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Thread: Want to build a cabin

  1. #1
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Default Want to build a cabin

    I just bought my own piece of paradise. I found the perfect lot to build a cabin on so now the fun begins.

    This winter I am going to plan out the cabin of my dreams so I can build the start of next summer.

    What are some basic costs I can expect to spend on a cabin? I want to build a 20x24 on post and beam foundation.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfirefighter View Post
    What are some basic costs I can expect to spend on a cabin?
    Question's too vague; expect to pay for what you get. My place ran about $8/sq. ft., but many of the materials were scrounged and I did all the labor. Checking out some cabin kits might get you in the ball park.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The last cabin I priced out for a customer (materials only) was for a 16x20 sitting on treated posts and 4x12 beams. It ran about $8000 in materials for 2x6 walls, 3/4 OSB floor on 2x12 floor joists, T1-11 wall sheathing, 12/12 pitch roof with 2x12 rafters, full 2x12 loft floor, R21 wall insulation, R38 cathedral insulation for the roof, three 48x48 windows and a door. No interior anything. That works out to $25 a square foot, which is just about the number I usually use for any sized cabin without interior finish. Prices on the Kenai should be really close to what they are in Talkeetna.
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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default Cabin Costs

    About 30K so far (~16K in labor so far) and climbing.
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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Thanks Doug, that sounds exactly like what I want to build only 20x24. $25 /sqft sounds like a decent number for an unfinished cabin. My plan it to build am unfinished the first year and then slowly finish as time goes by.

    Akfish- what size is your place? So you have $14k in materials, did I read that right?

    Thanks for the responses.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    About 14K in materials, none of the interior is "finished" but there is some work done inside. Mine is 16x24 + 6 foot decks on each floor. Materials change allot in price, especially in AK. I've paid over $16 for 7/16 OSB at times and I noted in Kansas City is goes for $6.79 a sheet...ouch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKFishOn View Post
    I've paid over $16 for 7/16 OSB at times and I noted in Kansas City is goes for $6.79 a sheet...ouch.
    And aren't you glad you're not in Kansas?

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    Do they even have trees in Kansas?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    OSB prices doubled in June on the wholesale level to nearly record highs. It's a commodity product that supply and demand controls prices. A perfect storm of no trucking available, reduced mill output, and tiny spike in housing starts raised the prices drastically. They now have dropped significantly once reality hit that there was not going to be an economic recovery in the U.S. and production caught up with supply. OSB prices have dropped from the $19 range to the $11 range already in the S.C. Alaska market. Also remember that 7/16 OSB cost nearly $3 a sheet just to ship to Alaska, so we will always be higher than the lower 48.

    Lumber prices right now are as low as they've been at any other time. I have my price pages from 1996 in my bookshelf and many items today are selling for the same price as they were in 1996. Lumber is one of the only products I know of that hasn't kept up with inflation.
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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I had to go to school in Kansas for a year. There are trees here but the tallest thing I've seen is a guard tower around one of the thousand prisons (viewed from the outside) they have here or a tornado warning tower.

    Whatever the price of materials happens to be I can guarantee one thing, that prices will fluctuate (up and down) here are some examples I have from my experience in buying materials for the cabin:
    I bought elephant board (1 & 1/8 inch) / sub flooring for $29.44 in AUG 09, in JUN 09 it was $23.68
    I bought T1-11 for $40.86 a sheet in AUG 09, in JUN 09 it was $36.77 a sheet
    I bought 7/16 OSB for $12 something in AUG 09, in JUN 09 is was $10.93, then in JUL 10 I paid $16 and change
    I bought a Roll of Tyvek for $108 in AUG 09, then $118 in FEB 10 and in JUN 09 it was $88

    Overall the prices were not bad in my opinion but don't be surprised if you cost things out on Monday then prices go up by the end of the week or even the next day. Just my experiences that I kept track of when planning out and then purchasing materials. If you are looking for a material list (the 85 percent solution) for what I purchased and the big three store (Lowes, Home Depot, and SBS) comparisons send me a PM with your email and I will send you the spreadsheet.

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