Mebane NC New Homes | White Farmhouse Exterior

How much does an NC custom home cost per square foot?

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

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.

Chatham County NC Custom Homes | Homebuilders Chatham County

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:

The Chandler Floor Plan | Siler City New Homes
  • 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

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?
NC custom home cost per square foot

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.

White Farmhouse | Mebane NC New Homes

Build On Your Lot: Frequently Asked Questions

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:

  1. How can I find out how big my lot has to be, for a specific floor plan?
  2. Why do I need a bigger lot to have a side load garage?
  3. 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:

  1. How much does it cost to clear trees and shrubs off my lot?
  2. What is the difference between a soil scientist and the county doing a soil evaluation?
  3. What is an improvement permit and why do you need to get that for me that before the build permit?
  4. If a septic permit only allows 3 bedrooms, is it possible to have 4 bedrooms?
  5. 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:

  1. What is the difference between a sewer and a septic system, and how does that impact costs?
  2. What is the difference in maintenance and build cost for a conventional septic system versus an engineered system?
  3. What is the build cost for a well? How deep it will be?
  4. 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.

Kelly McNabb
REALTOR®/Broker (919) 391-0315 Costello Real Estate & Investments
kellym@costellorei.com kellymcnabb.costellorei.com

Here are the kinds of questions Kelly can help answer for you, in tandem with Travars Built Homes:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. What can I do if the lot I want to purchase is land locked?
  4. What do I need to know about flood plains?
  5. If I want to have a future pool, what does the builder and the county need to know about that?
  6. What is an impervious surface and how does that impact my build?
  7. What do I need to know about setbacks and easements?
  8. What is the difference between a lot survey and a plot plan and who handles that?
Wendell North Carolina New Homes | Built In Storage Benches

Chatham County new home checklist – Built in storage ideas for every room

Built in bookcases, open shelving, cubbies, kitchen pantries

Get ideas for custom home built in bookcases, open shelving, cubbies, kitchen pantries, and storage spaces for every room from Chatham County new home builder Travars Built Homes:

Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #1: Built in Bookcases Alongside a Fireplace

Built in bookshelves next to the fireplace are a popular choice in new homes by custom builders in Chatham County and across central NC. [Get floor plan ideas here.]

Bookcases can be set into the wall with open shelving, cabinets, specialty trim, and other features. Nearly all fireplace surround bookcases are built with a standard height between shelves (similar to when you buy a furniture bookcase). Just give us a picture – we can build it! Travars Built Homes can space shelves at custom heights that you ask for at one of your meetings with the builder on site. It’s part of our standard design/build process!

Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #2: Open Shelves Above a Kitchen Serving Bar

Looking for something more unique in your built-ins? Ask your new home builder how much flexibility you can have for touches like this throughout your home – and what materials they offer for open shelving, such as the Cedar above this kitchen bar and master bedroom beam ceiling.

Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #3: Built In Drop Zone by the Garage

Drop zones with shelves, cubbies, cabinets, and drawers are a very popular addition to new Chatham County homes. We can build them anywhere in your home, with the most common choices between the garage and laundry room or kitchen. This drop zone has a built in bench, shoe cubbies, and bead board trim. Send us a link to a look you like – we can build that, too.

Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #4: Large Pantry with Custom Shelving

A U-shaped pantry is great for “at a glance” storage. A U-shaped pantry requires more depth (and less width) than an L-shaped pantry – so ask your builder what can fit into your floor plan. Adding more pantry shelving at different widths and heights is a popular request.

In this example, one wall of shelving is designed with thin shelves for spices and specialty items, while the other two walls are deeper for cans, boxes, and paper goods:

Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #5: Built in Benches

Add hidden storage to your breakfast room, mudroom, hallway, or nook with built in benches.

Wendell North Carolina New Homes | Built In Storage Benches

Chatham County New Home Builders

At Travars Built Homes, our design build capabilities offer you the opportunity to modify your floor plan to fit your lifestyle. Let us know if you want to plan for extra storage spaces after building your home.

We can modify your floor plan with things like a prepared alcove with the dimensions you’ll need later on.

In this Chatham County custom home, the upstairs loft includes a stretch of half wall (instead of more open railing) designed to accommodate future storage built-ins:

Contact Travars Build Homes for new home pricing in Chatham County, NC – and the surrounding areas within about an hour of Chapel Hill, NC.

Laundry Mudroom Door to Master Closet | Mebane NC New Homes

Universal design. Aging in place. Accessible: Laundry room checklist for your new construction home

Looking for a universal design / aging in place laundry room checklist for your Chatham County new construction home? Find everything you’ll need in a new, aging in place home, from doorway widths to accessible features and layout recommendations.

Experts at Travars Built Homes are certified to build aging in place style new homes. Contact us to get started on next steps for your universal design new home.

Appliance configuration

When you choose your appliances, it’s important that they be front load, for easier loading. We strongly suggest getting a matching pedestal from the appliance manufacturer. Or ask your custom home builder to create a 12-15” platform for the equipment to sit on. Stackable appliances are not universal, as neither appliance will be at the ultimate height to avoid bending and stretching.

Chatham County New Home Laundry Room

Size

Your builder will look for a way to have a 36” wide doorways and 5 foot diameter of open space in front of the washer and dryer. If the laundry is located along the hallway, it will need to be at least 4′ wide.

Wendell North Carolina New Homes | Dog House Under the Stairs

Location

Keep your laundry room on the main floor for accessibility, unless your home will have an elevator.

Storage

Cabinetry over the top of the washer and dryer may not be as useful to you as cubbies or shelves at an accessible height. Check with your builder about reconfiguring the laundry room if necessary, to allow for the kind of storage you need.

