I got this question yesterday, and I thought it might open a discussion about construction costs in various areas of the country, building cheaply, etc.
Where do you get the idea that a 600-700 sq. ft. building complete will run $100,000. I am hoping to get a cabin built , including the pluming and electrical and ground for $20,000… John.
My answer to John, and anyone else interested in construction costs would be to first go to www.Building-Cost.net. I just did that for John’s 700sf cabin.
If you want to follow along and go through the same exercise, the inputs I used are below. (when you get to Building-Cost.net click on “Start Calculator”):
- Screen 1: 4 corners
- Screen 2: 700sf
- Screen 3: All Class 3 – Standard Quality
- Screen 4: No input, all 0’s
- Screen 5: Housing tract=No, Outside Metro Area=Yes
- Screen 6: Forced air heating only
- Screen 7: No input… no fireplace
- Screen 8: Your State (I selected NJ)
- Screen 9: Your Zip Area (Mine is 085)
Screen 10 is the full report, and I have included the totals below:
I can tell you that from my private client experience in the Princeton NJ area, that is about right. And for custom higher end projects, it is definitely more.
I began to wonder how close we could get to the $20,000 that John is targeting. So next I changed the quality class to the Minimum Quality of Class 6. (Change Screen 3 to all Class 6). The results are below.
This was very surprising to me at first, until I recalled that you can double the cost of a small project simply by choosing more expensive materials. So here we have the same cabin with minimum quality selections for $68,958 or $98.51/sf.
Now I realize that the Princeton NJ area is going to be more expensive than many other areas of the country. I did not look at how much of a difference that would make, (it might make a bunch!).
But I think it is clear that John might need to do some of the building himself to reach that $20,000 at the $700sf size.
I would suggest that if you are curious about the construction cost of your cabin, that you run through a few options with Building-Cost.net and compare it to what your local area range of square foot costs are.
Personally, I have found that Building-Cost.net is pretty close in Princeton, NJ area as well as Washington DC and the surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia. I had the same experience in the Adirondacks and upper State NY.
I would love to hear from you as to what you think.
As always, your comments are very valuable not only to me but to the others who drop by.