27. April 2012 08:51
...is common in resale homes, but can be a very misleading question in new construction! Why?
Different builders calculate square footage differently. An identical home with brick exterior walls will measure more square feet than the identical home with traditional siding.
What square footage was included in the sq. ft. figure? Basements? Attics? Were staircases counted once or twice? Porches/decks/patios? The garage?
What's included in the square footage price you were told? Builder's included features vary widely. Wood floors and stone countertops make a home cost more per square foot than the same design with vinyl flooring and laminate tops.
Your choices have a huge impact on your cost per square foot. You will probably make many selections for your home. Iron staircase spindles and expensive appliances don't add to a home's square footage but do add to it's cost per square foot.
Land costs are a BIG component in a cost per square foot number. Was the homesite included in the cost per sq. ft. price quoted? A "premium" homesite will increase the cost per square foot (if land costs are included) compared with a "standard" lot.
When evaluating potential home builders, be sure you are comparing bids based on similar grounds. Don't get fooled by a low cost per square foot up front. And then pay for it later when you close on your new home.