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Can we build a house for this budget?

aaronjpoe's picture
We are considering building partially building a house.  Our budget, after land will be about $150k.  
Can we afford to have the foundation, framing, exterior, roof, plumbing, electrical, a water heater and heating installed?  We plan to attempt to do the site cleaning, insulation, dryway, painting, flooring ourselves.  We are looking for a 3-4 bedroom house that is around 1000-1200 square foot per level, probably only single floor and unfinished basement (unless two stories are a better idea).  Does this sound like a realistic budget?  If so, what percentage should we allocate to foundation, framing, etc.  Thanks!

It's certainly possible, in (post #215028, reply #1 of 11)

It's certainly possible, in some parts of the country.  But a lot depends on local costs and codes, as well as the site conditions.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I'll go out on a limb and say (post #215028, reply #2 of 11)

I'll go out on a limb and say "no." You're talking about 2,000 to 2,400 square feet.  The lower number means you have to do it all for $75 a square foot and the upper $62.50.  That's approaching materials cost witha little left over for subs.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 45 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Is the price per square foot (post #215028, reply #3 of 11)

Is the price per square foot about the same for an unfinished basement as for the other floors?

The prices I quoted are not (post #215028, reply #7 of 11)

The prices I quoted are not prices to build the house. The real price would probably be at least double  that.  You can do as junkhound suggested but make sure you budget years of your time to the job. I have a friend who built a house like that but he was already a very skilled craftsman and worked for a contractor doing remodeling every day and was able to score cabinets, windows, doors, etc off jobs he was doing and it still took him 5 years to do.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 45 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

It depends on where you (post #215028, reply #4 of 11)

It depends on where you are.  Around here you can buy a new 3BR tuck-under for around $220K.  (And it's not a "depressed market", by a long shot.)  Dunno what's typical, but I see lots for sale around $30K, so the construction cost of the new home was presumably under $200K.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Location? Here, you are (post #215028, reply #5 of 11)

Location?

Here, you are under 1/2 the cost UNLESS you do a lot more DIY.  Probably more like $300K needed in suburban Seattle area, it is a sellers market here-what is it like where you are? 

Here, there is abut $10-20k fees and permits even before anything is built (permit fees, road impact fees, school impact fees, storm water fees, sewer and water hookup fees, ad infinitum)  - What are those in your location??

That said, IF you DIY 100% and do not count your own labor and are a very jusdicious shopper and frequent craigslist etc. for fixtures and materials and get accepted at a wholesale supplier, you can build 2400 sq feet for under $30K !!!

My own costs are typically under $10.00 (ten) per sq ft for type quality seen below.  For instance, got the $1500 window at Lowes on a return markdown for $190, etc. 

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Low cost examples in the (post #215028, reply #6 of 11)

Low cost examples in the attached photo:

Both upper an lower cabinets FREE off Craigslist (CL).

Door built from scrap pallets

Sink and Microwave were $5 off CL,

Oak flooring was $1 sq ft (10% of total cost!)  

Light fixtures/fan free off CL (except for the LED bulbs, those were free from poco for new construction)

 

Typically have to buy new roofing, drywall and insulation etc, but from wholesale supplier, 1/2 price of big box.

 

Think outside the big box <G>

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That depends on where you (post #215028, reply #8 of 11)

That depends on where you live!

Exactly, it depends on where (post #215028, reply #9 of 11)

Exactly, it depends on where you live the cost of this place.

Note that while the cost of (post #215028, reply #11 of 11)

Note that while the cost of the lot depends bigly on where you live, and the expected style/elegance (and associated cost) likewise is sensitive to location, the actual cost of construction for a given design doesn't vary that much, over and above the lot cost and any differences due to climate.

Yes, there is some difference in labor and materials costs, but it's small compared to lot costs, permits, et al.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I would say yes. It is (post #215028, reply #10 of 11)

I would say yes. It is difficult to give you estimations without knowing the location or the specifications of the area. Just make sure to do your reserach. Visit sites like (blank) and other sites that you can find on the internet.