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What is Your New Home’s Square Foot Price?

Bruckelmyer Brothers’ square ft price for a new home is typically around $350 – $500 a square foot based on past projects. If you want to learn more about how we come up with this price and avoid deceptive sq. ft. pricing from other contractors, read on.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about building a custom home is that they can google “The national average square foot price to build a new home” ($154) and then expect that number to hold true for a custom home in Northern Minnesota.

Know how the sq. ft. price is obtained!

Be sure you know how contractors figure out sq. ft. price before you get in too deep. In some states, like Florida and Arizona, it is common for covered porches to be figured into the house’s total square footage. Consequently, making the cost per square foot appear lower than it is. Understanding how the price is calculated will help you be more prepared when coming up with a realistic budget.

Whether you look for this information on the company’s website or give them a call, doing a little research and learning about the different builders in your area will help you become more educated and avoid big surprises during your construction project.

Misleading square foot prices

Some contractor’s sq. ft. prices may be deceptive, not that this is necessarily intentional. The first step to understanding a misleading square foot price is knowing what is figured into this price. Suppose a general contractor is only calculating the cost to build the house divided by the home’s total square footage. In that case, this will look like a lower square foot price than if the project’s total cost is divided by finished livable space.

For example, if your home’s conditioned or livable space is 2,500 sq ft and the cost to construct just the house is $800,000, that comes out to $320 a sq. ft. If we add the project’s total cost, we will see what it does to the square foot price. Let us assume there is a driveway, well, septic, sidewalks, a patio, deck, and some landscaping. Now the total cost of the project is $950,000. That same house is closer to $400 a square foot. Typically, the smaller your house, the higher the square foot price.

one side of a custom modern cabin

Variables that drive up the cost per square foot

Many variables will impact the square ft price of a new home. Though I will not cover them all, I will try to hit on the big ones.


Your tastes will significantly impact how expensive your home will be. No matter what product you are selecting, there will be a broad spectrum of costs. For instance, a refrigerator can be anywhere from $500 – $10,000. If your budget has limits, be wise with your selection choices.


A rectangle house with a simple roof system will help keep the cost down per square foot. The fewer sides your home has, the more affordable it will be. When thinking of design, remember simple saves.


A region with a diverse climate and weather will drastically increase your home’s square foot price, especially in Northern Minnesota, where we experience everything from extreme cold to extreme heat. Building science has come a long way in creating products and systems to ensure sustainable homes, but with new technology comes additional upfront costs.

Site conditions and accessibility will also affect the cost of your home.

Home size

A common myth out there is that if you are over budget, the first thing you do is shrink your house size. Though that will inadvertently save you money, it may not be your best option. There are several fixed costs regardless of your house size, so chopping your house size in half rarely, if ever, means half of the total cost.

Typically the smaller your house, the higher the square foot price. Especially If you are trying to pack a lot into it, for instance, a four-bed, two-bath that is 2,000 square feet will tend to have a higher square foot price than a four-bed, two-bath that is 3,500 square feet. The bigger home will be more expensive overall, but the square foot price will likely be lower.

How do garages affect square foot pricing?

Most contractors figure in a three-car attached garage into their square-foot pricing. So if you want a 3,000 square foot house, for most people, that means 3,000 square feet of living space, and the garage’s square footage is already part of the original pricing. This is vital information to know when trying to get an idea of a budget. Ask your contractor if the garage is part of their square foot pricing. If it is, and you do not plan on doing a garage, the square foot price should come down.

Does Bruckelmyer Brothers Use sq. Ft. Pricing?

Short answer? No, we do not use square footage to figure out the cost of your home. Every project that we do is different than the previous one, and every client has different needs and desires. We cannot effectively price out your home using a square foot metric.

Most contractors that can successfully give you a square foot price tend towards high production cookie-cutter homes where there is little variety or upgrades from one to the next.

What we can do is provide an average square foot price of past projects; that way, if you are interested in having us build your home, you will be able to come up with an idea of what it would cost.

Being a custom home builder, we haven’t done many entry-level homes in the past. Our average square foot prices can only be based on luxury homes with numerous upgrades.


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