Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions:
:: How is the Square Footage for New Homes
or Remodeling Calculated?
There are a lot of
different methods for determining square footage and you really
need to ask which method your builder (seller?) is using. Most
common is the out to out method -- outside of exterior wall to
outside of exterior wall. This would include the thickness of
the walls, duct chases and chimneys, of course, so you can't go
on inside room dimensions alone.
For example if the foundation measures 40'x 26' and the house
is two stories high then the square footage is 40x26x2=2080. This
would include only "finished space"--i.e. insulated, heated, sheet
rocked area. Crawl spaces, unheated attics, garages etc. are usually
not included (except by sellers who are trying to "hype" the property).
Two story foyers or vaulted ceilings may or may not be included.
:: Why Do Different Builders Have Different
Costs Per Square Foot?
The cost per square foot is a rough "ball-park" figure used to calculate
approximate building costs. Each builder bases the cost on actual
materials and fixtures to be used. Obviously if one builder uses only
hardwood flooring and another always uses economy grade carpet the
"cost per square foot" will differ significantly.
:: How Can Construction Plans
Save Us Money?
It's always cheaper to make your mistakes on paper than during construction.
Something you think you might like could be unworkable, too expensive,
or unattractive when you actually see it on paper.
You should ask several builders
for estimates. With your own plans you're sure everyone is estimating
the same job, not comparing apples and oranges. Also with detailed
plans a builder can give a more accurate estimate. Most builders add
in a "fudge factor" or contingency fund to cover possible changes
when the customers are vague about what they want.
Working with an architect or home designer can save you thousands
of dollars on construction. Another option is a "stock home plan"
from a plan service. If you find a stock plan which only needs a few
changes your builder will probably be able to accommodate you for
no additional charge.
:: What Are the Most Important Choices for
Buying a New Home?
The three most important choices when buying real estate are: Location,
:: What's the Next Most Important Choice We Need
Next most important choice is your builder. You'll be working with
your builder for several months to create the home you're going to
live in for years. You need someone you trust, someone you can work
with, someone who can pull small miracles out of the back of his pick-up
at the eleventh hour.