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Thread: Materail cost for house???

  1. #1
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    Materail cost for house???

    I know that there are a few contractors that hang out here so we will see if they can help. The wife and I are considering building a house( Ranch style) and was wondering if there is a way to figure out the rought cost of materail other then sitting there and hireing someone to make up the blueprints? I have freinds that are willing to give us a huge break on labor cost so that is not a problem, but just wondering if there is a rough cost per sqft for new construction. If it help the house would be around 2,000 sqft with catehdral ceilings(12') w/ full basement.

  2. #2
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    Al, I'm far from being a contractor, but here in the Albuquerque area, new construction is being quoted at $100-125 a square foot - no basements here.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Laird View Post
    Al, I'm far from being a contractor, but here in the Albuquerque area, new construction is being quoted at $100-125 a square foot - no basements here.

    Nancy
    However the question is; how much of that is material cost?. And how much is labor cost and how much for other things such as permits, special fees, ect.? I would like to know myself. I am sure that it varies from one part of the country to another.
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 12-27-2007 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Fair question, and I don't know the answer to that. I do know that the city of Albq has an "impact fee" that runs about $2500-3000 per building lot, plus the permits, etc. It would be interesting to see how much is materials and how much is "extra."

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  5. #5
    Where I live a building permit for a new house will cost you 50 dollars. That will get you started but you will also need a septic system plan which is another 300 bucks, (by a licensed soil engineer) and then a plumbing permit which is 20 dollars outright, and four dollars for every fixture in the house. There is no need for any electrical permits, driveway permits or any of that other stuff I see on This Old House of Home Again.

    Surprisingly, the biggest cost of getting a home underway here is getting electricity hooked up. When a new meter is installed, the power company here charges a whopping 1000 bucks. I guess they want to make sure that anyone that has power hooked up is serious about it.

    As far as material costs, the cost is material and labor here. When I speced out my new addition, a 28 by 40 foot ranch addition with concrete slab, the turn key price...that being I do nothing but cut a check to the contractor, was 79,000 dollars. I decided to do the majority of the work myself. In the end I had some subcontractor work done that amounted to 10,000 dollars. The materials cost was 35,000 dollars for a total cost of 45,000 dollars. That is about as close to as you can get I think.

    One word of caution though. You may have plenty of friends NOW, but after you pour the concrete, you will have very few friends! Its just a given. My Dad and brother helped me one weekend out of the 7 months it took to build my addition. I can honestly say, that other than pouring the concrete, and doing the drywall mudding, I did everything else. I'm just saying, when you are building something, don't count on your friends too much. They have a strange way of not being around when you can really use them.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
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    The basement walls would be done a local guy that does nothing but basements. Concrete and insulation work will be the only things that will have a contractor hired for. All the other stuff will be done buy freinds at our own pace. For permits I have a good idea of the cost, Building permit $50, Perk test(septic drainage) $100. Ther not really many permits required. A good chunk of money will go into inspections such as concrete, framing, plumbing, electrical rough and finished, septic, occupentcy(sp?). According to a few freinds these could cost almost $1,000. We where hopeing to build the whole thing for around $100,000. As we will have access to plenty of hemlock on the site we are looking at. The apartment (if you can call it one) is 2100 sqft and that is what the wife wants in the new place if you do build. That is if the sis-inlaw keeps here mouth closed. She has a habit of feeding my wife ideas that always cost me more money. Next week I will have to call around to see if I can get a better handling from local engineers for makeing up blue prints and materail list. I will let you know what I find out.

  7. #7
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    Our new home (1800 ft/sq) cost us $85/foot. You can get books with house plans at Borders. The working blueprints will cost you $600.

    We live in timber country in Northern California, so lumber was the best quality and inexpensive. Since our final inspection early last year, the cost of concrete has gone sky high. Because local building regulators and community governments can drive you crazy, a well-known contractor from your area can save you headaches and unpleasant surprises. I would never want to tackle a project like this. Unless I had several years to lavish on the project.

