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View bigblockyeti's profile

New home construction cost

by bigblockyeti
posted 02-05-2018 09:11 PM


38 replies so far

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

160 posts in 730 days


#1 posted 02-05-2018 09:35 PM

This is the sort of thing that could depend a lot on your local market. In some markets, you would have better luck finding an old house that matched what you want.

One thing to keep in mind is that, while what you’re looking for sounds simpler than a lot of new construction, what you’re asking for may be seen as a custom build.

View Kilo19's profile

Kilo19

104 posts in 584 days


#2 posted 02-05-2018 09:40 PM

+1 mr pink, in the austin area (i do some designs for a contractor) the build cost goes for 200/300 sqft. they squeeze every little sqft out of the lot. But in my neighborhood i’m looking at 90/100 or even less depending on what I can do, vs what I’m gonna have others do. Trim and cabinets are mine, but electrical and plumbing, i’ll gladly pay someone to do.

-- Justin

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#3 posted 02-05-2018 09:50 PM

I realize it has a great deal to do with location but I’m seeing brand new completed homes with yards, minimal landscaping, a driveway and a few appliances for $100/sqft. I’m asking for the same thing minus the lawn, landscaping, driveway & appliances which puts one particular house right at $79/sqft. I’m OK with that and they’ll still make MORE money on the deal as there’s no realtor involved, they’re building the house on my dime not their own finances and they don’t have to sit on it for months after completion all the while paying utilities and taxes.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 741 days


#4 posted 02-05-2018 09:55 PM

How cheap can you get the dirt for and what is your expectation of the quality of the finishes? You can do $80/sq ft, but you’re going to have to give up something to get it.

The cheapest way to build is a 2 story box. The smaller the foundation the cheaper. Keep the roof lines simple and not cut up. Engineered trusses are cheaper than stick built.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8437 posts in 2509 days


#5 posted 02-05-2018 09:59 PM

When I looked a couple years ago, $100-120 was more typical.

Remember that it’s cheaper per square foot to go bigger, usually. So bigger houses get a cost break based off of that.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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firefighterontheside

20166 posts in 2215 days


#6 posted 02-05-2018 10:22 PM

+1 what Gilley said.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#7 posted 02-05-2018 10:27 PM

The dirt I’m paying cash for so that’s out of the equation all together. Remember, this is SC and things are likely priced differently. I’m looking at multiple spec homes now priced @ $98/sqft. lot included. I just want to remove the cost of the lot, lawn, landscaping & appliances and change exactly nothing else.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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tomsteve

934 posts in 1578 days


#8 posted 02-05-2018 10:30 PM

can ya be your own general contractor/builder? line up all the trades yourself? basically cut out the middleman.

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bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#9 posted 02-05-2018 10:46 PM

Moving to a new state and learning new rules would make that tough, getting it done without know anyone in the trades, specifically their speed and quality would make it really tough. The bank issuing a construction loan wanting builder approval prior to lending makes it tougher yet

I fully intend on building a house with my own two hands at some point, but being able to skip financing would be very helpful in doing so as would be having older kids as assets to help vs. my now young kids as liabilities.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 741 days


#10 posted 02-05-2018 11:03 PM

How do you feel about manufactured homes? I’m not talking about mobile homes. Built elsewhere and taken to the site and assembled.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#11 posted 02-05-2018 11:11 PM

Not object to the idea, I know my wife would be however. This Old House did a high end one once, that I could use to sway her I’m sure but I still need to research what it would cost.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)

AlaskaGuy

5233 posts in 2668 days


#12 posted 02-05-2018 11:17 PM

Seems to me like you should be asking some of your local contractors.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View bladedust's profile

bladedust

215 posts in 2625 days


#13 posted 02-05-2018 11:23 PM

Another option would be to take an existing home and renovate to your liking. There are renovations loan available that would even allow for additions. This is what I do for a living, so feel free to message me if you want details.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#14 posted 02-05-2018 11:32 PM



Seems to me like you should be asking some of your local contractors.

