Cost per square foot is a term that became popular with production builders, since the homes they build are designed to be cookie cutter boxes and can be built very cheaply with very few choices and nearly everything outside baseline “basics” an “upgrade.” It’s pretty easy to build the same box over and over again and keep it in a similar “price per square foot” when very little can be changed.
Would you ask for the price per square foot for a car? That’s how little it can apply to a truly custom home, as a comparison tool, without knowing just what each of those square feet contain. Here’s how to take a test drive:
NC custom home cost per square foot: Home style
The type of home you choose can make a big difference. A one story home has more foundation and roof, so it typically costs more per square foot than a two story home.
Architectural styles can impact your cost considerably. For example, Contemporary homes can be more expensive to build than Colonial homes.
NC custom home cost per square foot: Floor plan layout
An “average cost per square foot” may also not the best indicator of value because even plans with similar layouts can have differences that impact the build cost. For example:
- How big are the kitchens – how much cabinetry and countertops? What kind of appliances and lighting?
- How many bathrooms? How extensive is the tile work?
- How big is the garage?
- How many and how big are the windows and doors? A wall of windows or sun room can make a big difference.
- How much square footage is on the main floor, versus upstairs?
- How high/complex is the roof line?
- Does the home have a lot of cut outs or is it designed more cost effectively?
- How much outdoor living space is included in the footprint? How big are the porches and screen porches? Is there an outdoor kitchen or see-through fireplace?
NC custom home cost per square foot: Building materials and selections
Here’s what else you need to know, as you compare costs:
Look closely at what the builder includes in writing. Are floors “resilient material” or hardwood? What kind of hardwood is it? How many rooms start with carpet? Is there a microwave? Is the owner’s suite shower tile, or plastic? Does it have a fireplace? What kind of lights and faucets are included? Does the home come with a radiant barrier or sealed crawl space (that can save you a lot over the years and make your home more efficient and comfortable). Different materials, features and finishes can make a huge difference in the price for your home – and everything you want to change will add to the price you pay (either now or later.)
Look for what the builder has in writing as to what comes “standard.” What builders offer can differ extensively as to what is “basic”. We can help you find a cost-effective floor plan. And we will help you compare advantages.
NC custom home cost per square foot: Location and building lot site work
The site work required for your lot can also make a big difference. Ask the builder what it costs to build a home on your lot. Find out if they require you to sign up with them before they will do an assessment of site costs.
- Is a sewer available or do you need a septic system? Is it conventional or engineered?
- Do you have over 2 or 3 acres? If so, a well may be required.
- How long is the driveway? What will it be made with?
- What is the topography? Do you need a tall crawl or basement?
- What are the setbacks?
- Is it in a neighborhood with an HOA? What are the community covenants?
Travars Built Homes builds homes from cottages to estates, with a cost per square foot that is appropriate for custom homes that come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and architectural styles.
Our quotes come with about 10 pages of details, so you know exactly what’s included in your build cost – and what that means in terms of quality materials, craftsmanship, air quality, energy efficiency and everything else that can make a big difference not just in cost per square foot – but in the comfort and strength of your new home.
Cost per square foot for a custom home depends on the floor plan, selections chosen, and location. Get started, here, with pricing information from Travars Built Homes.
Want to know the cost per square foot? We’ll give you that, too.
Today’s most sought after new home styles in NC reflect a blend of Modern Farmhouse, Craftsman, Colonial, Traditional and Contemporary – and even reflections of several design approaches in a single dwelling.
Mixed architectural exterior
Note the difference in style between the front porch, columns, siding, railings, window frames, trim around the windows, front door design, detail work and roof line of this home. It’s a great example of how today’s new homes aren’t held back by old fashioned norms.
Traditional and turret home exterior
The turret on this home adds a touch of whimsey to a cost effective custom home plan. Stately brick and touches of metal complete its modern medley of styles.
Craftsman home exterior
This home has all the makings of a Modern Craftsman style – with splashes of bold color to add dimension.
Modern Farmhouse home exterior
Board and batten siding and a crisp facade says Modern Farmhouse. Look closely and you’ll see Arts and Crafts windows and a colorful front door, with personality.
Contemporary Modern Farmhouse exterior
Lots of windows provide Contemporary appeal. Simplicity says Modern Farmhouse. Metal roof accents add artistic appeal.
Colonial home exterior
This Colonial exterior belies the Contemporary features and finishes inside – a no-holds-barred approach to capturing your own sense of adventure, without everything having to follow the same flow, when you design/build your new home.
You have a lot of choices for flooring in North Carolina new homes, from hardwood to tile and carpet, as well as custom options.
Travars Built Homes offer the highest quality features, finishes, materials and craftsmanship, including real oak hardwood flooring in every home. See what else comes, standard, here.
