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Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Most frequent questions and answers

Table of Contents

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Here is a list of projects & consulting that we do:

1. Custom homes
2. Accessory dwelling units
3. Whole-house remodels.
4. Land purchase due-diligence
5. Building site cost analysis.
6. Remodels that involve a full kitchen remodel and the bathrooms being remodeled with a budget of $100,000 or more.
7. Most home remodeling projects that have a budget of $100,000 or more.
8. Steel buildings ONLY when they are built along with a new custom home or home remodeling project.

Here is a list of projects we do NOT do:

1. Free project estimates
2. Tiny homes
3. Manufactured homes
4. Kitchen remodels under $100,000.
5. Bathroom remodels under $100,000.
6. Steel buildings when they are not built at the same time as a custom home or home remodeling project.
7. Septic systems when not accompanied by a custom home or home remodeling project.
8. Any home remodeling project with a budget of less than $100,000.
9. We do not do partial projects such as building the structure of the home and then having the owner finish out the inside.

Click here to watch the video, read the instructions, and fill out the form. Once you do that we will have someone from our team contact you right away.

If you would prefer to call the office you can reach us at 760-788-6846.

Yes, we do charge for project & land consultations. The first step towards seeing if we can help you is to apply here

Once you fill out the form here is what you can expect:

1. You will get a phone call or an email from one of our team members asking you more about yourself and your project.

2. If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $400 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $400 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

3. Once payment has been made we will contact you right away to schedule a consultation either via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian.

The fee is for the initial consultation is $400.

The first step towards seeing if we can help you is to apply here

Once you fill out the form here is what you can expect:

1. You will get a phone call or an email from one of our team members asking you more about yourself and your project.

2. If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $400 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $400 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

3. Once payment has been made we will contact you right away to schedule a consultation either via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian.

If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $400 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $400 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

To request a consultation click here or call our office at 760-788-6846.

1. You will meet via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian. The consultation will be an hour in length. The type of meeting will be based on what works best for you and the type of consultation you are needing.


2. We will discuss your needs and the exact items you are needing help with.


3. We will answer any questions you may have about your project or land purchase.


4. We will discuss what the next steps are and how we can help you.

All consultations are an hour in length.

1. You will meet via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian. The type of meeting will be based on what works best for you and the type of consultation you are needing.

3. We will discuss your needs and the exact items you are needing help with.

5. We will answer any questions you may have about your project or land purchase.

7. We will discuss what the next steps are and how we can help you.

After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

BUYING LAND

General Information

Yes, absolutely we can help you purchase land. We offer a couple of different options when it comes to buying land.

If you were already working with a real estate agent we can work for you on a consulting basis to help you do all of the due diligence and site evaluation work with the city, county, engineers, surveyors, utility companies, grading contractors, etc. This will allow you to find out if your lot is buildable and what the site development cost will be when you do decide to build your home.

Typical land consultation packages run from $1,000 to $5,000. Most will fall in the $2,500 to $3,500 range. Some lots take more work than others to evaluate and that is why there is a variance in the cost to complete the lot evaluation and due-diligence work.

As a separate service, we can also help you find land and represent you as a real estate broker in the purchase of your lot. This service is not offered through Freeman Construction Inc. It is offered through our real estate company called Freeman Real Estate.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

When you’re looking to buy land the most important thing you can do is figure out what it is going to cost to do all of the site development in order to build be home.

The site costs to develop the land will consist of grading, driveway improvements, electrical power, cable, phone, gas, solar systems septic systems, stormwater management, water wells, water storage tanks, bio-retention basins, underground water lines, and planting of slopes disturbed by the grading.

Once you know what the site costs will be you can then determine how much you are able to pay for the land.

We offer consulting services to help you with evaluating the site costs and buildability of the lot.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

No, we can help you buy a lot and you can build on it later. 

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Site costs are the expenses that you have for a project that are directly related to getting the land or building site ready to build your home or ADU. These include grading, soil compaction engineering, underground utilities, paving for driveways, bioretention basins, best management practices for stormwater control, septic systems, and any other site-related expenses.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Sales Value – Total Costs for Site Costs = What You Can Pay for the Land 

Example: $1Million (Sales Value) – $800,000 (Total Costs for Site Costs) = $200,000 (What You Can Pay for the Land) 

Learn more here. For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

A document proving that there was a home on the property prior. If you are in any area of the East County, where it got hit by Witch Creek Fire, Cedar Fire, or you bought land that had a home burn due to various reasons then you may be able to access the assessor building record for the land. Click here to download the assessor building record document or learn more.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

By accessing the assessor building record. The assessor building record will show that fees have been paid already by the previous owner. If fees have already been paid then your fees will be waived which is a significant savings. $10,000+ 

  • School fees are typically $4 a square foot or in the range of. If you are building a new home and you have a 2000 square foot house, that would be times four, $8,000 in school fees. 
  • Traffic impact fees can be anywhere from 3,000 to $8,000 and 
  • park fees used to be 4,500 but they just raised those to $7,500 for the county.

 

Click here to download the assessor building record document or learn more. For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

This has to be requested by the owner of the property. If you’re buying land, you have to have your agent or yourself go to the:

  • Owner
  • Seller
  • Their Agent

Click here to download the assessor building record document or learn more. For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you can show that there was a home on the property prior with the assessor building record, you can avoid paying school fees on the size of the home that was there before.

Click here to download the assessor building record document or learn more. For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

You can check by accessing the permit record. Reasons to access the permit record: If you’re worried the area may not be permitted for a home, you can check before buying the land.

  • Garage permitted?
  • Remodel permitted?
  • Road permitted?

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

How to figure out what land is worth:

1. Check comparable sales of homes similar to the one you want to build
2. Figure out how much build costs will be.
3. Figure out how much site costs will be to improve the land.

Then you can determine how much you will be able to pay for the land.

Formula-

Sales Value of Comparable Home – Total Costs = What You Can Pay for the Land

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Planning and Zoning Department or local city zoning department to check to make sure the property is zoned properly to build a residential home on it.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Planning and Zoning Department or local city zoning department to verify the building setbacks.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

1. Ask the title company such as Fidelity or First American to have the easements that are on the title report plotted on a parcel map.

