While waiting for the closing, I began looking into my options for homes. My initial preference was for kits, and Shelter Kit was the front-runner. I was thinking I could do a Unit One with both an enclosed and open porch, and add on additional modules later. This was particularly attractive as they give you all the tools you need to build the thing and bundle all the materials in 100-pound units so two people can carry them to the site. Everything is cut and drilled, so there is no construction waste, and very little guess-work. I loved this option until I saw just how small 12 x 21 really is. Initial cost: About 17,000 plus foundation.
But I also looked at First Day Cottage. They essentially deliver material and instructions to the site, relying on me to have power tools and a basic level of know-how. They were willing to do something in roughly the same square footage as Shelter-Kit, for about the same price.
And then I discovered Country Plans, which provides plans and a forum support community to people who want to build their own homes. I did quite a bit of research on framing and material costs, and it turns out that (as you would expect) building it myself is at least 1/3 less expensive than a kit option. I'm fairly handy, so the thought of building myself isn't that intimidating to me, although my LSW is a little leary of this option.
Log cabin kits are more expensive than any of these options, and panelized kits were at least 1/4 more expensive than building it myself. The annoying thing about Log Cabin kits, by the way, is few of them posts prices on the web. Everyone wants to rope you into a marketing web before they say anything about costs. Bastards.
I'd love to do a true post-and-beam from the Shelter Institute, but at approximately 30,0000 for an lockable structure, it's beyond my budget.