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Factors influencing home building prices can include home design, site, and local costs for labor and transport of materials. One important thing to be aware of is inflation over time; it is not a good idea to rely on an estimate from several years ago, as the numbers will be skewed. A reliable contractor will provide a reasonable estimate of home building prices, including a section for cost overruns, the unexpected expenses that always arise in the process of building a home despite the most careful planning.
In terms of home design, a number of things can push cost up. Materials are important; people building a home with high quality or luxury materials can expect to pay more. Hardwood floors are more expensive than carpeting, tile will cost more than linoleum, granite counters are more costly than fiberboard, and so forth. In addition, the size and shape of a home are factors. Unusually large homes are expensive to build, as are homes with odd shapes and special design features like hot tubs or pools.
The location is also an important factor in home building prices. Some lots are easy to work with. Minimal site preparation is involved, utilities already run to the site, and it is easy for people to reach while working on the home. Others may require construction of access roads, running utility lines, and extensive work to get the site ready for building, causing home building prices to increase.
Some areas are also more expensive than others, reflecting longer distances for transport of materials and other issues, such as local labor costs. In some regions, contractors have high labor costs because they must pay a living wage to their workers, and things like taxes and liability insurance can rack up rapidly. Remote areas tend to be more expensive, and in some cases, options may be limited by the area; for example, transporting heavy rock for construction may not be recommended or even possible, forcing people to choose different materials.
Building energy efficient homes usually costs more in the short term, but generates substantial savings in the long run. People can also save money by using salvaged and reclaimed materials in some cases. Some communities may offer benefits to people using local suppliers, such as discounts for builders sourcing materials locally, rather than out of town. It is also important to get competitive bids from multiple contractors to get an idea of the range of cost estimates for home building prices in a given region.