When it comes to building a log home, you have numerous choices as to how you want to build the house. You can build a custom log and timber home through a builder like Artisan Log Homes, buy a pre-built log shell, or take all the responsibility of erecting your log home on a DIY basis.
It’s highly unlikely you can just go out in the woods, cut down trees and turn them into perfect logs for your dream house (although there are some skilled individuals that can do this). If you are looking for the best way to build your own log home we suggest researching and looking into a log home kit. The cost of building a custom log home using a kit can be much smaller than buying a custom built home. We do not offer log home kits, but we do get a number of questions about them so in this article we will outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of log home kits to give you a better understanding of them.
What is a Log Home Kit?
Log home kits are log packages that contain everything that you need to erect your log home right from the get-go. However, it’s important to note that a kit only helps you build the basic skeleton of your house and not the overall finished home. You will have to spend additional resource sand money to get the flooring, cabinetry, and other finishing elements done.
In simple terms, log home kits are disassembled log homes that you have to assemble based on the instructions that come with the package. An important thing to keep in mind that many elements that are a compulsory part of one company’s log home kit might not even be required in the kit of some other companies. Make sure you do your researching in finding the right kit for you and the right company.
What is included with a typical log home kit?
When purchasing a kit, you should thoroughly research and understand what is included, as mentioned above. Based on most log home kits they typically include log wall systems, a roofing system, windows and doors. These materials will provide you with a complete log home shell. Again additional items will vary per company.
However, in addition to a typical kit you also will need to source the following materials including a variety of others depending on your personal style and taste;
- Sub Floors
- Interior Floors
- Interior Finishes (Kitchens, Bathrooms, Interior Doors)
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Log Home Kits
The Advantages of Log Home Kits
The first big advantage of a log home kit is affordability. Building a log home using a kit might cost you 1/3rd of the price of buying a finished home, depending on the package. Furthermore, kits allow you to build your house the way you want and allow you to be as involved in the process as you want to be. When buying finished products, you have to be content with what you are getting at the price you are paying. Making any changes to the existing structure will add to your cost. On the other hand, you build your log home from scratch using a kit, which inevitably helps personalize your home according to your specific needs and wants.
Another big advantage of using kits to build log homes is that you get some construction experience. By following the assembly instructions that come with the package, you can build your house with your hands even if you haven’t done that before. Yes, the final product might not be as cleanly finished as you would want but you will learn a lot.
Last but not least, another advantage of having a home kit is in some cases the quick timing of assembly. If you have a crew of workers and you yourself have construction knowlede you could have parts of your home assembled in a matter of days (despite any setbacks that could arise).
The Disadvantages of Log Home Kits
While pricing is the most obvious advantage of home kits, this can also be a drawback as well. It’s true that the cost of building a log home will be much less when you go the kit route compared to what you have to spend on an already finished house. But like any product and any home purchasing decision, it carries its own share of risks.
One major disadvantage of a kit is a house built with a kit is its not finished. Installing the flooring, electrical materials, plumbing, etc. will eventually add up and take your costs higher then you may have initially planned for. If you are good at budgeting, you can still save money on building your log home with your hands.
The second disadvantage if you haven’t done any construction work before, is the entire process. If you run into any problems this can pose as a major challenge and be an extremely frustrating matter you’re now having to deal with. There have been numerous stories of people building their own log home kit, making a wrong cut or selecting the wrong log and having to spend days or weeks fixing their mistakes. Not to mention the extra costs associated with this.
Depending on the design and customization that you are looking for with your log home you may be limited to the design options. Many companies have set plans and designs for you to choose from and don’t allow for some customizations in their log home kit packages. Without the right amount of research, you might end up not getting what you thought you were paying for.
At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to your personal preference and choice when building a custom log home. If you want the gratification of building your home with your bare hands a log home kit can be great. If you want to be involved in the process but not be the one hammering in the nails working with a reputable contractor that involved you in the process may provide you with the gratification you want without the added stress.
Thousands of people use kits to create beautiful, unique homes for themselves. But you must go into it with open eyes. Regardless of your decision, the most important thing is to do your research and pull together a detailed budget and timeline.
As mentioned above, we don’t offer log home kits but can provide timbers and log shells in addition to our custom log and timber homes. If you are wanting to get a sense of the budget required to build a custom log home we have put together a FREE log home budget worksheet for you to help plan your build.