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Forums Home  >>  Mike & Carolyn
Kansas  >  Cost Estimate

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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 1/13/2007

Jim, you may already have your answer but sending anyway.  I am a new homes realtor in the Kansas City area.  New construction through a builder and realtor runs on average $100 - $110 per sq ft for standard features.  Upgrades to what we call luxury finishes, more wood flooring, granite counter tops, more tile and large baths increase the per sq ft cost.  I am in the process of undertaking an owner build and hope to be able to build for $75 to $80 per sq ft.  I am in the process of getting bids now and can tell more as they come in.  Most of the costs are a bit of a shock as we've spent nearly 10k without breaking ground on the structure yet... there are many upfront permit and utility costs that builder/developers have built into the cost of the land and build they sell you... when you do it yourself... you pay these yourself.  In the long run we hope to come out ahead.  On purchasing a plan, you can probably have a local architect work with you to get exactly what you need.  I'm not sure about Kansas but in Mo. we have to have everything engineered for local loads and code so the plan I purchased had to be redrawn to incorporate some changes we wanted and the engineers would not work with it until it was done.  If you have run across any good subs in the area please share them and I will do the same.



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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 9/26/2008

Hi Mike,

We are still working on our project.  We will be for a very long time.  We are actually building two complete homes.  See Homestead blog. The first one, our guest house or carriage house, is almost finished.  The plan is to be complete by November 1. We won’t even start the second one until next spring at the earliest and with the current economic situation it may be a few years from now.  We are doing a cash build which slows things down a bit. No cash, no forward progression.  I have not added things recently to figure the cost per foot so I don’t have a final number but from the last check it looked like we would be coming in at $85/finished square foot.  This is higher than I wanted but it does cost more per square foot to build small, and the carriage house is small.  Plus we have the up front infrastructure expenses in this figure for the main electric, water and sewer hook ups.  Add to this that we are building in the middle of 12 acres and there are extra costs for the long runs. And I did go with 100% hardwood floors, foam insulation, granite countertops a few retaining walls and were required to completely sheet rock the garage with 5/8” rock… Regardless, it is what it is!  We will post to the blog our final number.

On subs... let me know what you are looking for.  Some may go that far but most may not due to the cost of gas.  My framer is no longer working, his number is posted in the blog but he changed careers until the building industry turns around. Most of the others were picked up from new home communities around my location. Just drive through and get the numbers off the trucks of talk to the guys working on the new homes.  -- Carolyn


Construction Bargain Strategies  >  Wall Insulation Options and Performance

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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 8/13/2008

Hello, welcome to Kansas! 

I have been reading your posts on insulation and construction questions, and while I'll start by stating that I am not an expert on any topic, I thought I'd share some info on what we’ve learned. I am a Realtor in Kansas City Missouri specializing in new construction. (Background in architecture… go Wildcats!) You will need to check the Kansas Codes to see what is required in the way of air barriers and siding. The Kansas City, Missouri codes were just updated June 1st of this year; my guess is that they needed something to do since the building industry has slowed to a crawl and the recent additions would increase the price of homes thus increasing the fees they could charge the builders (especially when they had to re-master all their plans). We are now required to install Tyvek housewrap for all building (permits pulled after 6/1/09), low-E windows are a requirement now as well as egress window being required in full basements (non-walkouts).

Our permit was pulled before this change so it does not impact us. We insulated with Icynene and while we are not moved in yet (we are finishing up drywall) it seems to be doing the job. Our construction project is small; we are building our quest house first (850 sq ft space above the detached garage). The insulation job was large. We insulated EVERYTHING. The down walls of the garage (ones that were not concrete), the garage ceiling because there is living space above. The exterior walls of the house and one interior cold wall that backs to the staircase to garage. And we had to insulate the entire ceiling because the rooms are vaulted.