2. Confirm that the land has legal access for ingress and egress with the title company. This means that you can legally access the property via a public road or a private easement.

3. Verify with the title company that the proper utility companies such as SDGE, water company, and phone company all have an easement giving them access to bring their services to your property.

4. If the land is governed by an HOA make sure you request these documents from the title company to review any restrictions they may have.

5. Make sure you request that you get an owner’s title insurance policy when you buy land. Typically this is paid for by the seller.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Assessor to obtain an “Assessors Building Record”. This will help you verify what structures are permitted on the property and when the permits were pulled.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Check with the title company to see if there are CC&R’s on the property. The restrictions from the CC&R’s will affect what you can do with the property. Often, they will have a minimum size home that you have to build and many more things in addition to that. Read them all the way through.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Get a licensed surveyor to mark the property corners and property lines if needed. You want to make sure that there are no boundary disputes with neighbors and that a record of the survey is not needed to mark any of the corners. It can cost $5,000 or more to get a record of the survey done.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Department of Public Works or visit their website to look at the TIF (Traffic Impact Fees) map to see how much you will need to pay. Fees typically run from $3,000 to $8,000 for a single-family home.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Call the local school district and verify how much the residential development fees are. These are charged by the square foot on the livable area of the new home or ADU you are going to build. They are typically around $4 sq. ft.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you are buying land that had a home on it that was destroyed in fire make sure you verify the livable square footage of the home with the Assessors Building Record and show it to the County Building Department so they can adjust the agency letter that will go to the local school district to show that the development fees were already paid for the size home that was there before. This will allow you to only pay school fees on the home’s square footage that exceeds the original one.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health to obtain all septic information they have on file. You are looking for info on percolation tests, approved septic layouts, or a septic as-built if a system has already been installed.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

After obtaining your septic info from the County of San Diego get a septic contractor out to the property to look at the feasibility of installing a septic system and what it will cost to do it.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If there is an existing water well on the property you will want to get a water potability test and 24-hour production test done on the well. You need to make sure the water well is tested for a full 24 hours so that the pumps pull the well down to its static level and you can see how much water the well is producing. If the well is producing more than the pump can move then you will have a consistent flow of water at the max gmp that the pump is rated for at that depth. If the pump is moving more water than the well is producing then the water level in the well shaft will get pulled down and the pump saver should shut off the well pump.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Contact the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health to obtain all info on any existing water wells on the property. You are wanting to see if they have a “Well Report” on file that will show the depth of the well and how much water it was producing when it was drilled.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you find out that a percolation test has not been done on the property for the septic system after contacting the County of San Diego be sure to contact a septic engineer to have them look at the property and determine if they think it is advisable to get a percolation test done prior to the close of escrow.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you have city water available make sure you determine the location of the nearest fire hydrant and then verify with San Diego County Fire or the local fire department if it will be close enough to the home in order to avoid putting in a 10k gallon water storage tank for fire suppression.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If the property is located in an area that has city sewer and or city water contact the proper municipality to find out what the water meter fee will be and what the fee will be to connect to the city sewer.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

1. If the property has an existing driveway that is paved or concrete, make sure that it is at least 16 feet wide all the way to where the home will sit so that the fire department will approve it. If it is less than 16ft wide you will be required to widen it.

2. Check with the local fire department to make sure they do not have any concerns with the proposed driveway access.

3. Find out what material you will be required to put on the driveway surface.

4. Confirm the size of the emergency vehicle turnaround that will be required and its placement so that you can make sure it will be able to fit on the property.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you are drilling a water well you will want to get a licensed well driller out to the property to which the property to see if there is a good vane of water available. You should also consult with the well driller about:

-Their knowledge of other wells in the area as to what depth they are.
-What their water production is.
-What they anticipate the cost to drill the well will be.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If your property or the surrounding properties have environmental concerns you may be limited to adding 5000 sq. ft. of the impervious area as part of the permit to build your home. Typically it is 10,000 sq. ft. but it is cut down to 5000 sq. ft. if environmental issues are present. An impervious area is all of the roof areas of the new home and any impervious concrete or asphalt outside of the roofline of the home. So this would include your driveway and if you have a long driveway you can exceed the allowable impervious area very quickly. If you exceed the impervious area limit you will need to have a civil engineer draw up a Priority Development Project Plan (PDP) and submit it to the San Diego County DPW or the City DPW that you are in. This typically will add $40,000 plus to the cost of the project due to the engineering and having to build the bio-retention basins. You may be able to use pervious driveway materials to avoid this requirement.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Check with the County of San Diego or the City’s planning and land use department to see if the property has any environmental concerns on your property or the surrounding properties.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If the grading or underground utility contractor is concerned with the possibility of hitting rock when grading or excavating you will need to speak with a licensed blasting contractor to see what the potential costs may be to remove any rock.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If the grading contractor brings up concerns about the soil being expansive with lots of clay in it or any other concerns you will want to contact a licensed soils engineer to discuss potential modifications that will be needed for the foundation work on the home you will be building.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Get a grading contractor out to the property to look at the feasibility to put a house pad and driveway there and what it will cost for the grading.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

CC&R’s stands for covenants, conditions and restrictions. These are restrictions that are put on the property when the subdivision is completed for the lot. This can apply to lots that are in the city. It can also apply to lots that are out in the country. The developer, city or county will all determine what restrictions are put on the property. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Check with the title company to see if there are CC&R’s on the property. The restrictions from the CC&R’s will affect what you can do with the property. Often, they will have a minimum size home that you have to build and many more things in addition to that. Read them all the way through.

