How to Make Sense of the Price in Custom Home Builds
Building your forever home can be an exciting challenge and being prepared for what to expect is the best place to start! Whether your family is growing, or you want a place for your grandkids to call home, building a luxury custom home can be a large undertaking. On average, it can take approximately 10 to 16 months, and that’s if everything goes as planned. That’s why it is so important to hire professionals who can guide you through the process successfully.
When considering buying land, ask yourself: what location works best for you? How accessible is the land? Is it close enough to the city? Are home values in the region similar to your home’s projected value? Do the land prices fit with your overall budget for your dream home, or does something need to shift? Thoroughly researching a budget will keep you on track and hiring professionals will make sure your building project is done right.
One of the best questions you’ll learn to ask a builder is: what’s the range of cost for a custom home?
Cost of a Custom Home – Construction Costs
Costs for custom built, modern homes will always differ based on the location, lot size, construction of the building, and material choices. Before considering construction, research local regulations, as land rules and residential regulations will vary.
On average, a custom built home in Victoria will cost you $400-500 / square foot and up depending on a variety of factors. Based on the above estimate, to build a 2,300 square foot home in Victoria BC would cost between $920,000-$1,100,000. And of course, if you’re looking for a luxury custom home, you can expect it to cost more per square foot, depending on things like how much additional square footage you want and what materials, finishings and extras you’re looking for.
Whether you’re planning on building in a rural or urban location, another factor is your proximity to both natural, and manmade amenities. Urban areas typically have finished lots available, whereas rural areas may not. The cost of having utilities, sewer or cable lines pulled onsite can take up a considerable part of your budget, so it’s important to understand what’s included with each piece of land.
Most importantly, the builder needs to know the location, total square footage, and style of the house you’re looking for. The square footage, storage spaces, layout, style of home, any preferred high-end design options, and final finishings will give you the most accurate range to calculate a practical budget.
Cost of a Custom Home – Price of Labor
Also, according to HomeAdvisor.com, labor consists of about 30%-60% of your total budget, so it’s important to choose the right professionals for the job! The general contractor will coordinate the subcontractors and legal aspects needed to complete the job successfully.
- Construction Manager: 3-4 hours a day (at $120-150/hr) for the duration of the construction build
- Electrician: $50-$100 per hour
- Roofer: $5,000-$10,000
- Plumber: $45-$200 per hour
- Framer: $15 per square foot
- Drywaller: $1-$3 per square foot
- Architect and Structural Engineer: $100-$250 per hour
- Soil Testing by a Geotechnical Engineer: $800-$1,800
- Landscape Architect: $1,000-$4,350
- Land Excavator and Grading: $10,000
- Land Surveyor: $4000
- Interior Designer: $50-$200 per hour
At first glance this may seem costly but hiring the best professionals will help manage and minimize costs. They smooth the progress of tough decisions and can support you in saving money by avoiding potential mistakes and costly changes. Keep in mind these are broad estimates and are subject to change.
Cost of a Custom Home – Materials Cost and Finishing Touches
Materials take up 30%-50% of the budget and are always priced out per square foot. Overall, your interior and exterior finishes will have the second biggest impact on your budget when building your forever home. Always keep aesthetics and quality of finishes in mind when it comes to budget.
- Foundation: $4,000-$25,000. Includes excavating, form setting, pouring, and backfilling.
- Finished Basement: $10,000-$30,000
- Framing: $20,000-$50,000. As lumber prices fluctuate, so will the cost of framing your new custom home.
- Major System Installation (air, electricity, plumbing): $30,000-$75,000
- Exterior Home Finishing: $40,000-$60,000. Includes exterior walls, roof, windows, and doors, exterior light fixtures, exterior plumbing fixtures and more. The number of building openings and finishes will affect this price.
- Interior Home Finishing: $50,000-$175,000. Includes flooring, fixtures (plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, light fixtures etc) and all finishings and material costs. This can easily be the priciest part of building your home.
Additional costs could include:
- Driveways: $3,000-$15,000
- Landscaping: $5,000-$100,000
- Adding a deck or porch: $4,000-$22,000
- Solar Panels: $17,000-$32,000
- Luxuries like a pool can cost anywhere from $75,000 all the way up to $500,000
It’s important to note these additions have upkeep costs too! Just like labor costs, these prices are subject to change.
Cost of a Custom Home – Administration, Design, Permits, and Appliances
Administrative, design, and permits cost about 10%-25% of the budget.
- There are basically 2 types of construction mortgages: Completion mortgage, in which the loan isn’t transferred until construction is complete; and a progress-draw mortgage, in which the builder draws money in increments as the home is built over time. Typically when buying a custom built house, you are expected to have a larger down payment that can range between 25%-30%.
- Purchase insurance. While contractors will likely already have insurance, it’s a good idea to purchase your own to cover your project and protect your finances.
- Before you can move in, an inspector will make sure it’s up-to-code.
When calculating your budget, make sure to include the cost of land, land transfer tax, legal fees, permit/inspection fees, architect fees, broker fees, and landscaping fees.
Also important to remember when budgeting for your project are appliances and furniture. Be sure to include the basics like a refrigerator, dishwasher, and a washer/dryer in your budget. The last thing anybody would want is to have a finished home without anything inside!
Our Professionals are Here to Help
Although it may seem daunting in the beginning, don’t sacrifice important details like proper insulation, windows, doors and roofing. Investing more now, will save you money in the long run on your custom home project. Keep in mind that location, total square footage, and style of the house are the biggest factors when estimating your custom home cost. The more complex and luxurious finishings you add, the larger your budget will grow. Be prepared, so you’re not caught off-guard when building your forever house!
At LIDA Construction, our expert team of designers and builders can help guide you through the process of building a high-end custom home, from the initial ground-breaking, to the finishing touches. We’ve been building luxury custom homes on Vancouver Island since 1998, and we would love to talk to you about creating your very own dream home. Contact our Victoria, BC team at 778-440-5432 or reach out for an estimate today.