In my last blog I wrote about log home packages and sorting out what is and what isn’t included. Some log home companies lean on the builder to supply quite a few items that are materials related. Beyond materials, there are quite a few things that relate to the build that need to be taken care of by the builder/general contractor. If you are self-building then these items will be up to you to get bid and supplied. Some of these items can get overlooked early on in the process and can impact your log home construction budget.
To get serious about your log home plan you need your land. Land, location and site conditions impact building costs in many way. Items that are part of your budget will be driveway, culvert (if needed) and lot clearing. Some areas require a paved driveway over a gravel driveway so be sure to check if there are any local requirements. Electric service to your house is another cost. This can range anywhere from $4.00/foot and up plus the meter fee. Some log home settings can be a quarter mile or more from the nearest power pole so the electric service can add up fast. A call to the power company that provides power to your area will be helpful. Phone service will also need to be figured in. Some are opting for cell phones only but most still go with a hard wired phone due to remote locations and minimal or non-existent cell coverage. Building permits don’t come free. I’ve seen some as low as $100 in some areas to over $3000 in others. A call to your local zoning office may help you out on this or your local builder should have a pretty good idea. But keep in mind some will base permit fees off of the size of the home.
Again, due to most log homes being built in remote settings, city water and sewer usually isn’t available so you will need private well and septic. Your builder will be able to help you out on estimates being he is familiar with the area but actual cost for the septic is determined by the soil conditions on your lot. Some lots that have sand and gravel on them may get by with a conventional septic design while a lot with heavier soil such as clay will need an above grade mound system. Conventional systems are usually less expensive than a mound septic. Here in Minnesota and western Wisconsin we see conventional septics ranging from $6000 to $8000 with a mound system for a three bedroom home costing $9500 to $14000. Keep in mind actual cost is based on the conditions on your lot and is determined by a perc test that is performed where the septic field will be located. You can expect to be charged around $400 to $500 for a perc test and septic design. One other factor on septic cost is how many bedrooms are shown on your floor plan. Wells can vary far and wide due to how deep they need to be drilled and if the drilling is through sand or rock. Your local builder and well driller will have a good idea on costs for your area but you won’t know for sure until the well is in the ground and you have water. Here in my area of central Minnesota the wells are approximately 125 feet deep and cost roughly around $5500. That same well in northeastern Minnesota can run up to $20,000 pretty quick because of the bedrock that needs to be drilled through. I will expand on more budget items in my next blog covering costs and budgets. Until then, feel free to visit the Wild River Log Homes website for more information on log homes in Minnesota.