Paying for a new log home can be a challenge for most of us. With today’s material and labor costs, you want to get the most for your money for that new house. Research has shown the most cost-effective way to build a log home or cabin is with pine log siding. Your home will look like a full-log home without the high cost and long-term maintenance issues.

Let’s take a look at why you should build with pine log siding instead of another construction process. It is a practical approach that not only saves money but will be finished sooner than a full-log home. Move in quicker and start enjoying log home living at its finest.

Why Pine Log Siding Makes An Affordable Home

Take a moment and make a comparison between two construction styles – log siding and full-log homes. The final cost of either approach to a fully finished home depends on these factors:

  • Location: city and state
  • Home size
  • Home style
  • Building materials
  • Local labor

Based on the above factors, the average cost for building a custom full-log home ranges from $275 to $375 per square foot. Compare this to the $155 square foot cost of a pine log siding home. A pine log siding home can save you a lot of money when you order the siding, corner system, log trims, and fasteners rather than letting the contractor buy them. You can also save money by doing some of the work yourself or with the help of family and friends. All it takes is some basic woodworking skills, knowledge, and simple tools.

How An Affordable Log Home Is Built

Building a log siding home is easy to understand because the siding is attached to conventional wall framing. For the exterior, OSB board and house wrap are secured to the wall framing, and the siding is screwed into them. For the interior, the log siding is nailed or screwed directly into the wall framing. It’s as simple as that and you don’t need expensive specially trained full-log carpenters to install heavy logs, ridge poles, and beams.

Insulation is put into place between the wall framing after the exterior siding is installed and before the interior siding is installed. Some homeowners decide to use knotty pine paneling on the interior walls instead of log siding. The construction process for both options is the same.

“Research has shown the most cost-effective way to build a log home or cabin is with pine log siding.”

Log Corners, Trim, And Pine Flooring 

A pine log siding home is constructed like conventional homes except for the materials that cover the walls, such as vinyl, hardie board, metal, or drywall. The four materials include:

  • Log Siding is available in several options
  • Log Corners come in styles to match the siding
  • Log Trims are available in sizes to match the siding
  • Log Fasteners are made to withstand the elements

A flooring option you should consider that complements a log home extremely well is knotty pine wood flooring. It is affordable, lightweight, and easy to work with including sanding, sawing, drilling, and installing. Both the siding and flooring are made with the tongue and groove/end-matching design that makes installation faster and easier. Both are virtually “no-waste” materials with little to no materials that end up in a landfill. The end board in each row can be used to start the next row above.

Save Money With Your Own Labor

If you enjoy woodworking as a hobby, you will find great satisfaction in helping to build your own log home. Leave the complex and stressful parts of construction to the home builder and tackle the part you can handle – installing the log siding. Home builders’ and carpenters’ labor rates start at $85 an hour and up and this can amount to a lot of cash. You must reach an agreement with the builder about your part of the work and put it in writing in the contract.

Start at the bottom and work your way up following the manufacturer’s instructions. You may not be able to make it to the top of gabled ends but the contractor or carpenter can finish this part of the work. Of course, if you want to rent or borrow some scaffolding and feel safe on it, you can install siding all the way up.

An Affordable Log Home: Conclude With Staining/Sealing

The job is not complete without applying the staining/sealing finish. Decide whether you want to stain the siding, corners, and trims before or after installing them. You can hire a painter or save even more money by staining the siding or paneling yourself. For the best results, carefully follow the stain manufacturer’s instructions.

Now you know more about the cost-effective way to build a log home. Enjoy your time working on it, and especially enjoy your time living in it.

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