How much will my new home cost per square foot? I want to add an addition on to my home, how much will it cost per square foot? I want to gut this whole place and rebuild it from the inside out, how much will it cost per square foot?
We get multiple phone calls per week asking how much a new home costs per square foot. Or how much renovations cost, per square foot. And you will find some websites that will tell you the cost of construction by the square foot, by market. I am here to tell you they are are full of baloney.
There is no accurate, fair or reliable way to give a cost per square foot. So much of building new custom homes “depends”. Finish selections (tile, appliances, cabinetry, etc) will swing a price hundreds of thousands of dollars. And every single person we have every talked to over 20 years of building homes wants middle of the road, nothing fancy. And then they spend $5,000 of their budget of the kitchen sink alone. If you want that kitchen sink, by all means get it! But your cost per square foot goes right out the window. So does that mean the homeowner should forego those items to keep that almighty cost per sq ft in order? Heck no.
If we could figure costs that easily we’d have every home estimated in 10 minutes. It just does not work that way. I do not care what you saw on HGTV – the cost for a home cannot or maybe more accurately SHOULD NOT be calculated on a per square foot basis.
When you truly price a custom project, each line item from lumber to doorknobs should be looked at, evaluated and assigned a value. Before beginning your project, have an idea if you want a high end $20,000 oven or a standard $3,000 model. Can you change your mind? Of course! When you are looking at a true cost model and not an arbitrary cost assigned to the whole project without any detail, you actually have more freedom to make choices and then change them.
Moral of the story? Cost per square foot is not an accurate reflection of the cost to build YOUR house. Find a general contractor that prices your project based on your project, not an imaginary number that may or not be correct! You’ll be happy you did when you want that $5,000 sink!