The home values are so strong in 95129 that you might want to go with the "right" construction with references and recommendations -- look at homes they have built. It is probably somewhere closer to the $375.
And, be really clear when you are getting your plans done! My neighbor added an upstairs washer-dryer mid-way and the changes really end up hitting your bank account hard.
I have seen many people in this general area handling the construction project in the similar fashion. I have seen many cost overruns. Asians like to save face. Even when they get taken, they want to save face by pretending everything went OK. They may under report their monetary mistakes to look good. I have seen more than once where the homeowner under stated the construction cost greatly to save face.
If you are talking about “turnkey” project cost, in the construction field, this is typically the cost of the whole project to be move-in ready. The project cost starts from design of the new house, tear down the old house, permits, school fees, frame the structure and finish the interior. Everything is completed down to the cabinets and flooring. The utilities, sewer, driveway, walkway and landscape, etc. are all done. When the project is done, you are handed the house key; you open the door and you are ready to live in the new house.
In the Asian community, I have noticed in a typical low bid, the “turnkey” cost is an empty shell, from the foundation and up, rough finish only, not even close to move-in condition. The owner is expected to separately purchase or pay for the finishing materials inside the house that at the very minimum, bathroom, kitchen, doors, lighting, trim work, appliances and often, upgraded windows. Permits, design/engineering, driveway, walkway, landscape, sewer, utilities are all excluded in the bid. This is not close to the construction’s turnkey definition. In the end, when all the costs are added, the total is way higher than the initial expectation. Among the people that I know, in the past six years, I have yet to see a completed, true turnkey project at $150 per square foot. When all the costs are added up, they are way more. If you think you are going to build a 2,000 square feet house with a 400 square feet garage at $300,000 to $360,000 all-inclusive, ready to move in, I have my doubts.
The key to negotiation is getting competitive bids. When I buy a new a car, I scope out the maker, model, color and options; after that, I contact at least five car dealerships’ fleet managers to get the best possible price. I make them aware that they have competitions. I ask for apple-to-apple bids, I do not change my requirements. If a dealer wants my business, he will give me his best price. If he does not have the exact car in the lot, he will contact other dealerships to trade for the car with the exact options that I want. I had a San Jose dealer trading with a central valley dealer to get the car that I wanted. I do not walk into a dealership, give the dealer a blank check and ask for the best deal. If you enter into a construction contract without a clear scope of work, by signing the contract, you lose the chance for future competitive bids. You are at the mercy of the general contractor (GC), and you are in essence, opening up your bank account for future change orders and cost overrun.
By following other people’s typical project approach, you may end up experiencing their untold hardship. If you sign with a GC, before even having a set of city approved building plans, you are merely signing a ballpark estimate. The contract is likely loosely written, subject to change orders. Those change orders would cost you dearly.
I am happy that you are asking for public input. I am concerned that you are falling into the typical pattern that many people in the area have experienced. Many ethical GC I know will not give bids unless they see the city’s approved building plans.
My advice is, do not talk to the GC at this point. Select a good architect, get all the design done, get a clear scope of work done, get a clear materials list done, get the building plans approved by the city. After all these are done, get apple-to-apple competitive bids.
Appliances, circuit panels etc.
While some contractors hinted theirs are lower than others. They often over run the price. Are you controlling the schedule with fines per diem if not completed in time?
Also the reputation of the builder is everything. It appears a lot of features have not been fine tuned.
Keller Wms Cupertino Realty
I suggest you specify the materials and quality required as opposed to say I want a good kitchen.
Cherry, engineered wood. I also suggest it has as much green features including solar to the grit.
Insulation and cooling is important. You need to consider R31, below floor insulation, reflective tape on the attic.
At the moment most contractors are busy with new homes and many now demand higher compensation and longer time for project completion. Suggest a penalty clause as many contractors tend to drop everything off work on other homes in the midst of your home.
Keller Williams Cupertino Realty
I have built 2000 square foot houses for $155 per square foot.
4400 square foot houses for $244 per square foot.
6800 square foot houses for $398 per square foot.
Timber Creek Construction
We live in San Jose too.
Right, at $150 its very likely you are getting a build that is rock bottom and in the end it
At $375 its high end construction, such as Marble, high end kitchen, a $75K kitchen
with say Thermador or Wolf appliances. High end Body spray showers in the Baths.
So be careful and good luck.