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76S&S
01-04-2011, 03:21 PM
Looking to see what new construction is costing these days. We have a place on one body of water where I might build, but we are also considering selling and buying on a different body of water.

I built my current home 17 years ago so I don't have any idea of price per square foot these days. I realize you can spend as much as you want but am curious to what the average cost is these days. Especially for the DIY'er.

Oh, if it make any difference I'm in central AL.

thanks

ctjahn
01-04-2011, 04:16 PM
I am interested as well. I have heard from under $100 a sq ft to $150 a sq ft. We hope to build this spring...(Rural Wisconsin)

bcampbe7
01-04-2011, 04:21 PM
Interested as well...

My brother-in-law built his house 3-4 years ago for around $75 per square foot. He already owned the lot, so that was not factored in. He also acted as the GC. It is an upscale home too and roughly 6000 square feet (including finished basement).

I have a local builder that has quoted me $90/sqft (including a $30k lot). I have spoken to a couple of his previous clients and he finished at $95-$100/sqft.

All depends on what you want in the house? Granite, tile, hardwood, etc as well as what you may change along the way.

76S&S
01-04-2011, 04:46 PM
bcamp, that sounds like a pretty good price considering it includes the lot and GC.



A different question is what is it costing per sq ft to get a house blacked in? Framed, sided, roofing, windows and doors. And yes I realize that cost can vary considerably depending on the siding/roof/window/door choices a person makes. Just looking for an average.

This way, we could all go from there based on what materials we wanted to finish it out in.

Hammer
01-04-2011, 05:23 PM
It really depends on finishes. Average size home (2500 ft) with avarage finishes. FIP hardwoods, tile, custom cabnets w/ laminant tops, cultured marble in baths, Tile in baths. Fiberglass showers tubs. That type of home will be around 90 per foot. No well. No septic. Wells here run 4-5K and septic 4-6k. Still lots of variables.

Finnsdad
01-04-2011, 05:35 PM
Thats like asking what a new boat costs. It's as much as you want to spend.

76S&S
01-04-2011, 05:36 PM
It really depends on finishes. Average size home (2500 ft) with avarage finishes. FIP hardwoods, tile, custom cabnets w/ laminant tops, cultured marble in baths, Tile in baths. Fiberglass showers tubs. That type of home will be around 90 per foot. No well. No septic. Wells here run 4-5K and septic 4-6k. Still lots of variables.

Thanks Hammer, good info. :D

Question, is that through a GC or doing it yourself?

ctjahn
01-04-2011, 05:40 PM
I budgeted $120 a sq ft using modest materials....
I already own the lot but it has no improvements (no sewer/water/etc)
No granite, no fancy stuff but the house is a "Loft" or "Vacation Style" home...
(We figure if we get the space, and design, we can do upgrades ourselves)
In a rural part of central (a bit south east of central) Wisconsin...

I am anxiouis to find out if that is a good ballpark on a 2000 sq ft home...
Maybe start another off topic thread of house building...(informational)
We were going to do modular but now doing stick...

All speculation until the first shovel hits the dirt!

Cj

76S&S
01-04-2011, 05:45 PM
Thats like asking what a new boat costs. It's as much as you want to spend.

LOL, so true. Just trying to get an idea to help with our decision.

Hammer
01-04-2011, 05:50 PM
I'm a GC. That was also no Lot and Vinyl siding.

76S&S
01-04-2011, 05:53 PM
I budgeted $120 a sq ft using modest materials....
I already own the lot but it has no improvements (no sewer/water/etc)
No granite, no fancy stuff but the house is a "Loft" or "Vacation Style" home...
(We figure if we get the space, and design, we can do upgrades ourselves)
In a rural part of central (a bit south east of central) Wisconsin...

I am anxiouis to find out if that is a good ballpark on a 2000 sq ft home...
Maybe start another off topic thread of house building...(informational)
We were going to do modular but now doing stick...

All speculation until the first shovel hits the dirt!

Cj

Are you using a GC or self performing?

I like the idea of a house building thread.

We are remodeling (updating) our main home. I've just painted 4 rooms a hallway, installed crown moulding and put down about 1,200 ft of hardwood flooring. Next is to inclose a poarch off of the master bedroom and make it the new walk in closet. Then I can turn the existing WIC into a big ole shower and redo the rest of the bath................ahh it never ends.:D

76S&S
01-04-2011, 05:56 PM
I'm a GC. That was also no Lot and Vinyl siding.

Thanks again. Just one more question............for now.;)

Is your price the price you would quote a customer or is that what it is costing you to build the home?

ctjahn
01-04-2011, 06:34 PM
Are you using a GC or self performing?

