Can You Afford to Build a Log Home?

We’ve noticed that over the last few months a number of people have commented on some of our log home designs saying “we wish we could afford this”. After speaking with them they realized that building a log home may not be as expensive as they at first thought. Just like anything else you spend money on, you can go all out and build a multi-million dollar home; but you can also build a log or Timber Frame home for a similar cost of a conventional home.

Over the past couple of years the “Westcoast” and Timber Frame style of home has become more and more popular, creating a hybrid between modern home designs and traditional log homes.

We previously wrote a detailed article breaking down how much log homes cost which you can read here. To give you a quick overview here are the main considerations that will determine the cost of your home:

Style of Log Home

Generally there are 3 main styles of log homes: Full Scribe, Timber Frame and Post and Beam.

  • Full Scribe log homes are the traditional style where logs are stacked together horizontally to form the walls.
  • Post and Beam uses the full log as a structural support providing a natural log surface inside and outside the home. Fewer logs are used compared to a Full Scribe making these homes a great cost-effective alternative to Full Scribe log homes.
  • Timber Frame homes are very similar to Post and Beam where the main horizontal structure is held up by many timber posts. The main difference is that the timbers are cut into a square profile where Post and Beam is a round profile.

There are a few limitations when it comes to the above styles. You can read the full advantages and disadvantages of each in our comparison article.

Selecting Your Timber

The type of timber and the diameter of your wood can play a huge factor in the cost of your project as well. Western Red Cedar is the most sought after type of timber because it is the most decay- and insect-resistant type of wood. Western Red Cedar is mainly found on the west coast of British Columbia so it is considered a premium timber. Douglas Fir is a longtime favorite type of timber used in conventional homes and by many engineers.

Design Style

The size of your home will also factor into the total cost of your home. We have built log homes ranging from under 800 square feet up to well over 10,000 square feet and everything in between. Working with a good design team is key to helping you achieve all of the desired features you want. If cost is a concern for you they can make good use of space and create the illusion of a larger home without breaking the bank.

Comparing Cost Per Square Foot

As you can see from the above details there are a number of factors that can go into determining the cost of your log home. Taking that into consideration, here is a quick breakdown per square foot:

  • Timber Frame shell: $45 – $75 Canadian per square foot
  • Post and Beam shell: $45 – $75 Canadian per square foot
  • Full Scribe Log Home Shell: $60 – $100 Canadian per square foot
  • Full Scribe Log Home shell with flared western red cedar: $100 – $150 Canadian per square foot.

Turnkey (move in ready) average cost per square foot

  • Timber Frame Log Home: $175 – $270 Canadian per square foot
  • Post and Beam Log Home: $175 – $270 Canadian per square foot
  • Full Scribe Log Home: $200 – $350 Canadian per square foot

We hope that you have found this article helpful in understanding how building your dream log home may be more achievable than you think.

If you have any particular questions or are interested in designing or building we would be happy to walk you through the process. You can contact us here.

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