Home Buying in Birmingham>Question Details

Abbytwarren, Home Buyer in Birmingham, AL

What is the average cost per square foot to build a house in Birmingham, AL? Planning on using a southern living house plan, 2200-2600 sq ft

Asked by Abbytwarren, Birmingham, AL Sun Jan 31, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


I calculated the cost to build an attractive home in Birmingham, AL to have a total cost, including a General Contractor’s markup of $35,392, to be $294,496 or $132 per sq ft.

For an owner builder, subtract the General Contractor’s markup and it drops to $115 per sq ft.

Keep in mind that this only a rough estimate created by a cost estimating algorithm.

For more details and to view the home plan follow the reference link.
Carl Heldmann
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
Paul Decarlo: First, as a builder/owner of 2 houses and renovator of 3, I am very impressed with your answers-straight, but general, and you don't seemed to be "selling" anything.
Would you be gracious enough to give me A GENERAL SQ. FT. RANGE for a house that is about 3,500 heated sq. ft., a daylight basement (Land lays perfectly sloped), and foot print is 73 X 57 (Southern Living Angelique). And here's the kicker--In Mountain Brook! We own the land. I would say we would use high end materials, at least in the kitchen, granite, travertine, good appliances etc,, oak flooring at least downstairs and the basement could be stubbed in and finished later. We are capable of some inside finishing but, I would like a figure that would reflect the total cost of building--better to come under budget than over. Also any suggestions of a good general contractor that is reasonable? Much appreciation for your time and expertise
Flag Wed Feb 19, 2014
price per square foot to remove lead base paint in a residential home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 9, 2014
Ok, I am very familiar with that neighborhood. I'm building a house for my personal residence as well, so I have some unique perspectives on it. Although I'm not building the home as my own general contractor, I bought a book about how to build a home without one.

After working through the plans with a few different builders, walking the lot a number of times, and then GETTING REFERENCES of previously built homes, I was able to determine that the cost varies significantly with each builder.

You mentioned you have a family member that will help as a GC. That's very good. However, I would recommend hiring a local builder for a small fee that has access to reliable subs who know how to build a quality home. The right materials installed incorrectly is worse than low quality materials installed properly in most cases.

This might not answer your original question, but I'm sure that this information is what will help you make the best financial decision and build the home you and future owners will enjoy for many years. Sometimes people take short cuts without thinking of the re-sale variables.

You should be within the $100/sq foot to $110/sq foot cost using standard building materials. If you would like references of local builders with good references, I'll be glad to provide that. Just call me or email me for more information. http://www.pauldecarlo.com
Web Reference: http://www.pauldecarlo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
I just talked to a builder for another client. The average cost in B'ham is 125 per square foot. Ofcourse that can go up depending on what kind of finishes you use, but that's a good average.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
Hi Abby,

It really depends on the builder. If you have a lot you should be between 65 and 85 dollars per square foot. This would be on the low side for the better builders but right now they are looking for work so you have leverage. Are you going to be the GC on the job or do you want the builder to be the General also?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 1, 2010
We're looking at a lot in Heatherwood (zoned Oak Mtn schools) The lot has a storm drain that needs to be extended and is definitely not level, but i'm not really sure how much work it'll take to get it buildable yet. My dad is a builder in Tuscaloosa, so we'll use him to save cost there. We're looking at doing brick and cedar shake exterior. We're not sure whether or not to put in a full basement foundation or a slab. Trying to weigh out cost/benefit because we'd rather just have a main level garage, but it's possible we'd sell it in 10 years or so. We want to build the most house we can for our money and not worry too much about upgrades that can be put in later, such as granite. We'd need to keep the total cost of construction under $250k. (not including the lot) We have to build a minimum of 2100 sq feet with 1200 on main level of a 2 story house. We like the Fairmont Heights Floor plan http://www.slhouseplans.com/exec/planid/21833, from slhouseplans.com as well as the Laurel Ridge, http://www.slhouseplans.com/exec/planid/22111. We're just not sure if we can build either of those on our budget.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 31, 2010
The cost depends on a number of factors including the building materials, size and shape of lot, how much clearing (if any) needs to be done to prepare the lot, and what county / municipality in which it will be built.

Some of the larger developers and builders in the Birmingham area are able to achieve about $100 per finished square foot on a slab home when building in mass. They typically buy their materials in bulk.

A custom home could be built with many upgraded features such as 2" x 6" walls instead of 2" x 4" walls, granite counters, ceramic tile in kitchen/baths, and so forth for about $125 per square foot.

Many other variables make this a hard question to answer. Feel free to give more specifics about where you plan to build, what builder you are using, the lot's grade, foundation, and other amenities you plan to put into the home and I will be glad to help you price this out.

Sorry to be vague, but this is a tough, yet commonly asked question.
Web Reference: http://www.pauldecarlo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 31, 2010
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