Building Construction Costs



Building Construction Cost Topics





SG-576 Small House Plan

LG-2810 Hillside House Plan

SG-1376 Downsizing House Plan
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What does it cost to build this home?

We offer four ways to determine the construction cost for a given plan.

  1. Our very general $ sign rating - This simple method indicates the level of construction cost for each plan based on the complexity of its structural elements. This rating is not based on size, choice of building products or quality of finish materials, but rather the degree to which standard construction methods and standard building material dimensions are utilized. Taken into consideration are factors such as number of foundation corners, length of beam spans, roof complexity, window opening variations, length of plumbing runs, etc. The ratings are calculated assuming the use of "stick built" roof rafters and ceiling joists, along with their corresponding beam supports. Actual costs can potentially be reduced by using roof trusses when applicable. This rating system serves as a general starting point from which you can either go up or down depending on the factors specific to your building project (personal choices, regional location, site conditions, etc.). For example, $(-) represents simple, straight-forward construction methods and materials which will translate into lower per square foot building costs. A rating of $$$(+) indicates a much more complex structure involving more labor and specialized framing materials resulting in per square foot building costs at the higher end.
  2. LEVEL OF CONSTRUCTION COMPLEXITY:
    • $ = Simple
    • $$ = Moderate
    • $$$ = Complex
    Each category is further broken down by range:
    • (-) = Lower Range
    • (0) = Mid Range
    • (+) = Upper Range


  3. Our House Plan Building Estimates - A house plan building estimate will give you a general idea of the construction costs for the house plan you are considering. These estimates represent building costs for your particular state and zip code area. They will give you a rough indication regarding price range. The building cost criteria are averages, derived from the latest construction industry data for regions within the US and are based on average quality for both materials and construction labor. Building Estimates are available only for standard non-modified plans. Also, factors such as site conditions, engineering, infrastructure costs, subdivision ordinances and other unique location-specific features will not be reflected in the building cost. These estimates are only a guide and should not be construed as an actual building quote; they are not meant as a substitute for firsthand building costs from a licensed professional builder. The best way to get an accurate building estimate with relevant construction costs is to purchase the construction plan (or study set) and submit it to a local builder. If you are serious about building, we strongly recommend not relying on these software estimates.


  4. Our Study Package Set - The Study Package Set consists of one complete set of building plans (delivered electronically as a PDF File) which enable you to obtain accurate cost estimates from your builder. Once you have made the decision to start construction, you can easily upgrade to the Repro Plan Set/PDF File. When you purchase the Study Set you will receive an Upgrade Coupon Voucher (valid for 3 months) which you can then apply toward the purchase of the Repro Plan Set/PDF File for your plan number at 60% off. This will allow you to minimize your pre-planning expenses while you determine your construction budget.


  5. Our Construction Plan - The complete construction Repro Set/PDF File contains all construction sheets for bidding and building and includes the construction License Release Agreement needed for permission to build from copyrighted plans. Overall this is your best option since it will save you time and money (the small difference between buying the Study Set and upgrading to the Construction Set versus directly buying the Construction Set). Also, builders will take you more seriously and, thus, put more effort into accurately pricing the project.

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How accurate is a Building Estimate?

Building Estimates or software generated construction costs by third parties (i.e.: someone not directly involved in the construction project) only give an exaggerated "ball-park" figure at best. Although they include detailed breakdowns for each construction phase, it is not likely to be accurate and realistic since they do not take into consideration criteria such as area specific pricing trends, building demand (or lack of it) and the all important human element. Building estimates are only a general guide and should not be construed as an actual building quote; they are not meant as a substitute for firsthand building costs from a licensed professional builder. The best way to get an accurate building estimate with relevant construction costs is to purchase a construction plan (or study set) and submit it to a local builder. If you are serious about building, we strongly recommend not relying on software estimates. We suggest having a builder view the plan online via our website to give you a general price range.
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If Building Estimates are not very accurate, why are they offered?

We offer Building Estimates because there is a demand for them.
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Can Study Package Sets Be used for construction?

No. Study Sets are not for construction purposes (as is clearly indicated on each sheet) since they do not include the construction License Release Forms needed for permission to build from copyrighted plans. You will need to upgrade to the Repro Plan Set/PDF File which includes the license to construct the dwelling.
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How do builders price finish materials such as cabinets, bath fixtures and electrical fixtures if a homeowner isn't ready to make those choices ahead of time?

Most of the time future homeowners will not have made selections ahead of time for finish materials, in which case builders will quote prices that include allowances for items such as kitchen cabinets, flooring, appliances, etc. Just make sure that your builder knows your quality/price level and itemizes the allowances for easy comparison.
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What is the grid system and how does it affect building costs?

The modular grid system is a method of laying out and drawing house plan designs using standard dimensional increments of 2' and 4' that correspond to standard building materials. The resulting construction costs are reduced since there is less material waste and reduced construction labor time.

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What are dedicated framing plans?

Dedicated framing and wall panel plans contain detailed wall framing schematics for each floor level showing stud walls complete with dimensions, window/door numbers, beams and bearing walls referenced to their corresponding schedules. Individual studs are shown in plan form within every wall and all walls are given an ID number for reference to their corresponding panel elevation views. The elevated wall panel views of each wall correspond to the wall panel ID numbers on the stud wall framing plans. All walls show elevation views of the stud framing complete with door/window openings, headers and beam pockets.

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Why are dedicated framing plans so important in constructing the home?

Dedicated construction framing plans offer much more detail, clarity and ease of use, ultimately saving on construction costs.

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