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March 21, 2020

I am asked all the time how much do you charge per Square Foot to build a house. This is a strange question. Besides being a totally irrelevant measure of cost, what do you include in the S.F. Calculation? Some builders include the garage in the cost, some include the basement in the cost and some say it is the S.F. of conditioned space, (does conditioned space include the basement?)

Asking how much it cost to build a house per S.F. is like asking the car dealer how much does his car cost per pound. Does it cost the same per pound to build a Mercedes as it does for a Honda? Of course not.

Square Footage


A house is not a commodity item. If 10 builders built the same house from the same set of plans, you would end up with 10 different quality homes. Each builder would be motivated by different desires. Some builders want to build the most energy efficient house, some want to show off their craftsmanship, some will insist on using only the best materials, and some will be motivated by greed, doing the least and using the cheapest materials.

The takeaway here is, THERE ARE NO TWO HOUSES ALIKE

 One of my favorite quotes is:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin

This quote talks of the folly of choosing the lowest cost as the best way to make a purchase decision.


The lowest price is not always the best price


At Craftsman Construction Our Pricing Is Based On: 

  1. On site supervision during the whole project
  2. Using the best materials available for their intended purpose
  3. Using best industry installation practices
  4. Using Skilled craftsman
  5. Using top notch highly skilled trade partners
  6. Having complete paperwork system in place
  7. Having the latest tools and equipment to perform the work
  8. 24-7 customer portal for client
  9. Accreditations from national organizations
  10. Membership in the National Association of Home Builders
  11. Financially Stable Organization
  12. Work until the project is complete

Getting back to S.F. pricing. Some professions use this for their purposes. Bankers, Realtors and Architects can use it for rough budgeting or for comparison purposes. 

Using the car analogy again:

You want a new car, what do all cars have in common

  • 4 tires
  • Steering wheel
  • Brakes
  • Motor

Why does one car cost more than another? They all have the same things in common. A Lexus certainly cost more than a Chevy, yet they are both cars with the same basic things in common.

People understand that all the fancy features on the Lexus cost more than the cheap vinyl and plastic on the Chevy, so why would a house not be any different. A custom gourmet kitchen with professional stainless steel appliance will cost more than a builder grade kitchen with big box store appliances. Are these two kitchens the same cost per S.F.????

This is why you cannot accurately price out a house by the S.F.

Guessing is not the best answer

We can give you a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) based on S.F. but it is just that a guess.

Pre-Project Consultation with Craftsman Construction

A lot of people are surprised when we explain to them that the main purpose of our first visit is not to get them to sign a contract that day, as is the industry practice. Rather we are here to see if there is a good match between you and Craftsman Construction. Why you ask? Because not everyone is interested in high quality design and construction services, and the value they deliver. We find that it is important that the client and contractor click, as this is the foundation for a great building experience. At our first meeting, we focus on understanding the problems that have driven you to consider building or remodeling. 

  1. We will go over your ideas for solving the problems that your home has presented. Maybe you need an extra bedroom for your growing family, or you always wanted a designer master suite. Whatever your dreams are we will help you find a solution. Since we stay on top of the latest product releases, our designers can suggest products or ideas that you might have never heard of. In the end, we will turn your house into the home you always wanted.
  2. We will discuss your budget, and determine if it is reasonable for the project you have in mind. First time remodelers find that remodeling is usually more expensive than they thought, but we can help you adjust the scope of your project and value engineer it, to help fit within your budget.
  3. We will go over the design build process, and explain how our management system helps keep everything running smoothly. All communication with our clients, subcontractors and venders is tracked by job code, as well as contract preparation, change orders, and billing. Our front office software is one of the best in the business. Our field personnel carry laptop computers and digital cameras that can link back to the office thru our wireless carrier.

Turn your dream into a reality

We can't wait to hear more about you and your project needs. Click the button below to fill out a short form, and let's begin this journey together. Your dream home, uniquely tailored to your style and personality, is just a few clicks away!