Houzz Logo Print

Let's play a game, name the approximate price! LOL...

14 years ago

Hi all, were approximately six months from starting to break ground on our property. WeÂre poring over our books, fixture/products lists, financial spreadsheets and talking to our friends and family (most of whom have recently built or are sub contractors themselves) about needs and wants. As we all know, you canÂt get any firm pricing information at this stage of the game.

We plan on being the OB's for our 1 acre of slightly sloped, lightly wooded land at 3,500' elev. with water, electricity and telephone at the property. The home (30 minutes from town) will roughly be 2,000-2,500 sq feet, single story, 3 bedroom, 3 baths, w/ 2 additional loft-like guest rooms over garage. The house site will be 150 feet from the road, which will require an asphalt driveway from road to house site.

We know this is a difficult question to ask and answer. We have an idea of each of these line items, but canÂt tell if weÂre seriously under or over priced. We just want to get a feel for where our money will be going. The house will be as standard as we can make it, with few custom upgrades. Will you please post your estimates for each item? :) Besides permits, 20-25% contingencies, and loans (b/c we KNOW what they'll cost), can you see any items or subs we've missed? WeÂd be forever grateful!



Building Consultant


Site Preparation

Pest Control Consultation

Tree Removal

Percolation Test

Septic System


Foundation - Slab



Gas - Propane

Telephone Hook-Up

Cable/Internet Hook-Up

Limited Energy Electrician

Security System



Insulation - Fiberglass

Roofing - Metal

Road Building - Asphalt

Perimeter Fencing - Wood

Landscaping & Irrigation


Concrete Countertops

Concrete Floors




Wood Stove





Finish Carpentry

Comments (25)

  • persnicketydesign
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Oh this should be fun! LOL What part of the country are you building in? We're OBing (more like GCing) our build in GA. It seems that the prices here are VERY low compared to other parts of the least that's what everyone keeps telling me. :o)

    Sounds like you've already got a leg up by having the utilities in place. Lucky you!

    The basics on our house....4 bedroom 4 1/2 bath with 3097 HSF downstairs, 1161 HSF of bonus rooms upstairs, attatched 3 car garage, and two huge attics (because I'm a major pack rat). We're on 2 acres about 250 feet off the road.

    Building Consultant...not using one.
    Surveying...we used the plat on file with the county for the site survey. The required foundation survey was $300.
    Site Preparation...$3000. Included taking down the trees, removing them from the lot, removing the topsoil, etc.
    Pest Control Consultation...$225.
    Tree Removal...Included in site prep.
    Percolation Test...Not needed here.
    Septic System...N/A
    Excavation...We're on a crawlspace, but to get our footings dug & poured was around $6000.
    Foundation - Slab...N/A, but our block foundation was $7000.
    Plumbing...$11,000 for pex. We had already purchased the fixtures and corner tub.
    Electrician...A little over $10,000. We already have those fixtures too.
    Gas - Propane...N/A
    Telephone Hook-Up...Freebie!
    Cable/Internet Hook-Up...Freebie! Thank you Comcast.
    Limited Energy Electrician...N/A
    Security System...$600
    Framing...I adore my framer. He gave us a REALLY low estimate during the slow season. When we were finally ready to start he was slammed and back to charging his normal fees. He stuck to the original estimate that he gave us although it should have been nearly double the price. Are you ready? $25,000. Jump back, pussycat!!! These guys were INCREDIBLE and our house is solid as a rock. I will never build another house unless it's with them again.
    Windows/Doors...We went with Simonton windows. $5,800. The French doors, fixed doors, and 1/2 round from Therma Tru added another $2300. Our front door is an eliptical 6X8 mahogany full glass with wrought iron. Another great off season buy....$1999.
    Insulation - Fiberglass...$5000. R-19 in the floors, R-30 in the attic walls , blown in the attics. A little upgraded here & there with HD & sound proofing to some rooms, but nothing too fancy. Includes poly seal & caulking.
    Roofing - Metal...N/A. We couldn't afford it, although it was my first choice. We went with architectural Elk/GAF in Weatherwood. Total for shingles and install was $7300.
    Road Building - Asphalt...OH BOY!!! I got an estimate on Friday from a guy who told me that the cost difference between concrete and asphalt is virtually non-existant. He said it would run around $30,000. YIKES!!! I think he's full of it. DH is actually meeting with a gentleman right now (on a Sunday afternoon) to get another estimate. I'll let you if this guy is totally insane too.
    Perimeter Fencing - Wood...No fences for me.
    Landscaping & Irrigation...BIL does landscaping for a living, so we're hoping for a nice house warming gift from him. LOL David, if you're reading this...that Japanese Maple would be fabu outside of the MB window. :o)
    Drywall...$12,400. Smooth walls & ceilings.
    Concrete Countertops...We're going with granite.
    Concrete Floors...Hardwoods for me.
    Lighting...I purchased our lights & ceiling fans over a 1 1/2 year period.
    Cabinetry...Don't want to talk about it. LOL Have a meeting tomorrow with another cabinet maker. :o)
    HVAC...3 Carrier Infinity systems. $11,787. One of my dearest friends' DH owns the HVAC company and gave me a killer deal. I love that man.
    Wood Stove...We're doing a B-Vent. Just had it installed on Wednesday. It was $1520 including installation.
    Masonry...We're using Nichiha prestained shake siding on the entire house. Found it for $265 per square! Siding guys are charging $4500 to install (including trim labor) and another $3 PLF for soffit & facia.
    Carpet...Haven't picked it out yet, but we'll be using it upstairs and probably in the kid's rooms. I'd like to use HW in their rooms, but they all said carpet.
    Paint...I love to paint. We'll be doing that ourselves.
    Appliances...Killer deals over a long period of shopping. 5 burner gas cooktop $350, double convection ovens $375, Inca pro hood vent $225, and my mega deal...48" custom panel GE monogram SXS with dispenser for $1100!!! The folks I bought it from got it in the brand new house they purchased. Wife didn't like the panels & wanted stainless instead. I'm so glad. Also got the new Samsung FL washer & dryer with pedestals for $1300. :o)
    Finish Carpentry...$4300 labor only. Materials (including solid interior doors) are $5276.

