How much does it cost to build a cabin?

National Average Range:
$250,000 - $450,000

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Updated: October 4, 2022

Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

A cabin can be a great fit if you live in a rustic or rural area and want to build your own home. While the word cabin brings to mind a rustic lifestyle, most of today’s cabins come in various styles and include many modern amenities. Cabins range from small to very large, with most being built today being 2,000 to 3,000 sq.ft. like many single-family homes. Cabins can be built using different methods, impacting your final costs.

The national average cost to build a cabin is $250,000 to $450,000, with most people paying around $350,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. post and beam cabin constructed onsite with mid-range materials and amenities. This project’s low cost is $150,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. prefabricated A-frame cabin built entirely offsite with mid-grade materials. The high cost is $1,400,000 for a fully custom, full-scribe 3,500 sq.ft. log cabin with luxury amenities and high-end materials.

Log Cabin Prices

Average Cost of Log Cabin Homes
National average cost$350,000
Average range$250,000-$450,000

Cost to Build a Log Cabin by Construction Method

Log cabins can be built using three different construction methods. The first is the traditional way of building, commonly known as stick-building. In this method, the home is built on the foundation one piece at a time, regardless of the cabin type. Stick homes can be built from existing plans or custom designed.

Modular or kit building is one of the most common and popular methods for standard and custom log homes. The third and least common method for log cabin building is known as prefabricated. In other home types, this is also known as modular. However, modular and prefab are not synonymous with log cabin building. In a prefabricated home, the cabin is built completely offsite, either in one large unit or several pieces that are assembled onsite. Because log cabins can be built in different types - scribe, post and beam, A-frame, and chink - the construction type may sometimes be better for one over another. Most prefab and modular cabins are either post and beam or A-frame, and most scribe and chink are built using traditional methods. Below is the cost breakdown for the different construction methods for log homes.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular (kit), prefab, and stick-built log cabin (mobile)

TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Modular (Kit)$100 - $300
Prefab$150 - $300
Stick-Building$150 - $400

Build a Log Cabin from a Kit

The cost to build a modular log cabin from a kit averages $100 to $300 per sq.ft., including professional assembly. This has become one of the most common methods for building a cabin. Kits can be custom designed, or you can choose from ready-made plans. A kit means all materials arrive ready for assembly, not something prefabricated or already built. While some people choose to put their kit together DIY, most hire someone for the job. Because the kit is easier to assemble, labor costs are lower, reducing the overall project cost.

A Prefabricated Log Cabin

The cost of a prefab log cabin averages $150 to $300 per sq.ft. A prefab log cabin is built inside a factory and shipped to the site. Smaller cabins can be completely built and shipped in one piece, while larger cabins may be assembled in sections and put together onsite. This is the least common method of building a log cabin, and you have less choice in designs and builders. Some people opt for a hybrid format of having sections prefabricated and then building the rest onsite to cut down on labor costs. You are limited in what is available in this building type, with usually only post and beam and A-frame cabins available.

Build a Log Cabin from Scratch

The cost of using stick-building methods to build a log cabin is $150 to $400 per sq.ft. Any log cabin can be constructed this way, including full scribe, chink, and post and beam. This is the traditional building method. The cabin is constructed onsite, either using full logs for a scribe cabin or a timber frame with log siding or walls. This is less common today than building with a kit because kits keep costs down while giving you a custom home. However, this is the most common building method if you want an authentic full-scribe cabin. Depending on where you build the cabin, this may also be the best choice for very rural or hard-to-each areas.

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Cost to Build a Log Cabin per Square Foot

The cost to build a log cabin ranges from $100 to $400 per sq.ft., depending on how it is constructed and who builds it. Different building methods and log cabin styles can result in varying cost ranges. For example, a scribe home will likely cost more than a post and beam. If you opt to have a custom kit put together, it will cost more than a standard kit. Therefore, there is an incredibly wide range of costs associated with building a log cabin, regardless of the cabin type and construction style.

