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Old 04-17-2007, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Seaside, ca
78 posts, read 309,724 times
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Does anyone know the approximate cost per square foot for building your own home in East Texas?
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:13 PM
 
65 posts, read 286,877 times
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That is a mighty open ended question.

It is impossible to say without first knowing more information. There are so many variables it is impossible to give you a reasonable number. It depends on the type of extras you have in a home as well as the size of the home.

For example in some places the light fixtures are considered "extra". In some places the garage is considered "living space". Some smaller homes cost more per square foot to build than their larger counterparts.

How big are the porches, the garage. What is the pitch of the roof, what materials are used for the roof? Is the roof a complicated design or a simple one? What type of windows, what weight is the carpet or is is all real hardwood flooring or laminate hardwood flooring? What type of appliances and how many. For example some homes have two dishwashers. Some homes have warming drawers and wine chillers while some do not even have a microwave. Some have $15,000 stoves while others have a $245.00 generic cooking appliance.

As you can see this could go on for hours. To answer your question in what I think you may be looking for is very hard to do. However not counting the land cost the volume builders are building anywhere from $45.00 $75.00 a foot for a very simple home. Remember if they can squeeze one more penny out of the house they will, and for good reason. If they save $10.00 on every home they build and multiply that times the number of homes they build a year it adds up to millions of dollars.

A volume builder type home with very basic amenities should cost $60.00 a square foot. This does NOT include the land cost. Remember there are so many variables it is virtually impossible to give you a realistic number. If I had the plans and specs I could tell you exactly what it cost per foot.

There are formulas we use to determine what a home "should" cost to build. Then to get a real number the house plans are given out to the subcontractors to bid out. Then and not until then do we know exactly what they will cost to build.

Now take into consideration that there are no surprises and the plans are drawn so that the homes can actually be built by them. What I mean is I have seen plans that had only seven steps to get from the ground floor to the second floor. You know that it takes twice that many. So now you have a lumber takeoff problem and possibly a floor plan change needed to actually build the home. I have seen plans drawn where it is impossible to layout the roof as it s drawn on the plans. That requires a redraw of the plans and in some cases an engineer to stamp the plans. If the house is in the city versus the county it will cost more to build. Why, because the city will have higher permit and road impact fees that the county usually does not have. If it is in the county versus the city it could cost more if there is no sewer to hook up to and you have to put in a septic system.

I have seen areas where the garage and porches are considered living space and you are charged for them the same as if it is the kitchen. I know that is the dumbest thing, but it happens every single day in Florida. You know good and well it does not cost the same to build the garage as it does the kitchen. The garage has no appliances in it, right?

I have been in the construction business for over twenty two years and personally been involved in construction of thousands of homes. I have performed takeoffs for many more thousands for volume builders. I have personally built 489 projects for our own company. I have consulted with many other volumn builders about cost analysis and product engineering for cost savings. Yes it is true I shop other builders regularly as a potential buyer. Just as you would perform your homework I perform mine. I have even purchased many homes and gone through the process just to see how "they" do it. I have even written a book on how to build your own home. ( I am rewritting it now for publication)

That being said I can say with some confidence that this busines is not for the faint hearted. Yes you can do it yourself and yes you can save thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if you are not carefull it could cost you many times more than the home is worth to complete it. Your question on cost would have to be put in much greater detail to be answered correctly by any builder.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Seaside, ca
78 posts, read 309,724 times
Reputation: 105
Default Reply

Thank you for your honest reply. I realize that the variables make answering this question definitively an impossibility. My wife and I are retiring in about a year and a half and have been looking at house plans as well as new and exisitng houses for years now, and there are few houses that seem to fit the bill. I've gone through quite a few house plan books that give generic outlines and I've always wondered why they are so similar in design.

We are looking for a house of around 2000 to 3000 square feet with two master bedrooms, one large living area, another room that could be categorized as a game room, a nice kitchen with granite counters, and one more fair sized bedroom. We would like a master bath for both masters, a jack and jill entry from a hall and the third bedroom to the third full bath.

