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Old 08-13-2018, 08:48 AM   #1
mattmass
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Default New construction price expectations?

We are in Meredith and looking to build from new foundation up 1,600 sq. ft. home what are realistic expectation on the cost? We have heard numbers anywhere from $125 - $225 sq. ft.??

Also recommendation for builders in the Meredith area would be appreciated.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:21 AM   #2
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We are in Meredith and looking to build from new foundation up 1,600 sq. ft. home what are realistic expectation on the cost? We have heard numbers anywhere from $125 - $225 sq. ft.??

Also recommendation for builders in the Meredith area would be appreciated.
In todays market where all the builders are busy I would expect the higher end plus, $225 and up per sq. ft.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:57 AM   #3
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Contractors are quoting ridiculous prices right now....You will never find someone in the $125 range! Expect $200+ anyhow.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:16 AM   #4
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My son is in the process of a similar sized modular ranch with 2 car garage, well, septic, including land $330,000(58K is for land). Course if you plan on upgraded things such as granite, tile, hardwood floors, a/c, etc it would cost more.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:18 AM   #5
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We are in Meredith and looking to build from new foundation up 1,600 sq. ft. home what are realistic expectation on the cost? We have heard numbers anywhere from $125 - $225 sq. ft.??

Also recommendation for builders in the Meredith area would be appreciated.
I was at about $125 a sqft in 2017 but Iknow some rebuilding now is closer to the $200 a sqft range, keeping in mind pricing my own subs cause GC was ok with it, and also sourcing finish materials my self when possible.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:04 PM   #6
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I agree, $125 is cheap. You would be very lucky to get a house for that. But a lot does depend on quality of materials and contractor prices.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:33 PM   #7
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For work in the Meredith area, you may anticipate a range of $300-$400 per square foot for finished 4-season space based on a couple of recent discussions I've had with busy GC's.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:01 PM   #8
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Modular would save some money but I'm not convinced the final product is of the same quality as stick built. A buddy of mine had a modular home built about 10 years ago and everything needs replacing already, doors, windows, appliances, heating system, All the cheapest products were used to keep the price down and last just long enough to get past the warrantee.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:55 AM   #9
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Modular would save some money but I'm not convinced the final product is of the same quality as stick built. A buddy of mine had a modular home built about 10 years ago and everything needs replacing already, doors, windows, appliances, heating system, All the cheapest products were used to keep the price down and last just long enough to get past the warrantee.
Everything you mention is something you can upgrade. There are many stick built homes with those same products that will have to be replaced in the future used to keep the price down.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:01 AM   #10
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I've always thought pre-built could be better because they're built under controlled conditions and, therefore, able to be more precise.

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Old 08-14-2018, 07:08 AM   #11
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I've always thought pre-built could be better because they're built under controlled conditions and, therefore, able to be more precise.

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Not only that but they need to be constructed so they can be transported over the road!
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:19 AM   #12
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Everything you mention is something you can upgrade. There are many stick built homes with those same products that will have to be replaced in the future used to keep the price down.
That's true but you have a much larger choice selection stick built. When buying modular you only get to chose from their selection of features which aren't always the greatest. It all depends on what you want out of a home. Modular will always be cheaper but I'm not convinced it's the best choice. If you're looking for a fixed cost then that is the best option. Stick built will almost always come with surprises that will increase the cost. I've built 3 homes and remodeled at least a half dozen others. I haven't seen a modular home yet that has come close to the quality of the houses I built. It's a stressful process but the final product is worth the effort. This is all JMO and we know that opinions are like ********, everybody has one.

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Old 08-14-2018, 01:17 PM   #13
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Default $300-400?!?!

