Adding Square Footage to a Property

I recently had a web inquiry for a 600 square foot, two-story addition. No further details were provided. I called to find out more but before I could delve into the specifics and do a little fact finding, the client asked point blank: “So, how much will it be per square foot?” A quick response here would be about as accurate as a blindfolded four-year-old playing ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’. Nonetheless, any builder will tell you that price-per-square-foot is the number one question they get asked. It’s natural – we all want to know what stuff costs. Nowadays, just about any big ticket item can be instantly priced online. New homes and condos are indexed with typical prices per square foot, so why the heck is it so hard when it comes to custom builds and renos? The key word here is ‘custom’. Every project is different. Every client is unique. Since different people have different tastes, budgets, dreams, and expectations we can’t just paint everyone with the same brush. We’re not dealing with K-Cars and minivans here, we’re talking someone’s home (Chrysler sold nearly 3 Million K Cars in the 1980’s – not exactly ‘custom’).

Custom Home Choices


With a custom experience comes lots of decisions, in lots of categories, which results in an infinite number of final outcomes. (You can see where I’m going here). Pretty hard to put a number on that. A two hundred square foot kitchen makeover can cost from $10,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on who’s driving the budget and making the selections. And that person is you. It’s your home. It’s your dream. You might not know what you want yet (and sometimes you’re not even sure what you like) but you should have control over your budget. Control comes from working with a contractor who is completely transparent in their costs and allows you ultimate freedom in all selections while providing you the guidance you need to make good decisions.

At the end of the day, what you really want to know is “How much will my project cost?” and you don’t want to feel obligated to anyone to find out. In Part 2 we’ll look at how to determine what your personal price-per-square-foot will be, without any strings attached.