For more information how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Let’s say the developer didn’t want any manufactured homes next to the lots, or they didn’t want a certain kind of animal, or a certain amount of animals on the properties next to them, or they wanted certain size homes built on the property. These are all things that they can dictate in the CC&Rs. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you buy land and don’t research the CC&Rs, you might have something in mind that you want to do with the property, but you can’t actually do it because the CC&Rs will be restricting that from happening. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

Once you get a property in escrow, have your title company order a preliminary title report and it will include the CC&R’s. Typically, in that report there’s a hyperlink that goes to the CC&Rs that were recorded against the property. You can click on that document and read it. It will tell you the restrictions and you’ll be able to determine if the property is something that you actually want to buy. Not all properties have CC&Rs. So, it’s possible that you will not have the CC&Rs document in the title report, but it’s something you definitely want to look into and make sure that you don’t miss it during the due diligence period when you’re doing the inspections and making sure you want to buy the property. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

For the road easement, if you don’t border a public street and have to cross someone else’s property in order to get to your lot, you have to make sure that you have legal access to do that with a vehicle. You will want to look at the plotted easements the title company gave you and make sure the road easement gives you rights for ingress and egress. This will give you legal access to cross the neighboring property to get to your property. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

You might have an actual road easement, but a lot of times, the utility easements are written a long time ago and may not specifically mention SDG&E or be a blanket utility easement. The easement could be written for another utility company specifically, and that doesn’t give the current utility companies access to take their services to your property. Let’s say you have a road easement and you have ingress and egress access. This does not mean you have the actual right to take power down that easement without getting an easement granted from the owner of the property that you have to cross. You have to make sure that you check with the utility companies to make sure that the easement that is on that title report is going to give them the right to cross that other property and get to your property with their services, so it’s really important to do. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

If you find there’s not an ingress or egress easement, or there is not a utility easement in place, you have to make sure before escrow closes that you get those in place and make that a contingency of your agreement. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

The first thing you need to do whenever you get a piece of land under contract and open escrow, is you want to make sure that you have a preliminary title report ordered which is where you can access the easement information. For more information on how to buy land please see our “How to Buy Land” guide.

CUSTOM HOMES

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Building a custom home that is 1500 square feet to 2,500 square feet will take about six months to seven months. Building a 2500 square-foot to 3500 square-foot all will take seven to eight months. Building a home from 3500 square feet to 5000 square feet can take 8 to 12 months or longer.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do is get a set of completed plans. This is going to include floor plans and elevations.

Step 2: Get a cost breakdown that will show the bank total costs of the project and the contingency.  Each bank’s a little different as far as the amount of contingency that they require. 5% is typical and some banks will be less than that. You will also need descriptions of materials or specifications packages.

Step 3: Another thing that the banks will require before they fund the loan is they want an approved septic layout if you’re on a septic system or proof that you are able to tie in the city sewer. 

For more information on how to get a construction loan please visit here.

No, we do NOT do any work related to manufactured home projects including the foundations and site improvements needed.

No, it is not. Typically if you are just doing ICF walls on the exterior of the house and framing all of your interior walls with steel studs or wood frame you will spend an extra 13% to 20% more on the overall project to build with ICF. So to clarify, this means that if a typical wood-frame home was going to cost $500,000 to build you would need to budget an additional $100,000 to build it out of ICF Construction. That example would be assuming it was an extra 20% to do the exterior walls out of ICF.

For the roof trusses, you can either build them out of wood or Steel and then use spray foam insulation up against the roof sheathing of the home to create an energy-efficient envelope.

If you talk to companies that sell the ICF block they will tell you that it’s actually cheaper to build with ICF. We have not found that to be the case in San Diego County area.

If you do not need a septic system or water well installed you will need to contact your local sewer & water municipality to find out what the costs will be to tie into the city sewer system & water supply. 

Install an Alternative Septic System. An alternative septic system, a lot of times you’ll hear it called an ATU, which is an Aerobic Treatment Unit. 

Click here to learn more.

 

Even if we have enough room to have a:

  • Primary system for the ADU.
  • Primary system for the main home.

We lose the reserve area for the primary dwelling a lot of times, and we don’t have it at all for the ADU, if we were going to figure on putting in another standard system. This is where the ATU, the Alternative Septic System comes in as a very handy tool that we can use in this situation.

Click here to learn more.

Plans & Design

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The initial costs involved to get your home designed and the plans drawn will run between 3% to 5% of the overall cost to build your home. So if the total budget to build your home was $500,000 you could expect to spend $15,000 to $25,000 to get the design, budget, selections, plans, structural engineering & energy calculations completed & ready to submit to the local building department.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, we do. You can download our custom home floor plans here.

 

Yes, you can save money if you choose to use plans for a home we have already built. The savings can range from $2,500 to $6,000 on homes ranging from 1,200 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq ft. The savings can be more if you are building a larger home. You can download our custom home floor plans here.

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

The very first step in the process of designing your custom home is to establish the budget for the project. We have seen it happen many times where a complete set of plans have to be thrown away and a smaller or less elaborate home designed because the costs to build the original home came in much higher than expected.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Plans & Design

Currently, right now with covid-19, it is taking between 6 to 9 months to get a building permit with the county of San Diego to build an Adu or a custom home. The time frame starts when you submit your plans to the County of San Diego. You will need to schedule a free submittal appointment with the county of San Diego in order to start this process. It is taking anywhere from 30 to 60 days currently to get a plan submittal appointment. Prior to submitting your plans, you must have all of the architectural and structural plans completed as well as your site plan. It is also a good idea to have your septic layout completed so you can submit this at the same time or actually get it submitted prior to submitting your building plans. The time frames for getting a septic layout approved or extended significantly as well. These have been taking anywhere from two to five months to get approval. These are the current time frames as of January 2021.

Permits and fees include school fees, traffic impact fees, building plan check fees, park fees, building permit fees, septic layout & septic permit fees.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for permits & fees will run between $25,000
to $40,000 depending on the size of the home you want to build and the location. Below is an example for a 2,226 square foot home with a 576 square foot garage that is plan checked through the San Diego County building department and located in Ramona, CA.

$7,747 – School Fees @ $3.48 sq.ft.