If that is the going rate then I suspect many people are being lowballed by insurance companies on the replacement cost coverage. God I hope it isn't that high per sq/ft! Is it really that high for a modest house?
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:22 PM   #14
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If that is the going rate then I suspect many people are being lowballed by insurance companies on the replacement cost coverage. God I hope it isn't that high per sq/ft! Is it really that high for a modest house?
Keep in mind that the numbers I presented are based on only two consultations. I felt a bit of shell-shock given those numbers as well. As others have mentioned, the types of finishes and how much of your personal time you are willing to put into the project will affect that pricing. Regarding pricing associated with a "modest" house, modest likely has a wide variety of definitions from person to person.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:12 PM   #15
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I am seeing $245-275 per foot on the islands, which it typically more than land based construction.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:19 PM   #16
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I'm still amazed by the attention given to "cost per square foot," considering that nobody buys a house by the square foot or a car by the pound, and considering, too, that cost per square foot varies all over the place within any given house, being highest for areas like kitchens and baths and lowest for broad open areas. Some things do scale well by area, such as flooring and roofing, while others do not. How are attached garages priced, since they aren't living space? They aren't free, for sure. Wouldn't it be more useful to think in terms of bottom line, start to move-in cost, for a house of a given size? Any competent builder ought to know fairly well what any component of house construction costs, such as site prep, foundation, framing, interior finishing, cabinetry, appliances, etc. Those costs are easily tallied with a spreadsheet.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:44 PM   #17
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Agree on the various "modest" definitions. Also that $ per sq/ft isn't the best metric. But its probably the least granular metric one can use to do a litmus test on whether you are ready to move forward or not. Even better would be a spreadsheet like you mentioned where you could plug some dimensions and finishes in and get a price +/- $50k let say. I'd hate to bother contractors and get some quotes only to find out I'm not even close to having enough cash. In lieu of a Cost Estimator tool I'm left with using the cost per sq/ft.

Again, its just a high level litmus test that allows me to get from "Gee, I wonder if this is the year" to " Gee, this might be possible this year, where are all of those pictures of houses I've kept."
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:07 PM   #18
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I am always amazed at how accurate a square foot price is. When it is actually quoted, it is so very close, it's hard to believe. Of course that is once you know the area, the quality you want, and size.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #19
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I agree that cost per square foot may not be the best metric. However, for reference, in 2012 we tore down a small waterfront house and built a new home. Builder was a well-known local contractor. Final construction cost was in the $190 to $200 per square foot range for turnkey move in condition, exclusive of surveyor and architect fees. Obviously this does not include the value of the land. Work was completed in 8 months in 2013. This included demolition of existing structure, all site work, including multiple days of blasting, new well, new septic, hardwood and tile flooring on first floor and some wall to wall and above average laminate on second floor, whole house generator, gas fireplace with stonework, granite steps, paved driveway, above average vinyl shingle siding, security system, all building systems and HVAC, all appliances, bath fixtures, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, vanities, kitchen island and counter and island tops. I am sure I have left out some items, but it was in "move the furniture in" condition. Two floors of finished living space, 3 bathrooms, a full, but unfinished, walk out basement and attached 2 car garage and basic landscaping with bark mulch. Finishes are what I would call above average, but not extravagant. So extrapolate from there for current per square foot costs. One caveat, in 2012 it was my impression that local builders were more hungry for a fall through spring job than they might be now.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I agree that cost per square foot may not be the best metric. However, for reference, in 2012 we tore down a small waterfront house and built a new home. Builder was a well-known local contractor. Final construction cost was in the $190 to $200 per square foot range for turnkey move in condition, exclusive of surveyor and architect fees. Obviously this does not include the value of the land. Work was completed in 8 months in 2013. This included demolition of existing structure, all site work, including multiple days of blasting, new well, new septic, hardwood and tile flooring on first floor and some wall to wall and above average laminate on second floor, whole house generator, gas fireplace with stonework, granite steps, paved driveway, above average vinyl shingle siding, security system, all building systems and HVAC, all appliances, bath fixtures, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, vanities, kitchen island and counter and island tops. I am sure I have left out some items, but it was in "move the furniture in" condition. Two floors of finished living space, 3 bathrooms, a full, but unfinished, walk out basement and attached 2 car garage and basic landscaping with bark mulch. Finishes are what I would call above average, but not extravagant. So extrapolate from there for current per square foot costs. One caveat, in 2012 it was my impression that local builders were more hungry for a fall through spring job than they might be now.
Most builders were still starving in 2012, esp in the lakes region.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:49 AM   #21
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I got mine done in moultonborough for $103/sqft back in 2012. Keep in mind, we are talking a 1500sqft cape with garage under. Basic home. Also, did some finish work in the upstairs master bed/bath and all painting myself. Siding was vinyl. It came out great and no complaints. Love the house. I've been told now by the same builder its more like 150-200sqft and at least a years wait if I want to build another house. Everyone is out straight. Now, I'm just trying to figure how I can get a deck/detached garage built for less than what it costs to build the house
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:26 PM   #22
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Question for those that have built new homes in the last several years. When did you start the process with the desired completion time in mind and what was the first step to starting the process? I already have land with a perc test done and the town telling me I can get a permit. I have reached out to a couple builders but I can't seem to get a straight answer.

