While I said when I started this blog that I would be frank about how much everything costs (because that was the info I most wanted to know when I started exploring this process), I've been tardy in getting the numbers up for people to see. That's mostly because we weren't sharing this blog with anybody. But now that we are I need to figure out a way to present what everything has/will cost in a way that makes sense. For now it'll just be in the form of this post. But if anybody has any better ideas about how to maintain such a thing on blogger (or questions about costs I haven't detailed), let me know.
The cabin will be a 3BR 2BA, roughly 2000sf space. Master bedroom, common bath, open kitchen/dining/living space on the upper floor (the factory-manufactured box); 2 bedrooms, common bath, mechanical and rec/media room in the walkout basement (see the May entry on Floor Plans). The walkout wall of the basement will be panelized in the factory (with windows/sliders) and installed by the set crew before the box is set on top. We haven't hired a GC; instead we've hired a very competent excavator to get us up to the site and dig the foundation, and a contractor who has lots of experience doing traditional modular sets and finishes to pour the foundation and coordinate the set. There's not a whole lot of complicated stuff going on here (that's getting done in the factory!), and Res4 (and my contractors) has been really great with guiding us through the process. We've done some significant interior renovations (kitchen, bath, plumbing) ourselves before, but no real construction management competence to speak of. The biggest negative of not having a GC so far has been having to get out to the site often enough (it's a 2-3 hr drive, depending on the time of day).
We hope to do most of the finishing work on site ourselves. That will include installing the cedar siding, building the deck, and finishing out the basement. The skills I'm sure we'll need contractors for are electric, flashing and HVAC; we'll see how the rest goes.
OK - our ballpark budget for the house (excluding land) was about $250K when we started. Our original intention when we first met with Res4 was to put a single bar on concrete piers and be done - a crowded 2BR design was worked out, with minimal site work to speak of. But after walking the site with Res4 and talking it over with them, it made much more sense to do a walkout basement - the construction cost for that kind of space is about half the cost we were looking at out of the factory (which was already very economical at about $150/sf), and we thought the extra space made more sense both for rental and resale purposes (not to mention personal use). So we opened our budget up a bit more, and continue to believe that we can economize with some sweat equity in finishing the basement.
That said, here are our rough numbers so far:
Land: $142K - 30 acres in Lost River, WV;
Prefab Module: $155K - 16'x64' (1024 sf) factory manufactured unit, including all interior finishes except appliances, excluding exterior siding and flashing (*here's a place where soft costs need to be kept in mind - that $155K number INCLUDES tax (which is a tricky thing to figure for the purchase of a prefab module), transportation-related expenses, the structural engineering, third-party stamps/seals, and the panelized front wall of the basement);
Road: $38K - our land was unimproved and getting a road up to the homesite was an exceptional cost for this site, which we knew going in;
Foundation, septic, HVAC, basement wiring and plumbing, well, polished concrete basement floor: $75K (this is still an estimate);
Deck, siding, finishing basement (most of which we hope to do ourselves): unknown, but rough numbers for the materials at this point are around $10k;
Design fee (15% of the rough construction cost of $225K): - $34K.
So the math works out like this - excluding the land and the road, our house cost is less than $275K for just over 2000sf (figure another $40K or so if we had a contractor finish the basement out). That's pretty affordable, as far as we're concerned, for the terrific design and streamlined process that we're getting, and we're thrilled that Res4 has been so close with all the numbers we talked about in the beginning of this process. Long way to go, still, but it's all going to happen very quickly over the next month or so...