When calculating the project cost based on the home size, know that some costs are not scalable. Permits, appliances, and some systems remain the same size and cost regardless of the home size. That said, larger homes generally use more material and may have larger systems. Larger homes may also use more appliances, such as double ovens. So while the cost of an oven may be the same, a larger home may use an extra one, adding to the costs. Anything below 800 sq.ft. is considered small, and the cost to build a small cabin ranges between $50,000 to $400,000. However, these cabins are not as common now as they were before. Below are the average log cabin costs per square foot using the three construction methods, based on the most common log home sizes.

Cost to build a modular, prefab, and stick-built log cabin by size: 800 sq.ft., 1,000 sq.ft., 1,200 sq.ft., 1,500 sq.ft… (mobile)

SizeModular CostPrefab CostStick-Built Cost
800 sq.ft.$80K - $240K$120K - $240K$120K - $320K
1,000 sq.ft.$100K - $300K$150K - $300K$150K - $400K
1,200 sq.ft.$120K - $360K$180K - $360K$180K - $480K
1,500 sq.ft.$150K - $450K$225K - $450K$225K - $600K
2,000 sq.ft.$200K - $600K$300K - $600K$300K - $800K
2,500 sq.ft.$250K - $750K$375K - $750K$375K - $1M
3,000 sq.ft.$300K - $900K$450K - $900K$450K - $1,2M
3,500 sq.ft.$350K - $1,05M$525K - $1,05M$525K - $1,4M
4,000 sq.ft.$400K - $1,2M$600K - $1,2M$600K - $1,6M

Log Cabin Construction Cost by Number of Bedrooms

Log cabins come in different shapes, sizes, and configurations. Small cabins may be a single room, while larger cabins can easily have up to 4 bedrooms. As kits and modular building have become more common, popularity of the log cabin and log home has grown. This means more families want to make this home style their main residence. Therefore, you can find log homes with 1 to 4 bedrooms.

There can be overlap between home sizes based on the number of bedrooms. It is possible to have a smaller home with small-sized bedrooms to fit in more or have a larger home with a single large master suite. This leads to a range of costs across the different numbers of bedrooms. In general, it is most common for homes to increase in size with the number of bedrooms added. So, the cost to build a 1-bedroom cabin is usually less expensive than the price of a 3-bedroom log cabin. Below are the average costs to build a log cabin using the three different construction methods based on the number of bedrooms.

Cost to build a 1, 2, 3, and 4-bedroom modular, prefab, and stick-built log cabin (mobile)

Number of BedroomsModular CostPrefab CostStick-Built Cost
1 Bedroom$80K - $360K$120K - $360K$120K - $420K
2 Bedrooms$120K - $600K$180K - $600K$180K - $800K
3 Bedrooms$200K - $900K$300K - $900K$450K - $1,2M
4 Bedrooms$300K - $1,2M$450K - $1,2M$450K - $1,6M

Price to Build a Cabin by Number of Stories

The most common way to build a log cabin is to give the home 1½ stories. This means the home has a large wide-open great room and at one end is a loft that can be used for sleeping, a home office, or another purpose. This is the most common way to gain usable square footage without dramatically increasing costs. When building a single-floor cabin, it can often be more expensive to build out rather than up. For example, if a single-story and a 2-story home have the same square footage, the 2-story home is usually less costly to build because the foundation and roof are larger on the single-story home, driving higher costs.

With log cabins, you must consider the cost of the logs themselves and how you are building. Scribe homes cost more overall, while A-frame or chink homes cost less regardless of the height. Most 2-story homes tend to be larger than most 1 or 1½-story homes. So, the cost of a 2-story home may be lower per square foot but more costly overall. Below are the most common costs for 1, 1½, and 2-story log cabins based on the most common sizes of those homes - 800 to 1,000 sq.ft. for single story, 1,200 to 1,500 sq.ft. for 1½ stories, and 2,000 to 3,000 sq.ft. for 2 stories, using the different building methods.

