There is no doubt that the housing market in the Vancouver area (through to Abbotsford and beyond) is amongst the hottest in the country.  If you are considering building a home, you must have already done this. Through your conversations with custom home builders, you must have asked:

“What is your price per square foot?” 

“How much would a home similar to the one on your website cost to build?” 

And why wouldn’t you ask, most people believe this is the best way to get an idea of how much it will cost for their new home.  However the truth is that this merely forces the builder, (who most likely has received similar many calls through out the day) to ballpark a starting price just to capture your attention.  This forces a builder to ballpark a starting price point in order to catch your attention.  However this is usually followed in disappointment once your builder sees the plans and finishing selections in order to calculate the actual costs. 

What makes the actual price per square foot?

In order for your builder to provide an accurate square foot quote on your home, the builder must:

  1. See completed house plans, (this will provide much needed interior and exterior specifications).
  2. walk your property to gauge grading, access, etc.
  3. and most importantly meet with you to discuss your lifestyle and the needs and wants of your family

If a builder provides you a quote without doing the above, there is a strong possibility that the quote may increase once the builder has taken the time to do so.  Even if the price per square foot increases by $20.00, over a 3000 square foot home, that equals $60,000.00!   Not to mention that you will feel ‘tricked’ after weeks/months of discussions with the builder and possibly being locked to working with them due to contractual or time constraints.

Not only the square footage…

It is not only the square footage that dictates the build cost but also the type of spaces you are creating.  Depending on the type of room and finishing, some rooms can expect to pay more:

  1. Kitchens – Your kitchen will be amongst the most expensive rooms in your home.  This room contains lots of cabinetry, counter tops, pot & drop lights, electrical/plumbing/gas connections – all these things add up.  Not to mention appliances!
  2. Heating & Cooling – A radiant heated home with a heat pump will be a larger investment than a forced air system with air conditioning.
  3. Bunker Theatre Room – Having a dark, sound proof room under your garage to view the latest Jason Borne film is great however requires additional materials and labor.
  4. Roof – Roofs finished with tile and cedar materials are a larger investment than asphalt shingles.  And asphalt shingles come in various brands and warranty levels.
  5. Bathrooms – Bathrooms have become spa-like sanctuaries in homes – large showers, European faucets, and free standing tubs are the latest trends. The more bathrooms your home has, the higher the build cost.

These are just a few examples of the type of factors that can affect the per square foot cost to build your home.  In order to make an educated decision, ensure that the quotes you are comparing are done so on level ground, at the same specifications. 

Icon Projects is a custom home builder in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley.  We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your home project with you.  Please call us at 604-728-9466 or use this contact form for more information.