  • worthy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    There's too vast a difference in costs from sea to sea to make any meaningful comparisons.

    I would suggest you open separate files for materials and labour. Even if you choose to combine both items from one subtrade, you will have a handle on costs.

    You've omitted cleanup. From stripping concrete to final cleaning, it's a continual job. I can't stand to see people working in a mess. Not cleaning regularly promotes sloppy workmanship, carelessness, waste and unsafe work practices.

  • Related Discussions

    Let's play a game, find the trash


    Comments (8)
    What an interesting piece! Fire extinguisher Bug sprayer Circuit board Old Snoopy Can opener Is that a cookie press? Brass horn Wheels some kind of spring Hosing of some sort Ceiling fan blades Cabinet pull? I read somewhere that the definition of trash is a lack of imagination. I can see this artist definitely has no lack of imagination. Renata
    ...See More

    Brain teaser Game....come and play


    Comments (109)
    lol! the brain out of the Operation game 2) a muffler 3) paint brush 4) coin purse 5) watch 6) Mr. Potato head 7) vitamins 8) chocolate kisses 9)turtle neck sweater a coat long underwear gloves heat plane ticket PICTURE of brug cuttings Halloween candy candy jar sign for the beach greeting card ribbon paint brush stapler piggy bank candle eraser juniper berries dental floss hole punch corkscrew nose ring notepad notebook rock garden journal labels plant ties plant tags knife face mask cough syrup knife incence funnel padlock watering glass bulb scrub brush jig-saw puzzle fireplace matches Basket Brush Cheese slicer Citrus juicer Coat hook(s) Dice Door stop Egg slicer Fruit slicer Garlic peeler Garlic press Glue gun Grocery bag holder Letter opener Music box Night light Organizer Safety pins Soldering iron Splatter guard/screen Tongs Torch Trivet Yarn Book Bumper sticker Comb Coupons Drain stopper Extension cord Harmonica Key board cover Key chain Pencil/pen holder Plastic cups Popcorn Pumice Rainbow Ring Safety glasses Sling shot Slinky Spray bottle Star Telescope Tent Tissue Towel sorry for repeats!
    ...See More

    Lets play the id game (Think I have most of them down)


    Comments (16)
    #15 Portulacaria Afra #29 Euphorbia Snowflakes is a polygona #31 Not 100 % as they have so many looks to be the same as Aloe Cristmas carol. This post was edited by nomen_nudum on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 6:13
    ...See More

    Let's Play a Game - Christmas Movies!


