How Much Does It Cost to Build A Log Cabin?
$62,500 - $87,500
$62,500 - $87,500
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated August 4, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
A 500-square-foot cabin typically costs between $62,500 and $87,500 to build, or $75,000 on average. Building a rustic cabin of this size on flat land may only cost $50,000, but trickier locations or complex designs could up the costs to $150,000 or more. Much larger cabins, like 1,500-square-footlog cabins, can climb past $250,000. These costs don’t include the price of land.
2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging
Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.
You can calculate the cost to build a cabin the same way you calculate the cost to build a house. Because the price of land varies so much by city and state, our log cabin cost guide assumes you've already purchased land and are in the design and building phases.
Below, we break down the costs of prepping the site, installing utilities and services, construction, and finishes.
After you’ve purchased the land and obtained all the proper permits, the first task in building a log cabin is preparing the site. In general, this requires clearing and excavating the land.
Clearing land costs $3,200 on average, or roughly $250–$1,000 per acre.
Excavating land costs around $3,500, but this can vary greatly depending on the project size. Project bids usually reflect cubic yards of dirt moved, roughly $50–$200 per cubic yard.
The more remote your cabin location—and the more complex the terrain—the more expensive your site prep costs will be when building a log cabin.
If the land you purchased isn’t already set up for electric, water, gas, and septic, you’ll need to budget for these utilities and services. The table below represents estimates that can vary greatly by square footage and location.
|Utility or Service||Average Price Range|
|Gas line||$200 – $2,000|
|Drain pipes (rough-in plumbing)||$700 – $30,000|
|Electrical wiring||$1,500 – $15,000|
|Septic system||$10,000 – $25,000|
Also, keep in mind the following:
Electrical wiring costs around $3–$5 per square foot.
Installing new drain pipes costs around $1.40–$10 per linear foot for labor and materials. Material costs vary widely from cross-linked polyethylene ($1.40–$4 per linear foot) to copper ($3–$10 per linear foot).
Installing gas lines costs around $200–$2,000 for 20 to 100 linear feet.
The cost of a septic system, including a leach field, tank, and piping, ranges from $10,000–$25,000.
From the foundation up, a large portion of your log cabin costs will come from construction and materials. The quality of each material can vary significantly, which can alter the overall cost. Below are key construction materials to budget for when building a cabin:
|Concrete||$1,000 – $10,000|
|Drywall||$10 per sheet|
|Flooring||$1 – $5 per square foot|
|Insulation||$0.10 – $1 per square foot|
|Lumber||$25,000 – $65,000|
|Roofing||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Siding||$2 – $15 per square foot|
Because these log cabin construction materials can vary so much in cost based on quantity, quality, and location, it’s a good idea to review our cost guides for each portion of the building process:
House framing prices (lumber and steel)
After your log cabin is built, you'll need to budget for things like interior and exterior painting, furniture, appliances, finishes, and more. Some of these may be installed during the construction phase, and some costs may already be included in prefab cabin prices. Below are some expenses to consider:
Exterior house painting prices: $1,780–$4,350
Home interior painting prices: $950–$2,900
Lighting fixture prices: $150–$925 per fixture
Custom cabinet prices: $2,400–$9,250
Countertop installation costs: $1,850–$4,300
Appliance prices: $11,000 for a new home
Home furnishing prices: $3,500–$95,000
You may also want to tack on more luxurious items and budget for the cost of a fireplace ($875 to $3,900) or the cost of a hot tub ($2,000 to $35,000). If you're renting your log cabin out, you may also want to consult with an interior designer. An interior designer costs around $6,000.
While a 500-square-foot cabin is $75,000 on average, costs vary depending on the location and design. You’ll need to talk to a pro to figure out the style and layout. Hiring an architect costs 5% to 20% of the total project price on average. While you’ll get less say in the design, modular log cabin prices can be more affordable.
|Cabin Style||Average Price Range per Sq. Ft.|
|Prefab||$80 – $230|
|Baic log cabin kit||$50 – $80|
|A-frame||$125 – $175|
|Custom||$300 – $500|
Prefab cabin prices, including installation and materials, can cost anywhere from $80 to $230 per square foot. Builder-grade materials will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, while high-end materials and fixtures will raise the price per square foot.
Modern prefab units and smaller layouts also run on the higher end of the price range due to the economies of scale. In other words, you’ll often pay more per square foot for a 100-square-foot cabin than one that’s 500 square feet.
A log cabin kit runs from around $50 to $80 per square foot for the basics, such as walls, a roof, windows, and doors. You'll either need to pay extra per square foot to get a foundation, floors, and bathroom finishes or outsource these tasks. The final price depends on what you add to your cabin. You'll also need to pay for the labor to install the kit.
