Average new home construction costs are approximately $100 per square foot. State averages range from $75 to $130 dollars. These figures are somewhat deceptive though, as are all averages. Obviously as with all averages, some cost a lot more and some cost a lot less. Luxury home can cost over $800 per square foot, and even though these are not common, they drive up the average cost. Average cost per square foot isn’t always completely about average houses, but it does tend to reflect the cost of a midrange home.
For most readers, the big question is, “how we could get a home that is worth a lot more than $100 per square foot, for less than $100 per square foot.” Here are a few answers to that question.
Obviously, since the question is how much per square foot, if you can make your home seem larger, while having fewer square feet, the price would be less. Less square footage means lower energy costs, while less exterior wall service means you can afford more insulation in the exterior walls you have. In interior decorating too, you can spend more on quality while saving on quantity. Here are some tricks to getting the most out of your square footage.
• Windows, mirrors, lighting and color can be used to make areas look more spacious.
• Built in wall storage units can be used to contain clutter and leave available space for living. Floor to ceiling storage units on exterior walls can give you an unofficial energy saving bonus as insulation as well.
• Great Rooms lend to a more spacious look in a smaller home and also make for more efficient heating and cooling.
• Half baths take up less space and cost less to install than full baths. Consider making one of your bathrooms a really elegant but small half bath.
• Since bathrooms are among the most costly rooms in the home, avoid building more bathrooms than you need. If you plan on a growing family, make your second bath as a walk in closet, and if it is ever needed, convert it to a bath later.
• Tankless and on demand water heaters cost a little more, but they save you about ten square feet of floor space, and quickly pay for themselves in utility savings.
There are ways to build a home that may cost a little more eventually, but that pay you back in energy efficiency. Energy star homes are a great idea, but you should become proficient in understanding exactly what constitutes energy star and how to exceed those standards. The homes for the future are the most efficient ones. Anything that saves energy and other resources can save money. Building an unheated storage area on the back of the garage can save on having to rent a storage unit, and help keep your home neat.
Having a shell or shell kit built on your lot, and finishing the job yourself could save a lot of money. At the very least doing your own paint and floor coverings could save you a significant amount and perhaps pay for an upgrade if the builder is agreeable. Some builders seem to be much more structured than others, so look for a builder that will allow you to do some of the work in exchange for savings. If your skills are up for it, you can save significantly by completing a shell or kit.
For more information on costs per square foot, download our 98 page book and read the many other articles on this site. Average new home construction costs and costs per square foot have a lot of variables, getting them to work in your favor can help you get a great home for less. Beat the averages for savings and a great home.