$4,119 – Traffic Impact Fees

$2,331 – Building Plan Check Fees

$5,582 – Building Permit Fees

$4,500 – Park Fees

$2,337 – Septic Layout & Permit

$1,000 – Permit Process

$27,616 – Total Permits & Fees Costs

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

School fees are charged on a per square foot basis and will vary for different school districts. Traffic impact fees also vary depending on what location you are in.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

School fees do fluctuate. Make sure you are updated on the current cost for the school fees in your school district. For example Ramona Unified School District fees are currently $3.48/sq.ft. and Poway Unified School District is currently $4.04/sq.ft. 

To calculate your school fees you will multiply:

School Fee Price/Sq.Ft. x Square Footage of Home = School Fees to Be Paid

Lets say you want to build a 2,000 sq.ft. home you would take $3.48 (Ramona Unified School District) and multiply that by 2,000 and you would get $6,960 that would be due for your school fees.

Total Costs = $7,000 to $8,000 range.

For more information on school fees please visit here

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

Tying into city sewer can cost upwards of $15,000 or more. Tying into the city water supply and getting a new water meter can cost upwards of $15,000 or more as well.

Prior to COVID, we were seeing anywhere from a two-week timeframe, three weeks max. We’re now seeing it taking two months to actually get approval for the septic layout. So it’s increased fourfold as far as a timeline to get that done.

For more information on septic layout approvals please go here.

If you can show that there was a home on the property prior with the assessor building record, you can avoid paying school fees on the size of the home that was there before.

Click here to download the assessor building record document or learn more.

Site Costs

The site costs for building a custom home will vary greatly depending
on the land that you will be building your home on. The site costs will
include grading, soils testing, BMP’s (erosion control), sprinklers, landscaping, drilling a water well, water storage tanks, booster pump
and pressure tanks for water storage tank, septic system, electrical service line, propane or natural gas line, city sewer line connection, water meter connection, asphalt or concrete driveway and area drains.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for all site costs typically falls between $50,000 to $125,000. Below are some rough costs you can expect to spend on site costs; utility connections and grading are not included as they vary greatly for each project.

$1,500 to $3,000 – Soils Testing

$1,000 to $3,000 – BMP’s (Soils Erosion)

$25,000 to $35,000 – Water Well, Storage Tanks & Pumps

$10,000 to $15,000 – Septic System

$3.25 / Square Foot – Asphalt Driveway

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

If you’re getting ready to build a custom home and want to build an ADU or other dwelling in the future you will want to make sure a 400 AMP Meter is installed. The reason for doing this is a typical meter is only 200 AMPs for a single unit. However, when you get the 400 AMP meter you will then need a dual electric meter. 

For more information please see here.

SDG&E will come out and install the dual electric meter but they will just leave the side for the future dwelling blanked off. What Freeman’s Construction Inc will do is we’ll actually connect that panel and run a sweep out from the slab and just sweep and stub it out in the dirt and then tape off the end of that so it’s ready to go for tying on later. Then all you will have to do is trench to the new location for the ADU and then get the wire pulled and have your electrician put in a sub panel on the Accessory Dwelling Unit that will then bring the power inside the unit. Doing this will save you a lot of headaches with not having to re-tie everything back in when you decide to build the ADU.

For more information please go here.

To go from a 200 AMP panel to a 400 AMP panel is somewhere in the range of about   $3,000 to upgrade to that panel.

For more information please go here.

The cost for an alternative system versus a primary standard septic system is pretty significant. If you’re putting in a standard system, you’re going to spend somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000, typically. But if you are going to put in an alternative system, you’re going to spend somewhere to $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the size of that system that you need for the home.

Click here to learn more.

Build Costs

The bottom of the range is for a home with “Average” finishes & the upper range is for a home with “Upscale” finishes:

$150 to $250 sq. ft. – Living Area

$80 to $100 sq. ft. – Garage (Attached)

$45 to $65 sq. ft. – Covered Porches

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Below are some rough cost examples of what you can expect to invest to build a custom home. These costs do not include the “plans & design”, “permits & fees” or “site costs”. These numbers are strictly for the costs to build the structure of the home.

Example 1-

Total Costs: $372,788.00

Level of Finishes: Average

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area

576 sq.ft. – Garage

532 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

Example 2-

Total Costs: $447, 087.00

Level of Finishes: Average

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area

953 sq.ft. – Garage 

730 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

Example 3-

Total Costs: $692,488.00

Level of Finishes: Custom

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,939 sq.ft. – Living Area

1,144 sq.ft. – Garage 

467 sq.ft. – Covered Porches

Example 4-

Total Costs: $1,239,302.00

Level of Finishes: Upscale

5 – Bedrooms

3.5 – Bathrooms

4,399 sq.ft. – Living Area

1,144 sq.ft. – Garage

714 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

When we are figuring the costs to build a custom home we will look at
similar projects we have built with similar finishes and evaluate the costs
of three different parts of the home. They are the:

  • Living Area
  • Covered Porches
  • Garage (attached)

The reason for doing this…

Example #1:  You can have a 2500 sq. ft. home with a 2000 sq. ft. wrap around porch and a two car garage and it will cost more to build than the exact same house and garage with only 500 sq. ft. of covered porch.

Example #2: Similarly if you had a 2500 sq. ft. home with a 1500 sq.
ft. garage it is going to cost more to build than the same house with a two car garage that is 576 sq. ft.

Example #3: Another example is if you have a 2500 sq. ft. home with no garage it will be much cheaper to build than the same house with a garage. 

So, using a blanket price per square foot to estimate the costs to build a custom home is just not an accurate way to figure the costs. Again, by breaking the costs into the three different parts of living area, covered porch area and garage area you are able to get a much more accurate cost projection for building a custom home.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive areas of the home to build. When you take the same size kitchen and the same quantity and size of bathrooms and put them into the house with the smaller square footage the price per square foot will be higher on the smaller house. 

Example: If you build a 4 bedroom 3 bath home that is 2500 sq. ft. the cost per square foot to build that home will be cheaper than if you built a 4 bedroom 3 bath home that is 2000 sq. ft. The reason for this is the smaller home has the exact same size kitchen and the exact same quantity of bathrooms.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The cheapest square footage to build in the living area of the home is “open footage” which would be open area in the living room, hallways or bedrooms. These areas do not have cabinets, plumbing, countertops or electrical and are much cheaper to build per square foot.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Secondary bathrooms typically add $25,000 or more to the overall cost of a home. A master bath can add $40,000 on the low end and much more
depending on how elaborate the design is.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

One factor that greatly changes the cost per square foot to build your home is the type of materials you choose to finish your home. These include exterior and interior finishes. 

