When referring to the cost of a new house, there are 4 grades of construction that are important to note: Economy, Average, Custom, and Luxury.
For reference a 'Custom' grade wood framed single family home in Halifax will land in the range of $275-$555 per square foot (2023 Altus Group Construction Cost Guide) This excludes land, site work, design, engineering and HST. Our findings have indicated that the realistic lower end of this spectrum is about 10% higher once you factor inflation into the equation.
For your general budgeting purposes, this would mean a Custom grade 2500-square-foot home would land in the range of $712,500-$1,387,500 + Land + Design+ Site Work + HST.
It is also important to note that the high performance options such as R-2000, Passivehaus, Net Zero and ActiveHaus fall in the category of Custom.
While the world record for the fastest Economy grade house ever built stands at an impressive 2 hours and 51 minutes (B.Conaway + J. Feliciano), it's crucial to note that the design and planning phase for any construction project requires a significant amount of time and preparation.
At our firm, we prioritize the design and planning process, which typically takes a minimum of 3 to 6 months (or longer). During this time, we meticulously develop plans, coordinate permits, and obtain all the necessary engineering paperwork before commencing the build. In some cases, we may proceed with Phase 1 of site work as the plans are being finalized.
While we may not be aiming for a world record, we believe in the importance of allocating sufficient time for the actual construction of our projects. For a basic Economy/Standard build, the build time usually ranges from 5 to 8 months. However, for more intricate Custom/Luxury builds, the timeframe extends to 12 to 24 months (or longer). This extended duration allows us to navigate complex challenges successfully and maintain strict quality control throughout the construction process.
We firmly believe that allowing construction events to have ample time to breathe is essential for ensuring the highest standards of craftsmanship and attention to detail. This approach enables us to deliver exceptional results that exceed expectations.
It is ALWAYS good practice to buy your own land first and engage your lender very early in the process. We recommend that you request a pre-qualification from your mortgage broker or bank before you start the design process.
Our team will help ensure that you design to a budget, design to the land, design to your needs and design to your aesthetic preference. It is important that we have these macro-parameters clearly established before any design starts.
Yes! We can also easily modify existing plans or produce any supplemental detailing that is are usually required by HRM or in Issued for Construction Drawings. As a full service design build company we can offer build-only services and also design-only services.
Selecting the right piece of land to build your dream house on is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
1. Location: Choose a location that suits your lifestyle and needs. Consider proximity to amenities, schools, workplaces, transportation, and the overall neighborhood. Also, evaluate the potential for future development in the area.
2. Zoning and Regulations: Understand the zoning regulations and building restrictions imposed by local authorities. Check for any easements, restrictive covenants, setbacks, or environmental considerations that may affect your construction plans.
3. Site Characteristics: Assess the topography, soil quality, and drainage patterns of the land. Keep in mind that ground conditions and site preparation often entail unforeseen and variable costs. Factors like land clearing, septic systems, well installation, power masts, and primary grading can significantly impact expenses. It's important to proceed with caution and consider these potential risks.
4. Infrastructure and Utilities: Ensure the land has access to essential utilities such as water, electricity, and sewage systems. If these services are not readily available, determine the feasibility and cost of connecting to them.
5. Legal and Financial Considerations: Conduct a thorough title search and consult legal experts to ensure there are no liens or legal issues associated with the property. Additionally, evaluate the financial aspects, including property taxes, insurance costs, and ongoing maintenance fees.
6. Future Growth and Development: Research the area's future development plans to understand how they might impact property values, traffic patterns, and the desirability of the location over time.
7. Budget and Affordability: Consider the cost of the land within your budget, while factoring in associated expenses such as site preparation, permits, and architectural fees. Keep in mind that the cost of the house itself is usually more predictable, whereas site preparation often involves unforeseen and variable costs. Proceed with caution and account for potential risks.
By carefully considering these factors, including the unpredictable nature of site preparation costs and risks, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a piece of land for your dream home.
Absolutely! Our pre-construction process dovetails PERFECTLY on projects where architects, and/or designers are required. For the build phase, our lead carpenters will log daily progress updates and photos to our Co-Construct software. This allows everyone on the team real-time access to progress which is especially important for out-of-province or out-of-country clients.
Usually, yes. HRM offers a wide variety of permits that are 100% required for everything from demolition to pools. We have an excellent track record of acquiring all necessary permits and coordinating timely city inspections for our projects.
We offer an assortment of contracts suited for different project types. When the scope is 100% clear we can offer a fixed price contract. When the scope isn't locked in or totally clear, we offer cost-plus contacts.
Yes. But it will take some time. Whereas an estimate is an educated guess as tp the cost, a quote is a fixed and legally binding number. We provide 4 different types of estimates based on the amount of information that we have. We usually start our design & build Process with a Class D estimate, ensuring it is in harmony with the proposed budget, and then transition to higher quality estimates as plans are produced and decisions are finalized.
Yes, we do! Usually, we build 'in-situ'. But there are some unique circumstances where a simple transportable modular or panelized build makes sense. We can help with that! Contact us to discuss.
There are many fantastic ways to build a custom house! We are not a volume builder, which means each of our projects are different and curated specifically for our clients.
We use the term 'High-Performance Home' and encourage high-performance practice to suit the project. There are many proven assemblies and products available to make a highly energy efficient-home. And with some very thoughtful built-in 'future proofing' in addition to a universe of Smart Home options, you can have a home with a very long life expectancy.
If you want to geek out over building science, smart deployment of capital, long term value and high performance detailing options (R-2000, Passivehaus, Net Zero or Active Haus) book off an appointment we would be happy to help navigate the pros and cons of all the high performance options.
Hiring an interior designer can be a great choice when building a new home. They can bring valuable expertise and creativity to the project, helping you create a cohesive design. Interior designers can assist with space planning, color schemes, furniture selection and other aspects of interior design. However, it ultimately depends on budget and level of involvement you desire in the design process. We highly recommend engaging with an interior design consultant for luxury grade projects, and they should be brought on board very early in the process.