Before we present any numbers here, it should be noted that they apply specifically to Écohabitations boréales and are not intended to represent construction costs in an urban setting, remote areas beyond the Laurentians or the costs of other builders. The construction costs shown here are by the square foot (sq. ft.) for a typical 2,500 sq. ft. home built on a parcel of land with a slight grade (15% and less).
- Excavation and access road
- Well and advanced secondary plumbing
- Framing and insulation
- Plumbing, heating and ventilation
- Interior and exterior finishing
- LEED and Novoclimat certifications
Important note: to create the budget for a turnkey project, we include all built square footage and include all storeys. In the prices shown, all storeys are finished with the same quality materials (flooring, doors, mouldings and frames, etc.). Also, generally speaking, we call the basement the garden-level storey since a good portion of it is above-ground and features large windows, walls with exterior wood cladding and quality finishing materials on the inside.
Price per square foot for different types of houses
Conventional house with a pitched roof with one or several gables and standard-sized doors and windows: $180 to $240 per sq. ft.
Contemporary house with a flat roof and large windows, often floor-to-ceiling: from $240 per sq. ft.
Factors That Can Impact Pricing
Many factors can change construction costs from those listed above. Some of the most common factors are:
1- Topography: a fairly level parcel of land with a gentle grade costs less to excavate and lay foundations. By contrast, terrain with a steep grade (e.g. 15 to 25%) can increase costs by $10 to $15/sq. ft.
2- Heating system: The choice of mechanical systems is vast and can have a significant impact on a project’s cost. Here are a few examples of additional costs for unconventional mechanical systems (again, for a 2,500 sq. ft. house):
- Forced-air system with air-to-air heat pump: $5/sq. ft.
- Radiant flooring: $8/sq. ft.
- Geothermal system: $14/sq. ft.
- Alternative energy system: $3 to $10/sq. ft.
- Self-sustaining house: $15 to $25/sq. ft.
3- House size: Size is a determining factor in our calculation of construction price. Because our calculations include excavation, access road, well, septic facilities and an array of other fixed costs, a small house costs much more per square foot than a large one. It is difficult to put a precise number on this aspect, but let’s say that it is possible for a large, contemporary house with a heat pump system to cost less per square foot than a small, conventional house with a heating system and electric baseboards.
4- Configuration: Every case is different, but the cost per square foot of a house built on a concrete slab, with a garden-level floor, is higher than that of a house with the same total size but with several storeys. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for the plans for a house on a concrete slab to have fewer square feet, and thus a lower total budget, while benefiting from the advantages of this type of construction, notably the possibility of installing a hot water heating system in the concrete slab on the ground floor.
5- Degree of finishing: The quality of materials used to finish the home can influence total price, but less so than the topography, mechanical systems, total size or configuration. It is hard to put a precise number on this aspect, but we can say that the degree of interior and exterior finishing can add between $5 and $20 to the per-square-foot cost.
The Usefulness of Calculating by the Square Foot
We calculate prices by the square foot for the preliminary stages of a project prior to starting plans for the future dwelling. This allows us to calculate the approximate total square footage to be incorporated into the plans. When preliminary versions of the plans are complete, we move on to do a complete and detailed project estimate using specialized software and quotes that give us a quick and accurate idea of the materials and labour costs. We invite you to send us your plans to get a free estimate early in the design process – this will help you avoid spending long hours on a plan that exceeds your budget goals.
To conclude: we collaborate regularly on home plan design with our customers. During the process, we take into consideration your needs, the terrain, and your budget. At this critical stage in your project, it is important to take the necessary time to strike the balance between your dreams and your budget to ensure that the outcome is a home you will cherish for many years!