Cost to Custom Build a Home Vancouver

Cost to Custom Build a Home Vancouver

The cost to custom build a home in Vancouver is the number one reason that more people don’t build a custom home. Buying a home is costly enough, but to actually build one from scratch? It goes without saying that it’ll be expensive, but how much does it actually cost to custom build a home? If you’re curious about how the costs break down, where the costs come from, and what your total price would be for a custom build, you’ll have all your questions answered in just a few minutes.

There are thousands of people in your exact position right now, wishing they could custom build a home but are too intimidated by the cost to go any further than wishing and imagining However, it might not be as costly as you think. The hardest part is paying up front for the build rather than signing on for a mortgage. Let’s investigate a little and get to the bottom of how much it’ll cost to custom build a home in Vancouver.

Cost Per Square Footage

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to how much a custom home will cost to build. Until you sit down with a builder and make all of your design decisions, you won’t get a very accurate picture of costs. However, the most common method of “guesstimating” how much a custom home build will cost is to calculate by square footage.

The average new home in Vancouver costs between $200 and $300 per square foot. This number accounts for both labour and materials for the home. Luxury homes can cost upwards of $700 or $800 per square foot if not more, but it isn’t the norm. To put these numbers in perspective, the average square feet of a single-family home in Canada is roughly 1800 square feet. If we go with the average square footage rate of $250, an 1800 sq. ft. home would cost roughly $450,000. Not unreasonable, right? But if you wanted a mid-level home, say at around $500 per square foot, you’d be looking at $900,000 for your new home. You can probably guess how much a luxury home would cost, so let’s not even go there. 

But why is there such a huge range between the lower end of the scale and the higher end of the scale? What makes the difference? It all comes down to design decisions and the quality of the materials being used to build the home. If you choose luxury extras such as heated floors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, marble countertops, or something else, your cost per square foot will skyrocket.

Why Your Builder Matters for Cost

Your builder has a lot of influence over the cost to custom build a home from scratch. Your home builder should be heavily involved in your budget development since they can help you set reasonable limits and ensure you’re being realistic and are well-prepared for every eventuality. We know it’s tempting to choose a builder that offers a lower price for the job, but it’s all too easy to run into issues when taking that route. There’s a reason that a particular builder is able to offer you a significantly lower price than the other bids you’ve received, and it probably won’t be because they like you enough to cut you a deal. No, a builder who offers a significant discount is probably using unqualified labour, taking shortcuts, or using less-than-optimal quality materials for the job (all of which will cost you in the long run). So, it’s in your best interest to go with a builder who is transparent about costs and the functional outlook of your home based on budget restrictions, family size, and lifestyle.

Factors That Influence the Price to Build a House

Aside from materials and labour, the cost of which will change depending on your builder, there are three main elements that will affect the price of your custom build: the build site, the architecture and finishes, and the interior design and furnishings of your home.

  1. Build Site. The location of your build will have a large impact on the first costs in your custom build project. The price of the land will be determined by its size, proximity to the city and amenities, and whether or not you’re building on coveted land (beachfront, forest view, mountainside, etc.). What people don’t often consider is the land itself; its topography, soil quality, and bearing capacity also affect the price of your home since certain characteristics of the land will make it more difficult to prepare or build on. For example, a plot of land full of stone and rocks would take a lot more time than a plot that’s already been graded and sectioned, right? And a marshy land will require extra supports to be safe. You’ll also have to consider whether your location allows you to connect to the city sewer system or if you need a septic tank installed.
  2. Architecture and Finishes. The style of your custom home will also adjust the total price to build the home since some styles are more complicated than others. For example, let’s consider a roof. If you choose a roof style with numerous gables rather than a single gable, or opt for a more expensive and more complicated roofing type, the cost of your roof will be much higher than if you chose a simplistic roof style or basic asphalt shingles. Now apply that logic to every area of your home. Things can add up quickly if you opt for higher-end finishes and materials on your home, even if it only seems like a little bit extra each time.
  3. Interior Design and Furnishings. It isn’t only the actual construction that needs to be considered in the cost of your custom build/ You’ll need to account for all interior elements as well including painting, lighting, furniture, appliances, cabinetry, and more to furnish your home and make it your own. You’ll have to include everything from window coverings to landscaping in your overall budget since these minor details will add up and take a reasonable chunk our of your budget.

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