What's a good "Price Per Sq. Ft." to build in WA State? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 05/09/12, 07:04 PM
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What's a good "Price Per Sq. Ft." to build in WA State?

My wife and I are going to be building on our acreage this year. We have three young children and I work very long hours so we have chosen to use a contractor to build our home for us. We already have our house plans completed. Our home will be a very simple, x2 story farm house. The main floor sq. footage is 720. The total sq. footage is roughly 1560, including a main floor bump out "mud room". As construction/material costs are always changing, I was wondering what a reasonable cost per square footage price would be to have a contractor build our home for us. We live in WA state. I know that there are lots of variables, but we're just looking for a ballpark figure from anyone with home building/construction experience, as it relates to cost per square footage. The house will not have a basement (High water table) so it's foundation will either be a slab on grade, or a stem wall w/ crawl space. Any sort of input would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 05/10/12, 11:24 AM
 
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dont think this will help but, i'm a building inspector in ontario and cost to build here is between $175 and $200 per sq foot. (this will make you either wish you lived here or happy you dont)

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Old 05/10/12, 11:29 AM
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All depends on how fancy you wish to get with finishing off the inside.

Wyoming seems to be running $125 on the cheap side to $250 for top quality. Exotic can hit $500 to $1000.

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Old 05/10/12, 11:39 AM
 
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From my nail driving days two story cost more .When i was 30 two story was great at 50 not the best idea at 60 what was i thinking

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Old 05/10/12, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for your input fellas. We're currently running at about $90.00 per sq. foot. We're trying to whittle it down a little more as we go, cutting out things and such, but from the sound of it we're doing good as it is. Thanks again for the comments.

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Old 05/10/12, 10:38 PM
 
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I have built for $80.00, pretty basic not counting permits. A new house in town, lot and all is around $120.00-$160.00 here.
I don't like slab at all, will not build one....James

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Old 05/10/12, 11:36 PM
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Just curious, why do you not like slab? I think we're leaning towards stem wall construction w/ a crawl space at this point. The wife doesn't really like the idea of being on her feet all day on concrete anyway. With the kids running around all the time, they are bound to fall and bonk their heads from time to time and concrete does not give any. I'm just concerned about water getting into the crawl space and having to pump it out. We have an extremely high water table on our property.

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Old 05/11/12, 12:01 AM
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If you build it yourself, 2 story is the way to go (if your getting old, room for an elevator might be nice!)... I added an extra story to mine for $800. I also like slabs... termites don't like concrete, and no place for vermin to overwinter.

Built a kennel... all wood, insulation, windows, electrics, lights, doors, windows, metal roof, and vinyl flooring (just like a regular home) for $10/foot. Paying someone is insane... same 12x20 would have cost at least five times as much, probably more.

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  #9  
Old 05/11/12, 12:32 AM
 
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I just built a small house (1200 sf) in Colorado at $83 sf. Not including permits and impact fees. The house is very basic, with emphasis on basic!

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  #10  
Old 05/11/12, 06:48 AM
 
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Have a local company that builds prebuilt (modular) houses that advertises "models starting at $50 a sq ft". In turn my insurance company said to re-build my house it would cost $145 a sq ft - don't figure.

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Old 05/11/12, 12:20 PM
 
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Micheal, a modular house does not include the foundation, site prep, permits, systems development fees, utilities, septic or sewer connections, driveway, and probably not the front steps. You aren't going to get it up to the point where you can live in it for $50 a square foot.

I see lots of people fall for that trick with the manufactured homes. They are such a nice house for so cheap! But by the time they get the lot leveled, the footings built, and all the other expenses that are not included with the home, they have spent another $30,000.

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Old 05/11/12, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamsValley View Post
Just curious, why do you not like slab? I think we're leaning towards stem wall construction w/ a crawl space at this point. The wife doesn't really like the idea of being on her feet all day on concrete anyway. With the kids running around all the time, they are bound to fall and bonk their heads from time to time and concrete does not give any. I'm just concerned about water getting into the crawl space and having to pump it out. We have an extremely high water table on our property.

