Into the Woods on How Much a Log Cabin Costs

Margaret Wack
Written by Margaret Wack
Updated February 14, 2022
Log cabin in the forest
Photo: coryz / E+ / Getty Images

The typical cost of a log cabin is $50,000 to $150,000

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Whether you dream of a permanent escape into the woods or a cozy place to spend long weekends, a log cabin is an attractive and affordable option. At its most basic, a rustic 200-square-foot cabin could cost as little as $25,000. On the other hand, the sky’s the limit with luxury mountain cabins, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Overall, the average cost of a 500-square-foot log cabin getaway is about $75,000.

How Much Does a Log Cabin Cost per Square Foot?

Log cabins cost between $125 and $175 per square foot. Some factors that influence the cost include whether you build on flat land, if the land needs to be cleared, and the cabin’s square footage. 

Log cabins have a similar price per square foot as the cost to build a house, which is about $100 and $200 per square foot. The main advantage of a log cabin when it comes to price is that it’s small and cozy—the perfect place to get away from it all.

How Much Does a Log Cabin Cost Near You?

Location plays a big role in how much your log cabin will cost. Not only do labor and material costs vary from state to state, but the location and terrain of your building site also have an impact. 

For example, a log cabin built in a more mountainous or hilly area will be more expensive than a log cabin built on flat land. Cabins located in remote or rural areas may also come with extra costs because they’re further away from city utilities—like sewer lines and electric grids—and may need alternative energy and water sources.

How Much Log Cabin Can I Get on My Budget?

If you’re trying to build a cabin on a budget, there are plenty of ways to pair down costs and still get all of your creature comforts. One of the main ways to stay on budget is to choose a smaller size cabin.

Log cabin prices vary by size, with a 500 square foot cabin averaging $75,000

$25,000

With a budget of $25,000, you can build a tiny house-style rustic cabin of 200 square feet. You can also save money by building on flat land. While 200 square feet is on the smaller side, a tiny log cabin in the woods has a definite appeal and is the perfect place to unplug for a few days.

$75,000

If you have a $75,000 budget, you can aim for a 500-square-foot log cabin. This is the average cost for log cabin construction, and you may be able to cut home building costs by choosing a prefab model or even a DIY kit.

$150,000

If you have a significant chunk of change saved up, you can spring for a larger, more luxurious cabin. A budget of $150,000 is enough for a 1,000-square-foot log cabin or a smaller cabin with custom designs.

$225,000

With a budget of $225,000, you can plan for a 1,500-square-foot cabin—giving you plenty of space to live the cabin lifestyle of your dreams. You may also be able to splurge for luxury upgrades when it comes to appliances and furnishings.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Log Cabin Yourself?

It’s entirely possible to build a small, simple log cabin yourself with some technical know-how and serious elbow grease. To simplify construction and planning, some companies sell DIY log cabin kits, with an average cost of $50 to $80 per square foot.

But while the idea of building a log cabin with your own hands definitely has a certain appeal, it may not always be the best option. Building a cabin from scratch is a monumental effort and may take much longer to do yourself than it would take a professional. Mistakes made while building a cabin can also cost you in repairs and upkeep over time. 

If you’re interested in a log cabin, you can contact a home builder near you for a personalized quote.

Log cabin on the lake
Photo: gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images

Log Cabin Cost Breakdown

The cost of a log cabin includes factors such as materials and labor, land, and related services (think sewer hookups or septic tanks).

Materials and Labor

Log cabins cost an average of $150 per square foot for materials and labor. This is in line with the average cost of other construction projects, such as building a traditional home, cottage, or tiny house.

Land

The national average for land costs is $3,160 per acre. Depending on where you live, land may be much less—or much more—expensive. You may also choose to purchase a larger lot for privacy or to give you room for later development.

Other Services

Depending on where you build your log cabin, you may need to cover the cost of additional services—for example, a new septic tank costs between $3,130 and $9,680.

How Much Does a Log Cabin Cost by Type?

There are a few different common types of log cabins, including A-frame cabins, prefab cabins, and DIY cabins.

3 types of log cabins compared, with A-frame averaging $125 to $175 per square foot

A-Frame Log Cabin Cost

A-frame log cabins cost between $125 and $175 per square foot. A-frame cabins have a classic triangular look, with both sides of the roof sloping all the way to the ground.

Prefab Log Cabin Cost

Prefab log cabins tend to be more affordable than custom cabins, with an average cost of $80 to $230 per square foot. These cabins come in set sizes and styles, and they often feature faster construction times.

DIY Log Cabin Kit Cost

If you’re looking to take a DIY approach to cabin building, there are plenty of DIY kits to choose from. These kits cost an average of $50 to $80 per square foot and come with all of the basic supplies you’ll need to assemble your cabin. You'll also need to complete some tasks beforehand, including clearing the land and laying a foundation.

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Log Cabin?

There are a few features that influence the total cost to build a log cabin, including its size, type, and where you live.

Size

The larger the cabin, the more expensive it will be. A small 200-square-foot cabin could cost as little as $25,000, while a larger 1,500-square-foot cabin could cost $225,000 or more. Whether you’re looking for a tiny cottage for solo weekend excursions or one big enough for the whole family, you’ll need to factor the size of the cabin into your budget.

Cabin Type

Different cabin types have different price points. For example, an A-frame cabin costs between $125 and $175 per square foot on average, while a prefab cabin costs an average of $80 to $230 per square foot.

Location

Where you plan to build your cabin will also affect costs. If you build on sloped or uneven land, for example, you may need to pay extra to clear and level the land. Building a cabin in remote areas may also require additional services such as septic tank installation.

FAQs About Log Cabins

How long does it take to build a log cabin?

Construction can take a few weeks for a prefab log cabin on an established site, but up to eight or nine months for a custom cabin on undeveloped land. In comparison, it typically takes four to 12 months to build a house.

Is a log cabin cheaper to build?

While a log cabin is often less expensive than a typical home, it actually has a similar cost per square foot. The main difference affecting price is that log cabins tend to be much smaller than traditional homes.

Are log cabins difficult to maintain?

Log cabins do require regular upkeep and maintenance above and beyond that of a typical home. This can include refinishing and corncob blasting, a process similar to sandblasting that shoots ground-up corncob with compressed air.

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