There are few tricks which can be used to reduce the maintenance costs on log homes, other than buying the materials and doing the work yourself. The real trick is to work on the construction so that costs are reduced both there and later on. This is called ‘value engineering’, and is used throughout the industry to try and reduce the amount of money needed for a project.
- Reduce square footage.
Possible one of the best ways to reduce the cost is to reduce the size! Rather than something imposing, create something small and cosy that you can snuggle up in for a relaxing holiday. Alternatively, you could keep the same number of rooms and simply build up rather than out, creating a two storey building.
Creating a two or three storey building will also potentially help reduce costs in another way – since heat rises, the upper floor will be heated naturally.
- Choose a stock design.
Lots of people enjoy the challenge that comes with designing a functioning house, but having a unique design means having an increase in overall costs. Choosing a stock design will allow you to save money, since they are both cheaper and more easily installed.
Choosing a stock design will also give you an element of security: since builders are so used to constructing to particular specifications, any problems with the design will have been ironed out before it is time to build your home.
- Reduce square footage of logs used.
While it does seem odd that this is a way of cutting costs, it does make sense. The wood in log homes is what forms a huge part of the ongoing maintenance costs in cleaning, drying, staining, chinking/caulking, and general maintenance.
Rather than having an entirely wooden home, consider adding in stucco, stone, brick, or some other material. Not only will this give you a more unusual looking home – particularly if you have followed the advice above and gone for a stock design – it will mean less wood to maintain.
- Go for a simple roof.
Roofs are, hands down, the most expensive part of building a house. This is partly due to the fact that they are the biggest part of the house. They not only represent the biggest cash dump in terms of materials, but also in labour time and expertise.
Go for a simple roof – the cheapest and easiest to install is probably a single ridgeline with a shallow pitch. Having a shallow pitch will also allow you to keep more rain away from your wooden walls, because it will be deflected away.
Steep roofs, also known as valleys, are more visually interesting, but they are a lot more expensive.
- Use drywall on your interior.
Wooden panelling looks very nice, but even panelling made from pine costs about twice the amount of dry wall (and cedar panelling costs twice as much as that!). Drywall will also decrease the cost of upkeep, since it does not need such extensive maintenance performed on it, though obviously it still needs to be maintained.