The advantages of a log house kit
A well-built log home has a rustic beauty to it and is vastly cheaper than the usual price people pay for a home today. Especially if you build it yourself, you can save a fortune. Log homes are also energy efficient and can be as small or as large as you want them to be.
Building a log home yourself is not as difficult as cutting down trees and doing every step in the construction yourself. With a kit, you can make a log home yourself if you are good with tools and equipment.
Life today can be a challenge, and you may have to think outside the box to become a homeowner without spending way too much of your money on your mortgage. Take advantage of the opportunities life offers and consider buying land and building a home mostly by yourself.
Different kits offer different materials
The best and most expensive material for building a log house is cedar. Cedar keeps the insects out and does not shrink like some other types of wood do.
While a well-built log house will not fall over due to shrinkage, shrinkage is still a threat. You can get away with more flaws in your construction if you build a cedar rather than a pine home. Other common materials are aspen and cypress.
The cheaper log cabin kits only give you some of what you need
The cheapest log cabin kits give you nothing but the logs needed to build your walls. Merely logs for the walls, of course, is not enough, and you will have to buy or make the materials for your roof and everything else.
Other log cabin kits give you enough to build your house's basic structure, including the roof and ceiling. More complete kits provide you with most of what you need to finish your home. Some kits offer doors, windows, finish, and more.
Even then, you might need to get other materials to build the porch, and a kit might not include the floor either. Be aware of the limitations of whatever you are buying - you may have to make other purchases to get materials not included in your kit. You will usually have to purchase windows, gutters, and so on separately.
Don't let pictures shown in advertising deceive you into thinking that your kit includes everything. A picture of a porch does not always mean that the materials for a porch are included. The kit will not include anything that the company does not mention.
Extras can make your kit more expensive
While basic things like flat logs inside your home may not cost extra, some other features will. If you want the materials to build a cathedral vault ceiling, it will cost you extra. However, a fancy log house you build from a kit is still much cheaper than a standard house.
Is building a log cabin yourself better than buying a tiny house?
Tiny homes do have their advantages. If you buy a tiny house and have it towed to your land, you will save time as you will not have to build anything yourself.
However, tiny houses are just that - tiny. If you build a log house yourself, you can build something much larger. Log homes can be preferable to either much smaller manufactured tiny homes and much more expensive conventional houses.
Log cabins do take time and money to build even with a kit
While building a log house is quite a lot cheaper than buying a typical home, it can still cost you money. The more you have the time and skills to do yourself, the more money you can save.
Even with a kit that includes as much as possible, you may still need to buy doors, everything in your kitchen and bathroom, shingles, and tools. You will need to rent heavy equipment such as a forklift and a crane to build your cabin.
The more construction skills you have, the less money you will have to spend hiring people to work on your house. If you cannot do it yourself, you will have to hire a plumber and an electrician.
Despite all these costs, a log home won't approach the price of a typical home. You will save a lot of money - but be realistic about how much time and money your home will cost you.
Please don't underestimate how much it will cost! Make sure to plan everything out in advance and go into your project with confidence.
Do you have to worry about building codes?
Yes, building codes are relevant. Always make sure that what you intend to build is legal before you buy anything. Sometimes a very small structure can be built without following any regulations, but even a small cabin tends to be larger than this.
What are the best log cabin kits to buy in 2020?
Most log cabin kits are for those who want to build a small home at a low price. However, some companies also offer kits for larger homes, sometimes even exceeding the square footage of an average home recently sold in the United States.
Make sure you have a solid plan in place first and get a kit that is well suited to your plan. You can lose a lot of money buying a kit that isn't from a trustworthy company or isn't right for you.
Be realistic about how much work you want to do yourself. Sometimes, you are better off hiring a company to do more of the work for you. It depends on what skills you have and whether or not you can operate heavy equipment.
Merrimac Log Homes
Merrimac is an excellent choice if you are looking for as much customization as possible. If you have a building plan, they will ship you logs from their mill cut to whatever specifications you want.