- AlaskaGuy


This is high on my priority list when I become local, I’ve got feelers out there with several different folks, a lot of family in the area included. I’ve gone the renovation route before and while it’s not out of the question, getting in the right school district with a lot in the right area that’s the right size greatly complicates that route.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1365 posts in 1175 days


#15 posted 02-06-2018 12:54 AM

I am about to finish my custom house right now and I am well versed on building in my area. My house will cost about $120 including the lot. You can probably get someone to build a house for close to $80. It will have the cheapest materials and methods the building inspector will permit. The light fixtures, door hardware, flooring, and other materials will all be “contractor grade”.. The quality custom builders in my area would probably not be interested because they are building more expensive and higher profit houses.

>>> Your area may be different! <<<

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

2876 posts in 1981 days


#16 posted 02-06-2018 11:56 AM

Unibilt Industries, Inc. Website

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 862 days


#17 posted 02-06-2018 01:00 PM

I build houses and I have a few suggestions. I would recommend that you talk to some of the septic tank guys around there and see if there is any particular areas known for failing systems. You do not want to be on “bad ground” septic system wise. I know the health dept. has to test and pass it, but in some areas there is better ground to perc in than others. You do not want to tie up a bunch of money building a nice house only to have what can easily turn into very expensive trouble with the septic system later. Not to mention a house that you will have trouble selling. Usually if land is cheap compared to other lots in an area there is a reason why.
Next I would suggest you check your county zoning maps to see just how everything is currently zoned around the lot you are looking at. This is homework that most people don’t bother to do. They buy a lot in the “development district” then want to cry when somebody builds right next to them. Others have property rights same as you and you cannot stop them just because you were “there first”.
Plan on being your own general contractor and hire the trades. This is easier to do sometimes in the dead middle of winter when they are looking for work. One problem we all fight is that trades have their “favorite” customers. Favorite because they keep them busy. You will hire for example a framer and he gets you half way done and leaves to go and serve his “other” master. The other guy hired him to frame 20 houses last year, so where do you think he is going to go? He will come back, but on his time, not yours.
Get all estimates in writing and you DO NOT pay anyone any money until he job is done. You are going to be supplying all the materials, so you have this right, use it. Nothing gets construction trades away from the job faster than already having the money. Once paid they have no reason to hurry, you’ll wait because at this point you have no choice. This causes more trouble and grief than any other act or issue in building houses. Again, DO NOT pay any one anything until the job is done. If they don’t want to work under that rule then you are best off to leave them alone. You didn’t have squat to start with and you have lost nothing. Let them walk even if the entire county tells you they are the “best”. Good luck!!! You are probably going to need it at some point.

View dday's profile

dday

172 posts in 1788 days


#18 posted 02-06-2018 02:00 PM

Unibilt Industries, Inc. Website

- recycle1943

That looks like a good business, though I have no idea how much that would cost.
And unfortunately, they don’t build in Alabama, where I am or in the OP’s destination

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

595 posts in 2573 days


#19 posted 02-06-2018 02:04 PM

when my folks were building their house on their lot, one of the things that impacted the pricing compared to new construction in neighborhoods was simply the efficiency of building a singleton versus say 10 in a neighborhood.

Materials deliveries, travel time for the subs, etc all play a factor in a custom build. In my folks case, their lot was in an area without much active construction and I’d estimate that drove their price up at least 10% or 15% compared to similar construction in active developments.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1258 days


#20 posted 02-06-2018 02:25 PM

Here are posts by people that have just built homes, interesting read (kinda)

They give a brief description of their build and cost

Here was another descent link that was in one of the replies
http://www.byoh.com/costestimating.htm

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

495 posts in 2929 days


#21 posted 02-06-2018 03:02 PM

Wow, I’m shocked at the responses. We’re getting ready to build this spring, in WI, and are struggling to keep it under $145/ft. (construction costs only, no land). We’re building an approx 1800 sq ft ranch and it’s nothing out of the ordinary, in terms of amenities.

I know that some areas of the country don’t build basements – that’s probably a significant difference in cost – but I can’t imagine doing anything under $100/ft anywhere.

View buckbuster31's profile

buckbuster31

256 posts in 874 days


#22 posted 02-06-2018 04:18 PM

I recently built a house. I did all the hardwood and tile work and I built the deck and framed the basement myself. Main floor is 1930 sq ft and basement is 1930 sq ft. I have 180K in my house. so yes, very doable!!!

