Unwrapping the “Hidden Costs” of Building a Home – Site Development
This is a five part series on the hidden costs of building new home.
Naturally your largest cost in building a home will be the home itself. Each home plan has different features that will affect the price and the style of a home can also affect the price as well. You are only limited to your possibilities & options by your budget.
Site Development is one of the more variable costs in building a home. Every lot is different and can affect your cost greatly. The best way I can explain it briefly would be: It is the cost is to build your house on the lot!
Excavation costs include clearing the area where the home will be located (brush, tree and or stump removal), digging for the foundation, back filling of foundation, connection of the utilities (will expand on this later), rough grading, and installing a stone base driveway to gain access to the site. You may need to have materials hauled in or off site depending on the home itself & lot conditions. This is not an all-inclusive list and may not cover all costs as each lot will have different conditions.
Utilities will also vary by lot. Some properties will have Public Water and Sewer connections, others will have Private Wells and Septic systems while still others could have a mix of one or the other and of course you will need electrical power run to the home as well.
Public utilities such as Water & Sewer typically are less expensive to connect to your home than installing a well and septic system, but the distance that you need to run these will affect your pricing. Not to mention the cost of the permits for Public Water and Sewer.
Septic systems come in a wide range of types, sizes, and are based on the type of soil conditions of your property. On lot septic systems can vary greatly in cost depending on the size of the home and soil types. Once the type of system is determined you will have the cost in having the system designed by a Sewage enforcement officer or a certified designer.
Private Wells, while typically a higher cost, are one of the most unknown variable site cost numbers. Drillers charge by the foot for drilling and casing. While you can budget for a particular depth you will not know what that will be until you drill the well and reach an adequate supply of water for the home.
Other Costs to consider are items such as a dumpster for trash removal of excess scrap building materials. Utilities will start charging for service once the connection is made to your home even though you have not moved in yet, such as public water or sewer bills.
Usually the largest of the utility bills would be the Electric bill. Most builders use portable power sources during the initial stages of construction but once power is connected to the home there will be electric usage. This will also be affected by the time of year. If you build during the winter months there would need to be Temporary heat used before the Permanent heating is installed to maintain temperature in the home to finish the drywall and complete the home.
Next Up – Permits! This will be covered in article #3 in the series.