Your project sounds exciting! The general rule of thumb is this: until you have an approved set of drawings, the most anyone will be able to give you will be a ballpark estimate based upon average square foot pricing. As the previous post states, your final costs will totally depend on the level of finishes you choose, and prices can vary greatly.
There are a few different approaches you can take when undergoing a project like yours. You can:
(1) Go direct to a Design And Build construction firm that will handle your project from beginning to end. There are a number of quality firms in the area. They will help you establish a budget, line you up with an architect, walk you through the design process and take your plans to the City of Fremont for approval. Once the plans are approved, building can begin. A competent Design And Build company will handle all of the subs and will deliver you a turn-key project from beginning to end. A great choice for a design and build company would be:
(2) Go to a Construction Consultant. A consultant will do all of the things a Design and Build company will do, but will be more competitive in controlling costs. Rather than using â€œin-houseâ€ labor and subs, a consultant, himself a licensed contractor, will work on your behalf to secure all of the sub-contractors required to build your home, but at the absolute best price and highest possible quality. A consultant has no one on payroll, so costs are kept as low as possible. For a specified percentage of the project, a consultant will help you develop a budget, walk you through the design and permit process, then oversee your project as a â€œgeneral superintendentâ€ by hiring and coordinating all of the subs. They will help you stay on track with your budget as the building proceeds. I would recommend:
(3) Be your own â€œProject Manager.â€ This is certainly the most difficult way to go and can be full of surprises if you do not already have extensive experience overseeing building projects. Cost overruns are the hallmark of many projects done this way. You would start with an architect who, after drawing the plans and getting city approval for your project, could help you line up a general contractor or specific subs. In this plan, there is no one up front who can give you an effective cost analysis, and your budget can be blown out of the water very quickly once you start.
As you contemplate a project like this, be aware of the soft costs as well. You will need to budget rental housing while your home is being built, as well as storage for the personal belongings that wonâ€™t fit in your temporary digs. Projects frequently take longer and cost more than expected, so make sure you have a cushion both of time AND funds to cover any surprises that may come up. If you hire a contractor to do the project for you, be ready to spend a lot of time with them on a weekly basis as they communicate the project progress and help you understand the various options you may have along the way.
One last concern: donâ€™t overbuild for your area. You have four models in your neighborhood, the largest of which are 2,219 square feet. You do have one home at 3,305 square feet, however, it is the exception rather than the rule. Anytime you build something â€œout-of-characterâ€ for your neighborhood, you run the risk of investing money in a home that will be over-improved for the neighborhood, and one which will not hold its value along with the rest of the neighborhood.
Good luck with your project!