Here's Why Building a Log Cabin on Your Own Can Be Better than Buying One


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Many of us dream of owning a log cabin. But depending on the style, local labor, and chosen materials, log cabins can be pricey. However, there are inexpensive alternatives. But the big question is: Log Cabins – Build Or Buy? This is what many would-be log cabin owners have to decide. Weighing out the options can be difficult, and there are many things to consider, including available time, money and other resources as well as the design and floor plan (do you have a specific design in mind, or would you be willing to purchase something and possibly remodel it to suit your tastes?).

Before buying a log cabin, there is a lot to consider. Things such as the size and position of the plot, location, square footage of the log cabin, what services have been made available and price. There are different styles of log cabins suitable for different purposes so selecting the ‘right’ log cabin according to your requirements can be tricky. While you can purchase already build and previously lived-in log cabins, you can also purchase pre-fabricated log cabins that come either in kit form or ready built and delivered to your site. The latter gives you some say regarding floor plan, and upgraded materials can usually be swapped out over the basic inclusions, but you are still buying someone else’s dream log cabin. Because the cost to build log cabins can range up to, or even over, $300 per square foot, purchasing a log cabin on the housing market can be pricy. Home owners want to get the best dollar for their investment and be rewarded for all their hard work while home buyers want to get the best value for their dollar and purchase the log cabin of their dreams.

So what’s the alternative? You could build your log cabin. Again, this can be an expensive option. Consider that at the average $200-$300 per square foot cost, a small 1,000 square foot log cabin could cost upwards of $200,000-$300,000. Of course, there are always ways to save money while building, including negotiating cheaper labor costs, doing some of the build yourself (or at least project managing) or even utilizing salvaged or reclaimed materials and finding cheaper ways to build similar structures (for example, installing an efficient woodstove with black flue pipe instead of a build-in fireplace could save thousands of dollars). Another option is to purchase a log cabin kit and erect it yourself. Log cabin kits tend to be less expensive than hiring a contractor, paying expensive labor, and being at the mercy of material delivery and even weather (which can hold up your build and add unnecessary time and costs). In fact, some people with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work have built log cabins for less than $100 (this includes the backbreaking task of finding, cutting and hauling logs, designing your floor plan, clearing the land, etc.).

While log cabins can be costly, they can also be quite inexpensive. It depends on your tastes and requirements, your ‘dream’ or vision for your log cabin, the amount of work you put into it, the materials you purchase and a whole range of other variables. Shopping around is quite important either way – for the best price on an already existing log cabin or one you want to build and no doubt you will need to do a lot of research to get the best price. For many it comes down to the price and the amount of time and effort it will take to achieve your goal. But know one thing: a little creativity goes a long way. Log cabins can be less expensive than you think. If you’re lucky enough to be in the market for a log cabin, choosing whether to build or buy will probably be one of the simpler decisions you make!


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