I like the idea of a house building thread.

We are remodeling (updating) our main home. I've just painted 4 rooms a hallway, installed crown moulding and put down about 1,200 ft of hardwood flooring. Next is to inclose a poarch off of the master bedroom and make it the new walk in closet. Then I can turn the existing WIC into a big ole shower and redo the rest of the bath................ahh it never ends.:D


I am thinking GC because I am clueless about home building... Mechanically inclined and rebuild/remodeled a great deal of our current house (even the kitch down to the studs) but...building is a whole new animal.

TX.X-30 fan
01-04-2011, 07:40 PM
Sadly 100 bucks a foot will not be very nice if someone else does the build. I bought an existing new const. and redid the low quality build-out and we are just over 100 a ft. 120 a foot and nothing nice seems very pricey midwest.

TX.X-30 fan
01-04-2011, 07:41 PM
I am thinking GC because I am clueless about home building... Mechanically inclined and rebuild/remodeled a great deal of our current house (even the kitch down to the studs) but...building is a whole new animal.



If you have done all that just bone-up a little and sub-it all out.

2RLAKE
01-04-2011, 08:31 PM
price will really depend on what type of house you intend to build, how complicated the roof is, etc. We built our own lakehouse in '94, every weekend for one year, and did everything ourselves except excavation, foundation, drywall and HVAC. If you are handy you should consider being your own GC .... you also might find a GC who is willing to let you do some of the work and save some $$. Prostar19 did that a few years ago and it worked out well. My neighbor just had an awesome house built by a high end builder who was looking for work ... shop around you might be able to find someone who is hungry for work.

Most importantly, make sure you have a great contract ... i wrote my own 13 page house contract 5 years ago and it saved me a ton of $$$ ... everything was in the contract so everytime my builder asked for more money we reviewed the contract. It was not mean spirited, just protecting me and my family

TX.X-30 fan
01-04-2011, 08:42 PM
I agree with the good contract, saves the builder too when customers can't seen to understand that the builder is not doing it as a favor. Funny how some think their time is worth 100/200 and hour and no-one else's is.........

Maristar210
01-04-2011, 08:48 PM
I can tell you cement board siding, rustic alder kitchen cabs, hand scraped hardwood floors, granite countertop and sinks will be more than $150/sf. More like 180....

I know because I'll will be paying it off until I am 65. :D

Maristar210
01-04-2011, 08:54 PM
.....................

Jerseydave
01-04-2011, 09:37 PM
We had our current home built in 1999, around $95/sq. ft. back then. I know materials cost alot more these days. My GC took shortcuts on many items, so I would suggest either be your own GC or find a really good reliable one.

And make it right the first time, the way you want it for the long run. We waited 8 years to finish the basement (which came out great) but it would have been easier and less expensive to finish it from the start. Next project will be a new kitchen and update the master bath.

georgea0731
01-04-2011, 10:17 PM
There's one of these north of Atlanta on I75, exit 312 (I think). They have a banner out stating $39 per sq ft. I'm not sure what it includes, means, but hey it might be worth a look.
There's an office near Auburn, AL, exit 62 we see also going toward Lake Martin, AL.
http://www.americashomeplace.com/current_home_promotions.htm

Hammer
01-04-2011, 10:31 PM
Thanks again. Just one more question............for now.;)

Is your price the price you would quote a customer or is that what it is costing you to build the home?

Thats what I charge. I am a small company and can charge less overall by doing most of the sub work myself. Less overhead.

76S&S
01-05-2011, 10:01 AM
There's one of these north of Atlanta on I75, exit 312 (I think). They have a banner out stating $39 per sq ft. I'm not sure what it includes, means, but hey it might be worth a look.
There's an office near Auburn, AL, exit 62 we see also going toward Lake Martin, AL.
http://www.americashomeplace.com/current_home_promotions.htm

$39/sq ft is crazy, it would be interesting to see what it includes.

76S&S
01-05-2011, 10:04 AM
Thats what I charge. I am a small company and can charge less overall by doing most of the sub work myself. Less overhead.

Thanks again Hammer. I acted as my own GC when I built several years ago and self performed everything except, HVAC, roofing, drywall and basement slab. Sounds like I would be somewhere around your $90/sq ft pricing.

bcampbe7
01-05-2011, 10:54 AM
I would love to be my own GC as I love the whole process of building a house, but have never actually built one myself. Having said that, I know nothing about building a house. Dumb question, I know, but how do you know when to do what? Is it pretty much, excavation, foundation, framing, roof, siding, electrical and plumbing, HVAC, insulation, drywall, flooring, trim, paint, etc?

