One of the most frequent questions we receive is, “How much will a home cost per square foot?” This is a question that can only be answered after an architectural plan is selected, finishes such as flooring, cabinetry and trim work are chosen, and the home site has been evaluated. All of these elements will impact the cost per square foot of the home.
As a general rule of thumb, the larger the home, the lower the cost per square foot. The reason: some homebuilding costs are the same, regardless of home size, such as landscaping and other exterior features, lot fees and garage space. When these basic costs are incorporated into a larger home, the expense is applied to the overall square footage, resulting in a lower cost per square foot. Consult with DLH Builders to find out how you can add more square feet without substantially impacting the cost of the home.
Since DLH Builders specializes in custom homes, our calculated costs per square foot are based on upgraded finishes, rather than providing a lower figure that the customer will then have to adjust when the luxury amenities are added. Using this method gives you a more accurate picture of actual home cost. If you are comparison shopping and encounter a significantly lower cost per square foot than what we estimate, make sure that this lower price includes similar finishes, trim work and amenities.
Look at as many completed homes as possible to get a feel for what you want. DLH Builders can take you on a tour of several of our completed homes with varying styles to give you some ideas. We have the ability to build any style home imaginable. Bring us your ideas and we can customize to fit your needs.
When designing your dream home, the process will be much easier if you prepare a “must have” list. We have a few select architects we work with regularly who can design your home very effectively and efficiently. We work closely with the homeowner and architect to be sure the home fits your needs and desires, offers the latest in innovation and can be built within the budget you have established. The first meeting should be held at the home site so the home can be designed to maximize the site’s assets and minimize any liabilities the site may have.
Specifications are probably the most important part of the construction contract. Since it is so easy to forget things in today’s hectic world, the complete home should be described in writing. DLH Builders (or any other reputable builder, for that matter) will provide specifications detailing exactly the items to be included in the home.
The specifications should offer not only what is provided, but also what is not provided in the home. The specifications should also be signed and agreed to by all parties. Should you make changes, or any of the specifications seem vague or unclear, they should be amended. With clear concise plans and specifications, there are no gray areas and everyone knows what is expected and what the end result will be. Without this communication, errors are bound to result and create more stress for everyone involved in the process.
When the plans and specifications are complete you should receive a firm price for the home. This price should complete the home as specified on the chosen home site.
If you make changes during construction, those changes should always be put in writing. DLH Builders will determine the cost prior to the change being made. We prepare a change order which is also signed by the homeowner and amends the original contract. This eliminates surprises.
The quality of home sites can vary greatly. It is advantageous to have your builder look at the home sites you are interested in purchasing prior to agreeing to a purchase. Our customers often call us before they purchase a site so that we can tour the potential site with them and offer them our thoughts.
In addition, never purchase a home site without having a soil test performed on the lot to be sure the ground is suitable for building.
Your builder should alert you to this need and have this test performed for you at your expense. Many times, the purchase of a home site is conditioned upon a satisfactory soil test. It is further conditioned upon a satisfactory percolation test if a septic system is required.
This is very important. The costs of correcting soil problems can be expensive. We’ve seen costs upwards of $30,000 to correct such problems, so we strongly encourage our customers to spend a small amount for a soil test. It is the least expensive insurance that you can purchase.
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