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Old 07-10-2008, 04:00 PM   #1
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cost estimate for building a new home


What is a good source for cost estimating the building of a home?

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Old 07-10-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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cost estimate for building a new home


Local home builders.

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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cost estimate for building a new home


Thanks Jerry, I am looking for budget prices without a final plan. I want to estimate the cost on an item by item basis in order to make trade offs in the design. I have talked with general contractors and they want to give me general input like typical cost per sq-ft on a custom home. No one wants to take the time to figure the cost trade offs before the plans are ready.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:39 PM   #4
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cost estimate for building a new home


I wasn't trying to be smart, but it was kind of a generic question. Most contractors don't want to be locked into pricing specifics before there is a comittment from the buyer. I think the best you may get is finding out what allowances(flooring/cabinets/fixtures,...) they are factoring into the price and work on the upgrades from there.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:32 PM   #5
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cost estimate for building a new home


You can get a book called "Means Building Construction Cost Data." It is the nationwide standard for estimating commercial and residential projects. They have a residential version of the book as I recall. Buy a current one, as they re-issue them often.

Consider the numbers budget numbers only, and leave room for overage.

The only good bid is a bid in writing from a contractor.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:52 AM   #6
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cost estimate for building a new home


FWIW:

You really are not going to find a professional GC or contractor who is going to give you a price for any home, without firm designs and plans. Plans reveal the specific details of the home, it's structural designs (simple framing, or engineered lumber components), the complications of that design and build (custom fabricated structural members?), the material specifics (granite, porcelain, mahogany, cedar, solid woods, stainless steel, oversized windows, etc), the installation specifics of it's materials (mosaics, inlaid, custom fabrications), also, the layout/grade/accessibility - of the property.... etc, etc, etc.

These and many, many more factors can, as much as double, triple, or quadruple the cost of a home building project.

No contractor likes to even give a ballpark price, verbally, or in writing without firm plans & design specifics, because people will inevitably re-contact them, after the final designs and plans, and throw that original quoted number at the GC. That quoted number is 99.9% of the time, not realistic to the final plans, or not even in the ballpark.

Professional contractors do not like to do that. They prefer to work with a client and help them develop their design/plans for their future home, on a budget that is realistic for their desires, and works for everbody involved with the project.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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cost estimate for building a new home


Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron_jay View Post
Thanks Jerry, I am looking for budget prices without a final plan. I want to estimate the cost on an item by item basis in order to make trade offs in the design. I have talked with general contractors and they want to give me general input like typical cost per sq-ft on a custom home. No one wants to take the time to figure the cost trade offs before the plans are ready.
We don't take the time to do what you ask, because simply, you are asking us to do hours of work for what? The opportunity to build a budget home and trade out what exactly? To get your dream home, I could only assume you want great features, and will sacrifice 9 foot ceilings for 8 as a trade? Lower slope ranch roof will pay for granite counters and a jacuzzi tub instead of a framed roof more in line with the modern home look? Siding instead of brick so you can add a great room with fireplace? Do you see where this could get ugly?

The best advice I could give you is decide what you want, then visit with a few contractors, and see where you are in price. Go to new construction open houses....see the features you like, and then talk to the builder if you see a home you like, and price the changes compared to what he has already built. I know what the last house we built cost, to the penny...

Let you in on another fact. Most builders will quote $XX per square foot.....in my area, a plain jane, paint grade trim and cabinets single story ranch plan can be built for $60 a sq/ft.....this is like pricing a new car......now you add oak cabinets and trim, crown moldings, 9 foot ceilings, 9/12 multi sloped and hipped roof...a few trayed ceilings, a fireplace or 2, and presto...you are now at $115 and up.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:10 AM   #8
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cost estimate for building a new home


Jay- Just to chime in a bit... you may want to take a good look at houses that are on the market in your area right now... and figure however much they cost, building something to "custom specs" is probably going to cost you more. You may even find something already built that meets you requirements. Because, truth be told, the more you deviate from the typical building plan in any developement, the more it is going to cost. And paying a custom homebuilder to do a one-off on your own 20 acres can be pretty expensive also.

10s of thousands of good home plans are readily available in magazines, in books, and on the internet. I would go through some of those, and find something you like. I am willing to bet if you look hard enough, someone has already made up a plan for exactly what you want. Then all you have to decide is what kind of finishing level you want... and then you can take that information and a good contractor will use that as a starting point. No good contractor is going to give you a list of every piece of a home with a cost... there are just too many other things involved to be able to do that, even if they had the time.

Think of it like this. If you ask a contractor how much you will pay for "granite counter tops" he can't answer that question with just that information. What he needs to know are things like how many sqaure feet? what size? just the countertop, or backsplash also? what shape? and probably a million other details i haven't thought of... because i am not a contractor.

With some type of plan in hand and a list of things you would like to have in you new home, a good contractor will sit down with you and figure out those details... but with no plan, he has nowhere to start. And him taking his time to figure out what you want costs him money...

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