Estimating the Cost to Build My Own Home

Estimating the Cost to Build My Own Home

Q: Is there an easy way to figure cost per square foot before I start to look for house plans?

A: Yes. On page 19 of Be Your Own House Contractor, I describe the trick of estimating the approximate cost per square foot to build anywhere in the USA.

Q: How long will it take me to complete the cost estimate found on page 33 of Be Your Own House Contractor?

A: Weeks for some, months for others. Some suppliers carry almost everything you need to build a house under one roof. I didn't have this luxury back in the dark ages when I started. It also depends on how fast you can find good subcontractors. Read the chapter on subs carefully. Usually, word of mouth about one from the other (called networking today) is the fastest.

Q: We just finished our first estimate for a set of plans we thought was going to be our dream house. It's way too expensive. Our dream is turning into a nightmare! What to do?

A: Happens to all of us. If your preliminary estimating indicated you could afford the cost per square foot of that house, you merely need to sharpen your pencil and keep shopping. Prices can vary greatly from store to store, subcontractor to subcontractor, and brand to brand. This is how a builder - any builder - earns that 25%.