Sticker shock from builder?

Ray72August 12, 2012

We got our first estimate from the builder. Love our plan but really surprised by the price quote. After 4 months of plan changes, it was a shock.

Anyone else get surprised by the first round price with their builder?

Almost all the allowances are good except for one (really low for appliances: $3000). The quote is about 15% higher than expected. I don't think it is unfair, but when you have your mind on one price and get a much higher one that stretches the budget, it is hard to adjust.

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Yes! That's why I'm still browsing around this site, instead of actually posting building progress pics........

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Mine was 8% over. I had to cut out an unfinished playroom. Totally had to cut it out of the structure. We also decided to finish the entire basement after that. So while we are over we know it is because of that now. We'll see how far I go after I make selections on things.

Budget is not fun :(

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Yes, I was also hoping to have the build in-progress at this point, but we're still working through plans and pricing. We were able to redesign our plans and cut out ~150 sq ft without compromising much (thanks to everyone's help here). In fact, I like our newer plan better in many regards.

Don't get discouraged, make the right decisions for you!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:46PM
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My house is going to cost 25% more than I expected, and that's after reviewing all areas for cuts. However, I'm more confident in the price because I've had several builders bid the project. Some gave rough estimates based on other builds, and some did hard bids with estimates from all the major subs. Eventually I began to realize it will simply cost more than I expected, because I didn't have realistic expectations. The complexity of the house can throw your price per foot way beyond more standard floor plans.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:55AM
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I think a lot of builders just throw out a SF $ # and then come down off that. If you get a good builder that will let you pick out more than normal and are capable of doing the work yourself on some things, you can drastically cut the cost.

Another cool thing I found is building cost estimator, just google it. You put in your zip, building sides, quality, etc, and it gives you a breakdown of estimated material cost. To me this gives me an idea of what a builder will have to pay, after checking with the builder its a good way to get costs down, like here Labor and rough carpentry are the most expensive things on the list in East Texas, where up north it might be laying the foundation, so you can search for a really good deal on concrete and fill dirt.

Hope that helps somebody out.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:31AM
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I am still in shock as well. 30% over our expected cost. We have trimmed down all allowances to. Are minimums but the builders fee is just too high it's at near 30%!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:24PM
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We just got our first bid back, and while I had some small hope it would come back less, it is pretty much in line with my expectations.

In fact, it was within 2% of the cost calculated using the online calculator from the Build Your Own House estimator (link below).

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:39PM
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We are anxiously waiting to get bids back. They were due on Aug. 12. I don't think all of them came back on time yet. We have some control on allowances since we are running this build through our son-in-law's family construction company. I've prepared myself that the total price will be over what we have budgeted. We know areas where we can cut if need be.

In addition, my husband is making our cabinets (laundry, kitchen and bathrooms). And, we're purchasing our appliances on our own.

I think we'll end up making decisions as cutting out our wants and keeping our needs. But there are some "wants" that we really want so that will be sad if we have to cut those. :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:39AM
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We are just sending everything out for bids this week. I'm so anxious/nervous to get them back because I really have no idea what it's going to come in at. I think either way we'll go ahead with the bones of the house, and just have to do less expensive finishes than I hoped for. Fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:05AM
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myhappyspace - try the estimater in the link I posted above. If you read through the defnition of each item it seems fairly accurate (to me at least)!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:38PM
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It happened to us too. We were 25% over the high end of our builder's estimate. We started getting other bids, considering GC'ing the house on our own, etc. But got lucky when a foreclosure popped up that was a close enough match to what we would have built that we scrapped our plans to build. Fortunately we were able to get out of the lot we had already negotiated!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Hi every body,
Thank you Ray72 for posting this topic, We also in the same shouse with you.
Our house designer told us the house can go with our budget, but all the builders we sent the bid come back with 10%-25% higher than the max cost we give them.
We decide goes with a cost plus a fixed fee structure. Any body familiar with this system? It sounds good as the builder fee is about 10% ( yes I know they will get a kick from the stores and other companies we use, which I hope won't raise the market praise of the items we order )
And yes, it doesn't take long for us to find out that if we want the marvin clad windows we need to throw minimum another 20K!!! ( the house have more than 50 windows in all size and shape ).
Any idea what should we do with this issue? We spent a lot of $ hired the designer for this home and love it ( my dream home ) and it will be our forever home. Thank you

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:13PM
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