While this is the most common question, it’s one of the most difficult to answer as the square footage cost depends on so many things. You have to take into consideration the design (simple, complex or in between), the style (French Country, Craftsman, Modern, or just four walls), the finishes (plaster or drywall, lots of beams, barn doors or plain white flat doors), exterior finishes (energy efficient smooth working windows or windows that will need replaced in 10 to 15 years, a stained front door 8’ tall or a plain steel door painted white, or something in between).
For example, let’s say we have planned an 1800 sq. ft. house that is currently costing $300,000 or approximately $167.00 per sq. ft. This house has standard Formica countertops throughout. If you were to change the countertops to quartz or granite, this would add $10,000, bringing the cost of the home to $310,000, which gives you a new cost per sq. ft. of $172.50. You just increased the sq. ft. cost by $5.50 that fast by only changing one small detail of the home.
You can also look at it like purchasing a vehicle. While the GMC 2500HD Denali truck with automatic windows and locks and the Chevy 2500HD work truck with manual windows locks weigh exactly the same, they aren’t sold to us at a “per pound” cost. It’s their features that determine the final purchase price. The Chevy with manual features is less expensive than the GMC with automatic features. The final cost of a home or vehicle is determined by the owner’s preferences and budget and is what makes it difficult to provide a square foot cost in the pre-plan stage.