Price Per Square Foot: 10 Things You Must Know

Price-Per-Square-Foot--10-Things-You-Must-Know

Having a custom home built is, for many people, a dream. Because it is such a big project and a big dream, it is important to realize that getting a quote for having your home built is a very big deal. Unlike, for example, comparing prices on a new smartphone, a quote you get from one builder may be vastly different from a quote for another builder.

However, the lower price may not be better, or actually even cheaper. It is vitally important that you “compare apples to apples” when looking at quotes for a custom home by square foot. Before you commit to having a home built, make sure you find out the details regarding these 10 potential issues—this can make it easier for you to compare builders and choose the one that will wind up being the best option for you and your family today AND for years to come.

Your Lot – Is your lot flat or sloped? Does the building quote you’ve been given include flattening the land or building it up as needed? This can be an added expense, and not every builder will include this in with the basic quote.

Clearing – Will you need to cut trees, remove brush, shave stumps or take care of other clearing tasks? Find out if these tasks are included, and if they are if they will be done to your standards. You don’t want to be left with a lot that is bare, ragged and unappealing.

How Far Will the Home Sit from the Road – Find out how far the builder plans to build out from the road. If you wanted a longer driveway and larger yard, you may wind up paying more than your original quoted price.

What Energy Features are Included – Are any added energy features included? Do you want any additional features? Sometimes you will pay more upfront for an energy efficient home, but this can pay for itself in time. Make sure your builder is capable of handling your wants.

Ceiling Heights – Make sure you check the included ceiling heights. If you have always dreamed of high ceilings and an open foyer, you may be disappointed to find your builder is planning on 7’ ceilings throughout. This is an important step than many homebuyers forget.

Roof Pitch – Do you know what roof pitch you want? Anything other than a firm’s standard may be an additional charge and could end up adding a significant sum to your final bill. Make sure you discuss these details with the designer ahead of time.

Countertops – Today, granite or other natural countertops are very popular. However, standard countertops are not granite. If your builder doesn’t specifically say he’s using granite, you’re probably getting laminate.
Floorcoverings – The price difference between different carpets or hardwood and laminate flooring can be significant. Make sure you are getting the floor-covering you want and aren’t getting stuck with something that will disappoint you.

Floorcoverings – The price difference between different carpets or hardwood and laminate flooring can be significant. Make sure you are getting the floor-covering you want and aren’t getting stuck with something that will disappoint you.

Exterior Finish – Have you compared the difference in price between vinyl, stucco and brick? The difference can be steep. Find out what your quote includes and remember that comparing a brick home with a stucco one could wind up with a vastly different price.

Roof Coverings and Gutter Features – This is another area where price can vary greatly. The builder’s standard products offer a much lower price point than a designer product. Does your quote include the quality of product that you desire?

As you can see, there are many things to think about before committing to working with a custom homebuilder. Just because one builder quotes a lower price per square foot does not mean you are getting a better deal—once you add in the features you consider necessities, you may wind up paying even more for a home from that “bargain” builder!

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