Friday, January 20, 2017

Cost of Construction

In 1978 when I started building homes, the average builder had about $35,000 gross profit in a new home, this continued to increase until early 2008 when some builders were earning a gross profit as high as $250,000 per home. Today the average builder's gross profit in a home is about $80,000 - $120,000 depending on the size of the home. Builders can't offer a quote to build your home without seeing the home plans and visiting the building site to estimate the excavation costs.
To get a Ball Park cost of construction, here is a very simple method. Add up all the square footage of the home including basement, main floor, second floor and garage then multiply the total by $190 / sq ft. It does not cost $190 per square foot to build a garage and it doesn't cost $190 to build kitchen complete with cabinets, it's simply an average number for an average home to get a "Ball Park" price. Oddly enough, this price tends to be plus or minus 5% of the actual building cost. Included in this price is excavation, materials and labour to complete the home, stainless appliances, hard surface counter tops, hardwood and tile floors, heated bathroom floors, exterior concrete slabs, building permits, new home warranty, builder fees and taxes. Retaining walls and landscaping and septic systems are not included in the Ball Park price.
The Ball Park price will help you establish the size of the home relative to your available funding. Once you have the Ball Park price, then you can move forward with construction plans and have the builder quote on the cost of the home, a review of the building site by the builder will help them get a good idea of the costs for excavation and retaining walls. The Ball Park cost of construction changes with: exterior finishes, deck styles and sizes, counter top selections, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, floor coverings etc.

The style of home also changes the Ball Park cost per sq ft.
Based on a 1575 sq ft home with a 576 sq ft garage

  • Built with a 2' concrete frost wall and concrete slab is 2151 sq ft at $190 / sq ft.
  • Built with a 5' crawl space, is 2151 sq ft at $210 / sq ft.
  • Built with a fully developed walk out basement  is 3726 sq ft at $170 / sq ft.
  • Built with a walk out basement and a full second floor is 5301 sq ft at 160 / sq ft.


At Hartley Homes our objective is to make the entire building process easy joyful and rewarding. We do this using a system of best practices and controls to deliver the look and function exactly as promised. We also believe in transparent pricing, our clients see every supplier invoice, our builder fees are declared upfront so there are no hidden charges. For more information go the "Cost of Construction" in the header of this page

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