My last two blogs I’ve been talking about the confusion and wide range of log home packages offered by all the log home companies and costs you will have that aren’t part of the package but yet impact your log home construction costs. My last blog was talking about related costs such as land, well, septic, permits and driveways. Even though we’re based in Minnesota these costs will pretty much apply anywhere you would be building.
First of all, you need to have a foundation in the ground so that means we need some excavating for your footings and foundation. Depth of excavating will depend on water table, grade at the site and if you are going to have a full basement, crawl space or slab. Digging, backfilling and hauling in (or out) dirt or sand as needed will be part of the excavators cost. Costs will be site specific. If you have a flat, sandy lot and no trees or rocks need to be removed you will have considerable less costs associated with excavating than someone building on a steep rocky site. Footings and foundation are next. Foundation walls can be either block, solid poured wall or an ICF walls. ICF means insulated concrete form which is a foam panel for interior and exterior of the foundation walls with concrete poured in between them. An ICF foundation is energy efficient but is more expensive than the other options. It is best to work with your builder and have them price out the options for you and go from there. The other costs related to the concrete work will be waterproofing of the foundation walls, basement and garage floors and any patios or sidewalks you may want.
From excavating and concrete we move on to construction labor. The carpenters will include in their costs the labor to do all the framing of walls, building of stairs, porches, decks and setting of floor and roof systems that are shown on the plan. From there they will sheet the roof and get the roof shingled and soffit and fascia installed. They will also include installing doors, windows and log. If you are going with full log construction the log stacking labor will be part of the construction bid. Once the log work is done, the shingles are on the roof and the windows and exterior doors are installed the shell is complete and ready for the sub-contractors to come in and get their tasks started. Some people only hire the builders to just do a “shell only” labor bid. If that is the case, the carpenters would be completed at this point and you would be taking over for the items that are your responsibility. We are seeing fewer people each year opting for shell only construction. Codes are strict so it is harder for a homeowner/builder to get everything to comply on a timely basis or having to spend time and money re-doing something to keep the local building inspector happy. Not everyone has access to the proper tools, scaffold and help to complete the job either. Renting tools and having delays can add costs. Sweat equity is great as long as you can get the project done on time. If you are relying on friends and family members to help, make sure they are committed to your project but still account for hiring the items out in your budget in case something goes wrong. I’ve seen too many people get delayed a week or more on a project because of someone not being able to show up to help out on a weekend. The other costs that will be part of the carpenter labor bid will be installing the interior items such as T&G knotty pine, trim, log, closet shelves, railings, interior doors and hardware to name a few. Take the time to sit down with your builder to make sure everything is covered for labor items.
Beyond the package and labor the mechanicals need to be accounted for. HVAC can run anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of the house and the system you decide to go with. A rough estimate for electrical would be roughly $15,000 plus the fixtures you’ve selected. Plumbing is similar to HVAC costs and can have a wide range due to fixtures that are selected. Don’t forget the cabinetry, countertops and flooring options as well! It can be a lot of fun selecting those items of your new log home!
Thanks for reading and I will continue more on log home building costs in my next blog. For questions or more information on log homes in Minnesota and Wisconsin just head to my website or give me a call at 651-674-0554