For example:

Exterior-

A home with a lot of stone veneer on the exterior, an elaborate siding design or Santa Barbara finish on the stucco will definitely increase the cost to build the home versus the same home without those finishes. 

Interior-

Similarly on the interior of a home if you have wood windows, open beam
ceilings, stain grade doors, stain grade wood trim, all tile floors, a smooth level 5 drywall finish, radiant floor heat and elaborate tile showers in all the bathrooms the price per square foot will be much higher than a home with fiberglass showers, LVP flooring, vinyl windows and drywall ceilings.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, since April 2020 lumber has in fact tripled in price.

 

Cost Example-

 

September 2019: Custom Home 

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area 

576 sq.ft. –  Garage 

500 sq.ft. –  Patio 

$27,000 – Total Lumber Package 

 

September 2020: Accessory Dwelling Unit

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

650 sq.ft. – Garage

300 sq.ft. – Patio

$37,000 – Total Lumber Package 

 

For this example the lumber package included all the lumber plus the trusses. The garages and porches were very similar, but the ADU was about 1,000 square feet smaller, and the lumber package was $10,000 more than the 2,200 square foot home that we built about a year ago which is a significant increase.

For more information on tripling lumber prices please see here.

HOME REMODELING

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

Yes, most of the time you do. If you are doing a mostly cosmetic remodel such as removing and replacing cabinets, fixtures, flooring, doors, trim, and painting you may only need a misc plumbing or electrical permit that are much easier to get than a remodel that involves changing the home structurally or adding on a room to the home.

The County of San Diego does have a “Self Certification Permit” option that allows us a contractor to very quickly pull a permit and then actually certify it as complete instead of having a County building inspector come out the project. This can save time and money and is a viable option for projects that are mostly cosmetic in scope. Get more info on this here

Soft costs are expenses related to remodeling your home that are not related to the actual remodel of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering and any other fees that are not directly associated with remodeling the home. 

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Kitchen Remodel Costs

Costs: $29,534

Level of Finishes: Average

Project Details-

Take an existing 200 sq.ft. kitchen that has a good functional layout with approximately
30 lineal feet of cabinets and countertops and make the following updates with average grade finishes:
  • Leave the existing cabinets in place and replace all the door and drawer fronts with
    new shaker-style wood panels.
  • Install new cabinet knobs and pulls.
  • Replace appliances including the cooktop, oven, refrigerator, microwave &
    dishwasher with energy star appliances.
  • Install new solid surface countertops.
  • Install new chrome kitchen faucet and sink.
  • Install new luxury vinyl plank flooring.
  • New subway tile backsplash between countertop and upper cabinets.
  • New paint at walls, ceiling, and trim.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.  

Answer: Costs: $82,982

Level of Finishes: Average

Project Details-

Demo an existing 200 sq. ft. kitchen and redesign so it has a good functional layout with approximately 30 lineal feet of cabinets and countertops and update with average grade finishes.
The scope of work and average grade finishes to include:

  • Install all new semi-custom wood cabinets including a 3’x5’ island cabinet.
  • Install new cabinet knobs and pulls.
  • Replace appliances including the cooktop, oven, refrigerator, microwave &
    dishwasher with energy star appliances.
  • Install new solid surface countertops.
  • Install new chrome kitchen faucet, garbage disposal and stainless-steel sink.
  • Install new luxury vinyl plank flooring.
  • New subway tile backsplash between countertop and upper cabinets.
  • Custom lighting in upper cabinets.
  • New paint at walls, ceiling, and trim.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Costs: $162,821

Level of Finishes: Luxury

Project Details-

  • Install all new high end custom luxury wood cabinets including a double sided 3’x5’ i
    island cabinet.
  • Glass in upper cabinet doors with glass shelving.
  • Custom lighting in upper cabinets.
  • New imported porcelain or glass tile backsplash between countertop and upper
    cabinets.
  • Install new high-end cabinet knobs and pulls.
  • Install new high-end stainless-steel appliances including the commercial-grade
    cooktop, vent hood, double oven, built-in refrigerator, built-in microwave &
    dishwasher with energy star ratings.
  • Install new quartz or granite countertops with custom edge detail.
  • Install new designer kitchen faucet, high end stainless-steel sink, garbage disposal
    and water filtration system.
  • Install new engineered hardwood or porcelain tile flooring.
  • New paint at walls, ceiling, and trim.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Bathroom Remodel Costs

Costs: $68,958

Level of Finishes: Average

Project Details-

Add on a new 6’x8’ bathroom to your home with average grade finishes. The scope of work and average grade finishes include:

  • New paint.
  • Porcelain tile flooring.
  • New 30” x 60” fiberglass
    tub/shower with tile
    surround.
  • New vanity & linen
    cabinets.
  • Standard chrome single-lever vanity faucets.
  • New lighting.
  • Low profile toilets.
  • Mirrored medicine cabinets.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Costs: $121,588

Level of Finishes: Luxury

Project Details-

Add on a 100 sq.ft. addition to increase the sizeof the existing master bathroom in your home with Luxury finishes. The scope of work and Luxury grade finishes include:
  • New paint.
  • Custom cabinetry including vanity and linen cabinets.
  • Freestanding soaker tub.
  • Quartz or granite vanity countertops with two sinks.
  • Luxury grade vanity and tub faucets.
  • 48” x 48” tile shower with high end body spray fixtures and frameless shower
    enclosure.
  • Large porcelain floor tile with diagonal layout and electric in-floor heating.
  • Porcelain tile baseboards to match floor tile.
  • New general & spot lighting that accompanies upgraded vanity electrical fixtures
    and wall sconces.
  • New paint for walls, ceiling, doors & trim.
  • Custom medicine cabinets with mirrors and lighting.
  • Humidistat controlled exhaust fan.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Costs: $28,968

