Floor plan

The log home builders association recommends a square log home. They sell plans for $1700 that are engineered and ready to go. But we don’t like doing things the easy way, so we’d like to draw our own. I haven’t gone to the class yet, and they might say something that will change my mind- and that’s ok- but for now, we drew up these plans using “sweet home 3D” (open source, of course):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We each started with our own plan, and then revised them several times. Then, we looked at both together and decided which elements to include from both into one plan. My wife is so creative and practical! A lot of the credit goes to her. But in the end, she liked my plan the best (it’s really OUR plan because she had so much input- I just laid out where the bedrooms and bathrooms would go).

It appears that an aggressive building schedule (most every night after work and weekends – not including Sunday – got to worship the ultimate Creator!) means the shell will take about a year. The finish work will take another year using the same schedule. So, two years of (very hard) work gets us a mortgage-free home!

Still need to get software that will produce elevations, but we’ve got time. I’ve heard it takes about 3 months to peel the logs…..

Cost analysis

I got bored while looking for land, so I priced out all the materials I could think of that I will need to build this log home. I went to HomeDepot online, and just looked there for everything. I’m sure that I can get stuff cheaper if I keep my eyes open- for example, I saw an ad recently on Craigslist for 3/4″ OSB for $7.00/sheet.

The cost is very surprising. Assuming I can get the logs for free (I found a Craigslist ad for a guy that wants someone to come take 50 mature trees out of his yard), everything else prices out as below. I’d have to hire a logging truck to come pick up the logs, but I already found out it’s about $300 or less. So, here’s my price list: log-home-cost-analysis

For less than $10,000, I get the shell. That includes a sawmill, a chainsaw, other tools, concrete for the foundation, the logs, the spikes, and the roof. I forgot to add one thing: a tractor. Found out I’m going to need a way to load the logs onto the sawmill, dig holes, drag chains attached to pulleys, level the ground, build driveways, move dirt, and basically lift heavy stuff. I’ve been looking, and it appears I can get one for about $3500, so the shell will cost about $13,000.

The whole thing (not including the land) will cost about $40,000. I’m using the sawmill to make the beams, and also the flooring. We may even do concrete counter-tops like this: concrete-countertop

Our plan right now is 36’x48′ two levels, with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, an atrium for plants, and a balcony. $40,000 for a 3,000 sq ft log home is pretty darn cheap!