General contractors help people build new homes from the ground up and can oversee the project from start to finish, from initial concepts and having professional plans drawn up to pulling permits and building. Custom-building means homeowners get to select each detail for the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, finished basement, living room, family room, dining room, master bedroom, home office, garage, outdoor spaces and any other special additions. Many factors affect the cost of new home construction. Once youre ready to hire, out these tips for choosing a professional before you sign a contract.
Read the #transcript'>video transcript.
Zip codes have the biggest impact on home construction costs. The price per square foot of land in New York City versus the rural midwest could be the difference of $1,000 per square foot.In addition, labor is more expensive in metropolitan areas. Floor professionals, painters and plumbers have to charge more to survive in metro areas than in smaller regions with a lower cost of living. All of these reasons make location one of the biggest factors in home construction costs.
Contractors consider the size of the home, grade of materials used (maple floors versus vinyl laminate), complexity of the design and factors such as accessibility (building on a steep hillside) to calculate a cost per square foot for a project. Each house is different, and the cost is always directly affected by geographic location. Construction Co. in Maryville, Tennessee, provided three sample home construction projects as a snapshot of the cost of home construction in the Knoxville, Tennessee, region. All the example home costs include plumbing and electrical in the total price.
1,000-square-foot entry-level home: $149,000
1,400-square-foot comfort home: $219,000
1,700-square-foot green home: $240,000
In general, the bigger the house, the more it will cost. A larger home means more materials, labor and time. In the Marysville, Tennessee, region, the average cost per square foot to build a home ranges from $100 per square foot to $200 per square foot, depending on the materials and additions.
The type of flooring, tiles, windows, cabinets, lighting and countertops directly affects the total cost of constructing a new home. For example, handpainted tiles for a back patio and imported marble for bathroom counters will cost much more than the entry-level options from a hardware store. A smaller home in an affordable part of the country can still be quite expensive if its built with top-of-the-line materials.
Hot tubs, custom-built steam rooms, home theaters, radiant heat flooringall these add-ons and unique touches increase the total cost of a new home. They require special expertise on the part of the builder, special materials and additional time to install.
Construction Co. can build a new home in two to three monthsif everything goes well. Summer projects usually take longer because there are only so many people to do all the work, such as flooring and painting. Planning ahead is smart because it can be four to five months after first contracting a builder before they can get all of the subcontractors lined up and be ready to start work.
Video Transcript: How to Hire a Contractor
'A lot of times, anybody thats remodeling or doing any major improvement in their home doesnt know what to expect. They really dont. They dont know where to start.
Ill pretend like its my home. If this were my home and this is what I wanted to do, this is how I would start. And then I give them scenarios why they might be over budget or under budget. You kind of add or subtract products that may not fit into their budget.
And then you give them a realistic timeline of how long its going to take.
Do your research before you call a contractor. Dont go with the first quote. Get three. I always insist, even if Im the first person they called. Because at least they know Im either competitive, way out there, or way cheap and approach me intelligently rather than just saying well go with me or say youre too expensive. Based on what? Im the only one who gave you a quote, right? Its always good to have three quotes.
My name is Ricc Brindicci, Im a contractor, and you can find me on Thumbtack.'