Cost to build a 1, 1½, and 2-story modular, prefab, and stick-built log cabin (mobile)

Number of StoriesModular CostPrefab CostStick-Built Cost
1 Story$80K - $300K$120K - $300K$120K - $400K
1½ Stories$120K - $450K$180K - $450K$180K - $600K
2 Stories$200K - $900K$300K - $900K$300K - $1,2M

Average Cost to Build a Log Cabin by Type

Log homes are technically built in four distinct types or styles - scribe, post and beam, chink, and A-frame. Of these, post and beam is by far the most common. It uses many traditional building methods and has some construction methods in common with a typical home. Scribes are built entirely from logs that overlap one another on the ends, while chinks use a mortar between the logs to seal them. A-frame homes have a roof that extends at a steep pitch nearly to the ground, forming the shape of the letter A.

Of these types, you can find tiny log homes built using the post and beam method, and in a few cases, you can also find tiny homes built using the scribe method. Each building style has its own costs, and not every type can be built using the different building methods. Some types need to be built in one specific method, such as the scribe, while others can be built using different construction styles, depending on the home type. Each type not only has its own costs but also a range of sizes, making them hard to compare directly with one another. Below are the costs of the different building types. Costs are based on the most common sizes for that building type and are indicated in the building methods available.

Cost to build an A-frame, chink, post and beam, and scribe modular, prefab and stick-built log cabin (mobile)

StyleModular CostPrefab CostStick-Built Cost
A-Frame$80K - $200K$100K - $200K$100K - $300K
Chink$100K - $300KN/A$150K - $400K
Post and Beam$200K - $600K$300K - $600K$300K - $900K
Scribe$300K - $900KN/A$400K - $1,2M

Build an A-Frame Cabin

The cost to build an A-frame cabin is $80,000 to $200,000 for a modular kit. The cost of prefab building averages $100,000 to $200,000, while the cost of stick-building ranges from $100,000 to $300,000. A-frame cabins are a simple type of log cabin. They have an average size of around 1,000 sq.ft. The roof extends nearly to the ground on either side, making the cabin appear like a capital A. They are most commonly built using a hybrid timber and scribe frame, but you can sometimes find them built with chink walls. These cabins are much smaller than average but very easy to maintain.

Build a Chink Log Cabin

Modular kits for building a chink log cabin average $100,000 to $300,000. The cost of this home built using stick construction is $150,000 to $400,000. These homes cannot be built prefab, and even kits are rare. They are typically smaller than average, with a common size being around 1,000 sq.ft. Chink log cabins use mortar between the logs that make up the walls. This makes the walls watertight and airtight, meaning you do not need to shape the logs or worry as much about shrinkage and settling. They must be built onsite and are one of the least common log cabin types.

Build a Post and Beam Cabin

Building a post and beam cabin averages $200,000 to $600,000 for a modular kit. The cost of this cabin with prefab construction ranges from $300,000 to $600,000, while the cost of a stick-built cabin is $300,000 to $900,000. These cabins typically range from 2,000 to 3,000 sq.ft. This is the most common method for building a log cabin. It is also known as timber framing or timber construction. For this method, a timber frame is built, and the logs are used to side the home. It is faster and easier to build than a scribe cabin and gives you more options for the final home layout.

Build a Scribe Log Cabin

Building a scribe log cabin ranges from $300,000 to $900,000 for a modular kit. The cost using traditional construction is $400,000 to $1,200,000. These homes cannot be built prefab. They average 1,500 to 2,000 sq.ft. A scribe cabin is a home built entirely out of logs without using a timber frame. Each log is notched on the ends so that they sit flush with one another. Scribe cabins are relatively uncommon as a building method today because they require expert knowledge to build. They are more prone to shrinking and settling issues and need much more maintenance over time. They are also more costly to build.

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Cabin Construction Cost by Type of Wood

Your log home can be constructed using different wood types. The most common wood that log homes are built from is Eastern white pine, but you can build a log home from several other types like cedar, cypress, fir, spruce, and redwood. Keep in mind that several of these woods have highly volatile pricing, including cedar and redwood. In addition, you may find that your location dictates the cost of the wood. For example, if you are on the West Coast, redwood will be less expensive than if you are on the East Coast because the logs need to be shipped cross-country, raising the total costs.