    Some costs come to mind:

    Lumber -- $16,000
    Trusses - $6000
    Cabinets -- $15,000
    Wood flooring (800 feet) $4000
    Tile - $20,000 (antsy-fancy stuff)
    Plumbing fixtures - $6000
    Windows & Sliding Doors - $7000

    Gary Curtis






    Gary Curtis

  8. #8
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    We're somewhere around $65/sq foot. That includes all those trips to Albuquerque in my gas hogging flatbed, but that was still cheaper than delivery. Bear in mind though, our foundation was a lot cheaper than most - its local rock with a bit of mortar. But then our roof makes up for it - tech shield and metal, could have cut the cost in half if I'd used regular osb and shingles.

  9. #9
    A hundred grand sounds reasonable. I am not a contractor, but my Uncle is and we have built enough houses together to learn a few things.

    The first and foremost is to keep things simple. Bump-outs, curves and multi-floors cost a lot of money. Just building a ranch as you mention will save a lot of time and effort. Second floors go up slow when everything is done from staging, ladders or a lift.

    I would also caution you on purchasing plans from such places as those Home and Gardens books. We built a few houses that came from those plans and they were the worst set of plans we ever worked with, not to mention such generic details that just don't make sense in northern climates. For instance they spec the walls for 2x4's...great in southern climates but here in the Northeast you want 2x6 walls for the extra r-value. One would think that adding two inches would be no big deal, but then it almost renders the entire set of plans useless.

    The long and short of it is this. RIGHT NOW is you best chance to save money. It comes in planning a house that is well executed, easy to live in, yet has simplified construction details. What I mean is, try getting your kitchen and bathrooms on the same wall that way plumbing and pipes don't have to be plumbed clear across the home. Reduce the number of windows, especially on the north wall, they are expensive to start with, and yet even the best window only has an R-value of 3-4. Insulation will save you money for the life of the home. Also situate the house right. If I had turned my house just 22, I could have used the southern exposure far better then I can now. Finally don't be taken down the "its cheaper to do now" theory. Yes things are often easier to do before the walls are up, but you can end up going down a slippery slope. For instance in my house I ran satellite cable and telephone cords to every room, yet with wireless routers now, all that work was for nothing. I also ran PEX tubing into a few closets so I can use my air powered tools without running a compressor in the house. That too was a waste. I found out its far better to have a portable compressor nearby rather then trudge out to the shop to adjust it. As I said, over-doing things "because now is the time" can be a slippery slope to go down. That will save you money.

    So by now you are saying, "but Travis this will make for a dull home?" Not necessarily. I encourage budget minded people to look at the home in the OPPOSITE way of a contractor. A contractor uses expensive materials to make what amounts to an ordinary spec home into a custom home. With labor being expensive, a DIYer can use inexpensive materials and spend a greater amount of time on things, and walk away with a home that is truly personalized and inexpensive. My example of this is the baseboard I did in my addition. Yes its pine because I can have it delivered to my house, s4s #2 pine for 40 cents a bf. By really designing the baseboard well, and spending some serious time installing it in theme based rooms, the customization off-sets the inexpensive material. Other examples include doing custom counter tops out of artistically laid tiles. Trimming the exterior of the house with well designed, labor intensive trim. Those are the places that curves and bump outs look great and yet don't cost you a lot in the way of materials. Those are also the things that no contractor would ever do. Too labor intensive.

    Here are some pictures so you can see what I am referring too, some baseboard pics and a cupola and weathervane I made to make my house stand out. Details that made a big impact, yet cost very little. Good luck with your home in any case.





    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 12-28-2007 at 11:35 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    i second that

    "One word of caution though. You may have plenty of friends NOW, but after you pour the concrete, you will have very few friends!" this statment by travis is the TRUTH i had dads help all the way through on my shop but on my house many years agao i had 2 days of help from the guy i worked with doing construction, although i had helpped hme daily on 3 differnt house for free... you will find out in ahurry who your true freinds are.. just as i did in my shop build.. so dont rely on to much help if you dont or cant do it your slef figure on hiring done.. and the permits are cheap in comparison to the other stuff.. travis has given you alot good info
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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