This is the question we’re asked the most. However, it’s also the hardest to answer until a house plan has been finalized and a lot selected. In addition, the style of the house can make a big difference in cost, as well as your selections of fixtures, floor coverings and appliances.
Our foundations will cost about the same amount per foot regardless of size, unless the lot slopes badly and extra material must be used to create level ground. If the pad is high on one end, piers must be drilled and filled with concrete and steel to anchor the house. Thus, the foundation would cost more per foot.
Two 3,000-square-foot houses could see a difference of as much as $15 to $50 per foot, depending on many factors. If one has a larger kitchen, there will be increased cabinet costs. If one has the garage at the back of house but the driveway still comes from the front street, that home will see higher driveway costs. Some houses are built between existing houses and the fence is already there on two sides, possibly three if there is a house behind it with a fence. Other houses in new developments may need a full fence.
A house with three baths will, naturally, have higher plumbing costs than a house with two. A three-car garage will add about $7,000 to the cost of a house.
A house can have a $1,800 appliance package, which would include a normal stove with an oven and cook top combined, a microwave/vent combination above the stove, and a dishwasher, or a $4,500 package that would include a double oven, a radiant cook top, a dishwasher, a trash compactor and microwave/vent combination, all in stainless steel. Some want commercial-style appliances that may take the costs to more than $10,000.
Floor coverings are another area where costs can widely vary. Good tile sells for $2 per foot, but you may prefer tile that costs $4 per foot. Granite counter tops cost much more than Formica counter tops. A full masonry fireplace costs twice as much as a fireplace insert. Rock labor is four times as expensive as brick labor so a house with lots of rock costs more per foot. Some homes require a septic tank which also adds to the cost of the home.
The reality is that cost per foot of each house is different depending on many factors as well as location. Currently most of our houses cost between $110 and $130 per foot plus the cost of the lot. It all depends on the style of the home and the features you’re looking to have in it.
We do promise that when we price your home, we will make clear exactly why it will cost as much as it does. Then, you are more than welcome to change selections in order to lower or raise costs.