Depending on which building method you use and the company you work with, you may find your choices are more limited. Some woods like cypress are very difficult to work with, so some companies may not offer it as a building material option. Other companies may choose materials they can get consistently, so they may avoid redwood and cedar, which can have volatile costs. If you are insistent on a specific material for your home, you may need to shop around for a builder or manufacturer who works with that material. However, the wood is only one factor in the total cost of your home. So, while some materials are more costly than others, there are other materials, systems, and items that make up a large part of the cost. The cabin frame and structure are only a small percentage of the total costs. Below are the average costs for a 2,000 sq.ft. log cabin built using the different woods available.

Cost to build a pine, spruce, fir, cypress, cedar, and redwood modular, prefab, and stick-built log cabin (mobile)

Type of WoodModular CostPrefab CostStick-Built Cost
Pine$200K - $400K$300K - $500K$300K - $600K
Spruce$200K - $400K$300K - $500K$300K - $600K
Fir$200K - $400K$300K - $500K$300K - $600K
Cypress$225K - $425K$325K - $525K$325K - $625K
Cedar$300K - $500K$400K - $600K$400K - $700K
Redwood$300K - $500K$400K - $600K$400K - $700K

Cabin Construction Cost Breakdown

Like all new home construction, your cabin project can be broken down into costs relating to different areas. Because there can be an incredible range of various cabins and construction styles, your costs vary tremendously based on the size, layout, construction method, cabin style, materials used, and the systems you include. Most cabins have similar cost breakdowns in terms of percentage - the amount of your total going toward a particular area - but total costs can vary from cabin to cabin. Below is a cost breakdown for building a post and beam style log cabin using traditional stick-building methods. Because modular and prefab cabins are built differently, they can be more difficult to break down the costs. However, they may be similar in some ways to a stick-built cabin, depending on the style and type. Costs are based on an average 2,000 sq.ft. cabin using mid-range materials and systems.

Cabin construction cost breakdown: site preparation, planning, foundation, interior work, plumbing, electrical and HVAC… (mobile)

ProjectAverage Cost (Labor Included)
Site Preparation$3,5K - $8K
Planning$4,5K - $8,5K
Foundation$7K - $18,5K
Interior Work$50K - $90K
Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC$55K - $105K
Exterior Work$60K - $100K
Framing$70K - $120K

Site Preparation

Site preparation costs between $3,500 and $8,000. Costs for site preparation involve land clearing and leveling. Because cabins are built in rural areas, you may have additional costs involved in ensuring the site is accessible by the necessary machines. Logs are large, and the transport needed will take up a lot of space. Therefore, there may be road clearing necessary in the site preparation. This is also true when building a prefab or modular cabin because the large sections of the building must be delivered to the site, and access will be required.

Cabin Plans With Cost to Build

The cost of preplanning for new cabin construction averages $4,500 to $8,500. Cabin planning is much more involved than planning for a traditional home build. A structural engineer needs to be involved to look at the site and work on the best way to support the structure’s weight. Even post and beam cabins can be at risk of shrinkage and warping over time, although not as badly as scribe cabins. For this reason, proper planning and design work must go into the beginning stages to ensure that your cabin will last for many years with few structural issues or settling.


The cost of pouring a foundation for your cabin ranges from $7,000 to $18,500. Log cabins can be built on many different foundations. It has become very common in recent years to place them on a full basement because it allows for additional living space without the high costs associated with framing or the log walls. However, you can also build your cabin on a slab, and in some cases, you can use a stem wall foundation. Log cabins are heavy, so your foundation needs to support the structure’s weight, meaning your foundation may need to be thicker, larger, or more reinforced than the average foundation.

Interior Work

The cost of finishing the interiors in a cabin averages $50,000 to $90,000. Cabin interiors often have lower interior costs than some other home types because many parts of the interior may be left unfinished to allow the structure of the home to show through. Walls may be left to show off the logs and frame, while the rafters may be visible in some parts of the ceiling. Costs mainly involve things like flooring, appliances, kitchens and bathrooms, and finishing the lighting and plumbing. Many cabins have open floor plans, but some interior walls for bathrooms and bedrooms may need to be finished.

