A new house will probably cost between $100 and $350 per square foot. Yes, that is a huge range and here’s why:
In one form or another, this is one of the most frequent questions we hear. Unfortunately, it is also one of the few questions that we simply cannot answer very definitely. Can you tell me how much it costs to take a vacation? How much should I expect to spend on a new car? What is the “average cost” of a dinner for two? All of these questions contain so many variables that it is impossible for anyone to answer them accurately without first asking several additional questions and gathering much more information. The same is true when calculating the cost to build a new home.
Let’s begin by considering what square foot home building costs really are — nothing more than the total cost of the home divided by the total number of square feet in that home. So, a 2,000 square foot home with total construction costs of $250,000 would cost $125 per square foot to build. Spend another $50,000 on a gourmet kitchen, an elegant master bath, wood flooring with slate tiles in the foyer, 9 foot ceilings, or any other combination of “above average” features or finishes and that same 2,000 square foot house would now cost $150 per square foot to build; an increase of 20%. Other considerations would be if the home was single story or two story; the type of foundation and floor system; the pitch of the roof (steeper pitches increase the size of the roof); the shape of the building and the number of corners or offsets in the design (square or rectangular shapes are the least expensive); the number of windows; the height of the ceilings; the size of the garage; zoning laws, covenants, impact and connection fees required by local government agencies; as well as the number and size of decks or covered porches, patios, sidewalks, and landscaping.
There really isn’t any uniform method of defining what is included in any given square foot price. Local contractors might be able to quote “average” home building costs and figures, but before you put too much faith in “average” numbers, keep in mind that the only house that you really care about is the one that you are about to build. The best approach to determining how much your new home will cost might be to simply work backward. Start by determining how much you can afford to spend, then be realistic about the size of the house you need, and finally, decide what and where you can afford to build.
Do you have any questions about your next building project?