Merrimac is mostly for people who want to build the house themselves. However, it can also be for people who want to hire a contractor. If you are only looking for a trustworthy company to ship you the logs you want, Merrimac is still a good choice.
When you are building a cabin, you need to build with dry logs. Merrimac always ships logs that are more than dry enough. You will still have to cover the logs with a tarp properly to prevent them from getting wet while your home is under construction.
The precision of the milled logs that Merrimac delivers makes Merrimac worth the money. If you do not want to design a building plan yourself, you can get logs for a building designed by Merrimac. They offer several different houses, from a little over 1000 to a little over 3000 square feet.
Conestoga Log Cabins
Conestoga is a great company that offers both do-it-yourself kits and the option of professional builders. The company specializes in smaller houses, between 500 and 1100 square feet, but they also offer some good over 1000 square foot models. The largest kit they offer is for a house over 2300 square feet.
The prices are quite reasonable for the materials offered, which the company manages by avoiding the middle man as much as possible and manufacturing the kids themselves. Prices do not include shipping, so it is not quite as cheap as it may seem at first.
The logs offered by the Conestoga company are engineered rather than natural logs. Instead of being a single piece, their logs are made of a few pieces of wood laminated together.
These engineered logs have their advantages over typical logs. They are very dry and will not shrink at all, are reliably resistant to decay, are stronger than natural logs, and are shaped in a way that makes them easy to build with.
DIY Log Cabins
The DIY Log Cabins company is right for those who want to spend a lot of time on their log house building project. The company has been in business since 2004, offering only logs to its customers. If you order from DIY, you will have to buy other materials yourself.
On the plus side, if you start with a logs only kit, you can control what materials go into your home. You may be able to save money on the floor and the ceiling if you decide exactly where you are getting the materials. You can also make your home look as close to what you imagine as possible if you are choosing all materials other than the logs yourself.
While the company only sends you logs, the logs are cut very precisely. DIY will also send you excellent plans for construction. After buying the logs, look for the other materials locally - the total will often add up to less than the cost of a kit with more materials.
These kits are for those who want smaller houses. Their kits are for vacation spots, hunting lodges, and small houses; large family houses are not offered. The largest kits they offer are for houses a little over 1400 square feet.
Coventry Log Homes
Building kits from Coventry Log Homes stand out because they offer as much of what you need to build your home as possible. Coventry will send you materials for the floor, the roof, the porch, and the interior and exterior doors. Most building kits do not offer nearly as much as Coventry Log Homes does.
The package even includes windows, screens, foam sealant, and screw fasteners. This makes it more expensive than a more basic log cabin kit, but at least you will get most of what you need in a single purchase.
If you buy only logs, you might underestimate what the total budget will be. If you order Coventry's more complete package, you should be able to finish the whole project on budget. Coventry also offers unlimited free tech support.
Coventry Homes are also energy efficient. If you build your house properly, it will be cheap to heat and exceed energy star guidelines. Coventry Homes are also beautiful, with the only disadvantage being the higher than average price.
Southland Log Homes
Southland Log Homes offers a huge variety of different kits to pick from plus kits for custom buildings. The company has been in business for a long time (since 1978) and has helped tens of thousands of customers build cabins.
Fires are a concern for any wood home, and southland logs are dense enough to be resistant to fire. If you are looking for something small and affordable, some of their cheaper options are impressive.
The smallest homes cost only $14000 or $18000 and include a lot of materials besides logs. Larger homes are more expensive, but there are still a lot of good deals. If you live outside of the United States, the company does business in many countries.
Southland is impressive for just how much you can order from their company. You can buy doors, windows, porch rafters, and shingles from Southland. You can also order high-quality wood finish.
Not everything is included; you will have to buy finished flooring, gutters, insulation, and a chimney elsewhere. You will also need to get materials for exterior steps and gutters separately, plus get a fireplace elsewhere.