How much will it cost? This is the first question most people will ask. Unless you have nearly limitless finances, determining the cost of building a new house will be extremely important. You will need to know if you can complete what is started before the funds are exhausted. Having been down this road in both building and remodelling, it becomes critical to have a good cost estimate. If you are borrowing the funds, the lender will demand this from you before handing over the money.
It has been said that for any building project, you should figure your estimated cost and then double it. This is a little pessimistic. However, anyone who has entered a building project knows that costs that exceed the estimates are the rule and not the exception. The best way to determine the cost of building a new house is to check with others who have just completed a house. Add on some money to cover mistakes and inflation. This should give you a good place to begin your work of formulating the cost of building your home.
If you prefer a more practical method for determining cost, begin by talking with home builders and lenders in the general area. Leave the cost of the lot or land out of the equation. Once the land is purchased, it is a fixed cost and will not vary. These professionals should be able to give you a cost per square foot for houses in the region that you are building. This may or may not vary by the size of the structure. If your house needs special skills or materials not usually required in the area where it is located, this will add cost.
Items like brick, granite counter tops, a fireplace, crown moldings, leaded glass windows or door inserts, and other specialty items need to be added in as extra cost. Pricey floor coverings, expensive wallpapers, and fixture upgrades also have to be regarded as add ons. Even upgrading to wood shingles on the roof if they are not the normal for the area will increase your cost estimates.
If you plan to act as your own general contractor, this can save you thousands of dollars if you have the knowledge and contacts to do it right. If you do not know anything about building, being your own general contractor can result in massive cost overages and significant delays. You will want to make this decision carefully.
The type of lot that you choose can increase and decrease cost. If you have a lot of rock and large stones to contend with to prepare the lot for building, this can run up the dollars fast. If the lot is level or your house is designed to take advantage of contours in the property, the cost for lot preparation can be decreased.
The part of the country where you are building can make a large impact on cost. Constructing a house in southern California will cost a lot more than building one in Arkansas. Anytime that you are building where labor costs are high, your building costs will be higher.
If you can produce a materials list for your new house, you can use this to shop for the best prices. These can vary by as much as 20 to 40 percent depending how close you live to the suppliers. In the same way, shop for builders if you are trying to have someone do a turn key project for you. Doing additional homework before beginning to build will always help you have a better cost estimate at the beginning and better cost control during the building phase.