    Comments (39)
    The one I was thinking of with the Christmas rose of was called Gift of Love, A Christmas story. Angela Lansbury, Lee Remick and Polly Holliday (who played Flo in tv show) Alice starred in it. I sat and bawled when I watched it and now might watch it again if I can find it on DVD. I love The House Without a Christmas Tree too. Kathy
    ...See More
  • robin0919
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    persnink.....where in the world did you get double ovens for $375??????????????

    hale....what part of the country are you in? Makes a world of difference in cost.

  • hale_bopp
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi! I know it makes a difference in where we are, we're just interested in what everyone's paying for these items. I'm in N. California, so we're going to be pretty high compared to everyone else. :)

    Thanks for responding, Persnickety! And yeah! $375 for double ovens!!!??? Neat! I'm enjoying reading your costs! Information like Comcast can come in handy for us- I didn't know that would be free. In addition, there are namebrand items or internet shopping specials to look out for, via you guys- I might be interested too. I'm a research fiend! This all helps!

    Looking forward to more!


  • frog_hopper
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Concrete and asphalt are about the same around here, too. Asphalt is petroleum based, IIRC, so that might explain it. We will go with gravel, which we have now and don't mind a bit.

  • persnicketydesign
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I got the double ovens from eBay. The seller was best_buy_outlet. From what I understand Best Buy purchases items from the manufacturers by truckloads to get volume discounts. At the end of the year these folks list the "extras" at HUGE discounts. They also sell items that have been returned to the store, so be sure to check that the listing you're interested in is new. My ovens were still in the unopened shipping box from the manufacturer. :o)

    I added a link to best_buy_outlet's "home & garden" section where they list appliances, but they also have excellent deals on electronics, computers, cameras, etc. If you want to see all the items that they have listed, click on the "back to all catagories" in the "narrow your search" box on the left of the screen. They normally have a couple of thousand items listed. :o)

    BTW...Best Buy still lists the ovens that I got on their website for $2149.99. LOL I love bargain shopping!!!

  • persnicketydesign
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Frog...we're rather fond of our crusher run right now too. LOL The county doesn't mind if we have it, but the HOA lists in the covenants that the driveway needs to be paved. We're going to try to get a variance to let us wait to pave until the costs come down. I think the covenants pertain more to the people who built inside the neighborhood. We're not inside the neighborhood, but still considered a part of it. Does that make sense? Anyhoo...our road isn't even paved yet, so I don't think it will be much of a problem.

  • frog_hopper
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Persnickety, yes it does. There is a situation like that not too far from us. We know some folks that have a home outside a particular neighborhood, but on one of the lots in the subdivision that fronts on another road. They have a one horse restriction on ten acres, which infuriates them.

    The property we will be building on has no restrictions and no HOA, something that was part of our requirements.

  • tom_in_sc
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Are you on a well or city water? Don't see a water source listed. Drilling a well can be a few thousand $.

  • sierraeast
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    For a well in our area, 10-12K for them to set up, then so much a foot after that, so as worthy states, too many variables concerning location to even get ball parks. Best to get real world estimates in your area along with doing your own homework.

  • hale_bopp
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks for the link, Persnickety!!!

    No well, water is there already. Yay!


  • dannie_gal
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Don't forget:

    Soil testing
    Slab engineering
    Any structural engineering?
    Tyvek & window flashing (generally, framers do not do a good job with installation of these items and it is best to get a company who knows what they are doing.)
    Bath and laundry countertops
    Mirrors/shower door?
    Tile (I know you said concrete floors, but what about: showers/tubs, kitchen backsplash, etc.)
    Debris removal
    Hardware (door knobs, cabinet knobs, bathroom hardware, etc.)
    Independent inspector
    Garage doors
    Final grading
    Final cleaning (as OBs, you'll be too darn tired to do this at the end - it is worth it to have someone come in to clean)

    Any extras like central vac (my splurge that I love love love!) or audio system?

    Good luck with your build!

  • dannie_gal
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Almost forgot: protective film for windows, tubs, countertops, etc. Very important to protect your windows during masonry install!

  • hale_bopp
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dannie, that is a GREAT list! DH is very pleased. Thank you!

    Haley (who is scheduling our first appt. with our building consultant)

  • mikeyvon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We are OBing in Northern Cali - here is ours

    Building Consultant - $0 - we have a friend who is a contractor who is helping us. We get our carpenters through him and pay all of his overhead (insurance, taxes, ect..) for them.

    Surveying - around $1500, all for location of the pg&e easement.

    Site Preparation - around 10K but that includes the building pad and road rough-in.

