Saturday, September 13, 2014

What is the cost of building a 2000 sqft home?


What is the cost of building a 2000 sqft home?


Depending on where you live in North America the numbers will change when talking about the cost of building a home. The reason for this is that every region has different labour rates.

Here is what I can tell you about the cost of building a home no matter where you building. The cost of materials as a whole averages out the same when building a home. The differences come when we talk about the minimum building codes of the house in your area. The farther north you go in North America the higher the cost usually is to build because the building codes are amended to combat the colder weather. The colder the weather you have the higher the insulation value you require by code, this costs money.

The farther north you go the building code will require different foundations, for example; if you build in the dessert states you only require a slab on grade but in Michigan you would require a minimum of 4 feet frost walls. This adds cost to your new home. This trend is repeated for every part of the home from the windows to the heating system.

Back to the labour rates, as I said above the rates of labour change for every region. Where I live and work in Canada the labour is always 50% of the entire cost of the job. In the far south where labour is a lot cheaper it can be as low as 15 to 20% of the job. The rest of the cost for the home is mostly material cost; these varying rates for labour raise and lower the cost of a home dramatically.

Basically the cost of your home will be influenced by the following depending on where you are building:

Labour rates.

Minimum building codes.

Heating system requirements.

The other things that will influence the cost of building a new home anywhere you build are as follows:

Your level of finish (painted trim, stained trim, granite counter tops, wood floors, natural stone tile).

The amount of windows you want in your home and the type of windows (vinyl, aluminum, wood, triple pane, UV coatings, solar gain/limiting).

The height of the ceilings.

The kind of roof you would like (asphalt, steel, cedar shake).

The type of exterior finishes on your home (vinyl siding, wood siding, natural stone, manufactured stone).

Do you want decks, porches, verandas, patios.

The size of the garage.

With these different things to think about let’s focus just on the level of finish inside the home. You as the homeowner will affect the cost of your home more than the contractor that you hire to build the home. When we explain the cost of homes to people we usually do it in a per square foot basis (sqft). So if I tell you the cost to build your home is $150.00 a square foot then the cost to build a 2000 sqft home would be $300,000.00.

Knowing this if the quote I gave you for that $150.00 a sqft was based on a basic porcelain tile that covered about 1000 sqft and the cost to buy and install that tile was $2.00 a sqft then the tile would represent $2000.00 of your budget. Once we start building your home you decide that you want a nicer natural stone tile that costs $5.00 a sqft to buy then you just raised the cost of the house $3000.00. The cost per sqft for your house just went from $150.00 to $151.50 and all you did was choose a different tile. This will be compounded if the natural stone tile you picked also has an addition labour cost to install and seal (as it is a natural stone), that extra cost is $2.00 a sqft. Now your home is $152.50 a sqft and the overall cost of it is $305,000.00.

It doesn’t take long for a homeowner with big dreams ends up with a home that is $180.00 a sqft when all is said and done. That means that the cost of your home went from $300,000 to $360,000 and the size of the home didn’t get any bigger. That’s a 17% increase in the cost of your home that has nothing to do with your contractor but everything to do with your personal choices and the level of finish that you require.

After explaining all of this you are probably hoping that I’m still going to be able to answer the question about how much it actually costs to build a custom home, the truth is without all the information I can’t tell you.

My father and owner of this company has always answered this question with a question in return, “How much does a car cost?”

Usually the person opens their mouth to answer immediately and then the thought occurs to them that they can’t answer the question without a lot more information.

The only way you will be able to find out what a 2000 sqft home cost in the area where you live is to have plans drawn up and then ask a contractor for a price based on your plans and your personal choices for finishing’s.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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