How Much Does it Cost to Build a Small Cabin?

If you are calculating the cost to build a small cabin, there are lots of factors to consider. As with any building or home renovation project, the total cost can vary quite significantly depending on the quality of materials selected and the number of amenities that are planned for the living space.

cost to build a small cabin

Whether you’ve got your heart set on a luxurious, high-tech, security-backed oasis in the middle of the mountains or a rustic setup of four walls and a simple roof, creating an honest cost calculation at the start can help make your dreams a reality. Take a look at this guide to get an idea of how much it costs to build a small cabin.

Hidden Expenses Can Affect Total Cost

One of the trickiest parts about calculating the cost of building a small cabin is that there are always minor details that slip under the radar — only to pop up later in the middle of the building, causing you to dish out extra cash on necessary steps. For many, these hidden expenses can seem obvious, but they still manage to slip past a lot of homeowners during the planning process.

For example, the lot of land is a considerable expense, and it is one that is absolutely necessary for building — that is, unless you plan on building a log cabin on wheels to be transported from gracious land host to host. Otherwise, when scouting a potential property, it’s essential to find out the local regulations concerning building, sewer access, and hookups to electricity. If they’re not already in place, these expenses can add up quickly.

There are also other expenses that are quite easy to overlook during the planning process. For example, builders will calculate the material expenses required to build a small cabin, it’s also important to calculate the cost of transporting the building materials to the site. This is especially important for large materials that may require professional transport, like log beams, sewer pipes, and solar panels.


Many log cabin enthusiasts are excited about having a property that’s close to nature. However, without proper insulation, you can expect a fun escape of ‘roughing it’ to become downright miserable. Insulation keeps the internal temperature of a small log cabin comfortable, meaning cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

The average cost for sufficient insulation in the floor and roof of a small cabin is around $1,800 when using a standard insulation option, like 50mm or 100mm insulation. Plan to spend upwards of $2,000 when adding insulation to the walls as well.

small cabin costs

Siding and Roofing

Siding is one of those areas where homeowners can really get flexible and creative, depending on how much they want to spend and how much upkeep they plan to commit to on an ongoing basis. The cost to build a small cabin can skyrocket when using real, raw timber.

For example, $80 per ton is a typical figure for raw timber, and this does not factor in the cost of preparing the logs and cutting them to size at a sawmill. Nor does it account for weatherproofing, which is absolutely essential. Chinking and weatherproofing can cost around $1,000 dollars for a small cabin, and it requires a lot of time and skill. The routine maintenance of resealing the logs should also be factored in at around $3,000 to $7,500 to reseal the logs on a home with 1,500 square feet, and this will usually need to be done every couple of years.

small cabin siding costs

An alternative option that can reduce the cost to build a small cabin is to invest in a maintenance-free siding option, like TruLog. TruLog is a super durable siding option that can save homeowners tons of time and money on upkeep and maintenance. And better yet, TruLog offers wood-look siding in a range of natural colors with both smooth and wood grain textures. It’s a fantastic way to get the real look of wood without worrying about damage from moisture, mold, insects, rodents, and fire.

Roofing costs for a small cabin also vary depending on the material type. Tin, for example, is often easy to find at about $30 per sheet, whereas asphalt roofing can typically cost about $4 or $5 per square foot. The gradation of the roof will also impact the surface area, thus affecting the amount of roofing materials needed.

Plumbing and Electrical

Here’s where we get to the nuts and bolts of building costs for a small cabin. Utilities and services — in other words, plumbing, and electricity — can usually be installed for $3,000 to $8,000. However, there are many factors, such as terrain, property size, and distance to the grid, that can affect the total cost of installing plumbing and electricity.


Basic, pre-treated, tongue and groove flooring is often the most straightforward way to get flooring done on a budget for a small log cabin. The type of wood used can also affect the total cost. On average, expect to pay between $4 and $6 per square foot for engineered wood flooring, with solid wood flooring costing a bit more.

costs to build a small log cabin

Windows and Doors

Most builders that calculate the overall cost to build a small cabin are focused on the essentials. The quality of windows and doors can range greatly, making it hard to calculate. For the purpose of simplicity, let’s assume that a standard model of windows and doors is to be used throughout the small cabin. For four double windows and a few doors, builders can expect to outfit a small cabin for around $500.

The Flexibility of The Cost to Build a Small Cabin

The cost to build a small cabin can vary depending on your choices. The complexity of design and materials can easily be modified in order to meet your budget needs and cabin goals. The most important aspect is to include all of the details when creating an expense sheet prior to project start since it will help create more accurate expectations about the cost of building a small cabin.

For a more durable and cost-effective home siding solution, contact the steel log siding experts at Trulog today and get a free estimate for your project.

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