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Cost per sq/ft?

Posted by cubchiefbuilder (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 16:17

Does anybody have any resources they can recommend on getting a good estimate for cost per sq/ft to build in the Conroe, TX area? We're in the "dream" stage and wondering where to begin with budget etc...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

$75 to $350.

Seriously, so much depends on the finishes you choose, the style of the house, the cost of labor in your area. Where I live, new construction is anywhere from $85 to $150/sq ft.

Probably the best way to answer your question is to look at real estate listings for new/newer homes in the size and trim level you want. Subtract out the cost of the lot, divide by the square footage.

Do you have property?


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

New houses often cost more than existing houses. Custom houses almost always cost more than tract houses.

You have to do a lot of due diligence in your area.

Good luck on your project.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

Texas is usually pretty cheap. No basements, usually slab construction. No difficult regulatory burden.

So you should be on the low end of the range - $75-$100.

Honestly, you might even get a little lower than $75. But don't forget the cost of the lot prep - usually low in Texas. But utilities can vary quite a bit. I have a friend building in a rural area and electricity to the site was $20k for underground but nearly free for pole based wiring. When you are building a small house, the cost of these things can dominate your estimates.

1500 sqft structure might only cost $100k but lot prep, utilities, well, septic might cost another $50k and you make it to $100 a sqft from $67.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

thanks a bunch! We've looked at a few lots but we're so early in the process we're still haggling over how large of a lot to get and I really didn't want to take up anyone's valuable time so early in the process. To be honest I don't want to pay more than 100 on principle but not sure if that's being unreasonable...


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

It all depends on your wants. Only you control that. You can surely get a builder grade home in TX for that money, and even some upgrades like wood floors and stone counters. But, if I were you, I'd learn a lot more about how to make the actual building envelope better and more energy efficient. That will pay you back a lot more than stone counters that you can always add down the road without builder markup. Always put your money into the stuff that's the most difficult to change later. That's insulation, windows, and HVAC system first and nicer finishes down on the list.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

Complete frustration with my HVAC is one of the catalyst for saying we're going to build this time :-)


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

I guess while I'm here I'll ask if anyone has given being your own general contractor a shot?


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

We did the Owner-Builder thing. It's not easy. It's not for the faint of heart. You need to know a lot about construction to realize the benefits of being your own GC.

I would suggest looking for local builders, that build homes in your price range. They should be able to level set what your price range buys, including the "bones" of the house, in your area. That should help push you into building or buying or renovating an existing home.

Know this, I don't think being your own GC will save money. You might end up with nicer finishes, but it's rare to spend less as your own GC.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

Thanks it always seemed too good to be true that I could get what the books claim of 25-35% savings with absolutely no experience in construction.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

We are using a small custom builder. That way we can be heavily involved but still use his guidance, discounts, and access to good subs. I have no experience and I am comfortable that I am going to spend the same or less using a GC than muddling through things myself.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

Wow! $75/sq. ft. is amazing! With no hired help you can't do it where I am for less than $150/sq. ft. and that's with the bottom of the barrel finishes!

I want to chime in that you can see some really good savings with an owner-build, especially if you're willing to put in the sweat labor. I cut my costs in half, essentially building a stunning house that I never could have afforded for $180k. Granted, I gave up my free time, social life and sanity for it. But it can be done. Just know what you're good at and what you're not. Plus, I HIGHLY recommend making a REALLY strong starting budget and DO NOT WAIVER! I went over when I fell in love with things like steam showers and in-floor heat. Budget, budget, budget.


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RE: Cost per sq/ft?

cub......you can save that much as an O/B.....IF you've done your research. Is your job flexible? That makes a major difference. Tx is 'usually' an inexpensive place to build but I've read numerous articles in the last year that TX is having a boom on housing with oil soooooo high. I'm sure GC's are taking advantage of that. That's business.....supply and demand.....wish that were true for oil!


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