Why Handcrafted Log Home Shells Are A Great Value

Sue | November 7th, 2011 - 10:06 am

Recently someone asked me if I could explain the best way for them to maximize their dollars for their new log home. The way to do this is to purchase the log shell from us and other material locally. This customer wanted a handcrafted log home, they planned to do some of the work themselves, and they desired our high quality homes but they could not afford an entire log home package. Though all components that we include in our packages are necessary (i.e. every home needs windows) there are a few ways to do things a bit more economically while still getting the benefit of our handcrafted log homes.

First let me explain why our log home shells save you money– and YES they do save you money. By being fully precut and prenumbered there is so much time and labor costs saved on the job site. For a 2000 square foot log home you will pay about $45 to $60 per square foot for a handcrafted log shell from Cowboy Log Homes. Once the log home arrives on the job site it will take about three to five days to stack the logs and install the roof system depending on the size of the log home. Once this is complete the home is ready to install the finish material of windows, exterior doors, roofing, etc.

When all of the cutting has to be done on the job site with a random length milled log shell or if you harvest your own logs and build it yourself the log shell can take anywhere from three to four months to stack and have ready for windows, doors, and roofing material. With the extra cost of paying guys to work with you and also to rent the equipment to lift the logs, the fully precut package will cost LESS than doing all of this yourself and on the job site. Basically from our calculations based on personal experience with random length logs homes you are only paying yourself about $5 per hour by doing all of the cutting. Yes, a fully precut log home shell is more expensive, but not when you add in all of the labor time and equipment rental costs.

july 12th log shell

For the electrical work we have had electricians quote us a few dollars less per square foot for the electrical work because all of the electric box holes are precut and the electric wire holes are predrilled. This saves the contractor a LOT of time on the job site. If you are doing your own wiring, then this is also a tremendous plus with our packages.

Have you ever installed a window against a round log wall? I have. And let me tell you, it is not easy. If the window and door openings are not beveled back and prepared for the trim then you either have to install the trim on top of the round logs (which brings on a load of other problems) or you have to do the cutting yourself. When trim is simply slapped on top of the round logs there are wide areas left for air to travel behind the trim and into the home, the trim look silly with spray foam peaking out from behind the trim, and the whole picture is substandard. The best way is to have the trim recessed into the logs.

Items such as exterior doors, windows, shingles or metal roofing, interior framing lumber, subfloor, are not cheap, but some owners have found it less expensive to purchase them locally. You can never go back and add a timber roof system to your home, but you can install cheaper windows now and just plan to replace them in ten years or so.

And finally the way that our handcrafted log home shells save you time and maximize your budget is that you can build in the peak season. Instead of factoring in an extra three months of stacking and cutting time, that is three more months of finishing the log home. So remember your time is valuable no matter if you are building a small log cabin kit or a large log home. 

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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