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#23 posted 02-06-2018 04:43 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions,
I’ll look into Unibilt
The offer on whichever lot we choose will be contingent on passing state issued perk test for four bed single family.
The location is < 10 miles from cluster home developments of several builders I’ve inquired & I can/will be involved in some aspects of construction as time allows.
WI is expensive around major metro areas, no getting around that, rural(ish) SC commands lower labor costs.
1930sqft. and the same again unfinished would work, interior changes/upgrades can be executed later, good insulation, framing, roof, foundation & to a lesser extent; windows, siding and exterior trim, less so.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1365 posts in 1175 days


#24 posted 02-07-2018 03:19 PM

If you are going to be your own contractor and do considerable work on the house as msinc suggests, that is a whole different story. I built my own second house some 32 years ago. I can’t remember the original cost but I remember having over estimated by about $30,000. That was a lot of money then. I wired the house, installed all the flooring, painted, installed the wiring and did all the interior trim work. It took me and my F-I-L a year and a half to finish it.

View PPK's profile

PPK

1367 posts in 1168 days


#25 posted 02-07-2018 03:56 PM



How do you feel about manufactured homes? I m not talking about mobile homes. Built elsewhere and taken to the site and assembled.

- Gilley23

Watch out for this… in my area, and probably all areas, manufactured homes depreciate in value, (much like a car) and don’t appreciate like you’d expect a house to. It just seems like a poor investment in my opinion. Perhaps I’m missing something… Insurance and loans are different on manufactured homes too…

-- Pete

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Gilley23

489 posts in 741 days


#26 posted 02-07-2018 04:09 PM

Watch out for this… in my area, and probably all areas, manufactured homes depreciate in value, (much like a car) and don t appreciate like you d expect a house to. It just seems like a poor investment in my opinion. Perhaps I m missing something… Insurance and loans are different on manufactured homes too…

- PPK

I have a beach house that I had built this way. It came in 6 pieces and was dropped in place by a crane and bolted down and fastened together. The roof was built on-site using engineered trusses.

It is not considered to be or insured as a “manufactured” home and it has gone up and down and up in values the same as the surrounding real estate….except I saved about $20k on the construction costs.

From the outside and inside it looks and feels like a normally built on-site property. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t believe in it.

View MinnesotaSteve's profile

MinnesotaSteve

54 posts in 1250 days


#27 posted 02-07-2018 04:49 PM



Watch out for this… in my area, and probably all areas, manufactured homes depreciate in value, (much like a car) and don t appreciate like you d expect a house to. It just seems like a poor investment in my opinion. Perhaps I m missing something… Insurance and loans are different on manufactured homes too…

It’s bad terminology. The mobile home industry started calling their stuff manufactured housing to make it sound fancy.

I think what they’re referring to is actually modular homes. They’re basically stick built homes, but they frame up walls, put in wiring and insulate and sheath them in a factory then bring them out on a flatbed truck and put everything together using a crane. It reduces a lot of the labor costs as much of the work is done inside a climate controlled building.

My aunt/uncle had their home built this way years back. After the foundation/basement was put in, the rest of the shell of the home was put up in like in a week, then it was just a matter of doing all the finish work. It’s not a fancy home, but it’s of good quality and has held up against several good storms.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

495 posts in 2929 days


#28 posted 02-07-2018 05:17 PM



can ya be your own general contractor/builder? line up all the trades yourself? basically cut out the middleman.

- tomsteve

Couple comments -

I would be very careful about attempting to GC yourself. When it comes to suppliers & subs, you are going to be at the bottom of the schedule and are not going to get the best pricing. They know they’re not going to get repeat business from you, so have no incentive to give you the best pricing/work on your schedule, etc.

I personally know more than one person who thought they’d save money by being their own GC & at the end of the day, spent about as much, but had 10x the headaches.

Also, as far as doing work yourself, that can be a challenge. I tried to go down that road years ago. Builders want to control the process. If you say you’re going to do your own tile work, as an example, but you end up behind schedule because you’re slower than a pro would be, it creates work for the builder to adjust scheduling & stuff.

If you can find one who will let you do it, great – but I would guess that most will not.

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MJMW1

2 posts in 467 days


#29 posted 02-07-2018 05:49 PM

You might want to look into factory built homes. Not the “manufactured homes” that sort of look very boxy. There are several companies who are building very attractive homes that come to site ready to be assembled. I’m unaware of the costs but perhaps might be close to your needs. Taunton Press published a book about thses homes and I can tell you that they look like there were stick built onsite.

