Menu Close

What Affects the Price Per Square Foot to Build Your Custom Home? | San Diego County


What Affects the Price Per Square Foot to Build Your Custom Home?

There are three factors that can control the cost making it higher or lower in price.

  • Factor 1: Actual Square Footage
  • Factor 2: Number of Bathrooms
  • Factor 3: Materials

These factors greatly affect how the costs will turn out for your home project and we will explain it so you can have an idea of how you would want to plan your future home project depending on your budget.

Factor 1: Actual Square Footage

The first factor is the actual square footage itself.

Example: A 2,500 square foot home with 4 bedrooms & 3 baths versus a 2,000 square foot home with 4 bedrooms & 3 baths.

The home that is going to have a cheaper price per square foot is the 2,500 square foot home. The reason why is because the bathrooms and kitchens are some of the most expensive parts of the home to build. If we have the same size kitchen and the same amount of bathrooms in the 2,500 square foot home, same as the smaller home, those expensive areas are stuck into a smaller space in the 2,000 square foot home, which actually drives the price per square foot up.

How to Make Your Price Per Square Foot Cheaper?

Add open footage areas such as:

  • Family Room
  • Bedroom
  • Hallway

Open areas are areas that we can add to the house that are cheaper to build. You don’t have much electrical and plumbing in those areas, and a lot of times you don’t have cabinets either, so it’s a cheaper price per square foot. If you take that 2,000 square foot home and you add 500 square feet of open footage, it takes the average price per square foot down for the larger home.

Factor 2: Bathrooms

The second factor that drives the cost per square foot for your home is the bathrooms. As we mentioned the bathrooms are very expensive to build price per square foot versus the open footage of the home.

Example: A 2,500 square foot home with 3 bathrooms versus a 2,500 square foot home with 2 bathrooms.

The home that has the two bathrooms is going to have a cheaper price per square foot than the home that has the three bathrooms.

Adding or Subtracting Bathrooms

Figuring Costs for Bathrooms:

  • It’s estimated $25,000 for a secondary full bathroom that’s servicing the main part of the house, or a bedroom or two.
  • It’s estimated $40,000+ for a master bathroom of what you would add to the costs to build.

Bathrooms play a very big part of the cost for the home. You can adjust up or down in kind of chunks as far as how many bathrooms you add by using those $25,000 numbers for a secondary, and then go into the $40,000+ for a master bath, just depending on how elaborate it is.

Factor 3: Materials

The third factor is the actual materials that you choose to finish the interior and exterior of your home. The materials that you choose to finish are either going to drive the price up, or it’s going to drive it down.


Exterior factors that can affect the costs:

  • Santa Barbara finish on the stucco versus a Lace finish
  • Rock veneer on the exterior walls
  • Exposed wood underneath your porches or your overhangs because of the labor and material, and then the painter who will come in and finish those and stain it.
  • Elaborate pavers or concrete stamping on your driveway
  • More driveway or walkway than what is typical


Interior factors that can affect costs:

  • Exposed wood beams inside the living areas adds cost because of the material, the labor, and the painter.
  • A stain-grade door and trim package, is more money than if you were to do a paint-grade door and trim package.
  • Tile flooring versus LVP, luxury vinyl plank, flooring which is fairly popular when you’re trying to hit some lower budgets.

You can choose to either save or increase your budget. If you need ideas on what you’re looking to build you can go back and look at our previous projects to help gauge what those finishes cost.

Tile Costs

If you do tile in the showers versus fiberglass and it’s an elaborate tile design, you’re going to spend quite a bit more money doing that. You can go simple on your tile in your showers, which we actually recommend because fiberglass doesn’t have the longevity that tile has, but you can definitely increase cost with that. Tile in the bathrooms, back splashes can drive prices up depending on how elaborate tile designs you want.

Cabinet Costs

Kitchen cabinets are a big thing, even cabinets throughout the house.

Cabinet finishes that increase cost:

  • Adding Glass
  • Puck Lighting
  • Ceiling Height Upper Cabinets

By looking at the finishes and the materials one can really control cost, and one of the best ways to do it is to look at the completed homes that we have built  and look at the pictures and finishes to better gauge what you are looking for.

Why You Should Work with a Design-Build Contractor

Design-Build Contractors like Freeman’s Construction Inc. are building projects everyday. This makes it possible to accurately figure all of the costs for the project including what affects costs per square foot and the total  build costs on the front end before starting the design process. We do this by looking at the finishes and materials from previously completed home projects. It is very important to establish the budget for every aspect of the project. The best way to do that is working with a design-build contractor before you start any step of the process.

Information on Costs to Build a Custom Home!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top