As a new resident to the area, I bought a lot up in Jobs Peak Ranch five years ago. When we finally sold our house and moved out here, we found the cost of new construction to range between $190 to $250 a square foot.
I was a general contractor in Oregon and North Carolina and felt these numbers were way out of the norm for cost and profit levels. So I decided to build my house on my own. Now that I am 75 percent done, my total cost is going to be closer to $113 a square foot.
There is a difference between labor cost in the area. For example, I had framers bid $35,000 to $90,000, excavators that bid from $30,000 to $110,000. I went with the lower bids and you may say quality would be compromised. That was not the case, if you look at our inspection records, we had only minor corrections and if you asked the county inspector, he would say there were no major problems and we made all the required corrections correctly and in a timely basis.
We had this same problem in NC during the boom years and that is when I built homes for people at cost plus $15 a square foot. Doing the same here, I could easily get people into these upper scale homes for less than $150 a square foot. However, the good old boy network between Realtors, developers, architects and builders keep clients hooked into these high prices. They convince buyers the high cost is justified because of snow loads, earthquake requirements, etc…
These requirements don’t even come close to justifying these high prices. Just look at my house, it has more structural components than most and my hard cost is $113.
Basically you have builders paying architects and Realtors for referrals, or the other way around, adding $10 to $20 a square foot. Then there is the subs that pay the builders a kick back. This area is just like the Old South.
DK Construction Consulting