All types of flooring will see some wear and tear over time. But which types of hardwood flooring stand up best to daily traffic from people and pets? Here are 10 tips for choosing hardwood flooring in NC new homes:
Hardwood flooring tip #1: Soft woods cost more — and provide less protection
If you want to avoid flooring that dents easiest, avoid American Cherry, American Walnut, and Pine. Better versions of these hardwoods for a harder surface? Brazilian Cherry and Walnut.
Hardwood flooring tip #2: Consider a Harder Hardwood
Hickory, Brazilian Cherry and other hardwoods rank high on the Janka scale. They come with a premium price, but are much harder than the 3/8 “hardwood” flooring most builders use. Travars Built Homes uses ¾ solid oak hardwood – a much higher quality wood with more resistance to wear and tear than most new homes start with.
Hardwood flooring tip #3: Strong grains can hide more scratches
Red oak has a stronger grain than white oak. Red oak, 1290 on the hardness scale, hides scratches better than Brazilian Cherry, which is 2350 on the Janka scale.
Hardwood flooring tip #4: Hand Scraped and Distressed Hardwoods provide modern rustic character that makes wear look appealing
The more wear you put on these hardwoods, the more realistic they look. Knots and other character traits also give “real hardwoods” a natural look that feels comfortable and welcoming.
Hardwood flooring tip #5: Mask imperfections with a Matte Finish
Ask your builder to use a matte finish on your site finished hardwood floors. Glossy finishes will be more reflective – and imperfections more glaring.
Hardwood flooring tip #6: Light stains hide scratches best
Another great characteristic of oak hardwood flooring is that it’s already a naturally light wood. The stain shade you choose can make a difference in how much scratches show, with lighter hues hiding more scarring than dark colors. lighter hue on the stain you choose And if you’ve chosen oak, a naturally light wood, even if the finish is scratched off the scratch is more likely to blend with the rest of the floor.
Hardwood flooring tip #7: Solid Hardwoods have long lasting qualities
Site finished solid hardwood flooring can be refinished. So if you feel like freshening up your woods in a few years, either because you’d like it to look new or want to change the color, you can simply sand it and restain it, at a much lower cost than replacing the entire floor like you’d need to do with an inexpensive laminate.
Hardwood flooring tip #8: The bamboo effect
Bamboo can be beautiful, but it’s not always the best choice for a floor that will have a lot of people and pet traffic. Stained bamboo can scratch very easily. Although it is technically stronger than oak, dents show up more easily. Strand bamboo costs more than carmelized bamboo, but can hold up better.
Hardwood flooring tip #9: Furniture Felt Pads can prevent heavy scraping
Using felt pads under furniture (even with wheels) can protect your floors. Scattered rugs can also protect areas with heavy traffic, such as doorways, hallways, kitchen aisles and gathering places.
Hardwood flooring tip #10: Leave your shoes at the door
Still love soft woods best? Create a space where shoes go as people enter your home, to avoid scarring caused by pebbles, dirt and high heels. Custom built-in shelving, drop zones or even just a corner on the floor reserved for shoes can help your floors stay cleaner and less worn.
Building a custom home is very different from purchasing a new or existing home. You often won’t find set pricing online because custom home builders need to know a few details to provide a quote you can count on.
Here are the 5 easy steps we walk through with you, so you can get a personalized custom home quote with 10 pages of details.
Step 1: Call Travars Built Homes at 919-740-7536. We can cover a lot about what you’d like to do in a ten minute conversation. And check here for quick answers to common custom home building questions.
Step 2: Email. Send the names of floor plans you’re interested in knowing more about. Need ideas? Request house plans, here.
If you own a lot, send the address, plot plan, soil determinations, improvement permits, community covenants and anything else that can help us provide you with the most precise information possible.
Step 3: Come to your 30 minute no obligation custom home consultation. We’ll go over the details in your 10 page custom home pricing quote. Take it home. Make notes on the things you’d like to consider changing, such as floor plan modifications. Email your questions so we can provide even more information.
Step 4: Meet with Travars Built Homes at your lot for your free onsite lot assessment, where you’ll learn what it takes to build at your homesite. Find out about everything about your location that impacts build costs – before you sign your purchase agreement. Still looking for the right lot? We can help with your search, too.
Step 5: Read more about what makes Travars Built Homes unique, and meet one more time to go over the details in your final quote for the floor plan you want to build. We can cover any modifications discussed at your initial custom home consultation, and site work specific to your homesite. Your build costs are locked in with your purchase agreement!
Interested in a custom home quote? Contact Travars Built Homes. We will show you everything that comes included – and the flexibility you have for personalization – when you build your new home on your lot or neighborhood in central NC.
Customizing stock up space and big pantries starts with analyzing what you want to store – and the places you have to work with – in 2021 new custom homes in Chatham County, North Carolina.