Also, how would I ever know if the framing was correct, or the plumbing/electrical was correct? I know you have inspections, but i would not catch most things.

I also really don't have the time/flexibility to be available at the drop of a hat to be onsite.

Would probably save me $30+k though!

In my area you can buy a house for $75-$90/sqft depending on location and style of house.

$90-$100/sqft price I mentioned above includes granite, custom cabinets, extensive crown molding throughout, tile showers and floors, hardwood in main parts of home with carpet elswhere, stainless appliances, architectural shingles, decent windows and doors, etc.

We are going to meet with another builder that is a friend of my wife's brother. He has recently started building in our area after having built in another town for years. Expanding his business. We'll see what he says.

What questions should I be asking these builders? 2RLAKE, would you still have a copy of that contract? :)

2RLAKE
01-05-2011, 10:56 AM
as long as you have the time i'd do it ... that way you know everything is constructed correctly and huge self satisfaction ... just a lot of stress but the money you save is worth it .. good luck

unfortunately when i built both house it significantly interfered with skiing and hunting those years but i did survive!

h2oskifreak
01-06-2011, 12:43 PM
Don't GC unless you know a pretty good amount about the process. I have done 4 myself but have been around a lot of new construction. You will make costly and lasting mistakes if you don't know exactly what you are doing. I have saved around 30-40K by GC'ing my homes, but understand it will own you for a year and cost you that much in lost production on your other job. You do get exactly what you want in quality as you are the one designing and choosing everything but it comes at a cost aslo. Not to mention, if you need financing just try to get a construction loan as your own GC. It won't happen unless you have a proven record. Good luck.

2RLAKE
01-06-2011, 02:45 PM
another thing we did building our recent house (6 years ago) was actually joing direct buy ... yes i thought it was a complete scam but we saved $$$ through it ...it costs some $$ to join but we saved 8-9X ... all kitchen cabinets, light fictures, all plumbing fixtures (faucets, tubs, tolets), tile, fieplaces, carpet and furniture.

ski_king
01-06-2011, 04:29 PM
When I built our house, I acted as the GC and did 80% of the work myself while working full time. I did save money and had it built the way I wanted, but it did take 2 years from start to finish and took up 110% of my spare time.

It was one of those thing I am glad I did, but will not do again......

h2oskifreak
01-06-2011, 04:49 PM
Don't GC unless you know a pretty good amount about the process. I have done 4 myself but have been around a lot of new construction. You will make costly and lasting mistakes if you don't know exactly what you are doing. I have saved around 30-40K by GC'ing my homes, but understand it will own you for a year and cost you that much in lost production on your other job. You do get exactly what you want in quality as you are the one designing and choosing everything but it comes at a cost aslo. Not to mention, if you need financing just try to get a construction loan as your own GC. It won't happen unless you have a proven record. Good luck.

I should clarify. I saved 30-40K on each of the homes I built. Not worth it for any less.
I should also note I hired almost all the skilled work done. I was the painter, clean up crew and errand boy. Like ski king says... "I don't think I have another one in me".

76S&S
01-07-2011, 09:36 AM
Fuffequilum - get out of my thread and spread your spam elsewhere!!!!!!

ctjahn
01-07-2011, 04:11 PM
When I built our house, I acted as the GC and did 80% of the work myself while working full time. I did save money and had it built the way I wanted, but it did take 2 years from start to finish and took up 110% of my spare time.

It was one of those thing I am glad I did, but will not do again......

I just cant afford to GC it myself. I work over 80 hours a week with travel... And I cant take two years as I think we will need to move into a rental after we sell our house and before we move into the new one...

h2oskifreak
01-07-2011, 09:29 PM
I just cant afford to GC it myself. I work over 80 hours a week with travel... And I cant take two years as I think we will need to move into a rental after we sell our house and before we move into the new one...

Thats what I do, sell your house, use the equity instead of borrowing from the get go and take no chance of owning 2 houses in a tough market. I sell real estate and have seen plenty of people take the risk, some get away with it and it costs others 10"s of thousands. Moving 2 x's is a pia, but I like to sleep at night.

JohnnyB
01-08-2011, 09:56 AM
I've GC'd my own homes, too. The last I started in May 2009 and completed/moved in Sept 2009 -- right now I'd say I don't have another one in me, but I don't know that I'd trust someone else to do it either.

There are lots of variables in costs, including where you live geographically. You're talking about basement v. no basement, different heating and cooling systems and sizes, different insulating requirements, different building techniques and considerations. A home in WI is built differently than a home in SC or GA for instance.

