation with materials using stock plans or custom-designed blueprints.
A-frame cabin $100 – $300 Built onsite with materials or a prefab cabin kit.

Log cabin kits cost

Log cabin kits cost $50 to $100 per square foot for the kit alone. The kits include all of the labeled materials and blueprints for easy assembly onsite. A skilled DIYer can usually build the cabin with help from a few professionals like electricians and plumbers.

Prefab or modular log homes prices

Prefab or modular log homes cost $100 to $250 per square foot installed. Prefab cabins are faster to build than other log cabins since they are factory-built with greater efficiency and no weather delays. The finished modules are assembled onsite in just a few days.

Custom log homes prices

Building a custom log home costs $150 to $400 per square foot, depending on the home’s size, location, and materials used. To save money on a custom log home:

  • Build a smaller home.

  • Choose a simpler design.

  • Use less expensive machine-cut logs from a local distributor.

  • Hire fewer contractors by doing some of the work yourself.

  • Repurpose old materials wherever possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (3)

A-frame log cabin cost

An A-frame house costs $100 to $300 per square foot installed. The A-shaped cabins are popular in ski areas and feature a slanted roof that extends to the ground to avoid snow and ice buildup.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (4)

Log cabin building cost calculator

Log cabin building costs vary depending on the property location and elevation, with more remote and mountainous properties having higher land development costs. Timber, logs, and hardware are typically the most expensive part of building a cabin, making up almost half of the budget.

Log cabin cost estimator
Design type% breakdownDetails
Planning and permits <2% Includes drafting fees, blueprints, and local government approval and inspections required for construction on your property
Site prep and foundation 5% Includes land clearing, grading, tree and stump removal, and a poured slab foundation
Logs and materials 40% Log kits include the logs, log siding, and hardware, while dry-in shell packages also include roof materials, subfloor, windows, and doors.
Cabin assembly labor 20% Cabin framing and roofing labor to assemble the kit or prefab cabin
Utilities and finishing costs 35%

Varies depending on the package contents and finish level. May include:

  • Utilities
  • Cabinetry
  • Countertops
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Flooring
  • Fixtures

Cost of logs for log home

The cost of logs for a log home depends on the building style, wood material, and log sizes used. The three main styles of log homes are:

  • Full scribe – Also called stacked homes, these are the most traditional and expensive, using horizontal logs cut with notches, then stacked on top of each other to form the interior and exterior walls.

  • Post & beam –The most popular style of cabins, post and beam construction uses round vertical log posts that carry large horizontal logs on top to form the structural frame with metal fasteners and brackets. The walls are then filled in with other materials, using fewer logs and saving money.

  • Timber frame – Also called square-cut or hybrid homes, timber frames are built in the same way as post and beam homes but use square logs rather than round logs, to create a flat profile with a more contemporary look.

Log cabin wood types
Wood varietyDetails
CedarMore expensive than other woods, but the aromatic wood is naturally water, insect, and fungus-resistant with a low shrinkage rate, so the logs don’t need to be kiln-dried.
PineCheaper material that needs more maintenance. Pine has a high shrinkage rate and is prone to large cracks. The pine requires kiln drying to kill insects in the wood and preservative treatments to prevent rot and insect damage.
SpruceGood choice in New England, as the inexpensive wood grows well in high altitudes. Spruce has a moderate shrinkage rate and is prone to decay and fungus unless kiln-dried.
OakHardwood is commonly used for larger log homes, oak must be kiln dried to avoid warping. White oak is resistant to decay, while red oak must be treated.

Site prep costs for cabin building

Site prep for cabin building depends on the location and elevation of the property, the type of fill used, the building pad size, and the number of trees to remove. Site prep may include the following costs:

Cabin construction cost

Cabin construction costs $100 to $300 per square foot on average, depending on the material and professional labor costs. Construction costs may include:

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (5)

Log home finishing prices

Log home kits and prefab modular cabins may have the bulk of the interior finishes included. Log-only kits or dry-in shell packages have additional finishing costs of $35 to $110 per square foot. Costs may include:

Utilities prices for a log home

Unless you plan on “roughing it” in the woods, a remote cabin needs power, water, septic, and heat. Getting utilities to vacant land costs $9,000 to $34,500 on average.

Costs for major utility services may include:

Log home prices by brand & location

Log home prices vary by brand and location, with many companies offering nationwide delivery. Log home packages are not created equal, so be sure you understand if the package includes just logs, the entire structural shell, a dry-in package, or a complete turnkey home before ordering.

Log home prices by brand & location
BrandPrice range per SF*States served
Amish Made Cabins $132 – $163 Free delivery in Kentucky
Blueridge Log Cabins $150 – $250 Nationwide delivery
Conestoga Log Cabins $90 – $167 Nationwide delivery
Coventry Log Homes $118 – $168 North America, Alaska, Hawaii,Japan, Ireland, Australia
Deer Run Cabins (Amish built) $99 – $129 Free delivery within 200 miles of Campbellsville, KY
eLoghomes $45 – $85 Nationwide and outside the US
Finger Lakes Log Homes $35 – $46 Upstate New York
Honest Abe Log Homes $125 – $145 Nationwide delivery

*Prices are for materials only; delivery and installation not included.