Kitchens with big walk in pantries are high in “must haves.” Get clever when you go custom, with just-right spaces for everything you store, like these creative cubbies, shelves and racks in Travars Built Homes.
Every inch here was designed for a specific purpose. From pull out racks to built ins sized for each item to be placed there, this is what “totally custom” can look like, when you expand your kitchen into the walk in pantry.
Custom shelf height
Your NC custom home builder can use the measurements you give him to build custom shelving at the height you need, to accommodate everything from stock up Costco size packaging to cans and spices in your walk in pantry.
Custom shelf width and depth
Shelf width is another important consideration to talk through with your NC custom home builder. How many cans do you want to stack in a row? How big are the bags of rice or flour? How long are the cereal boxes?
Pantries with other built in storage nearby
Avoid overstuffing your pantry or closets, by adding additional cubbies and storage spaces nearby. A drop zone only needs 12-18 inches of depth, and can be designed for whatever you want to put there.
Windows and lighting
Consider inset or spot lighting in addition to the usual ceiling fixture, to light up your closet or pantry. Choose between more shelves or a window to add natural light. Talk with your Chatham County new home builder about the impact on your home’s exterior.
How much pantry space do you need? A design build custom home builder in NC can create space for a bigger pantry (or second pantry) in a kitchen corner, hallway, mud room, breakfast room or under the stairway.
Want special storage that’s even more tucked away? A custom design builder can add secret pantries and passageways to your floor plan during the early planning stages.
A butlers pantry typically reflects the cabinetry and countertops of the kitchen, with a dedicated space all its own for items you want to easily access from eating and gathering areas, like this custom designed butlers pantry and wine bar.
Your design build custom home builder can work with you to create storage space for everything you want to have on hand in your new home.
Get started here:
Large kitchen islands are a great place for gatherings: Food. Hobbies. Homeschool. Projects. Here are 9 photos of popular NC 2021 home design trends to help choose your next kitchen island.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #1: Placement
This Chef’s Kitchen designed by Chatham County new home builder Travars Built Homes is designed to provide as much working space as possible, with a massive kitchen island, cabinetry and countertops.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #2: Size
Island kitchen floor plans separate countertop space from the rest of the kitchen, to increase its potential to be used for a variety of purposes.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #3: Design
This kitchen island was designed to be noticed, with a look all its own as the focal point of the room. The ability to create the look you’d like is a great benefit of working with a creative team in design build custom homes.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #4: Style
Your sink choice can make a big difference in the appeal of your kitchen island. Apron sinks (also known as Farmhouse sinks) are especially popular in 2021 new home design trends.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #5: Lighting
The pendants you choose for your lighting are especially important over the island. They serve as a punctuation of your architectural style and highlight everything in your design build new home.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #6: Seating
Tuck under seating is the choice made most often for big kitchen islands in 2021 home design trends. The ability to place bar stools out of the way when not in use provides a feeling of functionality and great use of space.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #7: Purpose
This formal kitchen island exudes elegance in design build custom homes, with a furniture look that draws the living area further into the kitchen – an inviting look of luxury that increases importance.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #8: Color
This kitchen island blends beautifully into extended gathering areas with its muted tones that create a sense of comfortable informality. It’s one of the most requested styles in island kitchen floor plans.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #9: Surface
The surface material you choose for your kitchen island can be just about anything in a design build custom home. Granite. Quartz. Marble. Tile. Wood. Recycled glass. Cement. There are a lot of possibilities to explore in 2021 home design trends.
Get started here:
Modern Farmhouse architectural styles are a top request for 2021 new homes in NC.
Farmhouse style homes feel familiar and flexible – designed with simple lines, covered porches, gable roofs, dormers, and big kitchens with islands open to living spaces. See some of the most popular modern farmhouse features in the photos, below. Contact Travars Built Homes for farmhouse floor plans and pricing.
Modern farmhouse feature #1: White exteriors (with black window frames)
This countryside modern farmhouse illustrates the simplistic allure of classic black and white – with a pop of color for the front door that adds interest.
Modern farmhouse feature #2: Built in bookcases and custom storage spaces
When you create your new home with one of the best custom home builders in Chatham County, you can ask for built-ins like this wherever you want them. Built in bookcases, cubbies and storage spaces are another practical feature in modern farmhouses.
Modern farmhouse feature #3: Board and Batten front exteriors with dormers
Board and batten is the top choice for exteriors on modern farmhouses. The classic lines you see here are framed by roof pitches and a dormer indicative of this popular architectural style.
Modern farmhouse feature #4: Metal roof accents
Metal accents on modern farmhouse roofs like this add just a touch of texture, in a nod to historical structures. Popular locations for metal accents include the roof over the front porch, bump outs, and the roof over a back porch to give importance to outdoor living.
