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Old Yesterday, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Lakeville, MN
105 posts, read 188,833 times
Reputation: 70

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We will be closing soon on new construction in a neighborhood with other homes going up. I think the builder may have inflated the claim of finished square footage, effectively lowering the cost per square foot a bit. What might you recommend as a resolution if my gut feeling is right?
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Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,098 posts, read 17,012,350 times
Reputation: 9558
Get it measured. Some measure from the exterior around the shape of the foundation. Some measure inside wall to inside wall. Some accidentally measure the stairs twice. You won't get any 2 numbers exactly the same, but you should be within a reasonable amount of what was advertised.

If it's significantly off, ask for a credit. If it's slightly different, you need to remember that humans build these houses and you'll never be exact. Framing a house even 1/8" off in each room adds up.
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,056 posts, read 6,838,151 times
Reputation: 10814
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7footer View Post
We will be closing soon on new construction in a neighborhood with other homes going up. I think the builder may have inflated the claim of finished square footage, effectively lowering the cost per square foot a bit. What might you recommend as a resolution if my gut feeling is right?
Do you like/want the house and at the agreed upon price? If yes, buy it. Enjoy it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:01 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,252 posts, read 18,929,289 times
Reputation: 20702
Ask the builder to give you a weight measure.
Is the price per kilogram acceptable? If yes, buy it. If no, then don't.
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Old Yesterday, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
7,930 posts, read 6,250,199 times
Reputation: 7037
help us out with "a bit", and what makes you think the house is smaller than claimed.
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Old Yesterday, 06:47 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,832,937 times
Reputation: 3219
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7footer View Post
We will be closing soon on new construction in a neighborhood with other homes going up. I think the builder may have inflated the claim of finished square footage, effectively lowering the cost per square foot a bit. What might you recommend as a resolution if my gut feeling is right?

No square footage is not a valid measure for a 3 dimensional object. The price should be calculated on volume since having ceilings high enough to be usable is important. If you think the builder is cheating on square footage you better check the ceiling heights. Maybe they are only 7' 6" instead of 8 ft.


I've never seen this fad of comparing houses on price per square ft. There are so many other factors that need to be considered. You are buying a house to make a home not a turkey to cook for Thanksgiving.


I would be worried about square footage if it was used to establish the assessed value. How do you think the builder is cheating?
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Old Yesterday, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Lakeville, MN
105 posts, read 188,833 times
Reputation: 70
OP here... Plans say it’s 2,950 finished square feet, and 4,050 with the basement finished (which we opted to do). Using the outside dimensions I come up with a slightly smaller number. Across three level it adds up - maybe 6-7% high overall. Not a huge deal, but a couple hundred square feet is a couple hundred square feet.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 PM
 
250 posts, read 137,355 times
Reputation: 519
If you are financing the home there will be an appraisal done, and the appraiser will measure.
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Old Yesterday, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ area
2,951 posts, read 2,454,260 times
Reputation: 3394
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7footer View Post
OP here... Plans say it’s 2,950 finished square feet, and 4,050 with the basement finished (which we opted to do). Using the outside dimensions I come up with a slightly smaller number. Across three level it adds up - maybe 6-7% high overall. Not a huge deal, but a couple hundred square feet is a couple hundred square feet.
Your contract to build will have a clause about the square footage. Read it then realise there isn't much to be done and move on with your life.

There is no way they are as far off as you are assuming, how did you even get the plans they are proprietary and a pain in the butt to find. Because my dad is in the trades and does work for the builder we purchased from I have a stamped copy of the plans. The builder says the total sq ft is 2300 on the main home, my appraiser measured 2306 and the county assessor has 2299. That is the normal variance you will find.

If they are a few hundred off then either they built the home several feet short or, and more likely, you are measuring wrong. In the sq ft measurements will be everything inside the outer walls or foundation so your interior/exterior walls are counted as livable sq ft as well as any dead space for plumbing/HVAC, etc.
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Old Today, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,480 posts, read 7,433,430 times
Reputation: 10671
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7footer View Post
We will be closing soon on new construction in a neighborhood with other homes going up. I think the builder may have inflated the claim of finished square footage, effectively lowering the cost per square foot a bit. What might you recommend as a resolution if my gut feeling is right?
First, measure the home accurately yourself. Remember not to include garage space or basement space. Gross Living Area includes finished, heated, above grade space. Not finished basements, that is a separate figure. Also, take out 2 story spaces. For example, a 2-story great room or family room is only counted once, not twice. So if a 2-story foyer measures 12 x 18, remove 12 x 18 from the upper level calculation.

Now, what to do about it if the builder is wrong. Do you still want the house? Does it meet your needs? If the builder says it’s 5,850 sqft and you calculate 5,625 sqft does it really matter all that much? Sometimes builders include finished basement space and report a figure for total finished space rather than the gross livable area. It’s not really misrepresentation, they are inflating, but it’s an obvious marketing thing and you are not really being misled.

Your recourse is to pull out of the deal and sue for fraud if he won’t return your entire deposit, but is it really worth it at this point?

So, get an accurate measurement. Decide if it makes a real difference. If it doesn’t, continue to a closing. If it’s a material misrepresentation and there is a real discrepancy of sufficient magnitude, then seek to terminate the deal or adjust the price.
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