    Pest Control Consultation - $0

    Tree Removal - $0 we had 4 downed in site prep, rest were me with a chainsaw.

    Percolation Test - $0 on city water

    Septic System - we paid $2300 for water and sewer hook-up. It has since increased to over $8K.

    Excavation - include in site prep

    Foundation - Slab - around $10K

    Plumbing - around $2000. I did it all my self. Amazing what the cost of abs fittings are.

    Electrician - $5000. we had to bring power up 430 ft. that alone was more than $2k. We are doing much of the work ourselves with a electrician friend giving us half of his hourly rate.

    Gas - Propane - $3000, $2000 being pg&e engineering fee.

    Telephone Hook-Up - free

    Cable/Internet Hook-Up - free

    Limited Energy Electrician - ????

    Security System - $500 Spingfield Armory .45 XD Compact (already have the 12 gauge.

    Framing - $30K for labor and I did a lot myself. It was tougher than we thought. 30' vaulted ceiling stick framed with rafters really slowed us down and put us over budget.

    Windows/Doors - We had a panelized package and these were included. We paid almost $100K. We priced the plans with lumber yards and it was close. The windows were over $30K of that.

    Insulation - Fiberglass - just under $4k.

    Roofing - Metal - we have a 40 yr comp. Under $4K.

    Road Building - Asphalt - we used gravel. almost 700' of road was around $2K.

    Perimeter Fencing - Wood - $0

    Landscaping & Irrigation - $0 right now. We live in the woods and have just done fire safe stuff. I did the labor myself.

    Drywall - 10K. Bids were highly competitive.

    Concrete Countertops - doing Soapstone tile. Hoping to be under $1K

    Concrete Floors - doing hickory hardwood. Installed and finished ourselves. $6K ($3/sqft).

    Lighting - have only purchased cans so far, but planning on being well under $1k.

    Cabinetry - 10K custom knotty alder including bathroom vanities.

    HVAC - DIY flat panel radiators. $3000 including super high eff. water heater.

    Wood Stove - around $4000. Stove pipe was almost half.

    Masonry - $0

    Carpet - $not sure but only doing stairs. Will most likely do it ourselves.

    Paint - Not sure hopefully not much. 100% DIY

    Appliances - $3000, we bargin shop. SS GE gold french door fridge $850. GE range $1300. Have not purchased dish washer. Bringing our washer dryer.

    Finish Carpentry - not sure- what ever materials cost. Labor 100% DIY.

    Insurance - $800 per year.

    Soil testing- $0
    Slab engineering - $0
    Any structural engineering? - around $2K

    Port-a-potty - $0 we live in the woods and our rental is 2 blocks away.

    Tyvek & window flashing (generally, framers do not do a good job with installation of these items and it is best to get a company who knows what they are doing.) - unsure on cost. Carpenters and myself did all. Carpenters cost me $38 an hour which included covering their taxes and insurance (they got $25/hr).

    Bath and laundry countertops - not sure but cheap as it will be ceramic tile.

    Mirrors/shower door? - hoping not much.
    Tile (I know you said concrete floors, but what about: showers/tubs, kitchen backsplash, etc.) - not sure yet.

    Debris removal - we have spent less than $100 on dump runs. 100% diy.

    Hardware (door knobs, cabinet knobs, bathroom hardware, etc.) - adds up, most i included in cabinets and plumbing.

    Independent inspector - $0 - diy

    Garage doors - hoping not much. the garage was a surprise. at first we did not need one, then county changed their minds during permitting. We used left over lumber to build it (detached), had to pay $500 for plans and engineering. Ruff trusses, siding, and garage doors have yet to be bought.

    Final grading - around $1000 for backhoe rental. We are planning on spending about $1000 for fill.

    Final cleaning (as OBs, you'll be too darn tired to do this at the end - it is worth it to have someone come in to clean) - we will do it ourselves. it would feel weird to work this hard then have to pay someone to do it.

    Gutters? - $300 for seamless installed. I was shocked at the low price. 2 different bids were competitive.

    Pride of building your own house - priceless.

    dont forget -

    power hookups. we paid $2500.
    fire dept fees - we got out of it, but our community now has around 10K in fees.
    tools, construction heaters, lunch for carpenters during weekends.
    Beer, beer, and more beer to keep sane.
    gas to run generator.
    i am sure there are more.

  • frog_hopper
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wouldn't build a house without a garage, but that's me. Having the county mandate a garage is insane. What the heck is going on out there?

