Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: georgia
Posts: 292
Rewards Points: 250
Default

most cost effective house plan


Well, I never thought i'd be building another house but... never say never...... I am looking at house plans in the 1500 sq ft range, built on a crawl space, I am assuming (all things being equal) that a 1.5 story will be the most cost effective per sq. ft. correct??? Any other comments or questions are appreciated.

ugabulldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 07:46 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,794
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

most cost effective house plan


Two story retangular box. The money is in the foundation and the roof. IMHO...

vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 48
Rewards Points: 25
Default

most cost effective house plan


Not sure why 1.5 stories would be more economical than a 2 story building (other than the cost savings of 1/2 walls worth of material), but here are a few more suggested guidelines:

1. having a building width and length that's divisible evenly by 4' is the most economical sizing (e.g., 20ft, 24ft, 36ft, etc.) Most sheathing materials (drywall, plywood, osb, etc.) come in 4'x8' sheets, so you're paying for the material irrespective of whether you use it all. Having exterior wall dimensions in 4ft increments allows you to more fully use the materials while minimizing waste and cutting, and maximizing cost per sq ft.

2. Exterior walls with fewer bends are cheaper to build, since the concrete forming, sheathing, siding, etc. is all less labor intensive. So a plan that's a perfect square or rectangle is cheaper to build than one that is L, M, Z or Y shaped.

3. As a rule, smaller houses are more expensive to build per sq ft than larger ones - that's because many of the fixed costs disproportionally impact the cost per sq ft on smaller homes. Air, drywall, lumber and paint are cheap. Bigger rooms don't cost you proportionately as much, but add proportionately to the value of your house. The guidance I've heard from experienced owner builders is "build as big as you can afford to"

4. Adding living space over a garage is cheap, since the foundation's already poured, and the roof doesn't cost any more. You're really just paying for materials and labor for one more floor and walls.

5. Generalizing number 4, two story structures are cheaper per sq ft than single story structures. The only incremental expense to add the second floor is the cost of the walls and floor - everything else (e.g., roof, ceiling, foundation, etc.) you'd need to have to support the first floor anyway.

6. Cost is not just a function of size. Materials, design complexity, etc. all play a big role in the final build cost.

I'm sure there are a bunch of other ideas that will come to me if I sit down and think about it, but hopefully this is a good list of thoughts to get you started.

Last edited by TitaniumVT; 01-03-2010 at 02:23 PM.
TitaniumVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: georgia
Posts: 292
Rewards Points: 250
Default

most cost effective house plan


thanks for the replies......however, if the house is only 1500 sq. ft. and I build a two story, (which would have as much sq. ft. on the second floor as on the first) I would think the house would look dumb with a small "footprint" and tall structure...??? plus I would want the master on first which would eliminate the two story option on a 1500 sq. ft.......btw....This 1.5 story would not have half walls? but a steep roof pitch with extra sq. ft. in attic space

Last edited by ugabulldog; 01-02-2010 at 09:22 PM.
ugabulldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2010, 09:14 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

most cost effective house plan


Where are you located ?
Myself I'd never want another house without a basement

Actually 2' increments can be just as cost effective
Since the "extra" 2' can be used on the other side(s)
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 12:44 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,794
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

most cost effective house plan


My mother had a house once as you describe - about 1500' and 1.5 floors via peaked roof - upstairs had two decent sized bedrooms at either end with hall between them - in the hall was the stairway landing, full bath on one side ,and utilities room/area on the other side - and downstairs was the master bedroom, living and eat-in kitchen. The downstairs bath was compartmented (toilet & vanity / tub-shower vanity) and accessaable from the hall and from the master bedroom both.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 01:36 AM   #7
Wire Chewer
 
