This is the most asked question I get from new prospective clients, realtors, investors, architects… anyone interested in building costs. Or similarly: “What does it cost per square foot
to build these days?”
If I asked you, “What does a car cost today?” or “What does it cost per pound?” you might look at me a little funny at first. If I was serious, you would ask dozens of qualifying questions just to give me your price range, even if you happened to own the car dealership. Take two identical cars on the outside: one is bare bones, has the smallest engine and basic option package. The other is loaded with the biggest engine and every upgraded option. Your cost on the fully-loaded car could be 50% higher than the basic car.
As you know, there are so many more items that can affect the cost of a house — thousands of possible designs and finishes, local labor/material factors, location-specific issues, government requirements and environmental considerations. It’s easy to imagine the exact same house floor plan on a difficult lot, with high end finishes in and out, and lavish exterior amenities costing more than double the same exact plan on a small, cleared subdivision lot with basic finishes.