The table below explores various log cabin kits currently on the market. Prices may vary greatly depending on the landscape, region, material prices, shipping costs, and more.
|Brand/Cabin Name||Size in Sq. Ft.||Average Cost||Details|
|Southland/12x20 Log Cabin||240||$25,000||1 bath|
|Battle Creek/Bear View||578||$65,200||2 floors (1 sleeping loft)|
|Coventry/Adventurer||840||$25,000||1 bed, 1 bath|
|Conestoga Log Cabin/Mountain King||1,080||$62,000||2 beds, 1 bath|
An average A-frame cabin costs $150 per square foot to construct, or $125 to $175 per square foot. Traditional A-frames are in the shape of a triangular prism. Both sides of the roof extend all the way down to the ground, so when facing the front, it looks like a triangle. There are plenty of variations for what an A-frame can look like, but the triangular appearance is the signature look.
For a custom log home, you might pay $300 to $500 per square foot. The more customized your home is, the more expensive it'll be.
Building a cabin typically ranges from $125 to $175 per square foot but could run as high as $500 per square foot for the most elaborate custom log cabins.
|Cabin Size in Sq. Ft.||Average Price Range|
|200||$25,000 – $35,000|
|500||$62,500 – $87,500|
|1,000||$125,000 – $175,000|
|1,500||$187,500 – $262,500|
A 1,000-square-foot cabin averages between $125,000 and $175,000. Because location and land preparation play a huge role in costs, a log home of this size might cost up to $300,000 or more. On the flip side, building in an open, flat area might only cost $100,000.
The average 1,500-square-foot log cabin costs approximately $225,000, but most homeowners pay between $187,500 and $262,500. While these prices include materials and labor, they don’t include the cost of land. Note that the national land cost is around $3,380 per acre.
Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 per square foot to build a small cabin, though average prices range from $125 to $175 per square foot. This is comparable to the cost of a tiny home, which typically runs from $100 to $200 per square foot but can cost as much as $300 per square foot.
While a 500-square-foot log home costs $75,000 on average, different companies have varying prices. Below are some of the most popular brands and what you can expect to pay.
|Brand||Cabin Size in Sq. Ft.||Average Price Range|
|Blue Ridge Log Cabins||500||$45,000 – $83,000|
|eLoghomes||500 – 600||$42,000 – $65,000|
|Real Log Homes||480||$55,000+|
|Southland Log Homes||500||$91,000 – $152,000|
Log homes are comparable in construction costs to traditional homes. Building a house costs between $100 and $200 per square foot. Building a cabin similarly falls into this range, at $125 to $175 per square foot, though prices can extend up to $300 per square foot or higher, especially in areas with a higher cost of living or more demand on land and materials.
Building a cabin usually costs less than building a house because cabins are typically smaller in size. However, log homes require a different type of maintenance than a traditional home, which can get costly. You'll likely pay at least $1,000 yearly in staining, caulking, and cleaning materials, whereas homes with siding don't require nearly as much exterior upkeep.
Cabin upkeep can run more expensive than a traditional house due to off-the-grid costs. Septic systems are more likely to run into issues than houses connected to main sewer lines. Tanks often need repairs every few years, and repairing a septic system costs anywhere from $625 to $6,000 or more. Additionally, if you need to bring in water, well drilling costs $5,500 on average.
Building your own log cabin might sound appealing, but it comes with many risks. From pouring the foundation to stacking logs and creating windows and doors, any construction mistakes will be costly, if not dangerous. You'll also get the best return on investment (ROI) when hiring a professional craftsperson to construct your cabin.
There are plenty of ways to make a cabin build more affordable. Smaller, more basic designs cost the least. Instead of actual logs, log siding costs around $6.25 per square foot, though it requires more maintenance than an authentic log home. Whichever way you go, working with a professional home builder near you is always your best bet.
Building a log home is fairly close to the cost of building a traditional house for just the construction. If you were to build a 1,500-square-foot cabin, it would average between $187,500 and $262,500. A house of the same size would run between $150,000 and $300,000.
Modern prefab kit prices offer the benefit of a more straightforward build and also typically include higher-end details. While floor plans are predesigned, homeowners can choose from options to customize finishes. These customizations land modern prefab kits on the higher end of the price range.
Building a log cabin is usually less costly than buying one. Neither option is inexpensive, but buying land and paying for the construction of a log cabin is generally more affordable. As the builder, you'll also see a better ROI if you go to sell because you can usually sell for much more than you spent to build it, especially if the cabin sits on a lot of land.