Much better than an estimate based solely on the cost per square foot of heated space, our customized method gives you a good idea of the labor and materials costs, including the contractor’s fee, in the area you plan to build. For living space, the bottom line figure includes any and all features of your particular house or garage which impact the total cost. This includes, when applicable, an allowance for built-in appliances, floor covering, and a forced air heating system.
Here is a partial list of house (or garage) features that are taken into account in calculating the total cost:
- Square foot area of heated space
- Type of house (one level, 2-story, one-and-a-half story, split-level)
- Type of foundation (basement, crawlspace or slab)
- Type of roof construction (gable, hip, gambrel)
- Unheated areas such as covered entrance, decks, porches and garages
- Ceiling heights
- No. of plumbing fixtures
- Type of exterior covering (e.g. wood siding, stucco, vinyl, brick)
- Size and type of dormers (if applicable)
- Unfinished areas such as lofts, storage areas and bonus rooms
- Exterior and interior trim and ornamentation
Not included in our bottom line figure is the cost of acquiring the land and yard improvements such as a well, septic system or landscaping. For these items, your local service providers should be consulted.
In addition, our estimate assumes a “middle of the road” or average quality of labor and materials (i.e. not high end luxury or code minimum) and also assumes that you are not involved in the construction process. If you act as your own contractor or do some of the subcontracting work, our cost figure should be reduced by your out-of-pocket savings.
Lastly, the cost estimate reflects the current costs in your local building area. Although this single figure is just an estimate, it can help you get a better handle on your total outlay, plus serve as a useful benchmark when evaluating bids from local builders.
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