I went through the building cost estimator and have a few questions.
The final price you get including "contractor markup". If I was to be my own General Contractor would I take %25 off the total or just remove the contractor markup to get a more accurate estimate?
My second question is I noticed an unfinished walk-up attic on my house spec was about a $60,000 premium (Total 1,067 sq ft).
Does this make sense? It seems I have been in many houses that have large walkup attics and they are in cheaper homes sold in my area.
The "Cost to Build" calculator is not intuitive. It is a great tool to “play around with” when you are in the very, very early stages of planning a home. It is NOT a substitute for getting out there” with sets of plans and getting bids and estimates.
Even touring new construction open houses that are similar in design to a home you would like to build and then deducting 25% from the builder’s selling price, is more accurate than the calculator…providing of course, that the builder is not selling the house at a distressed price due to the economy.
Read my “Cost to Build a House” on http://www.byoh.com/.
To determine the amount of savings you may achieve by acting as your own General Contractor, review some of the estimates that I performed on houses on my “Cost to Build a House by State” page and you’ll see that I deduct the General Contractor’s Markup, equipment rental, and a lesser amount for Homeowner’s (Builder’s Risk”) Insurance to come up with the estimated savings you are looking for.
As for the calculator showing the attic at a $60,000 premium for 1,067 sq ft, the calc is merely “assuming’ the worst case scenario and adding a steep roof, ceiling and wall framing, and floor joists of sufficient size to carry a load, as well as permanent (built to code) stairs.
In reality, building a house with a steep enough roof to accommodate a usable attic actually covers the major cost of building an attic
Carl Heldmann, byoh.com