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Building Saskatoon One Custom Home At A Time
What is the current cost per square foot?
I've been asked this question a lot over the years by clients and also friends in conversation.
When I began my building career in construction back in 1999, many homes had similar plan features and finishes. There wasn’t the large assortment of features and floorplans available today. Giving a price per square foot was often a way of doing things back then. Although it may seem to be a fair question, there are a multitude of factors that influence the square footage cost of a new home, and the options are increasing with every passing year. Including just a few of these features in the construction of your new home can have significant impact on the price of the home and therefore the square footage price as well.
As a consumer, it is understandable you are looking for a way to budget for your building project and compare the builders you are considering to construct your new home. Building a new home is now more complex than ever, and using the sq. ft. price is not a good way to create a budget and establish which builder is offering you the greatest value.
"If you can't give me a price per square foot then how do i know what my house will cost?"
Though somewhat more time consuming, the best approach is to make a list of finishes and features that are most important to you. Draw a sketch or find an example plan online, similar to what you’re looking for. You can share this with the builder for feedback and a ballpark estimate. This would give you a basic idea of which builders are offering good value for the service they provide, and those who are not. From there you can select a builder to work with to develop your custom plans and specifications, to come up with an official estimate and a quote to construct your new home.
Here are just a few of the many things consider.
Share these with the builder to help determine what is possible within your budget.
1. In what neighborhood are you hoping to build? New area subdivision, infill, etc.?
2. Lot type? Crescent, corner, backing greenspace, walkout…
3. Approximate main and upper floor square footages and/or example plan?
4. What type of interior finishes are you wanting? Example hardwood floors, quarts countertops, floating shelves, fireplaces, tiled shower. The more info the better. Sometimes it is great to provide a few photos of what you like.
5. What type of exterior finishes are you wanting? Stucco, stone, brick or Hardie Board exterior or a combination of materials. Photos are also a good way to share what your vision is for the exterior.
6. Ceiling heights? Example do you want an 8 or 9 foot basement walls, 8, 9, 10 or taller main and upper floor walls?
7. Garage size? Attached or detached garage? Do you want the garage finished?
8. Do you want the basement finished?
9. Will there be livable space over an attached garage, such as a bonus room or bedrooms?
10. Any covered decks, porches, interesting roof lines? Example photos of the exterior styling you are looking for is helpful.
11. What are you wishing to include in the build? Example: house build only, or do you want any decks, fence, yard, landscaping and driveway completed as part of your project?
12. What is your approximate budget for the project?
13. How soon are you hoping to get started with the build or moving in?
Be cautious of builders that are quick to offer you a price per square foot on a custom build. This tactic is often used to get an early commitment by a homebuyer. I have heard many times the nightmares of clients committing to working with a builder based on a lower quoted cost per square foot. Then spending months planning, only to find out they are over budget or they have to remove many of the features they want, in order to meet their budget.