There is a huge difference between the luxury home building costs, and the costs of other types of construction. Luxury homes can cost over $600 per square foot in California. Even in the southern United States, they are at least $200 to $250 per square foot. The reasons for their price are found in the definition of Luxury home.
What is a Luxury Home and Why Does it Cost so Much?
• A luxury home has a great location. By definition a luxury home cannot exist on a regular subdivision lot. Luxury homes must be on fabulous beaches, or atop stunning mountains, or in a penthouse in some fabulous city. A luxury home may be placed near water features, such as lakes or rivers. Some lots are sufficiently valuable to accommodate a luxury home because they are in very exclusive neighborhoods. This kind of lot costs a lot more than any ordinary tract of land.
• A luxury home is an architectural work of art, designed by a renowned architect. The architect must design a home which does not closely resemble any of his previous or future work. Commissioning a famous architect, to create a one of a kind house is very expensive.
• A luxury home is unique. Luxury homes do not come in matched sets, like the blending styles of tract homes. They stand out from the rest of the homes nearby, and have one-of-a-kind architectural features that make it recognizable and easily differentiated from any other house. The unique quality demands exclusive rights to the floor-plan. While other kinds of homes have floor plans that are bought and sold over and over, a luxury home blueprint is used only once.
• A luxury home is full of custom artistic details, such as hand carved doors, unique stairway design, one of a kind fireplaces and interesting architectural features. Made to order, hand crafted woodwork, stonework, and completely non-standard free form architectural details cost a great deal because of high end designer fees, and the price of highly skilled labor.
• Luxury homes include only the most expensive of materials. They have valuable stone counter tops and custom imported Italian tile laid by experts. Many feature real hardwood floors covered with genuine, hand woven oriental rugs worth over ten thousand dollars each. Carpets are likely to be real wool.
• Kitchen appliances and fixtures are far above the norm, and cost over ten times as much as the home improvement store appliances and fixtures.
• Even the bathroom fixtures are stunning. Not only is a Jacuzzi in each bathroom a must, but those tubs are accented with built in marble platforms. Showers are created with elaborate architectural enclosures.
• By definition, size is not a factor. While many luxury homes are quite large, size is irrelevant to the definition of a luxury home. It is more common to find luxury homes which are 6000 square feet or more, but some luxury homes are very small.
A luxury home is defined by location, design, uniqueness, artistic detail, costly materials and luxury kitchen and bath fixtures. There are many near misses in the category of almost luxury homes. Luxury home builders often smugly call these homes mc-mansions. What they mean is that these homes are expensive, but are not unique, well located or well designed. True luxury home builders resent mc-mansion builders, and spend a lot of time trying to set themselves apart from this type of builder.
How to Build a Luxury Home for Less?
If you want a unique luxury home but can’t afford the price, it might still be possible to do something similar for substantially less. It would still be expensive, but you could save a considerable amount if you chose a promising young and as yet unknown architect. One could use the same theory in getting artwork and woodwork by unknown artists. Choose unique fixtures which though not expensive are unusual. Select some country acreage in a picturesque setting, and find a skillful quality home builder who would like something interesting to add to his portfolio. It might still cost more than a tract house, but your home would be a unique showpiece, for a fraction of luxury home building costs.