I build a few new homes a year, on crawls, in a very wet area. My homes are bone dry. I used a conditioned crawl space system. the wall is poured concrete with a coat of foundation sealer on the outside. There is a complete 4" footer drain on the exterior, buried in clean 3/4" stone and covered with filter fabric. The floor is poured concrete, over stone and plastic. The walls have no vents. The walls are covered in spray foam from the slab up to the bottom of the plywood floor. there is a dehumidifer in this space and it drains to a pipe that drains through the concrete floor, into the stone below. The latest code update now requires a back-up sump pit in the floor, but I haven't need to use one yet.

As for injuries and slabs, you are 100% correct. My wife is disabled, but is able to walk with a cane. She falls on occasion. We have found that if she falls at home, on carpet over a wood floor system, she frequently escapes injury totally. She also teaches and has had a few falls on concrete at the school. In two cases she was severely injuried, including a fractured eye socket. I recently read a study of the topic by an British University, the result was that the elderly have an 80% greater chance of avoiding injury when falling on a wooden floor covered in carpet and pad, as compared to a typical institutional floor of vinyl tile over concrete.

Your $90/ft price is interesting. My costs for a modest ranch home tend to run in the $70-75 range, so a retail of $90 would be real low in northeastern PA. Good luck.
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Old 05/11/12, 09:30 PM
 
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We are building a home in central Alabama right now. Cost is $85/sft and it is a nice home. Custom cabinets, high quality windows, etc. That is only construction--the land is paid for.

That is using a G.C. I really worked to get the price lower and there isn't much room to go down.

We decided on a slab for a variety of reasons. In fact, the slab was poured today. Storm room construction (steel reinforced, concrete filled CMU) is next. Last April was enough to convince me of the need for a storm room.

Good luck.

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  #14  
Old 05/11/12, 10:32 PM
 
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Our builder does only custom homes... he quoted me 105-110 per heated square foot and $35-45/sq ft unheated.

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  #15  
Old 05/11/12, 11:34 PM
 
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Ha! Just drove through Williams Valley twice this week. So beautiful!

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  #16  
Old 05/12/12, 12:06 AM
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The home we live in has a crawl space only. If you're root cellar type people, you might want to consider making part of the crawl space deeper and add a walkout. Now that we're here, it's something we really wish was different about our place and are looking at our varous options. Anyway, just a suggestion.

BTW, congratulations! The PNW is beautiful. We lived in Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA & Harrison, ID combined for almost 20 years.

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  #17  
Old 05/12/12, 12:15 AM
 
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High water table, has your building site been preloaded? Have you looked in to this?
There are homes in my area built on grade with a high water table suffering from serious moisture issues.

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  #18  
Old 05/12/12, 06:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregon woodsmok View Post
Micheal, a modular house does not include the foundation, site prep, permits, systems development fees, utilities, septic or sewer connections, driveway, and probably not the front steps. You aren't going to get it up to the point where you can live in it for $50 a square foot.

I see lots of people fall for that trick with the manufactured homes. They are such a nice house for so cheap! But by the time they get the lot leveled, the footings built, and all the other expenses that are not included with the home, they have spent another $30,000.
Yep, I agree with you on all the "extras" needed to install that $50 a sq foot manufactured home. Even know people that fell for that "its so cheap" type of jargon.
What I have a hard time understanding is if'n I lost my house the utilities, septic, driveway, etc and maybe a useable foundation would already be in place yet the insurance co "guesses" it would cost $145 a sq foot to replace the house.....
As a side note: That $145 does not include contents, etc - just house replacement.
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Old 05/12/12, 07:45 AM
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When you write, "I built a house for...." or "we are building....."or "I have built......"are you saying that's what you paid for materials or are you saying "I had a builder build a house for....."?

Seems that people that build their own homes say," I built a house up north.", but those that have a house built for them by a contractor say, " I built a house up north." Kind of confusing.

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  #20  
Old 05/12/12, 10:52 PM
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When I say $10/sq', I mean I bought the materials and did 100% of the work myself. Since I got the sawmill, I could lower that price to nothing but nails, screws, window, doors, metal roof, and electrical supplies. The truly costly parts of a home's price are the tradesman's salaries, which can be over 50$/hour. That, adn the borrowing costs....

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