Building a Home? New Home Construction Costs to Guide Decision Making

Would-be homeowners often ask builders how much per square foot it should cost to build a new home. The problem is that the new home construction cost is not that simple to calculate. The 2017 national average to build a new home is $290, 157, according to HomeAdvisor.com. However, that homebuilding cost can vary wildly depending on many factors.

The neighborhood or region can make a big difference in cost and so can the quality of materials chosen. Plus, there are lots of hidden costs that are easy for both client and homebuilder to overlook. Here are some of those costs so that you can make sure they are included in the decision-making process.

1.    The Foundation is an Oft Overlooked Homebuilding Cost

On average, the cost to install a foundation is $7,753. However, lots of factors can drive that cost up. Certain soil types are harder to work with than others, sometimes requiring fill dirt or extra labor to make sure the house remains stable. Building sites on a slope or that require extra labor and materials to level will also cost more than average.

2.    Landscaping May Not Be Included in Your New Home Construction Cost

Landscaping is one of those items that many builders don’t factor into their estimates. It is often assumed that the homeowners will take care of everything themselves, except, of course, for the driveway. The average cost to landscape a new home is $3,344 but that price goes up if you have a particularly large yard or invest in more expensive trees and shrubs. You may be able to save on labor costs by DIYing your landscape, but remember that you’ll still need to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of plants, mulch and supplies! And don’t forget to include a place to sit to enjoy all that new landscaping! A deck or patio is an added must for outdoor relaxing.

3.    Painting and Finishing Costs Can Add Up

New homeowners are often so caught up in worrying about the major costs – like drywall or kitchen cabinets – that they forget about the cost of paint and other finishes. The national average for this job is $1,746. Here again, that cost can go up if you require more expensive finishes, especially if you plan to finish miles of wood flooring, trim and other accents.

4.    Don’t Forget About Hardware!

Hardware is an easy detail to splurge on. Compared to the total new home construction cost, what is an extra $100 on even fancier drawer pulls? The problem with this is that you may end up splurging on lots of little extras – more expensive light fixtures, door and drawer hardware, mirrors, medicine cabinets, towel racks and so forth. When the project is finished, all of these little extras can add up to a surprising amount.

5.    Think About All The People You Will Hire

Building a new home means that you’ll be working with a variety of professionals, not just a general contractor. Be prepared to pay an architect to draw up your plans, a structural engineer to look over those plans as well as the construction process and home inspectors that your municipality of lender may require. Architects normally charge anywhere between 5% and 15% of the homebuilding cost. Structural engineers charge $506 on average while home inspectors charge an average of $322.

To make sure you don’t forget anything during the building process, keep a notebook so that you can keep track of questions, concerns and details to remember. This will help you avoid costly surprises!

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