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Old 07-22-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
JNRobert OP
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Construction costs by State

Remove the cost of land, from a purely time and materials perspective how much does this vary by State? I'm particularly interested in a comparison between California and Washington State. Let's say I build a 2000 sq ft house in either place am I budgeting the same building costs?
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:06 PM   #2
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To me..traveling around..building costs vary greatly..Dallas and North Georgia..all brick, 1800sqft...half the cost of a tracker in Vegas...yes land was stoopid pricey in Vegas..but still...

Permitting, taxes..all have to vary alot too I suppose...

For our commercial work (permitting) here in Wa it's a flat fee..in Vegas it was a percentage of the contract...
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JNRobert View Post
Remove the cost of land, from a purely time and materials perspective how much does this vary by State? I'm particularly interested in a comparison between California and Washington State. Let's say I build a 2000 sq ft house in either place am I budgeting the same building costs?
Go to http://www.rsmeansonline.com/ and sign yourself up for a free trial. You get access for a few days, and can put together some localized estimations.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:44 AM   #4
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You would have to look at specific locations within each state. Costs can vary widely from one neighborhood to another.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:30 AM   #5
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You would have to look at specific locations within each state. Costs can vary widely from one neighborhood to another.
+1

Lots of other variables to think about. Homes in AZ typically do not have basements, building codes do not require a 1 piece slab with frost-line footings.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:15 AM   #6
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Cali also has seismic code requirements so things don't fall down when the ground shakes. That can spike prices that other locations won't see.

I don't think there is any easy data based on various locations specific needs for a house.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:27 AM   #7
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You would have to look at specific locations within each state. Costs can vary widely from one neighborhood to another.
I don't know their exact methods, but RS Means does their estimation by zip code, type of unit (whether it's a library, a school, or an apartment), labor type (residential, commercial). You can do rough square-footage estimation, or if you can make a thorough breakdown by trade, they have some fairly detailed data by trade. (It'd be up to you, though, to recognize when you've gotta add line items in one jurisdiction vs. another due to code differences. ) It's better than spit-ballin', but of course, there are limits to which you can read into their numbers...especially if you aren't familiar with their methods. But if you want to just make an apples to apples comparison of line items...I guess it'll give you a rough idea.

DriveShaft screwed with this post 07-23-2014 at 05:39 AM
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #8
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The cost of land is going to affect the prevailing wages of the trades building your house. A house built on a free piece of land in NYC is going to be more expensive than the same house built on a free piece of land in BFE, Ohio.

Material prices aren't going to vary much, but that is only about half of the price of a building. Labor is the rest.
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