Clarifying A Log Home Construction Turnkey Cost

Sue | February 20th, 2023 - 3:30 pm
After our last article, “Log Home Turnkey Costs Today”, some of our readers asked for a bit more clarification about exactly what a turnkey cost includes and a few more details relating to construction.

Turnkey Pricing Inclusions for Log Homes

Turnkey pricing includes all of the labor and materials needed to complete the house so that you can just “turn the key” and move in when it is done. Turnkey goes from the foundation to the roof – sort of like a bumper-to-bumper cost on a car. Most commonly a turnkey includes the labor for digging the foundation, labor and materials to install the foundation, log shell package, log shell erection, installation of exterior doors, windows, roofing, and decking, installation of all the interior finish materials for baths, kitchen, flooring, lighting, appliances, closets, etc. etc. A turnkey also includes specialty additions such as fireplaces.

Turnkey Pricing EX-clusions for a Log Home

Things not typically included in a log home turnkey pricing are the cost of the property, well, septic, tieing into utilities like electricity or natural gas, propane tanks, driveway, garage, or other outbuildings. These are all customer-specific and job-site-specific and are not involved in the foundation to roof completion. These items can be planned for and budgeted for during the turnkey budget planning, but they are in addition to the turnkey construction costs. If we are the general contractor, we oversee the driveway and utility work, but a garage, landscaping, and other outbuildings are part priced and contracted separately.

Do You Build Log Home Packages From Other Companies?

A question that we do get occasionally is if we build log home packages from other companies. The answer is No. As far as the log home packages, we only build log home packages that we sell. The turnkey price is simply an estimate based on what we are currently seeing and what other contractors in the Pacific Northwest have shared with us. The total price depends a lot on the choices of finish materials the owners chose. If we were to build a log package from another company we would start the pricing out around $400+ per square foot plus the cost of the log home package. The majority of other log packages are not precut like ours and require a lot more time and labor on-site. Some contractors we are familiar with are currently booked 2 years out, so saving on labor costs on-site is important.

Dryin Contracts – Another Log Home Construction Option

A dryin construction contract for a log home is a contract for the construction of the log home only to the point of keeping the weather out of it.  It includes the excavation and foundation work, erection of the log shell package, installation of exterior doors, windows, and decking, installation of the roof up to the roof underlayment, and the installation of the interior framing. A dryin contract does not typically include staining of the exterior or interior of the log home or the final metal or shingles for the roof. Once the home is dried-in, then the owner subcontracts the finish work him/herself or does some of the work.

Drawbacks to a Dryin Construction Contract

The first drawback to a dryin construction contract is most banks will not lend on a project unless it is a full turnkey solution. Another drawback is it is very hard to keep a job on track unless the owner is living close to the job site and has the time to be actively involved in keeping track of work completed and chasing contractors. Some contractors are better than others at being sure they show up and do the job they are contracted to do. A third drawback is some owners have no construction experience and some contractors take advantage and slack on quality.

Determining the Best Construction Contract for You

Determining the best construction contract for you is not usually very difficult. If you have no construction experience then a turnkey solution is probably the best. If you have some construction experience or background and enjoy being involved in day-to-day activities on the job site then a dryin contract might be the best bet for you. If you have some construction experience but would like help erecting the log shell then a log-stack only contract might be best. And if you enjoy woodworking and have construction experience then you probably would do fine building your new log home from start to finish. But the most important thing is to decide what you are comfortable with.
Cowboy Log Homes
Any projected costs, cost estimates, material costs, and estimated construction/ building costs, are only the opinion of Cowboy Log Homes and are drawn from our experience. Every home is custom tailored to meet our individual client's wants and desires. The construction of a log or timber home is based on two primary costs: material provided by the log home company and construction costs contracted with Cowboy Log Homes as the builder or another builder of the customer's choice. Final costs are obtained and contracted with each respectively. Cowboy Log Homes is simply the "glue" that helps bring these two together to provide a final culmination of a customer's project. * Please note photos and elevations may differ some from accompanying floor plans.
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