Return to the Building a Home Forum | Post a Follow-Up

How accurate is 'building cost estimater' on eplans, etc?

Posted by farmhousegirl (My Page) on
Sun, May 13, 12 at 16:29

For those who have built off of a non-custom plan, did you find the online building cost estimaters to be anywhere close to quotes you got from builders? Anyone know what the assumed profit margin is on these estimates? Are they updated to allow for inflation non material costs?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How accurate is 'building cost estimater' on eplans, etc?

We modified the plans a bit but not much. All of our bids have been at least 50k over the high estimate. We are planning moderate finishes, azek trim, anderson 400's, hydro air, and solid doors honestly nothing extravagent just a step above builders grade. We are located in the North East if this helps. Also none of these bids include appliances or landscaping.

RE: How accurate is 'building cost estimater' on eplans, etc?

Thanks Evpho,

We are also in the North East. We are doing about a 3200 sq. ft house and were quoted 850k for a build that is 495k on eplans (high end. We did add about 300 sq ft to the plan, and an extra garage bin (plan was two car garage and we want three car garage), and a finished basement (nothing fancy..just basic). I'm blown away. This was he rough estimate, and we don't know allowances yet. This does not include landscaping (only grass seed) and no deck or patio.

RE: How accurate is 'building cost estimater' on eplans, etc?

Where in the NE? We are located in MA. We had bids range over 300k+ or minus each other. It seemed like the younger/newer gc's were on the top end of the spectrum. The guys who have been in business for 20 years plus were the ones in our budget, which seemed ironic.

We interviewed and received bids from 10 builders. Each builder was given a sheet with exact specs so we could compare each bid apples to apples This may have been overkill but for us we needed to make sure we were getting a quality, reliable contractor, with accurate bids.

RE: How accurate is 'building cost estimater' on eplans, etc?

farmhousegirl- this is such a difficult area (eastern Pa) to get an acurate cost estimate but when we started we used the BCE on eplans too and compared to very similar houses built in our area. We found them to be pretty close -builders options vs. the mid quality vs. high end.
The trouble was what was behind the drywall... and the quality of the finish.
Even some high end builders had shockingly cruddy workmanship.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Building a Home Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here