Rough Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

The cost of major system installation for a log cabin averages $55,000 to $105,000. Major system installation includes the entire property’s plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC system. Depending on the cabin size and type, this may include both heating and air conditioning systems and plumbing setups for either septic or sewer systems and well or town water supply. These costs may also include things like wiring your home for ethernet or smart home features.

Exterior Work

The cost of exterior finishing work for the cabin averages $60,000 to $100,000. Exterior work for a cabin involves finishing the roof, the log siding, and adding the windows and doors. This can mean many different things for log cabins, depending on whether you use full or partial logs and how they are set against one another. Ensuring the walls are airtight and watertight and all the windows and doors are properly installed and framed can be more difficult for a cabin, which can raise the installation cost. The cabin exterior can be finished in many ways. Some people stain the cabin, while others allow the logs to naturally weather, impacting costs.


The cost of framing for a post and beam log cabin averages $70,000 to $120,000. A post and beam cabin has a timber frame that supports the structure. It also has a fully framed roof, usually with a gable and trusses, although it may have rafters. This frame is what is needed for the log siding to be applied. This is the most common way to build a log home today, although it is possible to frame your home using notched logs in the scribe style.

Cabin Add-Ons Cost

Depending on your location, cabin type, and what you plan to use it for, you may want to add several additions to the basic structure. These include things like a finished driveway, patio, deck, and fencing. You may also want to landscape the area surrounding the cabin, although many people choose to allow their cabins to blend in with their surroundings. If your cabin is next to a lake or river, you may want to add a dock. Adding a fireplace or solar panels can help you use your cabin when the grid goes down or you build off-grid.

Some prefab and modular cabin designs may include things like decks and fireplaces in the basic design. Other times, you need to add these to the layout. Some items may be added later after the cabin is built if you decide they would enhance the property. Below are some of the most common additions for cabins and their average costs.

Cost to add fencing, fireplace, driveway, patio, deck, dock, landscaping, and solar panels to a cabin (mobile)

Fencing$3K - $7K
Fireplace$3K - $20K
Driveway$3K - $10K
Patio$3,5K - $20K
Deck$5,5K - $16K
Dock$7K - $25K
Landscaping$8K - $15K
Solar Panels$15K - $21K

Log Cabin Exterior Maintenance

Like all homes, log cabins require some exterior maintenance. The maintenance type and extent vary depending on the materials, cabin type, climate, and location. All log cabin homeowners should conduct an exterior inspection of their homes at least twice yearly. Check the roof to look for signs of damage and around windows and doors for missing caulk. You should also check your gutters and clean them as needed, and if you have a chink cabin, check the mortar to ensure it is not cracked or missing.

Hose down the exterior of your home once or twice a year to remove dirt. At this time, inspect your windows, doors, and walls for signs of water infiltration and leaks. Other regular maintenance may include resealing any horizontal cracks, pressure washing, staining the exterior about every 10 years, and basic upkeep like keeping wood piles and brushing away the foundation to prevent pests. Have someone repair any areas that show warping, rot, or settling.

Lake House vs Cabin

While cabins are a specific home type that may be categorized into different styles, lake houses have no such categorization. Any home built on a lake or in a lake-front community is considered a lake house. Therefore, a lake house can range from a small bungalow to a very large mansion and may be made in any material or style. Cabins, however, are generally made with a timber frame or log wall construction. They often have higher framing and exterior finishing costs than the average home but may have lower interior finishing costs. Cabins can be built anywhere, including beside a lake.

Any home built on a lake or in a lake-front community has regulations, including how close to the water you build. And if you are on a septic system, you are required to build a holding tank rather than a leach field. These things may impact your costs, depending on your home’s position and any state regulations. Because lake homes come in many types, sizes, and styles, they have a much wider spread of costs than most cabins. Below are the average costs to build a 2,000 sq.ft. property of both types.