Red Squirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,221
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

most cost effective house plan


If you are building go with a full size basement, or at least a split level (half basement, half crawlspace). I can't see it costing that much more to dig deeper and in the end you'll have a better foundation and it will also sell for more. The basement (or lack of) can be a deal breaker for lot of people.
Red Squirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 08:28 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 951
Rewards Points: 500
Default

most cost effective house plan


Given the OP's user name, he might be in the south. Basements are really rare in the south -- it might be more difficult to find a builder who has experience putting them in. But they can be nice. You have to air condition them (in the deep south) though, to take the humidity out, or you'll have mold problems.
pyper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 09:32 AM   #9
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,173
Rewards Points: 2,256
Default

most cost effective house plan


Quote:
Originally Posted by pyper View Post
Given the OP's user name, he might be in the south. Basements are really rare in the south -- it might be more difficult to find a builder who has experience putting them in. But they can be nice. You have to air condition them (in the deep south) though, to take the humidity out, or you'll have mold problems.
In coastal South Carolina, we have a name for basements:

Swimming Pools
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: georgia
Posts: 292
Rewards Points: 250
Default

most cost effective house plan


yes, i am in South carolina, will be building in rural Ga, not looking to do a basement....I am just trying to figure out if it is really that much of a cost savings to build a 1.5 story over a ranch,.....there is the extra cost of stairs, guess that is the only added cost, what do you think would be the actual cost savings on 1500 sq. ft.....any guesses???....btw just to reinterate, I am the builder....
ugabulldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 01:27 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canonsburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 262
Default

most cost effective house plan


When you ask what is the "most cost effective house plan" do you want the resale to be considered? If so the ranch might end up being the most cost effective build. In an area with plenty of retirees a ranch might bring a higher price than a split or two story. Personally my thought about a split is it is the worst of both worlds. At my age, I would definitely go with a ranch even if it was more cost effective to go split or two story. Without taking resale into consideration there is no question a two story give you the most sq. ft. for the buck and it will be the most economical to heat and cool.

Rege
RegeSullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: georgia
Posts: 292
Rewards Points: 250
Default

most cost effective house plan


Quote:
Originally Posted by RegeSullivan View Post
When you ask what is the "most cost effective house plan" do you want the resale to be considered? If so the ranch might end up being the most cost effective build. In an area with plenty of retirees a ranch might bring a higher price than a split or two story. Personally my thought about a split is it is the worst of both worlds. At my age, I would definitely go with a ranch even if it was more cost effective to go split or two story. Without taking resale into consideration there is no question a two story give you the most sq. ft. for the buck and it will be the most economical to heat and cool.

Rege

Good points....I will not be taking resale into acoount as I plan on dying in this home (not to sound morbid) but I would also prefer the convience of a ranch, as one of the upstairs rooms would be used as office, I guess that is what i am trying to figure out, would cost savings offset..... I don't plan on adding gutters which would eliminate some additional savings of 1.5 stories....not sure there is a clear cut answer without actually comparing two plans and doing a materials, labor 'takeoff'.
ugabulldog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 02:10 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canonsburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 262
Default

most cost effective house plan


Well this changes things. You will not know the answer until your final days... If your plans are to stay in the house as long as you can you would need to know your state of your health to know which will be most cost effective for you. If you can't do the stairs in the final 5, 10 or 15 years of your life at least a portion of a two story or split will be unusable and therefor a complete waste of money at that time. If you go with a ranch you will more likely have access to the entire house for the longest time. Consider using all 36" doors also. No one likes to think wheel chairs or walkers but mobility in a chair or with a walker is better not having that mobility. Bathrooms need to be well thought out too. A large curb-less shower could make a big difference at some point.

Rege


Last edited by RegeSullivan; 01-03-2010 at 05:30 PM.
RegeSullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
house insurance company wants to inspect my house! Knucklez General DIY Discussions 63 07-16-2013 09:05 PM
replumbing an old house simonfrog Plumbing 7 01-30-2012 05:45 AM
Moving a House 70 miles- Practical? GOTHICrevivalRULES Building & Construction 19 11-27-2008 09:58 PM
Some walls rattle in my house if hit with something, I will explain inside posting zincmann Building & Construction 4 11-10-2008 04:05 PM
Cost of replacing old knob ant tube wiring in house bikerboy337 Electrical 3 03-26-2005 09:50 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.