Chatham County New Home Laundry Room

Convenience

Some plans allow for a washer and dryer in the owner’s suite closet. Others can be built with a door from the owner’s suite or closet directly into the laundry room, which also has another entrance. Tell your builder what your needs are – some plans can be modified to relocate the laundry room or add extra doors.  

Chapel Hill Modern Farmhouse | Black and White Laundry Room

Task Management

Consider where you will be doing the laundry, as well as where it will be folded and put away. Do you need a table in the laundry room? Countertops can be built at varying heights. Hanging rod? Pull down ironing board? Sitting area? Your builder will take a look at the plans, to make sure there’s knee room and a 36” wide circumference, for full accessibility.

All of these features can be designed and built in for accessibility by a custom home builder.

Lighting

A universal, aging in place feature that’s important in your laundry room and throughout your home is appropriate lighting. In addition to LED lighting, ask your builder for extra lights if there are areas where you need additional illumination. Consider motion detector lighting for convenience when your arms are full so lights can operate automatically when you come and go. If there are work stations, think about under cabinet lighting, flexible track lighting, or even natural light from windows or doors.

Chatham County New Home Laundry Room

Flooring

One way to help eyesight in an aging in place design is to change flooring color in the laundry room to differentiate from surrounding areas. There are a lot of great tile choices in a huge variety of styles and colors when you work with a premium custom home builder. Consider cork, too.

Talk with an experienced NC builder

Make sure to talk with a custom home builder experienced with universal design who is flexible enough to meet your goals in design/building your home with the features and convenience you need. Contact Travars Built Homes to get started.

What is Design/Build: Working with a Custom Home Builder

Next month, a panel discussion led by Furniture, Lighting & Decor Editor-in-Chief Diane Falvey brings together four experts to talk about leveraging expertise among architects, builders, and designers when building custom homes.

During the panel, “Common Ground: Finding Synergy Among Architects, Builders and Designers,” Phil Travars and Andrew Travars of Travars Built Homes will be talking about the ins and outs of working with a design/build custom home builder in North Carolina.

“Having a clear understanding of the thought process around building a custom home can help everything go smoothly, from design through construction,” said Phil Travars, Owner and Builder at Travars Built Homes. “It’s a great opportunity to talk directly with experts from across the industry.”

About 75,000 people from across the country and internationally are expected to attend the bi-annual Furniture Mart event represented by more than 100 countries, for architects, designers, furnishings buyers and others looking for the latest information and products for homes.

The Travars brothers were asked to participate in the event to share their thought leadership about home building and designing together with CIRCLE Design Studio, LLC Principal Architect John Dorlini and Principal/Owner Theresa A.C. Dorlini.

How to Build a Custom Home | New Home Builders

Topics about the custom home build process are expected to include:

  • How designers and builders work together compose a custom home.
  • How creativity can create excitement through different points of view.
  • What to look out for when choosing a custom home on a budget.
  • What to think about as you integrate designs for furniture, lighting, fixtures and finishes into your new home.

“This is a great opportunity to bounce around ideas for your new home, if you’re considering a custom build,” said Andrew Travars, Builder and Designer at Travars Built Homes. “We put a lot into making each home unique – this panel will help explain what it takes to create through design/build.”

How to Build a Custom Home | New Home Builders

Travars Built Homes builds new custom homes in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham and the surrounding region. Get information about building a custom home:

Top 4 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal of Your New Home

Love the layout, hate the exterior of the custom floor plan you want to build? Change it! Here are 4 ways to increase curb appeal in the Chapel Hill area by considering different exterior materials for the build of your new home, with pros and cons.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #1: Vinyl Siding

If you want to save money, vinyl is an exterior material worth considering. Be sure to take your time with your color selection, and take a look at all the options.

Pros: Want a more custom look? You can dress things up with shutters, gable vents, corbels or column wraps. Vinyl can be cleaned with power washing and typically would not be repainted at a later date.

Cons: Some communities do not allow vinyl exteriors. Vinyl siding may fade – with darker colors absorbing more sunlight than lighter colors. It can also expand and shrink with temperatures.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #2: Vinyl Siding and Veneer

A small amount of stone veneer and picture frame details around the windows can make a big difference. The stone water table provides another texture for this home, and won’t break the bank if the amount of stone is kept to just enough for a water table and column base. If you are doing exterior selections, consider picking the stone first. Then choose roofing with a similar color scheme, such as Drift Wood or Weathered Wood shingles.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #3: Fiber Cement Siding With Stone Accents

The curb appeal of this fiber cement and stone home does a very nice job of blending multiple texture types and materials. The medium blue shakes seen on the face of the garage wall break the patterned straight lines. They also pull the color right out of the stone veneer below. The light blue lap siding on the sides and rear of home and complementing white picture frames around the windows, gable vents and gutters combine to make a well balanced exterior. The Mackenzie seen just below follows this formula and also looks great!

Pros: The mix of materials and colors make this home feel custom and comfortable. Adding stone to the front but keeping the other 3 sides of the home in fiber cement saves on cost.

Cons: Fiber cement costs more than vinyl. Stone veneer costs more than fiber cement.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #4: All Brick and Stone

NC Custom Home Photo Tours

The classic look of full brick veneer creates curb appeal so compelling that some entire communities require it. This full brick home is even more interesting due to the brick color choice and the stone front accent on the garage face.

Pros: Bricks are sturdy and durable, typically requiring almost no maintenance other than occasional power washing.

Cons: That low maintenance and solid look comes with a higher price tag than most exterior materials.

Get information about building a custom home with Travars Built Homes – including more ways to create a cost effective new home in North Carolina.