Know the Numbers: The REAL Costs Behind Custom Homes in Toronto
Home prices in Toronto have had their share of fluctuations in recent years, as the housing bust was followed by a hot market fueled by low-interest mortgages and smaller supplies of single-family dwellings. Many prospective home purchasers have ended up waiting several months longer than they expected to relocate or upgrade to a new house. In the last year, homes in Toronto have jumped in price by almost 15%, to around $888,000 on average.
As home prices soar and supply dwindles, many families are looking for better solutions for their housing woes. Some are even looking to build custom homes in Toronto, due to being dissatisfied with the pre-existing homes available in the area. This option presents a number of intriguing possibilities for people who have specific wants and needs for their houses, and who cannot seem to find something matching their specifications.
Having to compromise on the place that you are going to live, perhaps for several years, is never a desirable option. But, you might be questioning what it might take to build a custom home in Toronto in terms of time, money, and resources. In order to help you determine whether this would be a good choice for your particular circumstances, here are some facts and figures to consider.
A common way of estimating the cost for custom homes in Toronto is by using square-foot pricing. This pricing method looks at similar houses to the one that you are getting ready to build and bases the projected cost on an average of the cost of those houses. However, this method is not always reliable or accurate. It can provide you with a very rough estimate, but figures can vary greatly, and you can end up with a home that costs several thousand dollars above what the estimate was based on average for square feet.
While square foot pricing is a good place to start, you then need to begin narrowing down your price range to determine what you really can afford. Size is a factor, but so is complexity. A smaller, more complex house can cost the same as a mid-sized house that is simpler in design. Buyers must also determine what level of finish they want in their custom homes in Toronto. High-level finish can add a considerable amount to the final price tag.
If you need an example of how design and finish can have a bigger impact on costs than simple size, just consider the shapes of various homes you might come across in your search. Which do you think is more efficient, a French country style home or a colonial home? Everything from the foundation to the roofline on a French country home is more spread out and requires more materials and much greater attention to detail in order to construct it correctly.
Meanwhile, a colonial home has a number of standard shapes that appear over and over again throughout the home, requiring less in the way of measurement or special framing. The colonial home is also more efficient in terms of surface area, with a simpler foundation and smaller roof versus the different angles and steep pitches found on the French country. When you consider all of these details, it is easy to see why size is not always the sole determining factor when it comes to pricing custom homes in Toronto.
Other things to consider that will help you pin down a final price are factors such as whether you want to build energy efficient homes Toronto. Homes which contain environmentally friendly technologies tend to be more expensive upfront, but the long-term cost savings can end up making this trade-off worthwhile.
Aside from the long-term cost savings, energy efficient homes come with a certain peace of mind. More and more individuals are concerned about the legacy people are leaving behind for their children in terms of natural resources and clean air, and an energy efficient home is a step in the right direction.
There are many different ways to build energy efficient custom homes Toronto. Appliances are a huge potential source of savings, and constant innovations mean that these modern machines need less and less energy but are capable of doing more and more.
Another place for improved energy efficiency are doors and windows. These key aspects of your home are often focal points that you want to include in your design. Fortunately, many energy efficient options are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, meaning you do not have to make sacrifices in the name of being green. What other ways can you see of adding more energy efficiency to your home besides appliances, doors, and windows?
After determining factors such as design, size, appliances, and finishes, you still have a few other items that could end up affecting your bottom line. Custom homes in Toronto require a lot of planning, including finding land and doing site preparation. The lot itself will, of course, cost money. Then, you need to make it ready for construction.
You may end up hauling in dirt, or hauling dirt away, in order to create the right surface for your design. If you plan on adding a basement, then added costs for digging can become factor, as can clearing trees, destroying large rocks so they can be hauled away, and various other things necessary to ensure a safe and suitable lot. Speaking of safety, you can also expect certain costs for insurance to cover potential worker injuries or accidents on the site.
Even after setting out some realistic expectations for all of these factors, remember that construction can end up having its own risks and unforeseen circumstances. Because of that, most houses come in over budget. Be prepared for this fact and factor cost overruns into your budget from the beginning. A good cushion to set is about another 10% on top of your final budget.
Have you had any experience with building a custom home in the area? Did you come in over- or under-budget? What cost-saving measures did you try to take and what lessons would you share with someone else who is getting ready to build?