For floor materials we like ceramic tile rather than hard wood, and limited use of laminate, with carpet in the bedrooms proper. We're not particular on the roof, but would like french doors leading to the backyard off the living room with lots of windows to let in the light, and the kitchen situated in the adjoining area with a dining area rather than a seperate dining room.

It's seems that different States have house designs that reflect what the architects vision of society is for that region. For example, Oregon with their "great room" concept and Texas with their two to five living areas. I've never understood the waste of space generated in the design of seperate living, family, den, and dining rooms at the sacrifice of bedroom space. I've always considered the bedrooms to be a place of sanctuary that everyone needs on occaision, and limiting that space to an 11' by 11' box seems inappropriate.

I designed our recent remodel including bathrooms, kitchen, plumbing, all the floors, and a total remake of the outside, with 1400 feet of pavers, 600 feet of natural stone and three fences. I did most of the work myself but when contractors were needed I was there to make sure they had everything they needed. All the best materials were used and it still cost under 50k. We have all new plumbing and Kohler throughout the house in both fixtures, sinks, toilets and bathtub. Mind you, the house is only a little over 1300 square feet.

The only reason I asked this question was that I was amazed at how inexpensive land is in Texas. Our original plans were to move to Oregon, and I ruled out building our own home there because of the cost of the land. Now it seems there is hope to recapture that dream.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:27 PM
 
65 posts, read 286,877 times
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From your description. I can fill in many blanks.

This does not include the cost of the lot, or grading or tree removal, if needed. I am assuming the lot is build ready and level with in 1/2" over the build pad site. (I have yet to find one that close)

I would say the home would be in the $65.00 - $68.00 per foot range. It would be 2 x 4 exterior wall construction (not 2 x 6) It would have average 8' ceilings throughout the home, maybe some 9' but nothing higher. This would include a two car garage and about 100 sq ft of covered porches. If the garage is larger estimate $27.00 per square foot for anything over 400 feet. The porches would fall in the same area.

The roof would be a 30 year dimensional asphalt shingle. The windows would be single hung, aluminum (not wood or vinyl as increased cost) and thermal-pane. The exterior doors would be solid core fiberglass 6'8" (NOT 8'0") The interior doors would also be 6'8" hollow core (not 8'0") tile is a little less expensive than real hardwood and carpet is all over the place depending on the weight. You can get really nice carpet for @$20.00 a yard installed. Tile is @$6-7.00 a square foot installed on square pattern (not diagonal) I only allowed for one fireplace and the mantle would need to be reasonable in design. I have built mantles that cost over $50,000.00. The cabinets would be custom ash or oak, your choice. There would be no built ins such as entertainment centers in the game room or theater. The would be no electronics in the game room or theater. I have spent over $80,000 on these items alone. It would be prewired for the equipment. The c-tops in the kitchen would be granite, a reasonable cost of $35.00-40.00 per square foot installed. Do not forget they will charge you for the waste so have them make you cutting boards out of the sink cut outs. (you paid for it you may as well get it) The appliance would be a microwave / oven combination, DW, cook top disposal. You could add a re-frig for another $1,000.00 or so depending on the size. they would be Kenmore.

The house would be prewired for a security system. Most companies will give you the system if you sign a two year contract for the monitoring. That is the only way to go. Some will even pay or give credit for the pre-wire if you upgrade the system. Worth looking into.

The house would have 1/2" drywall ( not 5/8) and a simple texture finish (not hand trowel). It would be solid color paint on the walls and the ceiling could be white (or wall color) NO faux painting.

The house could be brick and siding, 80-85% brick. Stone would have to be done by a takeoff, but add twice what you think it cost.

The bathrooms would also have custom cabinets and cultured marble tops. Moen or Delta fixtures. Kohler is better by long shot but cost more as you know. The tubs would be marble but not whirlpool. Add @$800.00 to each for the option.

The light fixtures would be reasonable. For example something you would find at Home Depot. Of course builders do not get their fixtures from Home Depot but if you go to a lighting store expect to pay three to four times the price. Builders have accounts with light fixture stores with @50% discounts but will not pass that on to the buyers. There is a reason for that. Believe me it does NOT all go into the builders pocket.

