Monthly Archives: August 2015

THE OFTEN OVERLOOKED, BEHIND THE SCENES COSTS WHEN BUILDING A NEW HOME

Building a custom home or extensive luxury renovation can be a costly endeavor. Homeowners often consider the aesthetic details of the home as it pertains to the value of the property. They may be considering materials such as flooring, roofing, stone work, windows, etc. These elements certainly contribute significantly to the cost, however the site preparation as well as the behind the scenes equipment, materials, and labor make up a good portion of the cost to build a new home. As homebuilders we know these processes and materials intimately. Here’s a look at a few of the non-finish elements that go into luxury home construction.

Plumbing

Site Preparation
Several critical steps need to taken before breaking ground. When building in towns like Greenwich, Darien, Westport and Fairfield, the landscape can pose several unique challenges to the home building effort. We’ve built many homes on sloping, rocky and waterfront property. Pulling the appropriate permits for these types of lots can require extra preparation and effort. In addition, a detailed site assessment may be needed to determine the feasibility of building on the land, and establishing the best possible location to build. Excavation will also be needed, particularly on challenging land. Lastly, if you’re tearing down, the cost of the equipment and labor for teardown will be a factor. 

Foundation & Framing
The foundation is another significant cost in the homebuilding process. A properly built foundation helps keep moisture out, insulates against the cold and provides a solid anchor point for your home. Foundations are typically steel reinforced with poured concrete. Many people don’t realize that a well-built foundation requires more than just throwing up some concrete walls. Every foundation must be built taking into consideration the specific conditions of the site including soil conditions, water table and even the backfill. In addition care must go into prepping the site to ensure that the base is compacted. Pouring the concrete must be done in a specific manner to avoid air bubbles that could compromise the integrity of the structure.

Electrical, Plumbing & HVAC
Although homeowners are aware of their overall importance, the electrical, plumbing and heating systems are hidden away, and typically serve as a necessity as opposed to a highly desired feature such as new kitchen cabinets. The equipment and labor costs to install these systems accounts for up a good portion of any new home construction budget. Today’s systems are even more costly as the technology has become more and more advanced. We’re now regularly installing smart and super efficient water heaters, furnaces, home audio/visual packages, lighting, etc.

All told the behind the scenes equipment, materials, and labor costs will be a significant factor in the overall budget of any home. For this reason it’s always recommended to hire a builder based on more than just the aesthetic values of their work.