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Old 08-08-2009, 12:10 PM
 
17 posts, read 247,174 times
Reputation: 43
Default What is the cost per square foot for high end custom home?

Looking at building a high end custom home, I'm trying to narrow down what to expect to pay per square foot for the quality level of home I have in mind. Hoping people can share their experience or knowledge of Houston area custom home builders.

I've read on forums things like,
..."we ended up paying about $100/sq ft for a fully [font=Verdana]custom home withall the trim work, stone work, etc. that it entails;" or,
..."if you just walk them you can tell why it costs $140/sq ft. Wood floors everywhere, Viking appliances, Granite in every bathroom, marble in the bathrooms, media rooms already built out, outdoor kitchens, 2 full bedrooms down, domes and arches in the ceilings, high end paint and textures, stained wood study, wood stepped stairs, wrought iron stair bannisters, pattern marble backsplashes, huge crown moulding, large base, built ins everywhere, etc."
I've talked to custom builders on the phone who have thrown out numbers like $125 - $135 to $175 to $180. One builder says his top homes are about $210 - $220 price per square foot (these homes list in the $2M range).

We're looking for something similar to what is described above, with stone floors, coffered ceilings, arched doors, lots of built-ins in study and bedrooms, etc, custom kitchen with granite and built-in fridge, outdoor kitchen and patio, custom bathrooms with stone counters in every bedroom, plantation shutters, solid doors, central vac, fullly wired for music, internet, cable tv and fire/security alarm. I realize that tastes vary and the details make a difference, like hardware finishes. In a high end home I would expect not to find standard hardware store stuff, but I'm not talking about gilded faucets, either. I don't know if total square footage makes a difference on cost per sq. foot, but we'd bee looking at 4,000 to 5,000 sq ft with 5 bedrooms. Exterior would be strictly stone and stucco with no hardiboard or brick.

What are people's experience with what you get for each price point? Are there hidden differences like slab, wall construction, AC/heating and plumbing etc that could make a big difference on price/sq foot?
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:52 PM
 
92 posts, read 215,845 times
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Thumbs down Why Should Anyone Help You?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaneric View Post
Looking at building a high end custom home,
Must Be Nice.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:55 PM
 
17 posts, read 247,174 times
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thank you for taking the time to be so helpful.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:35 PM
hsw
 
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First things first...location, location, location...would carefully choose high-quality land....in a desirable area; resistant to hurricanes/flooding; spacious vs size of house; in an area with far more costly newer houses

Generally, 2-3 high-end builders are most admired for quality of their work in any major urban region; would guess West Houston will have these builders; ask locally for references and evaluate examples of their recent work

Much of value of good construction is stuff like rigorous structural engineering (esp in a hurricane region), latest-tech glass and insulation for energy efficiency, powerful HVAC, latest-tech wiring/computer networks, backup generators, quality of finishes/materials, etc etc...when one talks through technical details of a well-engineered/designed/built house w/a good architect and builder, one may not have same technical knowledge as these pros, but one quickly gains a sense of their pride in their craftsmanship and their thought-out engineering and design

Many buyers of bespoke houses erroneously assume all builders are created equal; don't choose good land; and build a large but low quality house usu on an undersized lot

Build cost obviously can vary dramatically based upon all these variables...I've seen quotes of ~$500-$1000/sf with well regarded high-end builders in CA; assume TX is slightly less cost for same quality...and prices have decreased some 20% in past yr b/c of recession and lots of underemployed craftsmen

But would observe that land costs in best areas of RiverOaks/Memorial are higher than land costs in Silicon Valley's most elite suburbs
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX (Oak Forest)
3,545 posts, read 7,101,274 times
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Are you looking for something like this: 20715 Sweetglen Dr, Porter, TX 77365 - HAR.com

If so expect to pay between $120-140 sq ft not including land.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Lake Conroe, Tx
637 posts, read 1,983,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ut View Post
Are you looking for something like this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ut View Post
20715 Sweetglen Dr, Porter, TX 77365 - HAR.com

If so expect to pay between $120-140 sq ft not including land.


I agree; you can build a very nice house around here for 120-140 per ft if you already own the dirt. Features should certainly include slab on builders piers, Travertine, granite, custom site built cabinets, lots of custom mill work, top of the line plumbing and light fixtures, high end 8' doors, Dacor/Viking appliances, hand-scraped distressed hard wood floors etc..

One thing to watch out for; if builders come out and see you have a 300-500K waterfront or golf course lot their eyes may get big and the price will probably go up more than if you had a cheap 20K interior lot.

There's absolutely no reason for this; the only way one lot should be more to build on than the another is the tap fee required, and the dirt work involved to build the house properly.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:30 PM
 
182 posts, read 496,189 times
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I also think you can do a nice high end custom home for 120-140 per square foot, NOT including the land. I've never seen what I consider to be a high end custom home for 100 per square foot. I'm sure someone will jump on here now and say "I HAVE," but I haven't in any area that I would consider living. Again, just my personal experience.

In addition to land price, it really depends on the details of what you want in the house. Because the house is "custom," the builder will do whatever you want, you obviously just have to pay for it. And it's EASY to add massive $$$ to the price. I spoke with a custom cabinet builder who said he has done $250K cabinet jobs (including trim work) in new construction. I spoke with a lighting company who has done $100K+ jobs. You can spend $100K on electrical if you check all the boxes, including home automation, central audio/video, security camera system, etc. Again, it depends on what you want.

Good luck with the home buying process!
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:02 PM
 
17 posts, read 247,174 times
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Default ... so probably at least $140...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ut View Post
Are you looking for something like this: 20715 Sweetglen Dr, Porter, TX 77365 - HAR.com

If so expect to pay between $120-140 sq ft not including land.
This is helpful, thanks. As hsw was saying, "Much of value of good construction is stuff like rigorous structural engineering (esp in a hurricane region), latest-tech glass and insulation for energy efficiency, powerful HVAC, latest-tech wiring/computer networks, backup generators, quality of finishes/materials, etc etc..., there's more than meets the eye. If Sweetglen is say $140/sq ft, then is it including all the above, or is $140 the lower end - $180 being the higher end of this kind of home?
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: spring tx
5,577 posts, read 3,795,845 times
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well if you are looking for the cost to build, a lot of "high end" custom builders are building for $100-120/sq ft in the houston area. now if your looking to buy from a custom builder you are looking more at the $180-220/sq ft. as someone else said location is a huge factor. you can build a nice 10,000 sq ft home in say the royal oaks or carlton woods home and spend about $250-300/sq ft but if you moved the same home out to say katy, tomball, magnolia you can buy the same home on acreage for more like $180-200/ sq ft. maybe even less.

i suggest buying your own property and doing a "build on your lot" type situation, i dont know a single custom builder who would not build you what you want on your lot and you can save cash by not having to buy their land at their marked up prices.
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:24 PM
 
17 posts, read 247,174 times
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Thanks. I wasn't talking about land prices. just building prices. Assuming you have your lot, the cost to build the house from scratch, including foundation, but say not including lot-specific ground leveling/raising costs that vary from lot to lot.
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