As you could imagine it would not include a pool. It would also not include a fence.

There would be no window dressings such as blinds or drapes. The landscaping would be very nice around the front of the house and the yard would be Hydro mulched. Again, I am not talking about three acres but @5,000 sq ft. It would not include any new large trees.

The driveway would be no longer than 25' and no wider than the garage door width. This is NEVER wide enough. So add to this for the future, you will be glad you did.

You would be responsible for ALL the closing cost, taxes, points, appraisals, junk fees, attorney fees, courier fees, title policy filing fees..all closing cost.

This does not include any builder profit or interim interest, interim taxes, Builders risk insurance, builders bonds or any other "soft cost"

It also does not include the permit or road impact fees. It would include hooking up to a city water and sewer line and public power. If the line is underground you would have to add for the burial cost of the conduit as most power companies do not pay for that any longer. The utilities are expected to be available at the front of the lot if not then you will have to pay to get the utilities to your lot.

The roof decking would be plywood and not thermoply. I strongly suggest the upgrade. It will save you thousands over the life of the home. R13 in the walls and blown R30 in the atic. I suggest Blown in wall insulation (up-charge about $2K-$2.5k) and R40 in the attic (up-charge about $875.00) It would not include insulated garage doors or insulating the garage walls or the garage attic. I strongly suggest both. It would include one garage door opener for a single (two wide) door and two remotes.

The A/C & furnace would be 14 SEER American Standard. I very easily equate them to Train equipment. I strongly suggest upgrading to variable speed units and as high a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) as you can find. Right now I believe it is 19 SEER. It is worth every dime. Our home is 10,000 square feet under air, our electric bill averages about $185.00 -$190.00 during the summer. (yes we have other energy efficiency items to help us get that)

This should get you going. prices change every single day so get everything in writing from the subcontrcators. They will charge you a little more than they do builders because builders keep their crews busy all year long as you are just building one house. I recommend setting up a Constrcution business and getting "builders business cards" You would be surprised at how much they will negotiate to get your future business. You and I know it is the "Art of the deal", right?
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Seaside, ca
78 posts, read 309,724 times
Reputation: 105
Carnut,

Thanks for the good info, some of it I knew and some I didn't. We've been gone on vacation or I would have responded sooner. Your post will give me something to chew on as I add up the cost of getting what we really want as compared to settling for something that's not exactly right when buying someone else's design.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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I am buying a house for back taxes. I should have about $5,000 invested. The house is 2000 square feet, 2 story. It has been empty for 5 years. The roof needs replacement as does a lot of other things. I would like a ballpark figure of bringing this house back to being livable. I have never been inside the house. It will be another year if all goes well before I get the deed to the house.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 30,013,414 times
Reputation: 9661
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrelymama View Post
I am buying a house for back taxes. I should have about $5,000 invested. The house is 2000 square feet, 2 story. It has been empty for 5 years. The roof needs replacement as does a lot of other things. I would like a ballpark figure of bringing this house back to being livable. I have never been inside the house. It will be another year if all goes well before I get the deed to the house.
If you never been inside the house and can't come up with an estimate then how the hell can we give you one if we never even seen it at all?
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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Hi there, we are looking into investing into some property, and the house is adorable. we would like to mainly expand the Master bedroom a little bit by breaking down one of the walls (which has two double doors) and inserting a bay window instead, giving about 5-6 more feet of space. Would you have an idea of the estimated costs for breaking down the wall and reconstructing it? The outside walls of the house seem like a cement, but I am not sure. there are also pine wood floorings.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,819 posts, read 32,471,367 times
Reputation: 11878
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGulec View Post
Hi there, we are looking into investing into some property, and the house is adorable. we would like to mainly expand the Master bedroom a little bit by breaking down one of the walls (which has two double doors) and inserting a bay window instead, giving about 5-6 more feet of space. Would you have an idea of the estimated costs for breaking down the wall and reconstructing it? The outside walls of the house seem like a cement, but I am not sure. there are also pine wood floorings.
That will cost you between $30 and $300,000. Depends on size, materials, configuration, code requirements, location and a few other factors.
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