Level of Finishes: Average

Project Details-

Demo and remove all existing cabinets, fixtures & finishes in an existing 5’x7’ bathroom
in your home and replace with new average grade finishes. The scope of work and average grade finishes to include:
  • New paint.
  • Custom cabinetry including vanity and linen cabinets.
  • Freestanding soaker tub.
  • Quartz or granite vanity countertops with two sinks.
  • Luxury grade vanity and tub faucets.
  • 48” x 48” tile shower with high end body spray fixtures and frameless shower
    enclosure.
  • Large porcelain floor tile with diagonal layout and electric in-floor heating.
    • Porcelain tile baseboards to match floor tile.
  • New general & spot lighting that accompanies upgraded vanity electrical fixtures
    and wall sconces.
  • New paint for walls, ceiling, doors & trim.
  • Custom medicine cabinets with mirrors and lighting.
  • Humidistat controlled exhaust fan.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Costs: $86,818

Level of Finishes: Luxury

Project Details-

Add new 100 square-foot master bathroom to an existing master bedroom over crawlspace. Include 42×42 inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls, accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body spray fixtures and frameless glass enclosure. Put in freestanding soaker tub with high end faucets; stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one toilet; a humidistat controlled exhaust fan. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting and waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry has custom drawer base, wall cabinets. Extend HVAC. Electric in-floor heating.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.8

Costs: $43,964

Level of Finishes: Universal Design 

Project Details-

A universal remodel is an investment for those who are looking to age in place through accessible design. Integrating age in place design principles into your home increases safety, comfort, and home value.
 
Demo and remove all existing cabinets, fixtures & finishes in an existing 5’x7’ bathroom in your home. Redesign space to allow for aging in place design and install new average grade finishes. The scope of work and average grade finishes include: 
  • Reframe door opening to be 36” wide.
  • Remove tub & install porcelain tile shower with zero barrier shower floors with roll-in access.
  • Install a new fold out seat in shower.
  • New chrome plumbing fixtures that include adjustable shower heads.
  • Install new ADA compliant comfort height toilet.
  • Install shower enclosure with bi-directional door.
  • Install grab bars at toilet and shower capable of supporting 250 lbs.
  • Customized vanity and linen cabinets to be accessible from a seated position and fitted with adjustable mirrors and easy to grip cabinet pulls, knobs, and handles.
  • Add in new lighting, humidity-sensing fan with controls & fresh paint.
  • Install luxury vinyl tile flooring with electric heat.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Room Addition Costs

Costs: $188,412

Level of Finishes: Average

Project Description-

Add on a new 384 sq. ft. master bedroom & bathroom suite to your home with average
grade finishes. The scope of work and average grade finishes include:

  • Large master bedroom.
  • Walk in closet with a dressing area.
  • Carpet on the bedroom and closet floors.
  • New custom vanity cabinet.
  • Solid surface countertops with dual integral sinks.
  • Chrome single lever sink, shower and tub plumbing fixtures.
  • 3 ft x 4 ft tile shower.
  • Freestanding soaker tub.
  • Porcelain tile floors in the bathroom.
  • Install general lighting, vanity lights and an exhaust fan.
  • New paint at walls, ceiling, doors and trim.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Costs: $379,080

Level of Finishes: Luxury

Project Description-

  • Spacious master bedroom sleeping area.
  • Sitting area next to the master bathroom.
  • Walk-in closet and dressing area with mirrors, linen storage & custom lighting.
  • Custom bookcases & built-in storage with custom woodwork.
  • High-end gas fireplace with natural stone hearth and custom wood mantle.
  • 5 ft long bar with sink in master bedroom with undercounter refrigerator, custom cabinetry,
    granite/quartz countertop & a microwave.
  • Custom exterior French doors.
  • Engineered hardwood on the bedroom and closet floors.
  • Two custom vanity cabinets each with
    its own sink.
  • Quartz or granite countertops with large custom mirrors.
  • Large walk-in shower with two shower heads & custom stone tile on the floor & walls.
  • True frameless shower enclosure. 
  • Freestanding soaker tub.
  • High-end plumbing fixtures.
  • High-end cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls and door hardware.
  • Stone tile floors in the bathroom with electric radiant heat.
  • Install general lighting, vanity lights, high-end lighting controls and a humidistat exhaust fan.
  • Custom finishes on the walls.
  • New paint at walls, ceiling, doors and trim.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADU'S)

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Building an Adu will take about 5 to 6 months.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do is get a set of completed plans. This is going to include floor plans and elevations.

Step 2: Get a cost breakdown that will show the bank total costs of the project and the contingency.  Each bank’s a little different as far as the amount of contingency that they require. 5% is typical and some banks will be less than that. You will also need descriptions of materials or specifications packages.

Step 3: Another thing that the banks will require before they fund the loan is they want an approved septic layout if you’re on a septic system or proof that you are able to tie in the city sewer. 

For more information on how to get a construction loan please visit here.

No, we do NOT do any work related to manufactured home projects including the foundations and site improvements needed.

It depends on what you are needing. If you are looking for long-term value to be added to your property then a traditional stick-built ADU is going to be the best way to go. A stick-built ADU will definitely cost more to build but appraisers will give more value to it than a manufactured home.


If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get into a home then a manufactured home can be a good option. Also if you are looking to put a home on your property to generate rental income and cash flow an ADU that is a manufactured home will be cheaper and may produce a similar cash flow as a more expensive stick-built ADU.

We do NOT do manufactured home projects at Freemans Construction Inc.

If you do not need a septic system or water well installed you will need to contact your local sewer & water municipality to find out what the costs will be to tie into the city sewer system & water supply. 

Plans & Design

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The initial costs involved to get your home designed and the plans drawn will run between 3% to 5% of the overall cost to build your home. So if the total budget to build your home was $250,000 you could expect to spend $7,500 to $12,500 to get the design, budget, selections, plans, structural engineering & energy calculations completed & ready to submit to the local building department.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, we do. You can download our popular ADU floor plans here.

