Sign in to follow this  
Johno

How much does it cost to build a new house?

Recommended Posts

Johno

How much does it cost to build a new house per square feet or per square meter in Canada? Are there any members here who have done it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

It's a very difficult question to answer in any country due to the variables - location (labour supply as well as site accessibility), design of house (complexity), materials (stone, stucco, brick, board cladding, vinyl, aluminum siding etc), the builder selected (no different to comparing cost of a Ferrari to a Ford), and the inside finishes - you can literally spend a million more on two identical homes.

We built two years ago - 80km outside Toronto. Excluding land we spent around $150 per square foot. It was a large home with finishes on the higher end. So would assume you could get costs down to around $130 (I'm guessing).

If we built closer to Toronto their builders would've charged much more (supply - demand).

Edited by Jules

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Old Van

I've explored the idea of building. Even before I moved here, I was trying to figure out if building is worthwhile considering. I've research using a contractor, or getting a modular home, or doing a lot of things myself, etc.

In 6 years of research (since 2008), here's what I've figured out:

1 - The land will most likely be the most expensive item of the project (Depending on location I suppose)

2 - Every company and business in Canada is designed to squeeze yet another dollar out of you.

3 - Take the estimated cost and double it. It may get you close to reality.

I got estimates from a few companies. I was most interested in Viceroy homes and Linwood custom homes. I got really excited when I saw their prices and thought we are going to build our dream home on our dream property. Then I realized that the add-ons (you know, those luxury "extras" such as running water, heating, doors and windows, a roof, etc.) was going to add so much to the initial price that it was going to kill my idea. :(

Sorry, if that sounds negative, and I'm sure there are success stories, but this is my biggest annoyance with Canada in the 5 years that I've lived here, and that is that nothing is ever spelled out clearly with any purchase. All the hidden costs and fees just to drive profit up is driving me insane!

I think I'm moving to the Yukon and building a cabin with my own hand and materials, and living off the grid!!!!!!!!! :lol:

Edited by Old Van

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelline

Living off the grid is a dream of ours Old Van... don't mock my dream!!! :P:rolleyes::ilikeit:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Old Van

Neline, no mocking whatsoever! We are thinking of doing it for at least 6 months of the year! And then living amongst these commies in the Lower Mainland for the other 6 months. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ENGinCT

Van, in all your research, did you perhaps investigate - where's the nearest affordable 'rural' land, off-grid yet not too far from a proper road and not too far from metro Vancouver?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Old Van

ENGinCT, you know what, I saw some beautiful properties in the Merritt area and the Princeton area, not too far away from everything, but rural enough and quite affordable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnelleR2008

Friends of ours built last year. They kept the cost down by doing a lot of the work themselves. They are a family of HARD workers and it paid off for them. I could ask her if you like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Old Van

I wanted to build this house:

http://www.viceroy.com/models/panoramics/528673

I was trying to get in under $550,000 total. The quoted price was $234,360-00. I was elated, and then I figured out that it is basically a structure that is not habitable. After working through everything that needed to be done to get to a finished house, the final cost was $489,240-00. And then a piece of land (10800 sqft) in the area I was looking started at $300,000, but ended up being closer to $500,000 after all the necessary connection fees, taxes, lawyers etc. was added. So I just shopped around for a house that fit my budget. I don't have an issue if the hidden costs are, maybe 10%, but more than double is a bit of a shock.

Not exactly how I planned it! :o

Sort of like my $19-99/day U-Haul that cost me $60-00 for less than an hour. :P

Edited by Old Van

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ENGinCT

That is indeed shocking Van, but more to your point, I was also quite surprised to find the price-gouging which is almost endemic here, in general.

It's almost like they really don't care if you take your business elsewhere...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wickmac

It is definitely doable, and something I recommend if you have unique needs.

We have just bought a small city lot in Merritt BC for $60,000 (all the hookups are already there). We looked at Beaver Homes (a package deal thru Home Hardware). These plans can be used as is, or can be customised, or you can design your own home and they will draw up the plans for you. You will still need a builder, but Home Hardware can usually recommend builders that they work with. We are planning to build a Passive Solar Home, very small (~745 ft^2) (but with two double attached garages!), using SIPS for the walls and roof and ICF for the foundations. We do not like basements, so plan to build it on a concrete slab. Once we start the process I can post updates, including costs, if there is an interest.