Another is to find someone who is assembling shipping containers into homes. They can be insulated and clad with siding (to hide their looks).

Good luck, out where I live it would cost you in excess of $150 a sq ft.

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CaptainKlutz

1221 posts in 1853 days


#30 posted 02-07-2018 05:52 PM

FWIW Custom home build prices in AZ are over $125 sq ft; despite bare bones micro lot size “McNeighborhood’s” selling for as low as $80 sqft from the nationally known builders. Custom builders do not work cheap.

One key challenge with any custom home build is finding a builder that LIKES to build the type of home you want. Many custom home builders only want top dollar homes with best designs/finishes as this maximizes profits. Finding a custom home builder that is happy building “simple” low cost ( & lower profit) home is hard.

Suggest you might have best luck with a lessor known or an “up and coming” builder that does not have long history, and is willing to add another notch to his experience list, even if the home is not a huge profit. IE find some one who needs the work more than they need to maximize income?

Not sure if this true everywhere, but current issue for AZ home building is a rebound cycle after a bad slump. All home builders have more work than they can handle and new build prices are escalating due reduced labor supply & high demand. Best time to build custom is when economy is depressed, or at least spending on new homes it lowest. Can you afford to wait for the next housing construction slump?

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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BigYin

421 posts in 2775 days


#31 posted 02-07-2018 06:19 PM

google says “British average house price is apparently £211 square foot” thats about $290 usd per foot.
Just when you thought it couldnt get worse – it can if you live over here …
Remember basements cost more than ground level foundations – excavations, walls, drainage, waterproofing.
A two story house costs less than one story of equal total floor space – two storey uses smaller foundations
If you intend to extend in the future ask the architect to design with this in mind

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

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bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#32 posted 03-20-2018 08:46 PM

Well we’ve settled on a lot and currently waiting on a satisfactory perc test to close then get to building. There’s about .6 acres in the middle of it that at one point in time was cleared and will have to have some juvenile evergreens taken out but it’s only very slightly sloped and should need zero additional site prep prior to digging footers for a crawl space. Most builders are coming in a $100/sqft. for the bare minimum builder grade stuff which I’m OK with but expected less for vinyl siding, minimal molding & taking care of the driveway, final grading, the landscaping and lawn myself. I realize the trades are going to be busiest now but I’m wondering if a I can sway some of them with pay as work cash. As much as I’d like to do it myself it’s unlikely I’d be able to complete it anything remotely close to quickly which is another major constraint hanging over my head.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2280 posts in 3303 days


#33 posted 03-21-2018 04:30 AM

There are a thousand ways to cut costs. For example:

- You can spray the texture yourself;
- You can paint yourself (I suggest spray, to avoid burnout, and do it before the floors, so you don’t have to care);
- You can buy slings of ply on 2x’s.
- You can get a business license and go through wholesalers for moldings and so on;
- You can be your own primary contractor, then sub out the things above, the foundation, the framing, the. . . .;
- You can take your time on landscaping;
-

HOWEVER, DO NOT cheap out on electrical, plumbing and insulation. This is a LONG TERM investment and electric isn’t going down, and you will not like tripping breakers. or a cold/warm house because….

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Knockonit

541 posts in 561 days


#34 posted 03-21-2018 01:07 PM

as a homebuilder and remodeler for the last 30 years, the days of the great service from vendors and discounts for being a contractor are just about history, only discounts offered these days is paying your bill by the 5th, the 10th ect, you just might get a 2-3% discount.

The days of a professional salesman, taking care of his client is just about history. ITs a culture of who gets to the buyer first at most vendors here in Az. Oh on occassion, pending the mood of vendors, you might get a little reach around on a discount on some ply, or a notice that studs came down in price,
Quality of lumber is just atrociously terrible, we send about a quarter back due to nasty twists, bows ect. And rough sawn timbers are just way too wet to use, before house is done, its almost necessary to replace the timbers.

Prices per sq. ft here vary from locations, and market. I’m building a few homes up in the Verde Valley, Az. area, and costs are around 127.00s q. ft. and thats if i keep it on my radar to buy right.