Yes, you can save money if you choose to use plans for an ADU we have already built. The savings can be up to $2,500. You can download our popular ADU floor plans here.

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Permits & Fees

Currently, right now with covid-19, it is taking between 6 to 9 months to get a building permit with the county of San Diego to build an Adu or a custom home. The time frame starts when you submit your plans to the County of San Diego. You will need to schedule a free submittal appointment with the county of San Diego in order to start this process. It is taking anywhere from 30 to 60 days currently to get a plan submittal appointment. Prior to submitting your plans, you must have all of the architectural and structural plans completed as well as your site plan. It is also a good idea to have your septic layout completed so you can submit this at the same time or actually get it submitted prior to submitting your building plans. The time frames for getting a septic layout approved or extended significantly as well. These have been taking anywhere from two to five months to get approval. These are the current time frames as of January 2021.

Permits and fees include school fees, traffic impact fees, building plan check fees, park fees, building permit fees, septic layout & septic permit fees.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for permits & fees will run between $9,000 to $12,000
depending on the size of the ADU and its location. Below is is an example of the fees for a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 576 sq. ft. garage on a septic system that is plan-checked through the San Diego County building department and located in Ramona, CA.

$4,176 – School Fees @ $3.48 sq. ft.

$0 – Traffic Impact Fees (Waived by COSD)

$2,103 – Building Plan Check Fees

$2,048 – Building Permit Fees$0 – Park Fees (Waived by COSD)

$2,337 – Septic Layout & Permit

$1,000 – Permit Processing

$11,664 – Total

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

School fees are charged on a per square foot basis and will vary for different school districts. Traffic impact fees also vary depending on what location you are in.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

School fees do fluctuate. Make sure you are updated on the current cost for the school fees in your school district. For example Ramona Unified School District fees are currently $3.48/sq.ft. and Poway Unified School District is currently $4.04/sq.ft. 

To calculate your school fees you will multiply:

School Fee Price/Sq.Ft. x Square Footage of Home = School Fees to Be Paid

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

Tying into city sewer can cost upwards of $15,000 or more. Tying into the city water supply and getting a new water meter can cost upwards of $15,000 or more as well.

Prior to COVID, we were seeing anywhere from a two-week timeframe, three weeks max. We’re now seeing it taking two months to actually get approval for the septic layout. So it’s increased fourfold as far as a timeline to get that done.

For more information on septic layout approvals please go here.

If you’re getting ready to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit, and you are on a city sewer with your primary dwelling, meaning you do not have a septic system. This is one of the best scenarios as far as being able to do this cost-effective, and get your plumbing tied in and your sewer lines tied in to the city sewer. 

Costs: $800 to $1,000 depending on your location.

However, what will happen when you get an ADU permit, they’re going to basically double the fee. So you’ll be paying an additional sewer fee that will go to that district every year. So make sure that you calculate that into the cost of that ADU. A lot of people are renting these ADUs out, and they forget that the actual fee is going to be a monthly recurring fee that you’ll have to pay. One tip I have though is to call your sewer district and find out what they’ll be charging and verify there’s no additional fees. Every district’s a little different, and there’s a lot of them.

For more information on sewer fees please go here.

Site Costs

The site costs for building an accessory dwelling unit will vary greatly depending
on the land that you will be building your home on. The site costs will
include grading, soils testing, BMP’s (erosion control), sprinklers, landscaping, drilling a water well, water storage tanks, booster pump
and pressure tanks for water storage tank, septic system, electrical service line, propane or natural gas line, city sewer line connection, water meter connection, asphalt or concrete driveway and area drains.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for all site costs typically falls between $50,000 to $125,000. Below are some rough costs you can expect to spend on site costs; utility connections and grading are not included as they vary greatly for each project.

$1,500 to $3,000 – Soils Testing

$1,000 to $3,000 – BMP’s (Soils Erosion)

$25,000 to $35,000 – Water Well, Storage Tanks & Pumps

$10,000 to $15,000 – Septic System

$3.25 / Square Foot – Asphalt Driveway

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

If you’re getting ready to build a custom home and want to build an ADU or other dwelling in the future you will want to make sure a 400 AMP Meter is installed. The reason for doing this is a typical meter is only 200 AMPs for a single unit. However, when you get the 400 AMP meter you will then need a dual electric meter. 

For more information please go here

SDG&E will come out and install the dual electric meter but they will just leave the side for the future dwelling blanked off. What Freeman’s Construction Inc will do is we’ll actually connect that panel and run a sweep out from the slab and just sweep and stub it out in the dirt and then tape off the end of that so it’s ready to go for tie on later. Then all you will have to do is trench to the new location for the ADU and then get the wire poled and have your electrician put in a sub panel on the Accessory Dwelling Unit that will then get the power inside the unit. Doing this will save you a lot of headaches with not having to re-tie everything back in when you decide to build the ADU.

For more information please go here.

To go from a 200 AMP panel to a 400 AMP panel is somewhere in the range of about   $3,000 to upgrade to that panel.

For more information please go here.

If you’re in San Diego County and you’re wanting to build an accessory dwelling unit on your property and you don’t have access to city sewer, then this is something that you definitely will want to know. If you have a smaller lot we will start working immediately with a septic engineer  to establish the layout. But what happens is, you already have your primary residence and you have an existing primary system, the septic system, which is your leach field could be a potential seepage pit or it could be leach lines depending on the percolation rate. But that’s going to cover a certain amount of area. 

The City of San Diego also requires you to have a 100% reserve area. So even though there’s no system installed for your existing home, it’s there, you’re going to need twice the space that you need. So if it’s 400 feet of leach lines, you’re going to need to have additional area available for another 400 feet. That’s so if your primary septic system fails, you have space to put in a new system.

For more information on ADU septic systems please visit here.

Build Costs

The bottom of the range is for an ADU with “Average” finishes & the upper range is for a ADU with “Upscale” finishes:

$250 to $350 sq. ft. – Living Area

$55 sq. ft. – Covered Porches

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

$90 sq. ft. – Garage (Attached)

Below are some rough cost examples of what you can expect to invest to build a custom home. These costs do not include the “plans & design”, “permits & fees” or “site costs”. These numbers are strictly for the costs to build the structure of the home.

