Different Styles Can Offer Various Affordability OptionsWelcome to the David James Homes blog, an on-going monthly series designed to share our knowledge and experience by helping you avoid costly mistakes and pitfalls when building your new house. The wonderful thing about building your very own custom home are the many choices you’ll have available. Most of the time, the decision can come down to desired square footage (SF) verses style. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a 2-story can be the most economical because it affords the lowest price per SF. It’s also worth noting that some of the changes in the way homes are built these days can affect costs as well. But with the right know how, you can get the best of both worlds. Here are just some of the kinds of houses and things to think about: Ranch: Highest per SF of finished area, but they bring the advantage of one level living and potential to double finished area in basement. Cape: Very similar to building a ranch in some aspects. A good thing to know is that years ago, capes were more economical; but since most are built with rafters instead of trusses labor cost are much higher. Split Level & Split Entry: Becoming very popular again. Advantage is value and equity. Inexpensive to build, because of full windows in lower level. Another point is that the finished area in lower level is considered living area by appraiser (rather than finished basement as in a ranch). Custom verses Standard Plan: Tract Homes – Lowest (usually only have 2 – 3 plans with limited options) and unfortunately have limited customization leeway. It can be the lowest because of the way they are built – in an assembly-line fashion where the builder controls the site, location, and building process. The downside is that there is very little “instant equity” and it can be quite challenging to get exactly what you want. Semi- Custom – this is where you take a builder’s plan and and then make modifications to it yourself. Some builders have few plans and typically allow only minor changes. Total Custom – Your highest price per SF. These are the houses that have complicated plans (lots of roof lines, “bump-outs”, etc.) and often require the builder to add a “fudge factor” (contingency pricing) for unexpected or unforeseen issues that can arise. Count on adding around a 5 -7% pad in your pricing when going the custom route. We love questions – so please feel free to reach out and let us know your thoughts. Or you can join our discussion on Facebook. Thanks again for your interest. Next month we’ll cover building lots and site costs.
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