Percentage cost of rough shell vs complete build

cedar32May 11, 2008

kind of an oddball question.... but here goes: I'm trying to figure out what is the percentage of the total cost of getting to a weather tight shell vs the total cost of the completed build. Say if your total build cost is $500,000 what percentage of that was to get to weather tight shell.... and by shell I'm including excavation, septic, foundation, rough framing, roofing, siding, windows and doors. I'm thinking about 50%... am I close or maybe not that much....??

Thanks for the help.

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that all depends on site work, basement or slab, window cost,siding cost, has little to do with final cost because that varies so much due to finish choices.
last one i had bid was about 150k w full basement.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:18PM
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I used to wonder why no one gives a straight answer to these queries, but now that I've bid out almost everything on our house, there's just a lot of variables.

Spend your time getting quotes. You can get good ballparks for septic and excavation (but know that these items can be highly variable), and bid out your plans to trades and framers. Go to a building supply company (even 84 lumber, Lowes or HD) and get a quote on materials for framing, roofing, windows and doors.

Don't be afraid to just get quotes from people, add it up, and see where it shakes out.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:22AM
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Thanks for the replies.... I realize there can be a wide range of answers and variables that determine the answers.

However, I was hoping for responses from people who have completed their builds.... so the answer would be based on actual experiences....I would imagine people who are OBing themselves or GCing themselves would have more of a feel for what percentage of the cost went to completing the weather tight shell.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Hi, I don't have time for a lengthy explanation right now, but would be happy to share more info later, ours will be (we are breaking ground this month) about 60% to drywall & completely finished exterior except paint. Our sitework and basement are about 20% of that 60%. HTH

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 12:13PM
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I think you are going to be in for a big variance of reported cost just on the dirtwork, and those probably will have no relation to what you will actually deal with.

A friend who hobbies as an O/B; he did the same houseplan in two locales, about 200 miles apart (and we are not talking a big regional difference in cost of labor). He often talks about why he doesn't think estimates are any good until the house is completed. One house was a dream, shoving the driveway, laying the bank gravel, no sweat on the foundation. The well came in where expected and the septic laid out smooth. Crews came to work on time and did a beautiful job; all deliveries arrived as scheduled and without damage. The other house had the driveway site changed twice due to hitting room-sized boulders, then long areas of the bank gravel got washed away in a storm and had to be replaced, and they hit huge boulders again when trying to dig the first foundation and sprang a spring on the second attempt. I don't remember the whole list of troubles, but IMO that other house was a jinxed project from start to end. What I do remember is that the problem house's *cost* was nearly double the dream house. Neither house would have given a reliable estimate of percentage to shell, because everything that actually happened was so different even though the materials and plans were the same.

bdpeck gave the right idea for a real rough estimate, just don't forget that a ballpark figure is a guess not a guarantee.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:31PM
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Well, we're not finished but here's the numbers our builder gave us, approx 2600 sq ft plus bonus room.

$186,000 turnkey (mid to high end finishes, maybe just mid for this board)
$75,000 in the dry, no shingles (includes windows and doors)

I know the #'s seem low for that size, but we're in a lowcost area.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 3:32PM
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We've spent 50% of our loan budget and are through drywall. That includes foundation, framing, windows and doors, slabs, brick, garage doors, rough-ins, drywall and roof. I beleive we'll use 85-90% of our loan which included a 15% contingency.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:04PM
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We are doing a small build, 1800 sq ft. Finished to the drywall was $130k. This included permits ($3,000) well/septic, 4 course block foundation, mid grade roof/vinyl/windows/exterior doors, plumbing (no final), all electrical (including final...since final isn't just adding switches it also includes hooking up the trunk lines & finished drywall. Completed with builder grade (carpet/vinyl, standard fixtures etc.) this house would have run us about $155k. Doing it ourselves we are under 10K which includes jetted tubs, marble floors, solid doors, custom moldings & wood flooring. Of course it's taking ALOT longer since it's just the 2 of us (working day jobs).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 6:08AM
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Lets say it cost 100,000 to build the 'shell' of the house, how do you get that money? We looked into a construction loan but we would have to put 30-40% down these days (which we don't have). Is there any other way to get that money? Personal loans don't usually lend you that much plus they charge a huge amount of interest. What are some other options, please! :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:34AM
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