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Custom Home Building FAQ

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Custom Home Building FAQ: How much will my custom home cost?

This is a very difficult question. Average cost per square foot varies from one area to another. The quality of construction is also a variable, as are different materials. If you just want a rule of thumb, an average home in the rural south will cost you about $75 per square foot. A similar home in California will cost $120 per square foot. This difference is related to the overall cost of living, and average wages. Homes in the Northern Atlantic states are similar but not quite as high as the prices in California, while homes in the Midwest are more similar to homes in the south but not quite as low in most cases. Top of the line luxury homes on the west coast can cost up to $600 per square foot. Luxury homes in other parts of the country may not be as elaborate, but they cost a good bit less. Southern luxury homes can cost as little as $220 a square foot. Research new homes for sale in your area and compare the square footage and quality for a more accurate estimate.

Custom Home Building FAQ: How can I be sure my home builder or contractor will do a good job on my home?

The best way to judge future performance is to look at past performance. Find out which homes your contractor has built in the past. Ask home owners who have purchased his homes about any problems they’ve had. Google search the company name and the name of your contractor. Usually, if people are seriously dissatisfied, they will complain on forums or other websites about their homes. Lawsuits and news paper articles may also show up on the Google search. Investigate your home builder carefully before signing a contract.

Custom Home Building FAQ: What are the most important questions to ask my contractor?

Ask about foundations, floor joist lumber, wall stud sizes and the quality of other building materials. Study the building codes, and research the standards of other builders. Do extensive online research on the subject of construction. Do not be distracted by the usual discussions about floor tile, or wall paper. These things are unimportant, but usually people like these things so building contractors learn not to bore people with important details. Let him know you are interested in learning more about the structure of your home.

Custom Home Building FAQ: I have gotten three quotes from three different contractors, and the price varies by tens of thousands of dollars. Should I just go with the cheapest one?

Not necessarily! Go back to each of the contractors and verify the quality. Find out if the quote is for foundation, slab or basement. Find out if the walls will be built with two by fours or two by sixes. Find out what sort of floor joists and subfloor materials will be used. Find out which type of exterior siding will be used. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples on these quotes.

Sometimes home builders or contractors will price very low because they have low overhead or they need the work, so it is possible there’s an honest builder ready to give you a great deal on a fabulous home. It’s also quite possible that these different builders have different standards of quality which you should be aware of.

Custom Home Building FAQ: How can I select a home plan that is cheaper to build without sacrificing quality?

• In order to get the most from your home, avoid long narrow hall ways. That is a waste of square footage.
• Select a design that has fewer gables and Ls. A square or rectangular home is cheaper to build.
• Two story homes are cheaper to build per square foot, and attic living space is even less expensive.
• Smaller homes are not only less expensive to build. They are also less expensive to heat and cool.


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