Krystalin Schexnayder

Looking Beyond the Square Footage

Learn why the answer to "What's the square footage cost of a new home?" is only part of the question you should be asking.


The most often asked question building industry professionals hear is "What’s the square footage cost of a new home?" Looking for an answer to this question is like walking into a restaurant and asking the waiter how much your meal will be before you’ve had a chance to order or even look at the menu.

Without knowing your options, there is no way to know the cost of your meal. Without knowing the choices available in your new home, there is no way to determine the square footage cost of your home. The question could be easily answered if all homes were built the same. Since they’re not, there’s no consistent answer to square footage cost.

The lot your home sits on, the location of your home and the materials used in your home are some of the factors that affect its cost. Cost differences of your new home begin with your lot. Depending on your home’s plan and the type of lot you choose, costs can vary by thousands of dollars. If the home of your dreams is a ranch plan or a home with a walkout basement, you can expect to pay more than you would for a home without these characteristics. The lot’s physical conditions are also calculated in the cost of your home. For example, if extensive grading is required you will have charges that the home down the street did not incur.

Location, Location, Location

Yet another variable in the cost equation is the where you plan to build. Throughout the region, utility hookup and other fees vary by municipality. In many ways, buying a house is like buying a car. You don’t pay for the car or house by the inch. Homes vary in price due to the options and upgrades that you find necessary to meet your lifestyle. If you have shopped for a new car lately, you know there are more options than ever before.

The same is true for your new home. You can completely customize your home to make your life and home more enjoyable. Additionally, product upgrades can mean that your home costs more per square foot than the seemingly identical home next door. To fit your lifestyle needs, you can upgrade your carpet and your countertops. You can also upgrade your plumbing fixtures, locksets, cabinetry, furnaces, windows, doors and so much more throughout your new home to make it more enjoyable.

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