The bottom in this area (WI) for cost/sq foot for a turn key home is $90-100/sq ft without the lot. This is bare minimum of anything in the building codes (insulation/roof/electrical/etc). For instance, you look at the number of electrical penetrations in this house and it is about 1/2 of a typical moderate home. The insulation is far different between what codes require and what will get it an energy star rating and, believe me, the base energy star bar is not set that high. This home is also straight 7/12 roof with maybe 1 gable, vinyl siding, no brick or stone accents, 8ft basement walls, two 8 ft single stall doors or one 16ft door, painted wood brick moulds around exterior doors, minimum quality on windows, no wall finishes in the garage, hollow core veneer interior doors, bargain basement floor covering allowances, etc.

Interestingly enough, I built my last home in 1999 at $70/sq foot and my opinion is home building materials/technology has changed quite a bit in 10 years.

There are lots of other factors in the costs of home:
-roof pitch/lines/overhangs/materials
-wall heights
-basement wall heights
-number of corners in the plan
-insulation
-exterior finish (brick and stone v. vinyl)
-quality of exterior doors and windows
-quality of interior doors, trim, cabinets
-quality of floor coverings
-style and sizing of floor joists/trusses
-heating and cooling systems and features
-styles and qualities of fireplaces
-size of electrical service
-number of electrical penetrations for lights/outlets/fixtures

If you want a good number, have a plan drawn and a detail spec created. A good builder or architect with a working knowledge of costs and complexities can get you something in your budget range. If you're going to pay someone to turnkey, pay them for their time to develop a plan and spec (so that you own the materials) and then shop it out for bids to a couple of builders. The key is the specification that goes along with the plan and having bids to the spec -- I can draw a plan and build it to two different extremes and it will look similar but the cost spread will be $30/sq foot and the quality will be completely different.

2RLAKE
01-08-2011, 10:03 AM
another thing to look at is your type of foundation ... in my recent i used Superior walls, which are preformed walls so that if you finish your basement they are ready to go ... vertical columns with nailing strips for the drywall, holes for the wiring and the ability for R25 insulation. Depending on the number of corners in your house, it is a cheaper alternative than regular poured walls ... i think that is aroudn 15-20 corners. I had more than double that but still decided to go with them .. they are the dryest wall system you can buy. If you need a sump pump, spend the extra money and have a 2nd crock installed as well ... and a battery backup is a must

JohnnyB
01-08-2011, 10:15 AM
Thats what I do, sell your house, use the equity instead of borrowing from the get go and take no chance of owning 2 houses in a tough market. I sell real estate and have seen plenty of people take the risk, some get away with it and it costs others 10"s of thousands. Moving 2 x's is a pia, but I like to sleep at night.

That's exactly what I did. Sold house July 2008, moved into duplex August 2008, completed spec and design for new home in Nov 2008, pulled permit April 2009, broke ground May 2009, moved into new house Sept 2009. A double move is a PITA. Especially seeing most rentals were about 1/3 the square footage and a few garage stalls less than I moved out of.

My house sold faster than I thought it would so I had to move much faster than anticipated, otherwise I probably would've locked into renting a foreclosure from a bank or a vacant house from a builder who couldn't sell....would've cost only a bit more but would've been much more space.

JohnnyB
01-08-2011, 11:21 AM
another thing to look at is your type of foundation ... in my recent i used Superior walls, which are preformed walls so that if you finish your basement they are ready to go ... vertical columns with nailing strips for the drywall, holes for the wiring and the ability for R25 insulation. Depending on the number of corners in your house, it is a cheaper alternative than regular poured walls ... i think that is aroudn 15-20 corners. I had more than double that but still decided to go with them .. they are the dryest wall system you can buy. If you need a sump pump, spend the extra money and have a 2nd crock installed as well ... and a battery backup is a must

very interesting stuff. just looked at the website. What is the price/foot for a 9' wall height?

ctjahn
01-11-2011, 06:36 PM
So, I have determined I would like to go with a HIRED GC...Anyone know a builder in the Central Wisconsin area for a MODEST build...? (Hustisford, Wi)
cj

aswile
01-11-2011, 08:24 PM
I have Superior Walls for my basement.
I paid about $65 a foot plus $200 per corner for 9' walls in 2004. I have pressure treated furring strips attached to the walls but they now use metal and the wall plane is much better. The QC on the walls my neighbor used is much better than mine. They go in very fast and we have yet to have a wet basement- even with the downpour that produced 6" rain in an hour. It has been a good system so far.

Andy

bcampbe7
01-17-2011, 09:50 AM
I am meeting with a potential builder later today.

