The most expensive areas in a home are usually the bathrooms and the kitchen. The number of windows and the size and quality of windows can also affect the cost. Vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches can increase the cost of a home as well. When using other homes to calculate an estimate, be sure the home has a similar style and features of the home you plan to build.
The cost per square foot is often higher for a small home than that of a larger home. When building a larger home, the cost of expensive items (such as a furnace or kitchen) is spread over more square footage. Consequently, a larger home may have a lower square footage cost than a smaller home. Also, it usually costs less per square foot to build a two-story home when compared to a one-story home that has the same square footage. This is because a two-story home will have a smaller roof and foundation. Plumbing and ventilation are more compact in two-story homes.
Small details in the design of your home can make a big difference in the price. To save on costs, begin estimating construction expenses before you select your final blueprints. Here are important factors to consider:
Size of Home: When building a home, it's best to work with even numbers. Have your home size rounded up or down to increments of two feet. This reduces wasted materials. Also, it's most economical to build a home that is no deeper than 32 feet. If the depth exceeds 32 feet, then your roof trusses may need to be specially designed and will be more expensive.
Shape of Home: Homes that have a rectangular or box shape cost less to build. Having more angles and corners in the shape of your home can increase the amount of labor and materials needed to build a home. Dome shaped homes also make efficient use of materials and tend to cost less than other shapes.
Site Preparation: Preparing a site for construction can have a big impact on the cost of a home. Building on a flat lot will usually cost less. If you have to haul in a large amount of dirt, do a lot of grading, clear trees or blast through large rocks, then site preparations can become more expensive.
Cost Overruns: Usually the finished cost of a home is more than the original bid price. Cost overruns occur from overspending the allowances, making changes, and encountering unforeseen problems. Proper planning can greatly reduce cost overruns. In general, it is a good idea to allow an additional 10% to cover unexpected costs.
Inflation and Market Conditions: Usually the cost of building a home increases around 3% to 6% per year. If it will be several years before you begin construction, remember to include inflation into the cost estimate for your home. When using other homes to compare prices, try to use homes that have been built within the last six months.