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Beach Comber
Oct 31, 2017
Seagrove Beach
Kurt, I started this thread as way to inform "myself" on building cost in the area as I'm getting ready to build....I would take this "Word Fight Thread" down if I could..Kurt it's my request your remove this thread ASAP it's now a silly name calling waste of time..Thank You
I tried to be respectful of your questions. I admit I defended myself which took the discussion in a different tangent. I did continually give you and everyone dollar figures with real examples. Some details were granular and asked for specific alternates, and I did that to confront the broad generalizations people use to pad the numbers. Had this Thread been contributed to on a line item basis by other builders we could have developed a composite reference for everyone in the area to study.
I'll do that in a new Thread so people can scrutinize a building line by line.


Beach Comber
Jul 10, 2017
Inlet Beach
Wow people. Why not take this conversation, or argument, offline and not on this thread that was intended to discuss new construction costs in the area. I don't know this builder, Carrol, at all or his history. But put any history aside and all he is saying is that an educated buyer should examine the construction material costs (in which grade of finishes you should specify), which as stated from another builder these material costs should be within 4% from one builder to the next. Once you know this, you can determine where the cost differences from one builder to the next come into play. If a builder is unwilling to provide a material cost breakdown, then perhaps you should be concerned, especially if they are indicating your costs are in your materials.

I have spoken to several builders in the area for a new house I am planning and for the specified grade of home I plan, I have received preliminary pricing estimates from mid $100s up to $300 a SQ foot. There is obviously a large spread in new construction costs when a material cost should be fairly consistent. If you are looking to build, take that info/pricing you get and do with it as you wish. If you have no concern as to why that gap exists, then that is your own perrogative as well.

Lou Deman

Beach Fanatic
Jan 25, 2017
South Walton
There are many factors that determine the cost of a house.
The material will remain fairly constant no matter who builds the house.

The difference in cost is infinite:
-how much of the project gets subbed out to subcontractors
-there are different price levels of subcontractors (size of the company, do they have an office, number of workers, speed / skill of workers, amount / quality of equipment, do they offer benefits, ect)
-size of the general contractor (generally speaking bigger outfits have more overhead / nicer offices / more employees / more equipment , ect) smaller generals may not have an office or employees therefore do not have to charge as much per project. Companies that do more work generally have better buying power with their subs and suppliers which keeps cost down but those savings get chewed up in overhead.
-What does the general contractor value their work / time at. Some builders price their work at 20%+ over the cost of the build where as others may price their work at 7%.
-How busy is the contractor. If they are already busy they may charge more because they do not need the work. On the other hand if someone needs the work they may charge less.
-plus a ton of other factors

At the end of the day the customer needs to educate themselves on who they want to use. After 20+ years of being a contractor (2nd generation) it amazes me when owners do not do their homework on realtors , architects, and builders. Go with someone you like and get along with because it is an important decision. Get to know each of them and see how they work. Lastly do not make the choice based solely on cost (if you intend to live in the house).

Sorry for the long post :)


Beach Comber
Jul 10, 2017
Inlet Beach

Great post. More to the point of what I was getting at. Make sure you aren't getting gouged unnecessarily, a material cost breakdown can help ensure that. Then determine what contractor you like and what price you are willing to pay (as you mention each contractor prices for different reasons and circumstances) for what you want, and who you are comfortable with. If you know your material costs for your desired finishes are in line there is no reason, in my opinion, on why you cannot discuss the remaining costs openly with the contractors to determine how/why their costs are determined. Most people may be surprised and discover things they are getting (or not getting) with certain contractors that they did not realise.

Lake View Too

SoWal Insider
Nov 16, 2008
Eastern Lake
Lou is precisely on point. The factors that go into a house are varied and complex. He spelled it out very well. Quality, experienced subcontractors are worth the money. A well built house is far more than material costs.


Beach Comber
Nov 3, 2017
Santa Rosa Beach
I guess that wouldn’t be a surprise.

Feel so sorry for anyone that has ever hired him.

Those poor folks that own that lot over by Balance Health Studio. I understand they tried to fire him years ago, but he threatened to sue them, which is also part of his MO as he likes to believe he understands property law.

Bottom line is that people need to do full due diligence before they hire a builder in order to stay away from people like him.

Josh V

Beach Comber
Jul 2, 2017
Santa Rosa beach
Hi -

We are looking to build a home along 30 A. Wondering how the build price per square foot compares from Seaside, Watercolor and Seagrove area? I understand there is a "range" depending on finishes, etc, but does anyone know the range for each community?

Thank you!

You can get a nice home for 130-150/ sq ft not including your land. Ideal homes LLC is the best price I have seen and I have seen 40+ new homes being constructed. 850-583-4393
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