We designed and built our current home here in Springbank (Calgary) in 1998 when land here was still affordable. (It has gone up about 4x since then!) We hired a small builder that built only a few custom houses a year, and we were very happy with the process. By doing it this way we were able to get exactly what we wanted. It probably cost about $100/ft^2 then, and we had no nasty surprises price-wise, with the builder being in constant communication with us. Well worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sparky2

Thanks for the link Old Van, I just spent an hour looking for my dreamhouse.

I think it must be the ultimate - to design and build your own house exactly the way you like it.

We have been looking at acreages just outside Edmonton for a while now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Johno

Thanks for all the replies people. Annelle, I will appreciate it if you could ask your friend about their costs if you dont mind. Seeing how expensive houses are overthere, I thought it good to explore all options: Buy decent existing house, buy house that needs repair and TLC and then DIY; build a new house.

Seems like location makes a HUGE difference in Canada, much more than in SA. Them building with wood, rather than brick, is obviously new to me/us and I am educating myself. I am amazed that there is some land in rural areas going for similar if not cheaper than here in SA when compared. I reckon one could buy a few hectares outside of town and build your own place as it is safe to do so.

Check out this website - I would easily build myself such a small get-away place on a few acres on rural land. Just a quirky fun cheap! home idea @ C$22,000, I think it is awesome: http://tinyhousebuild.com/photo-gallery/ Just love this idea!

Edited by Johno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Old Van

Wickmac, I would be VERY interested to see how your project develops, and what the final cost vs budget ends up at. I also looked at the Home Hardware custom (or modular) homes, and they seemed very affordable. If they stay close to the advertised prices it would certainly help me, even if it is just to restore my faith in businesses in Canada that may exist who don't hide so many costs that the end price is twice the budget. The gouging could be just a Lower Mainland thing.

Edited by Old Van

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

I wanted to build this house:

http://www.viceroy.com/models/panoramics/528673

I was trying to get in under $550,000 total. The quoted price was $234,360-00. I was elated, and then I figured out that it is basically a structure that is not habitable. After working through everything that needed to be done to get to a finished house, the final cost was $489,240-00. And then a piece of land (10800 sqft) in the area I was looking started at $300,000, but ended up being closer to $500,000 after all the necessary connection fees, taxes, lawyers etc. was added. So I just shopped around for a house that fit my budget. I don't have an issue if the hidden costs are, maybe 10%, but more than double is a bit of a shock.

Not exactly how I planned it! :o

Sort of like my $19-99/day U-Haul that cost me $60-00 for less than an hour. :P

That construction price comes out at around $250 per square foot. We paid around $150.

That huge difference illustrates what location can do to build price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

It is definitely doable, and something I recommend if you have unique needs.

We are planning to build a Passive Solar Home, very small (~745 ft^2) (but with two double attached garages!), using SIPS for the walls and roof and ICF for the foundations. We do not like basements, so plan to build it on a concrete slab. Once we start the process I can post updates, including costs, if there is an interest.

Wickmac, for my new home I am also going the ICF – Insulated Concrete Forms and SIPS – Structural Insulated Panel System. Still deciding if I want to go ICF basement to roof with SIPS Roof or ICF basement only and SIPS walls and roof? Using a combination of ICF and SIPS provides an extremely energy efficient home with the added advantage of great sound attenuation both within the home and from street noise.

For those interested here are links that explain the concept of ICF Home Construction: http://tinyurl.com/n6blz8v , SIPS Home Construction: http://www.insulspan.com/ , and Stick/Stud Built Home Construction, photo's to explain the concept: http://tinyurl.com/orgydbq , ;) they say a picture paints a thousand words

From a cost perspective my research shows that ICF and SIPS is approximately 5% to 10% more expensive to build than a Stick / Stud Built Home. For ICF and SIPS construction the building materials are more expensive with savings on labour. They can put up a 2500 sq.ft SIPS home in just over a week. With ICF and SIPS construction your long term savings are realized on costs to heat the home. My research has shown cost saving figures of 40% to 60%.

For more information you can Google; SIPS and ICF. I will post additional information as it becomes available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wickmac

Check out this website - I would easily build myself such a small get-away place on a few acres on rural land. Just a quirky fun cheap! home idea @ C$22,000, I think it is awesome: http://tinyhousebuild.com/photo-gallery/ Just love this idea!

