The Misnomer of the Price Per Square Foot

Buyers and builders use the term “price per square foot” at least ten times a day when considering properties and new builds, but is it the most effective way to look at a project’s cost?

Our short answer: No. Not at all.

A more detailed response is this: There is no exact science to determining an exact price per square foot. It is a generalization based on a range of variables, from material costs to the current price of steel and the region in which the property sits.

Asking for the price per foot of a proposed project is not the right question to ask to determine value. These, however, are:

  1. What are the labor rates in the area?Currently, there is a labor shortage in South Florida, which will definitely affect costs. Our team at Seacoast Construction can tell you how much your project will cost based on that shortage, the cost of specialized trade labor, as well as a cost comparison of past projects similar to yours.
  2. What are today’s costs of our requested materials?Prices fluctuate 10% or more, especially in response to supply and demand as well as the recent tariff war. We’ve seen significant increases on steel, aluminum, and copper.
  3. Is my proposed design adding costs? We can review your plans and suggest ways to make your project fit into your desired price per square foot range, including as many upgrades as possible.
  4. What is the price for the lot?We consider site prep, terrain, views, external influences, size, and all the other factors that will greatly impact the future build.
  5. What is the area’s reputation?Benefit from our local knowledge of our hometown’s widely diverse municipalities before settling on a particular property. We take into consideration growth potential, area amenities, unique building codes, and future plans.

Those construction firms who offer a low amount when asked for a proposed price per square foot are considered well-priced, while those who base their numbers on specific project details are deemed overpriced. But it’s the only way to evaluate the true value of a space: truthfully.

Consider Seacoast for your next construction project. Price per foot, our expertise is well within your budget.

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