Why would this be cheaper to build?

farmhousegirlMay 16, 2012

We had a floorplan we used for pricing. We were not happy with the price. The builder came back with a different floorplan (approximately the same sq. footage as the plan we wanted) and said it's more efficient to build and he'd be able to get the price down...and keep the exterior looking the same.

I cannot understand why it's cheaper. It's still a center hall colonial and a basic box. However, the family room is in the center of the house rather than side of house like the plan we prefer. There is a kitchen to the left of the FR, and a study to the right. The FR has an open ceiling to the upstairs (which we do not want) and he would make it a closed ceiling with a playroom upstairs. There is a mud/laundry room in back corner of the house left of the kitchen, mudroom leads to garage.

We used to have a house with this same floorplan. I did not care for it and am not sure why. I prefer the FR to be off to the side so you don't have to always walk through it to get anywhere.

Why would it be cheaper to build this? Why would this be cheaper to build? I don't see much difference in the plan other than the centrally located FR.

In keeping the same exterior and same sq. footage, what would drive the cost? Seems like the rooms just got scrambled around.

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Without actually seeing the two plans, it is obviously impossible to say why one would be cheaper to build than the other. But, a few possibilities that could be feeding into the price differential are:

1) The location of the load bearing walls on the two plans may be significantly different. In one plan they may be evenly spaced so that all ceiling joists (which support the second floor) are about the same length and none are too long. In the other plan, the load bearing walls may be positioned so that the builder is forced to use some extra long ceiling joists. If joists must span too great a distance, you may have to make then thicker (thus raising the level of your second floor with a snowballing effect on costs) or space the joists closer together thus using more joists.

2) One plan may allow for a very simple heating/cooling duct work plan while the other requires a much more complex plan.

3) One plan may have all, or at least the majority, of the wet areas clustered together while the other has wet areas scattered at all around the house. Clustering wet areas make running plumbing less expensive.

Why don't you ask your builder to explain WHY the second plan is cheaper to build? Maybe there would be some way to incorporate at least some of the cost saving features into a plan that allows you to have your FR off to one side.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 12:56AM
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Did the rooflines change? Simpler roof lines can have a big impact on costs.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:09PM
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standard room sizes can make a difference too. If you were planning carpet, or he was, and the rooms were a touch over 12' in both directions, then it takes more carpet (because carpet comes in 12' rolls), same with vinyl flooring...

There are lots of reasons. I'd ask him.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Maybe the builder and his crews have built this other plan a few times and have the pricing and build process figured out.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 7:45PM
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