If you have never built a home before you may not understand the importance of a materials list. You may show your builder a home plan that you like and you ask him what he thinks it will cost to build that home. He will want to see a materials list before he gives you any hard numbers. Some builders will give you an estimate based just on the floor plan’s square footage, but a materials list will give him much more information which should translate in a much more accurate estimate. Because of this it is sometimes worth getting a materials list before you order a plan. Some home plan designers do not include a materials list but we include a materials list free of charge when you buy the plan.
A material list is a very simple thing, it gives quantitative information for everything from the square feet of roof materials in your plan’s roof to the number of studs required for interior wall framing. Its doesn’t list the cost of these things, just the quantity needed. Once a builder knows the amount of the different materials needed he can work up a cost based on your location. Usually the form is supplied as a PDF, but sometimes it can be a spreadsheet like an Excel file.
Armed with a materials list and the basic plan information your local builder should have no problems estimating the cost of you home. Never rely on any on-line estimator for the cost of building a home! Some home plan websites will show a cost to build tool, never rely on those! They are just there to give the customer a number and make them feel better. The fact is the cost to build is effected by way too many things for a website to be able to give you an accurate estimate. Its not just the home size, or the materials used, but the location and the type of materials used that will effect the cost of a home. Don’t be fooled by quick and easy answers to very complex questions.
Next we will be wrapping up this series of blog posts with a review of everything we have covered. We hope these posts have shed some light on whats in a set of plans and the process of building a home.