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.
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.
At Craftsman Construction Our Pricing Is Based On:
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
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.
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.