Sunday, 8 February 2015

Home Building Costs - Cost Per Square Foot Doesn't Always Tell the Truth

Posted by Sofia at 06:01

Getting quotes on a building or remodeling project is a must. But, what do these quotes and bids tell us?

Understanding what goes into them and why they differ can help you make much better choices when choosing your contractors.

Let's answer a question that I often get.

Question: Why does the "cost per square foot" vary so much from one contractor to another?


Quotes are needed for the sake of comparison and budgeting. Contractors will very often quote home building and home additions on a "cost per square foot" basis.

And, it's not just contractors or builders who deal with the "cost per square foot" calculation. Home Owner Builders, who manage their own building or remodeling projects, want to figure the cost per square foot as well.

Wide Range of Costs in Home Building

The range of these quotes can vary dramatically. How is it one house can be built for $75 p.s.f. (per square foot) while another is completed at $100, and yet another at $200?

Here are some factors that strongly influence the cost to build in any home building project:

  • Quality of the home's structural building materials package
  • Expertise and experience of the contractors you hire
  • Building methods used in construction
  • Profit margin for the builder
  • Type and accessibility of building equipment to the site
  • The quality and cost of the finishing materials in the home

These are reasons why, for example, that you can have virtually the same size and style home, in the same general neighborhood or area, and one is quoted at $100 p.s.f. and the other $150 p.s.f. or more. You need to get your project clearly in mind and understand these factors before getting quotes.

What is Important to Know

Make any changes in plans early. Changes in plans or materials choices will make it necessary to get new quotes and potentially new cost comparisons from additional builders.

So, the lesson is this, when you're getting quotes or figuring costs, always be consistent in what you're asking to be quoted so your comparisons are accurate. Work from exactly the same blueprints and exactly the same materials lists. By doing this, your cost per square foot quote will really tell you what you need to know

It will also result in making a better choice of builders.


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