How to Estimate House Construction

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Contractors discussing home construction costs might baffle a laymen who is planning to build a new home. “Cost per square foot” seems to be a mantra in construction business, but when it comes to actually constructing a building, there is much more to it than cost per square foot.

Research house plans and choose the one you like best

Thoroughly research house plans online or at a library. You can also seek an experienced realtor’s help to find various house plans, and choose the one that you like the most and which suits your lifestyle the best. Make a list of things that you want in your new home, such as number of floors and number of bedrooms on each floor to accommodate your family. You can also exclude certain features from the existing house plan, such as a swimming pool, or a customized indoor sports room.

Decide on basic materials and fixtures

Decide which materials and fixtures you want to use in the construction of your own home, such as tiled or wooden floors, granite counter tops, bathtubs, faucets etc. To estimate the construction cost as accurately as possible, use specific product models that you are planning to actually use in your home.

Seek help of a general contractor to compile material and labor estimates

To compile material and labor estimates, it is recommended you seek the help of a general contractor or vendor, since they can tell you the accurate prices prevailing in the market. If you have hired the services of a general contractor, ask him to provide you an estimate on the complete project as well as a breakdown of the subcontracting jobs. Also call tradesmen like carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc to estimate the labor as well as material cost of the project, explaining your design and material choice in detail.

Once you get a contractor’s estimate, make your own calls regarding materials to see if you can save some money by shopping for materials and fixtures yourself.

Use a cost-estimating software program

There are a number of free online calculators available that you can use to estimate the cost for house construction. You simply need to input relevant information about land, labor, materials, utilities etc and the software will calculate the estimated cost of construction for you.

Adjust the type of materials

If you realize that the estimated cost is exceeding your budget then you always have the option of adjusting the type of materials, such as switching from hardwood flooring to carpeting, to balance the cost.

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