Comparison of the cost to build a cabin and lake house (mobile)

Cabin$250K - $450K
Lake House$260K - $710K

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Building an Off-Grid Cabin

Many people build cabins in rural areas for the ability to go off-grid. This involves ensuring that your cabin does not need to connect to local utilities for electricity, heat sources, water, or sewage. This can increase the cost of your project because most off-grid homes require at least two sources for energy production, generally solar panels and a backup generator, septic tank, and well. Combined, these systems can add $100,000 or more to the cost of the cabin, making your total range $350,000 to $650,000 in most cases.

Interior Designer

It is very common to hire an interior designer to help when building a new home. Interior designers help you make the most of your interior layout, particularly if your home has an open floor plan. Interior designers can also furnish and decorate the finished space. The average cost to hire a designer is $50 to $450 an hour.

Log Cabin Mobile Homes

The cost to build a log cabin mobile home averages $100,000 to $200,000 using prefab methods. These log homes are often called manufactured log cabins. They are built in a factory and delivered to their final location. They are not typically available as a kit or stick-built home. Typical sizes range from 500 to 1,000 sq.ft. These homes do not have a permanent foundation, but they resemble log cabins in all other ways. Most use a post and beam construction with a log siding rather than being built from logs.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Zoning and codes. Different zoning issues and building codes may need to be met regardless of the structure you are building. Always check with your local municipality for a list of codes before starting your project.
  • Permits. You are required to get a building permit before building your cabin. This includes submitting plans for the build to your local municipality. Speak with your local authorities for more information.
  • Hunting cabin. Many people build cabins for hunting. The cost to build a hunting cabin ranges from $50,000 for building a small shell to $450,000 to build a full hunting lodge.
  • Shipping container. You can build a home out of recycled shipping containers for $10,000 to $35,000. These homes are not technically cabins but may be built in some of the same locations.
  • Flame-retardant materials. Cabins are made of wood and are flammable. Some people include non-flammable materials in the design, such as metal roofing or metal log-look siding, to help prevent a house fire, particularly when building in a wildfire-prone area.
  • Sustainability. Most log cabins use old-growth trees in their design. To make your home more sustainable, use softwood trees, which grow faster, and insulate your home to keep energy costs down.
  • Seasonal use. Some people build cabins for seasonal use. In this case, you may have different costs depending on the season you plan to use it in. If it is intended for summer use, you may not include a heating system. You may need additional heat sources or insulation for winter use.
  • Private roads. Depending on the cabin location, you may need to build a road to reach it. Private roads have ongoing maintenance costs in addition to the initial grading, which you must consider going forward.
  • Lifespan. A cabin can last as long as any other home when properly maintained. Some cabins have existed for hundreds of years and are still standing.
  • Financing. Cabins may be eligible for the same financing as any other home. If you are building a modular cabin, the company you choose may offer financing.
  • Plumbing. If your cabin is built in a rural area, you may have additional plumbing costs, such as a septic system or well. If your cabin is built in a suburban setting, your plumbing costs may be lower because you will have access to town water and sewer lines. Speak with your contractor about how your location will impact your plumbing options and costs.


  • Is it cheaper to buy or build a log cabin?

This depends on several factors. Some luxury cabins are considerably more costly to build than a standard cabin that already stands. Building has additional costs for purchasing and clearing the land, which can increase the total project cost.

  • How much does it cost to build a 20’ x 20’ cabin?

Depending on the type, materials, foundation, and height, this could cost $40,000 to $160,000.

  • How much does it cost to build a cabin from scratch?

Cabins have costs of between $150 to $400 per sq.ft. when using stick-building techniques. Costs vary depending on the type and materials used.

  • What are the downsides of log cabins?

Log cabins are heavy and may sink, settle, or warp over time, so they often have higher ongoing costs than other homes. Depending on the cabin type you build, you may also have difficulties with the windows and doors and ensuring the wall stays airtight and watertight.

  • Are log homes more expensive to insure?

This depends on many factors, including your location and the log home construction (post and beam or scribe). Speak with your insurance agent for more information.

  • Do log cabins hold their value?

Most do, but this depends on the area and cabin type. A well-maintained cabin in a desirable area will usually increase in value over time.

  • How often do log homes need to be treated?

This depends on the construction type, wood type, age, and climate. Some only need to be pressure washed and treated every 10 years, while others may go longer or require it sooner.