  • sierraeast
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hey mikeyvon, we are building in plumas, next county to you, and currently live in kern. I've never heard of any county "making" you build a garage. If you dont mind going into details, it sounds like you are getting messed with by lassen. Otoh just because i never heard of it doesn't mean it's not a requirement there, just curious why!

  • hale_bopp
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Mikeyvon, that is VERY VERY helpful since we're in the same vicinity. We're going to be up toward Lassen as well. Sorry that you had to shell out extra cash, time and materials for the garage- that doesn't make any sense! Thank you for your list- I appreciate it more than you know! :)


  • mikeyvon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    we are actually in eastern shasta county. Due to my location and size (2.5 acres), the county and us assumed we were not zoned residential 1, but looking into it my property is zoned R1. R1 requires a minimum of 20'x20' of covered parking. We looked at carports, but the price of them with required snow loads was close to the cost of the garage. I paid around $4K for the garage pad and excavation. All the framing and sheathing lumber was extra or donated from friends projects. I still need to purchase the trusses, roof sheathing, roofing, garage door, and siding. The garage is 24' x 32' with 11' height. I definitely will enjoy the garage, but it was one more thing. It will be nice to have a warm spot to wrench on my truck, which is a hobby of mine when I am not building a house. I will also have a nice large wood and metal shop.

  • sierraeast
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks M.V. You probably wont miss the money and would have probably came to regret a carport vs garage anyhow. It will be awesome when your in there enjoying the garage/shop wrenching on your truck and your kids atv's when they get old enough. That's a nice sized shop!

    We are already planning an addition and a 24x28 garage. I guess if the wife would have turned down the plans for the garage, i could have came up with the old "hey, the county changed their zoning mind and now we need to build a garage"!

  • coldnose
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Howdy Mike,

    How big a place are you building? How was your experience using the panelized package?

    I'm also in northern CA and considering going that route. It's still hard to know how cost effective it is at this stage...

  • mikeyvon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    SE - I will definitely enjoy the garage and now I can enjoy the basement too, since we will store all our crap in the garage.

    coldnose - our home is 2025 sqft + about another 800 in walk-out basement. My experience with the panelized package is both good and only OK.

    Good - lumber was awesome awesome quality. Got the package from farwesthomes, who own their own mill. I have some large beams and posts.

    Walls went up fast and were square. We had a gable wall (31' peek) with picture windows that went up in a day, my carpenters said it would have taken them over a week to stick build.

    Lots of left over lumber from packaging (and miscommunication about walkout basement).

    Price was with-in 10K of other lumber yard quotes (Meeks, 84, Moss Lumber).

    Able to make custom plans, change their stock plans, use stock plans.

    The only OK -

    Still have to stick build floors. not huge deal.

    Had two miss cuts in posts where beams were to slide in. We fixed it fairly simple, but it took a few hours of head scratching.

    Had to get engineering separately and then have farwest build plans. Some miss communication between engineer and farwest. It would have been nice if they had an in-house engineer. I was/am not happy with my engineer.

    Roof rafters suck. Took a month to stick frame the roof.

    Mislead on difficulty of the whole thing. We were told it would be about 6 weeks to get the whole thing shelled-in. Perhaps with a crew of 10, it took us over double that with a crew of 3-4.

    No room for play. The walls come square, if your foundation is a little off, you cannot "fudge" the walls.

    Lay-out (16" on center) gets screwed up do to how the panels fit together. Not a huge deal, but slows you down during siding.

    All in all, i am happy with it. If I ever do this again, I may or may not use it again. Definitely not pissed or stoked about the whole thing.

    I am about due for more pictures. We just had a framing pre-inspection today (we were not ready with elect or fire sprinklers). She could not find one thing wrong and was really impressed. We are wrapping up elect on friday and sprinklers go in over the weekend. We will get framing, plumbing, elect inspection on monday. Insulation next week and then sheetrock end of next week and weekend. 12 hour days are getting old. I start summer school on monday. that should be fun.

  • jodierd
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    Where in Georgia are you building? We're about to start in Jasper.

  • persnicketydesign
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We're building about 15 miles from Augusta. :o)

  • coldnose
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hey, thanks for all the info and generous reply, Mike. I've been slammed with work and haven't been able to look in here for a while ... or I would have been quicker with a tip of the old hat. Hopefully I'll have more time to plug in here soon. Meanwhile, those were very helpful insights that give me plenty to think about. Appreciate it.
    Good luck juggling the summer school and building... I can, unfortunately, relate...