March 09, 2017
Everyone wants to know how much a new home costs. We work very closely with many builders. Recently we sat down and talked about the cost of building a new home with one of them.
Q: Over the past 18 to 24 months what is the average cost to build per sq. ft.?
A: As a Custom Home Builder, our cost per square foot varies with each individual customer. But lately our homes have been falling into the $100 – $110 per sq. ft. range (based on total under roof area). That said, we have also built a number of homes in the not too distant past that were as high as the $320 per sq. ft. range.
Q: What is the one thing you wish every client would bring with them when they are asking for an estimate?
A: Without hesitation - Their overall target budget. Forget about design, finishes, floor plan, location, and everything else until we have established what their target budget is. We always like to begin with the end in mind and utilizing our expertise to help select the right home site, plan and finishes can reduce stress for the owner too. The earlier we are part of the process, the better.
Q: On average how accurate are your building estimates?
A: We prefer not to discuss any “Ball-Park” budgets. They are so dangerous for all parties involved. Rather, we do the hard work of long-hand estimating. It takes a little longer to complete, but always proves to be time well spent. Our construction contract is a stipulated sum format plus allowances. Individual allowances are included for site conditions and owner selected finishes. All allowances are set by involving our clients during the estimating process and thoroughly evaluating each individual home site. Doing so ensures that the level of luxury included in our construction contract is exactly what the owner is expecting and the risk of unforeseen “surprise” expenses are eliminated. As such, our estimates are much more accurate than our competitors.
Q: What is the main reason home construction goes over budget?
A: Our clients are always in control of the budget throughout the build. As construction progresses, we reconcile all allowances with our clients by asking them to finalize material selections right before we order them. As such, it’s not uncommon for our clients to change their minds or consider different finishes at that time. Those decisions often result in the client spending a little more than they initially planned.
Q: What is the main thing you suggest to clients to cut costs?
A: If budget is a concern, I usually recommend down-scaling some interior finishes rather than sacrificing square footage. It’s really hard to stretch a house later on. But upgrading interior finishes can always be completed during a later remodeling project.
Nadeau Stout Custom Homes is located in Marion County, which is more rural in nature than some of Florida’s larger cities. Traffic is easier going with abundant amenities just a short drive from most residences.
Marion County is home to a large equestrian industry. Horse farms are abundant and it’s not uncommon for Nadeau Stout Custom Homes to build custom homes for farm owners, as well as custom accessory structures. Guest houses, Horse Barns, riding arenas, and equipment buildings for example. And of course, North Central Florida also has a large share of active adult and retirement communities too.
If you are thinking of building a new home in the North Central Florida area we highly recommend using Nadeau Stout Custom Homes. They have built many of our designs and we trust them to bring your dream home to life.
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