Q: How much are your homes per square foot?

A: I get this question ask on almost a daily basis. It is an extremely difficult question to answer. I will try to shed some light.

If you build the home on a flat lot with good soil conditions— it is relatively easy to answer. The caveat is you must keep an eye on the commodity pricing of lumber, concrete, copper and of course gasoline. They all have an impact on home pricing. Most often I can get our pricing locked in for the time period it takes to build the home.

Every home we build we perform a lot feasibility analysis. We have a very detailed checklist that helps prevent those unwanted surprises. We analyze soil types, slopes of the land, utilities, sidewalk requirements, driveway lengths, municipality requirements and host of other items. The idea here is to really nail down those costs that aren’t predictable.

Understanding soil conditions is paramount. You must lay your foundation on stable soil. How deep you must dig to get there is a real unknown. It is real difficult to know by the naked eye. Sometimes a soils engineer is hired to help. Your foundation wall heights, footing widths, how much rebar is needed is all determined based on where stable soil is achieved.

Home plans vary in their complexity. Costs to build can be at all ends of the spectrum. It takes a seasoned estimator to give accurate pricing.

Understanding what a client wants in a home will help determine pricing. Everybody is different. Our system of pricing is tailored specifically to every individual client. When we have a full understanding of their needs we then can give them predictable pricing.

If somebody wanted a quick answer the best we can do is give ranges. To get accuracy it takes time and knowhow.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!