Why the Square Foot Home Price Question Isn’t Accurate When Estimating the Cost of Your Build

Years ago builders might have been able to give you a dollar amount per square foot and you could fairly accurately determine the price of a home based on the total square footage you were aiming for. Friends, we’re going to give it to you straight, beware of any builder that gives you a straight square foot price for custom built homes…it’s just not the current pricing structure in the industry today.

Most people jump to the finished category understanding that there are variables in flooring, cabinets, trim and door styles, plumbing fixtures, specialty finish details, etc. These items absolutely impact square foot pricing.

Plan Influences Pricing

What some may not be aware of is that pricing is influenced by your plan. How efficient is that plan? What is the roof structure? Is the plan choppy (meaning are there a lot of different walls that are coming out from the house or is the plan more square with straight walls)? The more variation in the plan, the higher the cost as it may require more materials or labor. Until you hone in on your plan a generic sf price isn’t going to be accurate.

Beautiful Kitchen Design in a Green Bay Custom Home


Covenants Influence Price

Know that covenants of your neighborhood can also cause fluctuation that needs to be incorporated into the plan. Is there a 50% masonry requirement…35%…..no requirement? What about roof pitch? Siding material restrictions? All of these affect pricing. Keep in mind material and labor prices vary with supply and demand – some fluctuate more than others, such as lumber. So if you can’t get a general idea of what your home might cost based on straight sf price, what should you do to be a responsible consumer?

Price Range

It’s perfectly realistic to ask for a dollar range per square foot. This will help give you a broad idea of where your home could fall and also opens up the opportunity to talk with your builder about what components they see in your home that might drive costs up or down. You can better learn about how the builder constructs their homes (insulation, windows, trusses, etc.). This question should truly be used a springboard to more in-depth conversation.


Andy and Nicole

Your Local Owners & Operators Alair Homes Green Bay