Modern farmhouse feature #5: Porches
Big covered porches and big screen porches are indicative of the emphasis on outdoor living inherent to modern farmhouse lifestyles. Custom builders like Travars Built Homes include extra details that make these spaces even more enjoyable.
Modern farmhouse feature #6: Open kitchen and great room
Wide open spaces reminiscent of prairies and heartlands compel the main areas of modern farmhouses to feel spacious. Beams, lighting, hardwoods and multiple entrances inspire free-flow traffic and conversation.
Modern farmhouse feature #7: Big island
Large kitchen islands have become the mainstay of modern farmhouses. Ask your builder how to customize yours to include everything from a sink, tuck under seating, wine cooler, microwave, cabinetry or other special features. Most of all – endless uses for the huge surface from gatherings to cooking, crafts and projects.
Modern farmhouse feature #8: White cabinets
A white exterior is often replicated inside new modern farmhouses, with white cabinets throughout the home – contrasted by pairings with dark gray, espresso, or even blue islands.
Modern farmhouse feature #9: Apron sink
Ceramic or stainless steel apron front sinks (also called farmhouse sinks) are considered to be a staple in modern farmhouse style homes. They typically are wide and deep, without a barrier in the middle. Like the picture below, they offer a seamless, smooth surface at the front, for easy cleanup.
Find more information about building a new modern farmhouse in North Carolina:
How to Build a House on Your Lot in North Carolina
Own land? Still searching? These questions help answer what to look for when you choose your lot, purchase your land with a licensed real estate agent, decide where to place your home, and select a custom home builder to construct your North Carolina new home.
Knowing what to ask can help ensure you know what it takes to build your new home. Here are some of the most important questions about land, lots, parcels, and homesites that enable you to be informed and prepared.
Contact Travars Built Homes to learn more about how to build a new custom home on your land.
What’s the best size lot for a new custom home build?
The best size lot for a new custom home build is determined by your floor plan, community covenants if applicable, local build requirements, what kind of septic/sewer system is required, whether you need a well, and other mandates. We will go over all of that with you, when we know what and where you’d like to build.
Here are more questions to ask about lot sizes:
- How can I find out how big my lot has to be, for a specific floor plan?
- Why do I need a bigger lot to have a side load garage?
- I own several acres – can I put my home wherever I want on my land?
Will the builder look at the lot I am considering purchasing prior to me buying it, and give me his perspective about what it will cost to build there?
When you build with Travars Built Homes, an on site assessment is part of our standard process. We will talk about the fit of your floor plan to your lot, your driveway, and other site specific build imperatives.
Here are some common questions we can answer, after we take a look at your lot together:
- How much does it cost to clear trees and shrubs off my lot?
- What is the difference between a soil scientist and the county doing a soil evaluation?
- What is an improvement permit and why do you need to get that for me that before the build permit?
- If a septic permit only allows 3 bedrooms, is it possible to have 4 bedrooms?
- How many bathrooms can I have in my home?
What kind of slope does my lot need to have for a walk-out basement?
Most basement homes in NC are walk-out, set into a slope of about 6 feet over the course of the home. We can add a basement to nearly any floor plan, but the the look of the home can change depending on the direction of the slope. Before selecting a home with a basement in the floor plan, talk with your builder about placement of your home.
Here are more common questions we’ll help answer related to site conditions:
- What is the difference between a sewer and a septic system, and how does that impact costs?
- What is the difference in maintenance and build cost for a conventional septic system versus an engineered system?
- What is the build cost for a well? How deep it will be?
- What is a community septic system, and how does that work? What is a grinder pump and how much does that cost?
Will the lender combine the lot purchase and home build cost into one loan, or do I need to buy my land and home separately?
Your lot purchase and the construction of your home are typically bundled into one transaction with a construction to perm loan, so you do not need to buy the lot before you build. Read more about NC new home financing and construction loans here.
Where can I learn more about how to buy land in North Carolina?
Work directly with a real estate agent with expertise and experience in lot and land purchasing. Kelly McNabb, NC REALTOR® at Costello Real Estate and Investments, can help get you started.
REALTOR®/Broker (919) 391-0315 Costello Real Estate & Investments
Here are the kinds of questions Kelly can help answer for you, in tandem with Travars Built Homes:
- Has the perc test been done on this lot? Is it possible to build a home on land that does not perc? How does that work?
- What does it mean when a listing says “water nearby”? How can I find out what it will cost to hook up to that city/county water source?
- What can I do if the lot I want to purchase is land locked?
- What do I need to know about flood plains?
- If I want to have a future pool, what does the builder and the county need to know about that?
- What is an impervious surface and how does that impact my build?
- What do I need to know about setbacks and easements?
- What is the difference between a lot survey and a plot plan and who handles that?