Estimating Costs for a Custom Home

How Much Will My Calgary Custom Home Cost Per Square Foot?

Building a custom home is a major investement so you’ll naturally want to know how much it will cost. At Copper Brook an early question that is often asked is, "What is your price per square foot?" Unless you are purchasing a stock, production home, it is very difficult to provide an accurate cost per square foot without knowing what you want in your Calgary custom home. Inexpensive appliances and materials will lead to a low cost per square foot. High end, luxury materials will obviously be more expensive. That is precisely why Copper Brook Custom Homes Calgary offers transparent Cost Plus Pricing.

Calgary Custom Homes Cost Per Square Foot

What usually happens is clients cold call a builder without providing architectural drawings or specifications and want to know an estimate of total construction costs per square foot. There is a presumption that all home builders are equal and that the lowest price is the deciding factor.

Unfortunately, this is still a common way to evaluate home builders. The builder then feels pressure to give some form of an estimate. Almost always, that estimate gets blown out of the water once the builder sees the actual plans and all the expensive design choices made. Yet, the client won't let go of the original estimate.

Is Cost Per Square Foot the Right Question to Ask?

What's your budget for your home? Is it $200 per square foot? Is it $400? This is a very difficult number to guess before knowing the architecture of the home, geography of the land, interior and exterior designs, material choices, quality of appliiances and other considerations. Here are some examples that will greatly affect the final cost per square foot.

  • A metal roof can be four times the cost of an asphalt roof of the same size.
  • 30 foot ceilings are substantially more expensive than 15 foot ceilings in both materials and construction costs even if the square footage of the home remains the same.
  • Expansive, panoramic triple-pane hybrid windows are much more expensive than smaller, vinyl double pane windows.
  • Abundant, custom cabinets throughout your home cost more than limited kitchen storage and simple shelving in other rooms of the house.
  • Radiant floor heating is more expensive than a traditional forced air furnace.
  • Italian marble counter tops are going to cost more than laminate finishes.
  • Stone and Kayu Batu exotic hardwood siding is more expensive than vinyl or stucco.

Every choice you make in your home will affect the final cost per square foot. It's impossible to give an accurate, final estimate until all the details are decided. Imagine a $20 difference in cost per square foot on a 3000 square foot house. Even that relatively marginal difference totals $60,000 on the final price of your home.

Keep this in mind: If a builder is willing to give you a price per square foot over the phone, without having the opportunity to see your finished plans, they are not giving you an honest answer.

How to Properly Evaluate Custom Home Builders

Since you can't compare two homes, unless they have exactly the same square footage with exactly the same features, materials and finishes, a reputable builder will guide you through all the steps to accurately budget your total home costs.

Rather than evaluating Calgary home builders on cost per square foot guestimates, before they even have any idea of what you want in your home, judge them on factors that are really going to make a difference.

  • Can you inspect a current home under construction?
  • Do you like the quality of construction of previous homes they have built?
  • Do you like the designs and layouts they have built in the past?
  • Do they have positive reviews on sites like Homestars.com?
  • Is the company professional in all your intial interactions?
  • Are they nice to deal with?
  • Do you like the owner and your project manager?
  • Do you trust them?

Building a luxury custom home is a substantial investment of time and money. You want to work with a Calgary home builder that you like and trust. Sure there are unscrupulous builders that will give you very low cost per square foot estimates in advance to try and win your business. It is almost guaranteed that these prices will be drastically revised as building gets underway. Then your dream home will soon become a nightmare.

Copper Brook Transparent Cost Plus Pricing

At Copper Brook, we believe in 100% transparent pricing to earn and maintain your trust. We openly show you all the costs incurred in building your dream home, including all the designer fees, permits, materials, subcontractors, appliances, etc. Our buying power often gets us substantial discounts which we pass on to you. We charge a fixed 20% fee on top of the best prices we were able to negotiate on your behalf. There are no surprises or hidden costs. If you change your mind and want less expensive options, the total price of your home will be lowered. And, of course, you are free to upgrade any part of your home for the incremental cost plus our 20% project fee. Every facet of your home's construction cost is 100% open and clear.

Looking for a Calgary Home Builder You Can Trust?

Building your custom dream home is a major investment. At Copper Brook Custom Homes Calgary, we strongly encourage you to take your time to evaluate different builders to find a company you can trust throughout the home building process and after. We are happy to provide accurate costs per square foot and construction timelines after we have a chance to know exactly what you want in your custom house. That is the only way to provide honest and accurate pricing. This is your dream home. You deserve to get exactly what you want at the price agreed to. Our unique Cost Plus Pricing means there are no hidden surprises. You know the exact costs for everything that goes into your house. Contact Copper Brook today at 403-287-6597. Josh and the entire team are happy to answer any questions you have.

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