Sawn Logs can be purchased from the owner of most lumber mills throughout Skyrim or indirectly through a steward. The fixed rate is 20 sawn logs for 200 . The Dragonborn may also ask permission to cut logs for free from mill owners. Each log cut will yield ten sawn logs. Mill owners will only allow the Dragonborn to use their mill and take the freshly sawn logs if they view him or her as a friend. The easiest way to do this is to sell them some firewood, which can often be cut nearby. They are more likely to agree if they are at home, instead of working at the mill.
Unlike other building materials, sawn logs are not added to the inventory. Rather, they are delivered to the building site of the homestead. If the Dragonborn owns more than one homestead, the sawn logs are shared; they can be accessed from any of the homesteads. At the building site, they exist as a physical object called a "Log Pile." It is possible to see how many are available by looking at the logs, if the log pile has less than five sawn logs. Log piles may be activated, however, doing so has no use.
The following is a full list of mills around Skyrim:
- Anga's Mill, west of Windhelm
- Deadwood Lumber Mill, Falkreath
- Dragon Bridge Lumber Camp, Haafingar
- Half-Moon Mill, Falkreath Hold at Lake Ilinalta
- Heartwood Mill, The Rift, at Lake Honrich
- Ivarstead's lumber mill, The Rift
- Mixwater Mill, Eastmarch
- Morthal's lumber mill, Hjaalmarch
- Riverwood's lumber mill, Whiterun Hold
- Solitude Sawmill, Haafingar
- If the sawn logs the Dragonborn cuts do not show up and they do not have the gold to buy them, it takes roughly four minutes real time to chop enough firewood (40 pieces) at a mill to pay for 20 logs. A woodcutter's axe is needed, which may not be easily found at the chosen mill.
- In Morthal, logs are not purchased from the mill owner, Jorgen. Instead, Thonnir sells them. He can be found in his house if not at the mill. Similarly, in Riverwood, even though Gerdur appears to own the mill, the logs are purchased from her husband Hod, who can be found at or in their home if not at the mill.
- Lakeview Manor, the objective marker may point to Half-Moon Mill, however upon arrival there will be no owner to buy lumber from. This only occurs if Hert and Hern were killed in the Dark Brotherhood quest "Contract: Kill Hern." Buying lumber from another mill will remove the marker.
When instructed to buy lumber for
- Sometimes this will occur regardless of progress into the Dark Brotherhood quest line. Reverting to an earlier save may fix this.
- When logs are cut they may not appear until another log is cut.
- Logs may appear in the inventory under misc with the appearance of Elven Boots.
Upon cutting logs at a mill, no logs may be awarded. Asking to buy lumber and choosing, "Can't I just cut the lumber myself?" will grant permission again, but still no logs may appear at the homestead. This can also occur if the Dragonborn cuts logs at a mill without talking to the owner (e.g. Half Moon Mill after Hert and Hern are dead).
- It is possible to work around this by asking permission while a log is running through the sawmill. The normal set of ten logs should be awarded when the next log is loaded after the sawmill resets. Obtaining further logs will require fresh permission each time while a log is running through.