Sharing my cabin costs

Started by Nate R, January 28, 2022, 08:19:19 AM

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Nate R

My project is here:

I've been careful to keep track of all my cabin-specific spending. All too often, theoretical costs are discussed, but I don't feel enough people share their actual costs after the fact. Sometimes that's just because it's difficult to track it all over several years!

We don't have a fixed budget, so I'm just tracking as we go. We also are spending more than the bare minimum where we feel the benefit is worth it, to us. So one could EASILY spend MUCH less than we have. For example, one could have easily spent $6k less on windows and doors than we did. Or bought some more items more cheaply and/or used. (like a $600 wood stove instead of the $1600 one we got.)

Also, I'm tracking items that are often beyond the scope of other builds, like cost of furniture, or bedding, etc. So, this is just my example, and of course, your mileage and costs WILL vary.

Some general specs: Northern Wisconsin.
20x30 thickened edge, insulated slab on grade.
Covered porch about 90 SF and  ~510 SF finished interior space. One main room and a separated bedroom. NO plumbing, just on-grid electric so far (And maybe internet later this year, I hear they're putting it in our road!...)
2x6 24oc walls, with 3/6:12 scissor trusses, 40 psf ground snow load.  ½" Plywood wall sheathing, 5/8" plywood roof sheathing. Asphalt shingle roof with one skylight.
Black fiberglass windows and patio door from Marvin, and a black fiberglass entry door.
R21ish walls, R38 ceiling + R4 foam in ceiling.
Wood stove heat and a 3KW electric heater.

This is today's cost so far. I do NOT have any siding or trim accounted for, but DO have soffits and a porch ceiling installed. I have the interior mostly insulated, but no drywall yet. Keep in mind, I DO have some things purchased that are not installed yet, like fans and light fixtures. Again, I'll update this as we go.
Also, I've used Menards 11% rebate where I can, so some items have been free or the costs offset for me. The skylight was free with a rebate, insulation discounted, etc.

Feel free to ask any questions.



I figured it was going to be a Go Fund Me from the title :D
You've done well, especially now.

Adam Roby

Nice breakdown.
Looks like outhouse for septic, water is brought in or collected?

Nate R

Quote from: Adam Roby on January 29, 2022, 10:27:36 AM
Nice breakdown.
Looks like outhouse for septic, water is brought in or collected?


Yes, we have an outhouse we got permitted and built in 2016. Fan assisted venting, 24/7.
Water we've been bringing in, so far.


Looks good. I think it is really useful to share real costs with people considering building a house. Itemize an estimate and add a buffer.

Tough time to build right now. An exposed fastener metal roof costs more than standing seam @ 2016 (and in all likelihood 2019) prices.

One thing I've thought about is that a compact tractor with a backhoe could do all site work except drilling a well. In my case it would have paid for itself. And, if you have much land you are going to need one sooner rather than later.