I love Tiny Homes! They are quite popular in the US and starting to be more known here in Canada, especially in BC. There is a new TV channel called FYI that has a program called Tiny Homes Nation where you follow them designing and building customised homes for people. Amazing what they can fit in to these places!

Something else to consider would be manufactured or modular homes (one would have to check the bylaws to see what is permissible in your planned jurisdiction). Some of them are placed on permanent concrete foundations as with a "normal" house while others are put onto metal pylons. It would be important to only get information from a company the province in which you plan to live, as the regulations differ. Some of them are really very nice, and an average price would be about $100,000 to $150,000 for a 3 bed home. I have web links for BC companies if anyone is interested. And land is of course certainly cheaper outside the larger cities. Acreages are not expensive an hour or so away, or smaller towns are worth exploring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wickmac

Wickmac, for my new home I am also going the ICF – Insulated Concrete Forms and SIPS – Structural Insulated Panel System. Still deciding if I want to go ICF basement to roof with SIPS Roof or ICF basement only and SIPS walls and roof? Using a combination of ICF and SIPS provides an extremely energy efficient home with the added advantage of great sound attenuation both within the home and from street noise.

For those interested here are links that explain the concept of ICF Home Construction: http://tinyurl.com/n6blz8v , SIPS Home Construction: http://www.insulspan.com/ , and Stick/Stud Built Home Construction, photo's to explain the concept: http://tinyurl.com/orgydbq , ;) they say a picture paints a thousand words

From a cost perspective my research shows that ICF and SIPS is approximately 5% to 10% more expensive to build than a Stick / Stud Built Home. For ICF and SIPS construction the building materials are more expensive with savings on labour. They can put up a 2500 sq.ft SIPS home in just over a week. With ICF and SIPS construction your long term savings are realized on costs to heat the home. My research has shown cost saving figures of 40% to 60%.

For more information you can Google; SIPS and ICF. I will post additional information as it becomes available.

We were going to use only ICF, but believe it to be more expensive. Certainly the sound attenuation is better with ICF vs. SIPS which is important to us (especially moving from the quiet of an acreage to a city lot!) but will go with SIPS because of the price, knowing that it will still be much better in that regard than stick-build. When we get the plans drawn up we will get quotes for both in case we are mistaken. Also of course the ICF will withstand tornadoes and hurricanes better (but that isn't of concern for us), but then again SIPS is still far superior to wood-frame in this regard.

It is difficult to really compare prices because so many factors come into play. Our house will be very simple, and we don't anticipate much difference - in fact we wouldn't be surprised if it is cheaper because of the savings in labour costs.

Anyone building new should definitely pay attention to orientation of the home (think about this before purchasing the land) and amount of glazing compared to floor square footage, and incorporating heat sinks (although just the former two suggestions can make a big difference). We anticipate that by following some of these principles we will hardly need any supplemental heating or cooling, so won't be having a furnace - just a small IR heater for occasional use. I recommend the book "The Solar House" by Daniel Chiras.

Please keep us posted! (When do you plan to build? Do you have land already?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Johno

Dont have a house or land that side yet, just doing my homework on what the situation is. Dont like to pay other people's mortgages and always on the lookout for property investment that has good growth potential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

I love Tiny Homes! They are quite popular in the US and starting to be more known here in Canada, especially in BC. There is a new TV channel called FYI that has a program called Tiny Homes Nation where you follow them designing and building customised homes for people. Amazing what they can fit in to these places!

Something else to consider would be manufactured or modular homes (one would have to check the bylaws to see what is permissible in your planned jurisdiction). Some of them are placed on permanent concrete foundations as with a "normal" house while others are put onto metal pylons...

Can you build a small house on a concrete foundation in Canada? I would expect the frost line to go right under it and lift the foundation...

Might get away with it with a larger home with a bigger "footprint" for the foundation but a small concrete slab would get hit from all angles with the frost and would go right under the home.

BC has a milder climate than the rest of the country so might be an exception.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tracey22

personal opinion - i would live in a Canadian home first (rent initially if you do not want to buy) to get an understanding of why weird things are in the house, and why other things are not. Houses here are not the same as in SA. And to custom build a house costs way way more than if you build a developers cookie cutter. I definitely would not build a home here without living here first for quite a while.

The house we bought here would have never been acceptable to us in SA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this