Typically home buyers and/or their real estate agents refer to the price per square foot. Keep in mind that this is only a gauge when referring to construction costs of building your new home. Below are several significant factors that can affect the construction price to of your designed or selected home to vary from the standard $x/sf.
Lot & Elevation
Lot selection can sway the construction costs of a home from $1/sf to as much as $5/sf+ due to factors including: the amount of clearing required, amount of fill dirt needed onsite, amount of slope side to side and front to back of the building area, and last, the preferred elevation above existing grade someone wants their home to be. Our typical budgets include $1000 for clearing & site prep and a raised slab on average 12-24" above existing grade. Crawl space construction is also considered on a lot by lot basis. Typically crawl space construction is more expensive except for home sites with over 2' of fall or homes elevated over an average of 2', where in this case, it can be cheaper than a raised slab.
The design of a home consists of many different factors that directly affect costs. The most significant being roof pitch, number of exterior corners (more particularly jogs or breaks in perimeter), gables, dormers, doors, windows, and columns. Tray and vaulted ceilings are also more costly. Our standard homes include 9' ceilings with other ceiling height changes (10', trays, or vaults) typically in the living room, dining room, and/or master bedroom.
Total Square Footage
Perhaps the most overlooked and costly factor in construction costs, at least when referring to a price/sq, is the amount of non-heated & cooled space. This includes garages, storage rooms, and porches. Our typical homes include around 35% non-conditioned space. So for a 2000sf home, there would be an additional 700sf of garage, storage, and porches. With floor plans heavier in those areas, the additional space typically costs $30-40/sf.
Kitchen & Bathrooms
As most people know, these areas of the home account for a chunk of the budget. With that in mind, the larger and more elaborate these rooms are, the more expensive the home will be. Also, in simple, a 3 bathroom 2000sf home, will costs more per square foot than a 2 bathroom 2000sf home. Typically, costs to add a fixture, whether it be a toilet, sink, or shower, averages close to $1000 per fixture. By the time the vanity, countertop, mirror, accessories, and lighting is added, adding a standard bathroom totals to $4000-5000.
In summary, don't get discouraged because we know all of the above "additional costs" are in demand. We budget fair amounts for our homes and typically, can help design around your budget, without sacrificing a bigger back porch or needed 3rd bathroom.