Calculating the Cost of Your New Home

Something we find ourselves doing almost daily is clarifying the best way to calculate total project costs for new home builds. We have some simple rules to follow that will help!

Some call them “turnkey costs”, but regardless of what you call them, we’re all talking about the same thing: the total cost to build your new home. If you’re working with EkoBuilt, this will include the house plan, the weathertight material kit for that plan and its installation, as well as everything ranging from the foundation through to finishes.

First, let’s review how we calculate your costs, but then please read on for how EkoBuilt’s passive homes stack up against more mainstream options. Finally, let’s talk about a new trend towards builder smaller and putting more into the details.

Cost Analysis for a New Home

Our general rule of thumb is simple: take the cost of the weathertight material package for one of our house plans plus its installation cost, add those together, and double the total.

So what does this look like?

Nepean Point coach house plan (720 sq ft)
Weathertight Material Kit – $46,836 + Installation – $33,976
Sub total: $80,782 x 2
Grand total: $161,564 (approximate)

Hummingbird plan (1,916 sq ft)
Weathertight Material Kit – $159,948 + Installation – $57,480
Sub total: $217,428 x 2
Grand total: $434,856 (approximate)

Note: during the pandemic, material costs have experienced incredible volatility. For this reason, we cannot currently guarantee material pricing in our price sheets.

Beautiful lakeside home built with EkoBuilt's Hummingbird plan - click to see all energy efficient home plans.
Lakeside home built with EkoBuilt’s Hummingbird house plan

Factors that Push Costs Up (or Down)

In most cases, the “unknowns” on a project (especially finishes) go up in price as home owners make decisions about what they really want.

Marble or granite costs more than some more economical options for countertops, a well known example that many can visualize easily.

Other factors can influence final project costs, such as choosing a more complex envelope or roofline over what we recommend, or making changes once the project is well underway.

For rural property owners, choosing to site the home well away from the road may increase driveway and hydro connection costs.

For urban home owners, demolition and removal of an old structure may need to happen first.

Hummingbird house plan
The Hummingbird Plan shown with an optional basement

Choose from our house plans: we will build to suit your lifestyle and needs.


Additional Costs

So what are those extra costs when we multiply that first sub-total by 2?

  • Foundation
  • Roof. fascia and soffit
  • Exterior siding or other finish and trim
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Interior finishes (e.g. paint, flooring, cabinetry, tile, electrical fixtures)

You can see right away from this list that items like interior and exterior finishes can keep you on budget or push it up if you opt for more expensive materials.

What’s NOT Included

And, of course, let’s not forget what we don’t include when we quote for your new home, as this can vary wildly for different home owners:

  • Land costs
  • Building permits
  • Project management
  • Land specific work (excavation, backfill, laneway, landscaping)

Get YOUR Costs Figured Out

The very best way to get YOUR costs figured out is to share the details of your plan or actual situation. If you have a budget ceiling, that’s important too. In this way, we can create a plan that will work for you.

Building a smaller home

There is a great way to get everything you want from your new home at the price you can afford: build smaller and smarter.

You can always find a larger square foot home more cheaply from a developer, but as soon as you move into one of these spaces and notice the poor air quality, cheap finishes, and expensive utility bills, it is easy to become quickly dissatisfied with the space. Why compromise?

What’s important in your new home

When any of us start dreaming of a new home, we are immediately attracted to things like finishes. The perfect countertop, that amazing tile you saw in a magazine, gorgeous furniture.

When we create a home, we want it to feel like an extension of ourselves. We want it to feel like us. There’s a lot to be said for that.

By building smaller and smarter, you can typically leave room in the budget for those finishes that will truly make a home YOURS.

1,500 is the new 2,500 (square feet)

We have a lot of conversations with individuals, couples, and families about new homes. And we’re finding that there is more room to create smaller spaces that fit everyone’s needs.

Square footage used to be a very real limiting factor when discussing house plans, but no more. We certainly have the tiny home movement to thank for shaking up our thinking, but a tiny home is not for everyone.

“Enough home” is for everyone, and that’s where we find that 1,500 sq ft is often just about perfect.

EkoBuilt’s new demonstration home

We’re so excited about what a 1,500 sq ft home can deliver to home owners, we’re building our next demonstration home to that size! Building starts early in 2021 and we’ll keep you posted on progress.

Watch for the next in our series on calculating the cost of your new home. We’ll introduce the plans for the new demonstration home, and we’ll dig into conventional home building costs vs. ours (hint: it’s possible to build a better, healthier home that’s cheaper to run for less money upfront).

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