Just about every subcontractor at this time is short handed, absolutely hardly any excellent skilled labor available. Heck even a new warm body is welcomed.
I’ve gone thru 25 possible employees since first of year, in that number only 7 have actually showed up to work after taking time for interview and do paper work, the bulk of them just don’t show up, and its not the pay, my boys are making u pward of 30.00/hr.

There is some savings on being your own GC, depends on how you value your time, and any other labor you need to help you do your side of the management of work. And if you know enough to not have a sub, lead you down a path of bullshiat, these days, what comes out of a subs mouth is akin to a politician stumping for your vote.
pretty sure you get the jist.

any way, good luck with the build, what in my mind should be an incredible experience of building a residence, has turned into a chore that i am soon retiring from,
Rj in Az

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RDan

100 posts in 2682 days


#35 posted 03-22-2018 03:44 AM



Wow, I m shocked at the responses. We re getting ready to build this spring, in WI, and are struggling to keep it under $145/ft. (construction costs only, no land). We re building an approx 1800 sq ft ranch and it s nothing out of the ordinary, in terms of amenities.

I know that some areas of the country don t build basements – that s probably a significant difference in cost – but I can t imagine doing anything under $100/ft anywhere.

- jerkylips


I agree with this, I own land and we were going to build. Then I got sick, the housing market crashed and our third child was added. So we may just do the remodel as houses go up in value. My land on the other hand, has not reached even what we paid for it. The info on Well & Septic is important too. It adds $10K to $20K, depending on conventional or Mound system. We were looking at $225K from one of the higher end builders. Good Luck. Dan

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)

AlaskaGuy

5233 posts in 2668 days


#36 posted 03-22-2018 04:30 AM

Excerpt from an article.

“We have done a little research to find the average cost of home construction in Anchorage. Here are the average costs and prices reported back to us:
Cost of Custom Home Building in Anchorage, Alaska
$157.95 per square foot (basic construction) (Range: $127.13 – $188.76)”

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Crashcup

47 posts in 1559 days


#37 posted 03-23-2018 06:24 PM

Got that house done yet? :)

I saw some comments about acting as your own GC, and I thought I’d throw in my own limited experience.
We’re building a 2000 sf addition plus attached garage, and we decided to go the owner/GC route to keep costs down. That, and doing a lot of the work myself, has most definitely met that goal.

But I learned that it is CRITICAL to spend enough time searching for and interviewing potential subs. That’s right, I said interviewing. I had my plans and a list of questions for when I met with subs. I wanted to make sure they had a decent attitude about working with an owner/GC, and that they agreed on my terms for payment.

As I found out first-hand, contractors want to do things their way. The way the do it on every other house. And I passed on a couple who I could tell right away wouldn’t work with me and would be trouble. Still, I had one jerk of a concrete guy we hired that we shouldn’t have. He screwed up a few times, and didn’t want to take responsibility for his mistakes. In some cases I had to take up the slack myself.

But that was my mistake. When I first met with him, I could tell he had an attitude, and my instinct said ‘No’, but I let myself be swayed by the low bid. $4k lower than the next guy. Big mistake.

But, the other subs were great. As I said, I did pass on some that might have been trouble. The framers, excavator, and plumber I ended up working with were very reasonable. I got along great with the framing contractor. He did some extra interior walls that weren’t in the scope of work and didn’t charge extra for them. Plus, He brought one of those rough-terrain fork lifts out for sheathing and trusses, and let me use it in the off hours for roofing.

Anyway, my point is that it can be a huge headache – and I had my share of headaches with the cement contractor – but if you do your homework and put in the time interviewing, you can probably end up with some good subs. Of course, if you have friends who can recommend contractors that they’ve actually used and liked, that’s the best. I just didn’t get any good referrals so I sortof had to start from scratch.

Keith

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bigblockyeti

5675 posts in 2079 days


#38 posted 03-23-2018 09:39 PM

I’ve considered the owner/GC route and that’s not yet off the table the two biggest hold backs is living 82/ miles away and wanting to get it done as quickly as possible. I realize it would be a headache but it would be more money in my pocket, but work can be a headache and that puts money in my pocket to, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. To answer your first question, we’re hoping to close within two weeks & meeting with potential builders next week (and maybe subs too).

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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