Building a New Home? Did you receive your estimate as an itemized price list or by the square foot?

» Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

With the economy booming (so I hear), pricing on material is changing almost daily (so it feels). I have had this question asked of me about 10 times in the last 2 weeks: “how much will it cost per square foot to build a home”? You will hear quotes from $125.00 per SF to $225.00 per SF.  My answer: what building material are you using, e.g., stick build or truss and what do you envision for your finish esthetics, e.g., chair rails, raised panels, crown moldings, granite? This is when my client says, “well, I would like some of those finishes, but not all of them are needed”.  Okay then, this is where IF YOU HAD an agreement with the contractor at a price per square foot, it gets a little tricky and starts to fall apart.

Once you start removing and adding items it is almost impossible to adjust the square foot price for accuracy. The question now remains: are you actually paying more or less on the square foot for what you are getting. My opinion, price the ACTUAL item, product, and linear footage for accuracy. Have a plan, a physical construction set. Then, if you don’t have a general contractor of choice, price it yourself. Visit at least two local lumberyards for a price on material, and they will give you a labor estimate when asked. Keep in mind though, the labor estimate, if given, may not be the same quality you are looking for, but it is exactly what you need to consider – “labor estimate”.  The reason I believe and know this is the best way to go, is from over 25 years of personal experience.

Think about it, if you have a great room side by side with a formal dining room, both without interior walls, how would one believe the square foot (12”x 12”) estimate method is accurate?  It cannot be.  The best way to maintain your budget and accuracy in estimating is spending the time to price nail by nail and a good general contractor (G.C.) that knows quality, who is affordable and a punctual individual with a knack for maintaining their client’s budget.  Do not get into the big no-no after you sign an agreement with a G.C. and decide on upgrading items and changing the design plan!  This is where the budget wanders off course, does not come back (only climbs higher) and the G.C. can now make up for lost money and time if one so decides in order to keep the job moving along.  This warning is usually the one that blows all the budgets – “on-site changes”.  So take it from me; first: take your time in planning, second: invest in what you can afford – not keeping up with the “Jones”, third: monitor and be involved in your construction process.  After all, this is your home.  Happy building and enjoy the summer!

Please consider DiPetrillo Properties for YOUR Home Building – we specialize in ground up construction!