Are log cabins more expensive to build than traditional houses?

Many people are shocked to learn a log cabin is more expensive than the cost to build a traditional house at $100 to $200 per square foot. Cabins built on rural property have added costs for utilities, road access, and surcharges for material delivery to remote locations.

Log cabin vs. traditional house costs
FactorsLog cabinTraditional home
Cost $100 – $300 per square foot $100 – $200 per square foot
Size 1,000 square feet average, withsizes from 150 to 4,000+ square feet2,000 square feet average, withsizes from 600 to 4,000+ square feet
Materials Logs or log sidingWood, brick, or concrete
Build time 3 – 6 months for a small cabin6 – 9+ months for an average-sized home
Maintenance Routine maintenance requiredMaintenance-free materials available
Sustainability Environmentally friendly logs are a renewable resource, especially when using standing dead timber.Less environmentally friendly since brick, concrete, and metal siding are not renewable resources.

Log cabin building FAQs

Are log cabin homes worth the cost?

While log cabin homes can be more expensive to build and insure than traditional homes, they are considered worth the cost for their rustic charm, energy efficiency, and overall serenity. Additionally, log homes hold their value over time more than regular homes.

Is it cheaper to buy or build a log cabin?

It is often cheaper to buy a pre-built cabin than build one yourself, especially if you consider the time involved in building from scratch. Building a log cabin may require getting a short-term construction loan to finance the build, then converting the loan into a long-term mortgage.

How long does it take to build a log cabin?

A small log cabin can be built in 3 to 4 months or faster if built from a log cabin kit. Building a large custom log home can take 8 to 12 months.

Can you build a log cabin without a permit or planning permission?

Depending on where you live, building a small cabin under 400 square feet may not require a permit or planning permission. Larger cabins need to be inspected and pass regulations to be legal and insured. Even off-grid cabins require the proper permits from your city or county.

How long do log cabins last?

Log cabins can last 50 years or more. Building a log cabin on a strong foundation and performing regular maintenance will help your cabin last for generations.

How much maintenance does a log cabin require?

Log cabins require some maintenance, depending on the climate and the wood used. To keep your cabin in good condition for many years:

  • Inspect the cabin and foundation twice a year.

  • Replace any rotted logs and repair cracks or sinking in the foundation immediately.

  • Wash the exterior to remove dirt at each inspection.

  • Stain the logs every 3 to 4 years.

  • Seal or caulk the logs every 4 years or sooner if needed.

  • Keep the roof and gutters free of debris.

Getting estimates from log cabin builders

When looking for a log cabin builder, follow these recommendations:

  • Search for licensed, insured, and bonded builders with experience building log cabins.

  • Get 2 or 3 estimates to compare.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • View their portfolio of previous builds online.

  • Try to visit a recently built log cabin to see their work in person.

  • Select a log cabin builder that fits your budget and timeline.

  • Request a written contract including the timeline, payment schedule, and warranty details.

  • Arrange a payment schedule that avoids large down payments and requires final payment after completion.

Questions to ask

Be sure to ask your log cabin builder these important questions:

  • Is your business licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • How long have you been building log cabins?

  • What is included in your estimate?

  • What unexpected costs are likely to come up during the project?

  • Will you take care of the permitting process?

  • Is my lot suitable for a log cabin? What site prep is required?

  • How long will the cabin take to build?

  • When can you start the build?

  • What deposit do you require? What are your payment terms?

  • Do you have a list of preferred financial lenders?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023) (2024)

FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cabin? (2023)? ›

The average cost per square foot to build a house is between $100 and $200. Comparably, building a cabin falls within this price range, costing between $125 and $175 per square foot.

Is it cheaper to build cabin than house? ›

The average cost per square foot to build a house is between $100 and $200. Comparably, building a cabin falls within this price range, costing between $125 and $175 per square foot.

How much does it cost to build a 800 sq ft cabin? ›

Cost to Build a Log Cabin per Square Foot
SizeModular CostStick-Built Cost
800 sq.ft.$80K - $240K$120K - $320K
1,000 sq.ft.$100K - $300K$150K - $400K
1,200 sq.ft.$120K - $360K$180K - $480K
1,500 sq.ft.$150K - $450K$225K - $600K
5 more rows
Sep 21, 2022

How much does it cost to build a small cabin in the woods? ›

Cost to build a small cabin
Square feetAverage cost to build
300$30,000 – $90,000
400$40,000 – $120,000
500$50,000 – $150,000
600$60,000 – $180,000
3 more rows
Apr 24, 2023

Is it better to buy or build a cabin? ›

Location. If you want to build vs buy a cabin, another thing to take into consideration is your property location. If you already have a site in mind for your future cabins then building it by yourself might be better because it's more efficient and time-saving.

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