08:37AM | 10/09/06
Member Since: 10/08/06
8 lifetime posts
Aside from land costs, and insurance. Why is it that building costs are higher in Southern California than the MidWest. I compared a home built by KB Homes in Indiana vs one built out here in So Cal and the differnce was like 300k. How is that possible?



01:44PM | 10/09/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
There are many things that can make up the cost differences.

Impact fees. In some areas impact fees are very high and that adds to the saling cost.

Likewise utility tap fees.

In some areas is can take years to get approvals for developements and that take both money for evironmental studies, engineering studies, etc. But you also have hold cost for the property and all of the developement expenses that have come out of the end sales.

Cost of living is different which in turn affects the cost of labor.

Building code requirements.

The most common is earthquake resistance which requires lot more engineer. Lots more steel. Lots more wood (sheet). Lots more labor. Lots more inspections.

Fire resistance construction. This is often required in areas with brush fires. But also areas with very closely spaced homes also often require more fire resistance construction. And some places sprinkler systems.


04:25PM | 10/09/06
Member Since: 10/08/06
8 lifetime posts
Well, I inquired about having a panelized home delivered to a Texas lot and the same one to be delivered to a So Cal lot. The Texas lot was much further than the So Cal lot. I got hit with a price that was almost double. I was told that it was priced relative to the economy of the area. So, in other words, if I live in Beverly Hills I get charged a Beverly Hills Price, but if I live in the sticks somewhere, I get a sticks price.

Now, I know that there's more engineering required per local codes, however, material is still material, with the only difference being taxes and delivery charges per zone. It really sounds more like labor gouging than anything else, and it in turn seems to be governed by the quality card and the going rate of homes. I also remember that we had some pretty nice sized homes going up over here near an outdoor mall that was being constructed simultaneously.

The homes that were built first 1 1/2 years ago were selling for like $375,000 to $550,000. However, the moment the mall opened the prices started at $600,000 and went up to $900,000. Im aware that materials have jumped up tremendously but nothing near that hike.

It also feels like someone else is spinning the wheels too. Land also went up too, and I noticed that land value became the difference of construction costs of the average home against actual existing property value.

So, if a persons could by a 2,000 square foot home for $400,000 and the cost were a $100.00 a square than that meant that the land value of any nearby lots would be $200,000. It feels like someone is really controlling the market so as to not allow anyone a chance to get a break.

Another example that I noticed was in an area nearer to the San Andreas Fault like by Apple Valley, homes were being built last year for about $50.00 a square foot by some developers, and an 1,800 square foot home could be picked up for a little over 200 at the end of last year. Yet at the same time further south by about 20 miles down the mountain pass the same size home couldn't be touched for under $400,000.

I know that this an argument that attacks profit margins of those whom are milking the system for every penny they can get, but there should be some form of regulation or the likes development. Heck, even according to the Means and Standards book for West Coast construction, it to is way off. I know a couple of contractors whom are charging $300.00 and $400.00 a square and the only difference is mild in terms of quality of finish material. Where as I know a couple of other guys out there whom are charging a moderate rate of $125.00 a square for standard finish all the way around, and their still making a profit.

Now our Architect whom makes 10% of the cost even quoted going rates of $300.00 plus for slightly above standard, and of course I was surprised that the amount that was quoted wasn't like $500.00, especially when he's making 10%. I had to show him some of the going rates from outside Generals that I had spoken to in order to convince him. Even still he still has his doubts, and rightfully so. This is a really screwy industry. Especially when the larger percentage of workers are even legal and are being taken advantage of. So, who's really making the profit?



I also don't understand how alternative materials that are supposedly "GREEN" have to cost so much more than conventional material. After all these are the materials that are supposed to be swaying us away from using conventional materials. Instead, the marketing focus is waged toward the quality being superior. There should be a national government sponsored organization that regulates costs of alternative materials.

They shouldn't be allowed to be sold at a cost that supercedes those of conventional materials. However, again, It feels like theirs another beast at the wheels again trying to make it harder and harder for everyone.

Where does it end? The construction industry shouldn't be run the way the Saudis run the oil industry.

Thanks again
Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon