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Building Cost Estimation Tool

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DiamanteBlu

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In my quest to estimate building costs I came across this tool. It is quite detailed in its output so I found it quite useful.
 

PaulaW

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 26, 2003
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wow, that is very interesting! I bookmarked it and sent it to DH. Thanks!
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
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I''ve been advising people involved in construction projects for over 25 years, and we''ve also DIY remodeled and had a custom home built. Here''s my rule of thumb which no one believes until they''re done building their house:

Before you ever have a building plan or even start schematic drawings, figure out the absolute MOST money you''d ever be willing to spend on building a house. Then double it. That''s how much you will ACTUALLY spend.
 

got2goldens

Shiny_Rock
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Date: 4/14/2009 6:14:31 PM
Author: rainwood
I''ve been advising people involved in construction projects for over 25 years, and we''ve also DIY remodeled and had a custom home built. Here''s my rule of thumb which no one believes until they''re done building their house:

Before you ever have a building plan or even start schematic drawings, figure out the absolute MOST money you''d ever be willing to spend on building a house. Then double it. That''s how much you will ACTUALLY spend.
Hey Rainwood,
Don''t mean to threadjack here, but does this also hold true for building an addition or sunroom onto the existing house?

Kat
 

LostSapphire

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Date: 4/14/2009 6:14:31 PM
Author: rainwood
I''ve been advising people involved in construction projects for over 25 years, and we''ve also DIY remodeled and had a custom home built. Here''s my rule of thumb which no one believes until they''re done building their house:

Before you ever have a building plan or even start schematic drawings, figure out the absolute MOST money you''d ever be willing to spend on building a house. Then double it. That''s how much you will ACTUALLY spend.
DITTO DITTO DITTO

LS
 

purrfectpear

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Mar 31, 2008
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I built a custom home in 1995. Although I had a general contractor, he was worthless and I ended up doing the majority of supervision myself. I came in within 10% and that was only because I ended up upgrading some door hardware and tilework.

You just need to be disciplined.
 

rainwood

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Purr - Yes, projects can come in close to budget and we did it too if you count what the budget was when drawings were finished. It''s the early stages where people don''t usually have a good idea what the project will actually cost. And lots of people go crazy with elective change orders once construction starts. That definitely takes discipline.

Got2Goldens - I do think that even on smaller projects it''s really easy to underestimate what things are going to cost in the early stages. Then there''s the "while we''re at it" syndrome where the project keeps expanding. And whenever you''re remodeling, there''s always the possibility that you find surprises once you start the work. Every project should have a 10% contingency reserve at the start of construction.
 

DivaDiamond007

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I used the calculator to figure out the cost of building a home DH and would consider and it would be about 215K! If that calculator is accurate then we''re obviously priced out of ever building a home unless it''s a modular
I figured as much but DH seems to think the thing is waaaaayyyyy off. I don''t think so.
 

got2goldens

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Date: 4/14/2009 9:41:45 PM
Author: rainwood
Purr - Yes, projects can come in close to budget and we did it too if you count what the budget was when drawings were finished. It''s the early stages where people don''t usually have a good idea what the project will actually cost. And lots of people go crazy with elective change orders once construction starts. That definitely takes discipline.

Got2Goldens - I do think that even on smaller projects it''s really easy to underestimate what things are going to cost in the early stages. Then there''s the ''while we''re at it'' syndrome where the project keeps expanding. And whenever you''re remodeling, there''s always the possibility that you find surprises once you start the work. Every project should have a 10% contingency reserve at the start of construction.
Thanks for the tip, Rainwood
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Nov 1, 2003
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23,295
not very accurate.
It said over 500k for a house a friend of mine built last year for around 200k and would cost less this year.
 

Steel

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Jul 8, 2006
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Very interesting tool. I had to guess a State and chose Denver Colorado just because it sounded like a nice place to live - there was no option for the Emerald Isle.

It was over $500k and having looked at the breakdown I can see how costs could run away from us. But (as you know) we are self-building and for example our fascia & sofit costs are materials only as we fit ourselves, same with kitchen, utility and closet units, bathroom fixtures, tiling, installing wood floors etc. So you can bring costs significantly down in some areas..well I''d better - I don''t have $500k + to spend on this house.

Oh another example - I want nice marble fireplaces and we need 3. I was quoted consistently 4-5k per fireplace. But finally I found a great sole trader who will do them for 1.1k each! Bargain
 

Camille

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 23, 2009
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452
Date: 4/14/2009 6:14:31 PM
Author: rainwood
I''ve been advising people involved in construction projects for over 25 years, and we''ve also DIY remodeled and had a custom home built. Here''s my rule of thumb which no one believes until they''re done building their house:

Before you ever have a building plan or even start schematic drawings, figure out the absolute MOST money you''d ever be willing to spend on building a house. Then double it. That''s how much you will ACTUALLY spend.
Ditto, PLUS 20%
 
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