New Homes in 2016 Bigger & Better

What a difference a decade makes. In 2005, the average cost of a new home (in the U.S.) was $297,00 and that measured approximately  2400 square feet, according to the U.S Census Bureau.

Figures recently released by the National Association of Home Builders ( NAHB) show that the trend is growing bigger. The average single-family home built in the U.S. in 2016 will be built on about a half-acre lot, totals about 2800 square feet of finished space and will sell for an average cost of $468,318.

What factors have led to this dramatic increase in cost? First, homes are about 400 square feet larger. Also according to a list compiled by International Contractors Inc., during the years 2002 through 2008, home construction costs rose approximately %5 per year. High oil prices during those years influenced manufacturing and transportation costs, leading to higher and higher home construction costs. When the recession and housing bubble hit in earnest, builders were forced to reduce costs, and did so.

As a result, construction costs dropped to $80 per square foot in 2011. But with new home buyers demanding more room, and more amenities, home prices and construction costs are now again creeping higher that they were just a few years ago.

A housing contractor currently in business will incur average construction costs for a single-family home today of around $289,415, which is $103 per square foot to complete, up from around $80 per square foot in 2011. According to the U.S. Census figures, construction costs were at their highest, $95 per square foot in 2013.

The biggest expense for general contractors when constructing a new home are the actual construction costs- including labor and materials at almost 62%. The improved lot size accounts for about 20% pf the cost, with builder profits averaging nine percent. Overhead and miscellaneous expenses round out the total, with addition of about two percent for financing, commission and marketing costs.

Of the total costs, framing and trusses are one of the biggest expenses, at around $17 per square foot today or 18% of the construction budget. Among other major stages of construction, interior finishes account for about 30 percent of a home’s cost, exterior finishes accounting for about 15 percent, major system rough-ins around 13 percent and foundations around 12 percent. Site work, final steps and other costs account for balance. Builders have reported steadily increasing lumber costs for the past four years. They note they are experiencing higher costs for cement, ready-mix concrete, and brick and block as well.

As the unemployment rate does down and wages rise, many builders are reporting that labor costs are increasing around 3 to 4 percent per year. Some builders experiencing difficulty finding carpenters and excavation crews as well.

 

Pre-Cast Fireplace Warning

Pre-cast fireplaces were installed on many homes throughout California during the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s.  We come across them frequently while inspecting homes here in San Diego County.  Many of these fireplaces were cracked or damaged before they were even installed.  Most of the cracks discovered are typically at the “insulation plate” which starts at the fireplace opening and extended to the smoke chamber .  A damaged fireplace can allow smoke, fire and carbon monoxide to enter the home which is a serious safety concern and fire hazard.  During a recent home inspection, I came across this pre-cast fireplace that was severely cracked (one of the worst I’ve ever seen) and not safe for use. The only fix for this fireplace would be to tear it down and build a new one.  If you are concerned about the fireplace in the home that  you currently own or one installed at a home you are considering purchasing, be sure you have it thoroughly inspected by a qualified expert before attempting to use it.

severely cracked pre-cast chimney

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

Cracks inside the liner of this pre-cast chimney

Cracks were noted inside the liner of this pre-cast chimney

cracked pre-cast chimney

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

A severely cracked pre-cast chimney was discovered at a recent home inspection here in San Diego

Cracks were noted inside the liner of this pre-cast chimney

Cracks were noted inside the liner of this pre-cast chimney

Buying a Home? Be sure to check that crawlspace!

Buying a home can be a very exciting and rewarding experience.  Don’t let your dream become a nightmare by buying a home with a bad foundation.  The inspectors here at John Robinson’s Inspection Group take their time to inspect your home’s foundation and enter every crawlspace to ensure your home’s foundation is in working order.   Check out these picks of a few issues we recently found during a San Diego home inspection in Pacific Beach.

What’s in Your Crawlspace?

This old cast-iron drain line was leaking in the crawlspace of this San Diego home built in the 1950’s. This is causing an excess of moisture to accumulate.

Leaking drain lines and improper site drainage can have an adverse effect on the stabilityof your home’s foundation, attract wood destroying organisms and cause mold growth. The owners of this property had no idea that this was occurring right under their feet.

Periodic inspections of crawlspaces and attics can help to keep your home in tip top shape. Call us today at 619-684-1444 to see how a home maintenance review can help protect your investment.