Interior picture of a post and beam home.

Price of a Log Home

Our small log cabins start at $25,900 Canadian dollars.
The average ‘per square foot’ price of a Cascade Handcrafted log home shell is $25-$50 per square foot (unfinished), however there is no set price for a log home. Instead, the design elements that you choose such as its look, size, and energy efficiency will determine the materials and labor required and ultimately the cost. Whatever home design you have in mind, we can work with you to produce a "buildable" plan. We then use this plan to determine an accurate price based on the following considerations:

Design

Browse through our sample log home plans to get a feel for the designs that are available. Stock plans start around $600. We can also recommend designers if you want to create your own plan. Pricing for this custom work starts from $1/sq ft living space.

Construction style

How your home is assembled influences its engineering, finishing, and maintenance expectations. You can choose from the various styles of log construction:

Style Volume of Logs
and/or Timber
Labour required
Full Scribe Highest Most
Chinked Same as Full Scribed Same as Full Scribed
Hybrid Less than Full Scribe, more than Post and Beam Less than Full Scribe, more than Post and Beam
Post and Beam Less than Full Scribe or Chinked More labour per piece, but fewer pieces
Timber Frame Varies by design and local codes Similar to Post and Beam
Log Decor or Accent Depends on number, size of pieces and log species. Depends on number and size of pieces and detailing required.

Log species

We recommend buying the best logs you can - any other element can be upgraded later. Better logs return their value in thermal performance, maintenance and resale not to mention aesthetic quality.

We use only premium quality logs according to Timber Products Inspections (TPI) grade specs. An independent TPI field inspection crew is available to inspect and certify logs for roughly $1,000.00 per building, if desired.

Below is a comparison of some of the more popular types of wood available.

Log species Main features Other considerations Cost * per cubic meter
* Prices listed are based on September 2008 market value
Western Red Cedar Best overall type. Does well in all settings, excellent stability. Old growth checks less and has less moisture and tension than other species, more stable and naturally resistant to decay. Has natural oil content that helps preserve it over the long run because of it’s natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. Character flare at the log base that makes each very unique in appearance. $230 to $245
Douglas Fir Strongest available wood. Good for structural elements such as floor and roof beams. Less stable than cedar, more checking. Increased freight costs due to higher weight. $160 to $170
Standing Dead Pine Seen as the ethical or environmental choice for wood however there is a short window of opportunity to utilize the tree after beetle attack. Not available locally so overall cost (including shipping to the builder) could be higher. $100

Assembly details

Handcrafted vs machined logs

In the log home industry there are two different approaches - handcrafted and machined. We specialize in handcrafted logs, using the full log and cutting away only what is necessary in order to retain each log’s unique shape, beauty and strength. A machined log is milled to create uniformity. Both of us - Markus and Dan - started our careers years ago with machined log home builders and quickly understood the many advantages of traditional handcrafted log homes over the machined ones.

Detail of a joist in a hand crafted log home

Notch style

A notch style refers to how the logs fit together at the corners. Notches are integral to the structural stability of the building.

Although we work with a variety of styles, the best notch technically speaking is the diamond notch - it takes more work but outperforms other styles.

Scribing

Cascade builds a full scribe or post and beam style of natural, hand-peeled log building When fitting the logs together, a lengthwise groove is cut on the underside of each log, so they nest tightly together, to keep the weather out.

We take the trouble to ‘over-scribe’ - an industry best practice - to ensure the logs attain their tightest fit after seasoning for a few years. A straight ‘scribed’ log joint is cheaper, easier, and quicker to assemble but can open up with drying so be sure to ask about this important detail.

Gasketing

For best protection from the elements we recommend gasketing, (a long seal that is inserted in the underside scribed grooves of the logs and in the notches) especially in areas of high winds or temperature extremes. Different gasket materials are available, the best being bi-cellular polyethylene foam. It generally costs more than other gasket options and insulation types but it pays off in efficiency. Treated sheep’s wool is an excellent choice for augmenting the gaskets in the notches.

Volume of logs

We price our homes by the volume of wood used rather than on a per-square-foot basis. Generally speaking, the more wood you need the higher the cost.

The example below illustrates how this works:

  • Plan 1: This home is a simple 30'x40' log 'shell' with four corners and no interior log walls.
  • Plan 2: This home is a slightly more complex 30'x40' log ‘shell’ with eight corners and an interior log wall. This configuration results in a much more stable building, requiring nearly twice the wood and twice the labour as in Plan 1, but with the same area or footprint.
log corners

Shipping

We ship roughly 1,000 sq feet of floor area in the Full Scribe style per truck. Other building styles use less timber so more floor area can be shipped per truck. Western Red Cedar is much lighter than Douglas Fir. This sometimes means that the higher cost of cedar logs can be offset by a savings on shipping.

Return to the top


Spec built Gazebo $9,900.00

log cabin deal at $25,900


click here to see interior and exterior log home pictures