What questions should I ask?

2RLAKE
01-17-2011, 10:00 AM
verify his insurance and assure all his sub are insured
ask for a list of refernces
try to understand how he will project manage the house ... milestones with timelines
who will be the site supervisor
get a list of previous houses he's built and go drive by them ... how do they look

good luck

bcampbe7
01-17-2011, 03:50 PM
verify his insurance and assure all his sub are insured
ask for a list of refernces
try to understand how he will project manage the house ... milestones with timelines
who will be the site supervisor
get a list of previous houses he's built and go drive by them ... how do they look

good luck

Thanks!

He is building a house for some friends of ours right now. I have spoken to them a couple times and they are very pleased thus far. He also told us about 2 houses that we can check out. Will ask the other questions as well.

JohnnyB
01-18-2011, 09:05 PM
Milestones and timelines.....also his expectation on how long to build your house. If you are on a timeline, what he'll do for penalty clause, etc.

How he hires his subs and assures you are getting a good price - does he bid or price check his regular subs?

What % over estimate does his typical client go based on changes? In this market, there are certainly folks out there that will go with a minimal spec to get the job and you will pay for extras like additional switches/light fixtures, higher grades of floor covering (watch this allowance), higher grades of exterior siding/stone/brick (watch this allowance).

I would understand his typical allowances and then go see his suppliers to see if that will meet what you want.

What is his process for addressing/managing changes with you?

What are his fees as a GC? Many of them right now are disclosing this.

Right now with the market, he should be selling you on why he should build your house.

Do you have a plan? What is his fee for developing your plan and spec? I would gladly pay the fee so that I could own the plan and spec and get competitive bids. I'm a fan of "dance with the girl you brung to the dance" and would not hesitate to tell him that you plan to bid this to at least two others. However, as long as he is in the ball park/competitive, he'll get the job. It will keep him honest and motivated.

bcampbe7
01-25-2011, 10:54 AM
I am seeing $95-$100 sqft to build a house here in Tennessee. This is hardwood throughout, granite, tile, tankless water heater, etc. Does not include lot.

kyfooter
01-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Great topic...I'm curious for the GCs out there. What's your take on the actual $ saved by being my own GC? I've heard from some that while it may appear I'm saving money, quotes I'll receive from subs, material pricing, etc. will all be higher since I'm a one-time builder. Therefore, the amount I think I'm saving isn't really what it seems.

Thoughts?

76S&S
01-25-2011, 02:27 PM
I am seeing $95-$100 sqft to build a house here in Tennessee. This is hardwood throughout, granite, tile, tankless water heater, etc. Does not include lot.

that's about what I estimated. Is this through a GC or self performing some/most of the work?

bcampbe7
01-25-2011, 04:06 PM
that's about what I estimated. Is this through a GC or self performing some/most of the work?

GC, "turn key house."

76S&S
01-25-2011, 04:18 PM
I am seeing $95-$100 sqft to build a house here in Tennessee. This is hardwood throughout, granite, tile, tankless water heater, etc. Does not include lot.

oops, multiple post

2RLAKE
01-26-2011, 05:59 AM
that's a great question as to how much you'd actually save being your own GC ... but in today's environment i'd think that subs are hungry for work and you will probably be able to be competitive ... although the top builders will always have great subs locked up, there will be some young/new ones ready to do a great job. I'd estimate i saved 10-15% on the house we built 6 years ago being my own GC. My architect was the GC on paper, but was terrible at being a project manager so i took over

JohnnyB has a terrific point on the timeline and penalty .. i wish i'd thought of that. I ended up drafting a bonus plan for the last two months for my GC to incent him ... but i never paid him any of it as he was an idiot

Speaking of him being an idiot ... when we finally got the cert of occupancy, i was very worried about the tile (half of our 1st floor is tile) ... we held a good chunk of money in escrow (worked with my bank) just in case and i made him sign an extended warranty. This wa sa blessing as i had to have all the tile ripped our, wonderboard and all and completely redone ... make sure you are complelely satisfied before you make your last draft

JohnE
01-26-2011, 10:14 AM
I've been am electrical contractor for 20 years, and building inspector for 7. I've seen so many homeowners with no experience trying to GC the job themselves thinking that they are saving money. It never happens. But they think that they saved. They always pay as much or more than if they hired a good GC and the job takes longer and doesn't come out as well. And no offense to anyone here because I'm sure plenty of you have GC'd your own projects, but you didn't save anything. You might argue till the end of time thinking you did, but you didn't. Trust me. You might have saved over some scumbag GC trying to gouge you, but not vs. a reputable GC doing it for cost plus.