Did you line up a construction loan and then look for a builder or the other way around? How long did it take to break ground? Year or two? Stuff like that. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:41 PM   #23
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Question for those that have built new homes in the last several years. When did you start the process and what was the first step to starting the process? I already have land with a perc test done and the town telling me I can get a permit. I have reached out to a couple builders but I can't seem to get a straight answer.

Did you line up a construction loan and then look for a builder or the other way around? How long did it take to break ground? Year or two? Stuff like that. Thanks.


From start to finish 11 months, I was told 9 by the builder initially. I found my builder then went for construction loan but either way works as long as funds are available when you are ready to start.


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Old 08-15-2018, 10:03 PM   #24
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Homewood. Each case is different but for us a simplification of the steps was: Survey to determine building area envelope without the need for any variances and likely location of new well and septic. Then consultation with an architect to develop building plans and specifications. Then meeting with bank to determine financial feasibility - maximum amount of loan we could reasonably expect assuming all underwriting criteria were met. Then shoreland and septic applications and approvals. Then fine tune and finalize details with architect and produce construction drawings and specifications. Then, and for us this was critical: Narrowed down list of local builders to three and sent them the plans and specifications and had them bid, with instructions not to make any changes to the plans and specifications. Thus we were comparing apples to apples when we got the bids back. Chose the builder we felt good about and who by the way had the middle bid. Got final bank approval and signed contract. We did make some relatively minor changes to the plan based on valuable input from the builder. In terms of timing, started survey process in late 2011, first meeting with architect in March of 2012. Plans and specifications done by May of 2012. State and town approvals in June, signed contract in late July, 2012. Job started in October and got certificate of occupancy in late May, 2013. We could probably have shortened the survey and architect time but we chose not to. Worked out very well for us.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:52 AM   #25
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If I was building now, I would line my builder up asap. They are so busy, it is very hard to get them. If you can get somebody you need to wonder if you were just lucky or something happened to a job so that he has time, or is he somebody you really might not want to use.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:40 AM   #26
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Default Pre fab

As a project manager I know for a fact if you look into prefab or modular construction you can save money. Build quality are must better than most of the stick built homes today.

Don't believe the story that town's building codes prohibit modular or prefab homes. If the construction eliminate the frame used for transportation than it is not a mobile home.

Go to bensonwood.com for examples of prefab construction. A number of the mcmansions on the lake are prefab!
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:40 AM   #27
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Arrow Stick-Built vs. Modular...

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Originally Posted by Biggd View Post
Modular would save some money but I'm not convinced the final product is of the same quality as stick built. A buddy of mine had a modular home built about 10 years ago and everything needs replacing already, doors, windows, appliances, heating system, All the cheapest products were used to keep the price down and last just long enough to get past the warrantee.
Modular is the go-to build in "Hurricane Country".

About half of the stick-built homes in my Florida subdivision didn't survive Hurricane Irma. One, that did survive, had a steel garage door crushed into a ball, then three walls downstairs subsequently blew out.

All of the homes, including the three new modular homes, did suffer water damage to the interior (drywall).

Unforeseen was that (the usual) soffit vents opened up the interior to wind-driven rain- and salt-water which thoroughly soaked the interior drywall.

(My homeowner-built, stick-built home didn't have or need soffit vents).

The new modulars' doors and windows held, but all the modular homes did lose some roofing materials off their roofs.

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Old 08-16-2018, 12:38 PM   #28
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As a project manager I know for a fact if you look into prefab or modular construction you can save money. Build quality are must better than most of the stick built homes today.

Don't believe the story that town's building codes prohibit modular or prefab homes. If the construction eliminate the frame used for transportation than it is not a mobile home.

Go to bensonwood.com for examples of prefab construction. A number of the mcmansions on the lake are prefab!
And you'l be in your home sooner than a stick built.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:01 PM   #29
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Check out Bensonwoods....builds timberframes in area and can prefab over winter and put it up quickly in Spring. Pricey, but much higher quality than stick built or typical prefabs out there.
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