There were not that many companies that did Icynene, but I did find three and the bids ranged from $4K to $7K. The company we went with did have the lowest bid and I got him a little lower by telling him I just could not afford it right now. It also helped that I was paying cash at completion so I had more room to negotiate. I simply did not have more money to give him. It was the end of the year and I guess they needed the business because they came down.

Icynene does not increase the insulation R-value, but does act as an air barrier. We will share if we see any savings through this winter and take note of any cold spots. *** Take note -– if you go with foam, make certain that the crew does a complete job trimming. If they overspray, they will need to trim the foam so it is flush with the studs in the walls and ceilings. PLUS they will need to clean off any places that the foam gets on the studs or it will impact the drywall installation… if they don’t do it then you will be... so inspect their work before you approve the job.

It is my opinion that with foam insulation a housewrap is overkill (not that we have an option in Kansas City, Mo now). Your decision should also take into consideration what type of siding you will be using. If you’re doing the stick construction and the siding is the wall skin and you're not using foam a housewrap will help… if it’s installed correctly (it needs to be installed correctly to add any value and not cause problems). If you are using lap siding that requires a base wall to attach to it probably won't add much since you will already have two layers (the lap siding, the sub wall) before you get to your insulation. If your exterior will be stucco, you’ll want to use the stucco wrap. On the cost side, foam is a ton more money than housewrap. And you may be able to get the same effect by using Tyvek and fiberglass. (Blown in or batt... I'm not convinced that blown insulation will not settle over time... only my opinion.)

On the construction type, you’ll be hard pressed to find newer construction methods. Most here stick to stick construction. I’ve read a ton on the insulated panels and even watched a house go up using them on TV, and while I’d love to be involved in the build of one, I have never seen one being built in my 10+ years selling and building houses here.

Have you researched heating systems yet? Will you be using a ground source system? We are looking at it for the main house, but I keep choking on the cost. Latest bid was $26K for up to 4,000 sq ft. plus we will add radiant heat in the basement floor slab. Decisions, decisions…

Hope this helps and happy mowing.

Mike & Carolyn

Homestead Blog


Missouri  >  Step by Step

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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 1/13/2007

Hello, I have have many books on being your own contractor/builder but am looking for something that simply lays things out in terms of what comes first, second etc.  Yes, I know this would be a very long list.  I have a high level understanding of some of the steps I need to get scheduled but have concerns over who comes first and second.  Does such a list simply laying out the order the trades work in exist? 

Specifically right now (since I am in the very early stages and have not broke ground)  my concern is regarding the plumbing.  Does the plumber need to do anything before the concrete walls go in?  I am aware that they need to be there before the concrete floors (what I now know is flatwork) to plumb the drains and some other things but did not know if the main water line would go through...or under the walls.  Or should I just ask the plumbers?


Legal Issues  >  I've been threatened with a lien after my C of O

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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 7/26/2008

We are in Missouri, and the rule here is that the vendor has 6 months from completion of the work (which is typically tagged with the invoice date) to file a lien on the property that the work was done at. So it would not matter if you have the C/O and/or closed on the loan so long as it's in the time line. Different states probably have different time periods that the liens have to be filed in, so you'll have to check.


Missouri  >  Suppliers

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By Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO on 6/9/2007

Hello, and thank you for all the information you share online. I would love to see your sub list. We are in the build process in Smithville (Blog is Homestead). I have been able to order some of my supplies (lumber and windows) through builders accounts to get their discounts, but overall am finding prices higher than I thought they would be. I am shopping around to get the best deal, but find it had to tell what is a good deal and what is just cheap. We don’t want something that will need to be replaced in a few years. 

Currently framing is underway, and I NEED to hire a roofer. I have a few questions on this. Should I be prepared (or is it more cost effective) to purchase all the roofing materials myself and then hire the labor? I am assuming so, but don't know. And don’t know where to buy roofing supplies. I have been driving through new subdivisions and getting numbers for subcontractors, but have not started quotes yet. Any suggestion???

Thanks


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