Have you ever wondered what it actually costs to build a house? Of course, you can always spend more, and there are ways to decrease costs (see my post on saving money on your new home construction). But what are the actual items to budget for? The only way you’ll ever be able to calculate building costs for sure is to build or renovate a home yourself — or download my simple construction budget spreadsheet!
When you get a quote from a builder, you won’t get the whole picture; they only quote you what they are charging you. But the builder isn’t the only one you’ll have to pay. They usually don’t, for example, include the following expenses when giving their quote:
- designer/architect fees
- building or demolition permit fees from the city
- front stairs (I know! Who would think they wouldn’t be included? But framers never include front steps in the building quote. They’re extra!)
- fencing (“landscaping” is usually referring to soil, grass, and plants)
- tax (in our case, HST)
So as you create your budget, don’t forget to include these items, as well as a contingency amount for extra, unpredictable expenses like the $500 letter by the geotechnical engineer that the city inspector asked for during one of his inspections. Or the $1200 we had to pay to have a boulder split which was so big that the excavator couldn’t even lift it. Hey, these things happen.
My spreadsheet is a simple Excel file. Here’s a screenshot:
The second column is just the budgeted amount with the tax added. When you enter the amount you actually spend in the fourth column, the third column will give you the amount over or under your budgeted figure. This is a great way to calculate building costs and keep track of your expenses as the build progresses.
Happy budgeting! You can download my construction budget spreadsheet here: New home budget . Keep in mind that this is for a 2700 square foot home (plus 1300 sf unfinished basement) and that your budget will differ depending on your size and finishes. You may have to save the file again if it opens as a “read-only” file. Just “save as” a new file name.