Example 1-

Total Costs: $261, 455.00

Level of Finishes: Average

1 – Bedrooms

1 – Bathrooms

763 sq.ft. – Living Area

477 sq.ft. – Garage

505 sq.ft. – Covered Patio

Example 2-

Total Costs: $298,270.00

Level of Finishes: Custom

2 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

1,157 sq.ft. – Living Area

164 sq.ft. – Garage

No Covered Patio

Example 3-

Total Costs: $379,800.00

Level of Finishes: Average

3 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

480 sq.ft. – Garage

120 sq.ft. – Covered Patio

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

When we are figuring the costs to build an accessory dwelling unit we will look at similar projects we have built with similar finishes and evaluate the costs of three different parts of the home. They are the:

  • Living Area
  • Covered Porches
  • Garage (attached)

The reason for doing this…

Example #1:  You can have a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 1000 sq. ft. wrap around porch and a two car garage and it will cost more to build than the exact same ADU and garage with only 250 sq. ft. of covered porch.

Example #2: Similarly if you had a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 1000 sq.
ft. garage it is going to cost more to build than the same ADU with a two
car garage that is 576 sq. ft.

Example #3: Another example is if you have a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with no garage it will be much cheaper to build that ADU.

So, using a blanket price per square foot to estimate the costs to build an accessory dwelling unit is just not an accurate way to figure the costs. Again, by breaking the costs into the three different parts of living area, covered porch area and garage area you are able to get a much more accurate cost projection for building an ADU.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive areas of the home to build. When you take the same size kitchen and the same quantity and size of bathrooms and put them into the house with the smaller square footage the price per square foot will be higher on the smaller house. 

Example: If you build a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom ADU that is 1,200 sq. ft. sq. ft. the cost per square foot to build that ADU will be cheaper than if you built a 2 bedroom 2 bath ADU that is 800 sq. ft.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The cheapest square footage to build in the living area of the home is “open footage” which would be open area in the living room, hallways or bedrooms. These areas do not have cabinets, plumbing, countertops or electrical and are much cheaper to build per square foot.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Secondary bathrooms typically add $25,000 or more to the overall cost of a home. A master bath can add $40,000 on the low end and much more
depending on how elaborate the design is.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

One factor that greatly changes the cost per square foot to build your home is the type of materials you choose to finish your home. These include exterior and interior finishes. 

For example:

Exterior-

A home with a lot of stone veneer on the exterior, an elaborate siding design or Santa Barbara finish on the stucco will definitely increase the cost to build the home versus the same home without those finishes. 

Interior-

Similarly on the interior of a home if you have wood windows, open beam
ceilings, stain grade doors, stain grade wood trim, all tile floors, a smooth level 5 drywall finish, radiant floor heat and elaborate tile showers in all the bathrooms the price per square foot will be much higher than a home with fiberglass showers, LVP flooring, vinyl windows and drywall ceilings.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, since April 2020 lumber has in fact tripled in price.

 

Cost Example-

September 2019: Custom Home 

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area 

576 sq.ft. –  Garage and about 

500 sq.ft. –  Patio 

$27,000 – Total Lumber Package

 

September 2020: Accessory Dwelling Unit

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

650 sq.ft. – Garage

300 sq.ft. – Patio

$37,000 – Total Lumber Package 

The lumber package includes all the lumber plus the trusses. The garages and porches were very similar, but the ADU was about 1,000 square feet smaller, and the lumber package was $10,000 more than the 2,200 square foot home that we built about a year ago which is a significant increase.

For more information on tripling lumber prices please see here

Building an ADU in Poway

If you have property zoned RRC in Poway you have some leniencies as far as setbacks.  In that zone, the setbacks are as follows:

  • Front Yard – 40 Feet
  • Side Yard – 20 Feet
  • Backyard – 50 Feet

Property zones in RRC you have to abide by the front yard setback, they don’t allow any exceptions for that. However, they will allow an encroachment of up to 4 feet from your property line on the side and backyard.

For more information on building setbacks for an ADU in Poway please see here.

What you can build is based off of the primary dwelling. So if the main dwelling is a two story home then the ADU will also be two story. If not, and it is a one story house then the ADU will also be one story. However, one trick is you find what the tallest point is in the primary dwelling and whatever that is the ADU cannot exceed that height. For an example if the tallest point is 22 feet then your ADU cannot exceed 22 feet to the ridge.

For more information on one and two story ADUs in Poway please see here.

Poway bases everything off of the primary dwelling size. So look at the actual living square footage of your primary dwelling that you’re living in now, they will allow you to build an ADU that is up to 50% the size of the primary dwelling. Let’s say the primary dwelling is 3,000 square feet. 

50% x 3,000 sq.ft. = 1,500 sq.ft. 

1500 is actually the maximum size you can go. However, there is an exception if you have a home that’s 4,000+ sq.ft., that detached ADU is going to only be allowed to be 1500 sq.ft. 

For more ADU building exceptions in Poway please visit here

That will be based off of your primary dwelling, and also off the square footage. The way it works is, if your primary dwelling has fire sprinklers in it already, you automatically have to put fire sprinklers in your new ADU. But if your primary dwelling does not have fire sprinklers, then you’re not required to put them in the ADU as long as you stay at 1200 square feet or smaller on the square footage for the ADU. However, when you exceed 1200 square feet, and you can go all the way up to 1500 square feet maximum in Poway, you are required to install fire sprinklers, even if the primary dwelling does not have them.

For more information on fire sprinklers in Poway ADU’s please see here

METAL & STEEL BUILDINGS

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Yes, we do however we only will build a metal building along with another project such as a custom home, home remodeling project, or an accessory dwelling unit project that we are doing at the same time for you.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

HOW TO WORK WITH US

1. Request a Project Consultation Online or by Phone

2. We Will Meet With You at Your Home or Building Site

3. Establish a Budget for the Project & Start Drawing Plans

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