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steel1man

Beach Fanatic
Jan 10, 2013
2,299
655
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
I've been told materials cost 5-6X more in watercolor etc..
than north of Highway 98.
What are these special (2x4) materials made out if???
Two floor plans two different areas two way different prices (excluding land)??
 

Lake View Too

SoWal Insider
Nov 16, 2008
7,185
3,729
Eastern Lake
I've been told materials cost 5-6X more in watercolor etc..
than north of Highway 98.
What are these special (2x4) materials made out if???
Two floor plans two different areas two way different prices (excluding land)??

That's pretty much erroneous. All local builders get material from the same suppliers regardless of where they are building. Differences may occur in labor due to the quality of custom homes near the gulf as compared to cookie cutter houses further north.
 

Marmot

Beach Lover
Jun 16, 2016
64
33
SRB
The reality is anything in south walton costs a premium vs other counties. Supply vs demand equation.
 

elgordoboy

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2007
2,541
570
I no longer stay in Dune Allen
I've been told materials cost 5-6X more in watercolor etc..
than north of Highway 98.
What are these special (2x4) materials made out if???
Two floor plans two different areas two way different prices (excluding land)??
You say “materials” then you say “2x4” . I’m assuming you think that’s all that goes into a house? At least in log cabins they use chink too. Walton county won’t let you build a house of nothing but 2x4’s. Need somewhere with no building codes for that. And I do suggest you at least use pressure treated as thyell be exposed on both sides. Give you a little something interesting to look at maybe. And 5 to 6x across the board is a ludicrous statement of such exaggeration as to undermine any credibility of one who states it. There wouldn’t be more than a hundred houses down here if that were the case.
 
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elgordoboy

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2007
2,541
570
I no longer stay in Dune Allen
The reality is anything in south walton costs a premium vs other counties. Supply vs demand equation.
Go look at the average home in Lynn Haven or niceville, both well to do areas. It’ll be a nice home with likely a hip style roof or simple gables. Count the corners, angles, cantilevers, etc. on the average WaterSound/watercolor style home. Open the ojos folks.
 

ravinhuxley

Beach Comber
Jul 11, 2008
34
4
You cannot compare the cost of a Watercolor house with the cost of a house in Niceville. They are two different animals. I am going to generalize here, so bear with me.

A typical Niceville home is usually one or maybe two stories. Probably square or rectangular, maybe with a rectangular wing, giving it an 'L' shape in plan. The 2 car garage is attached with a big double-wide garage door. A low pitch hip roof with a mid-grade asphalt shingle finish. Boxed in overhang with T-111 soffit finish. The foundation is slab on grade (pouring concrete right on the ground), windows are vinyl (maybe builder-grade aluminium) single hung with an average of two per room, probably double-pane insulated, but no muntins and no impact glass. Fiberglass entry and rear door and insulated steel garage door, but not impact rated. Insulation is fiberglass batt in the walls and lay-in batt on the ceiling. Interior ceiling height is 9'-0". Interior finishes are nice, with drywall walls, tile or 1/2" thick engineered wood floors in bathroom and public spaces, with carpet in the bedrooms, 6'-8" tall flush hollow core interior doors, 3" 3-step base and opening trim, no crown at the ceiling. Kitchen is nice, with pre-manufactured box cabinets (painted or stained), granite countertops, typical appliance package in stainless steel finish. Bathrooms are nice, with pre-manufactured vanities.

A typical Watercolor house is two and a half stories, usually with a tower or some other roof feature. It is rectangular and usually has a small wing, but will have multiple bump-outs and bays, giving it a more complex shape. It has a continuous strip footing, which involves trenching down and filling the trench with concrete. The floor is a raised at least 30" and is wood frame beams and joists resting on concrete block piers, which rest on the strip footing. Already, the costs for materials and labor have far outpaced the slab on grade Niceville house. The roof is simple in form, but typically has dormers (with windows) and possibly a dutch gable detail. All overhangs are exposed rafter tails with a detail profile cut into each tail. Overhangs are typically 30"+ deep, with v-groove or exposed soffit finish. The typical roofing material is galvalume. Many times galvalume half-round gutters and round downspouts are used to control water flow. Layered trim details and banding are typical, as well as custom-built solid wood brackets under bays and overhang extensions. The windows are aluminum clad wood with insulated impact glass, double-hung or casement (though I think most everyone installs single-hung these days) with simulated-lite muntins. There are an average of four window per room (multiple window compositions in the stairwell, roof tower, and window seat bay. Multiple aluminum-clad French doors leading to porches (impact rated with 3-point locking systems), an engineered Mahogany entry door (engineered for impact acceptance), stained or painted wood cladding on two singe-width impact rated garage doors. Insulation is closed-cell foam underneath the floors, possibly in the walls, and open-cell foam to the bottom of the roof decking. Interior ceiling heights are typically 10' or 12', which in turn requires more drywall (and mud/paint and accompanying labor). Interior finishes are reclaimed wood floors ( 3/4" thick solid) throughout the public and bedroom spaces, 8' tall solid core wood or MDF doors, 8"+ base trim, multi-layer door trim with caps, crown trim at the ceilings. Kitchen cabinets are custom-made, as are the built-in bench seating and bookshelves, as well as the bathroom vanities. Commercial grade appliances and cabinet-depth refrigerator (cabinet depth alone = $5,000 increase) plus tankless water heaters.

Was that a general enough breakdown? :blink:

So, to summarize, almost each item on a Watersound-type house is an significantly upgraded version of a Niceville house item. Each and every one of those items contributes incrementally to the cost difference, making it impossible to compare the two.

If you want to simplify the comparison, price a builder grade vinyl window against a Weathershield impact-rated aluminum clad window.

However, I cannot argue that there is not what I call a 'Bridge Tax' on subcontractor labor. I don’t have the numbers, but labor charges in SoWal vs Bay county are different, I am sure. It is unfortunate, but, as Marmot said, is simply a supply and demand equation.
 

elgordoboy

Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2007
2,541
570
I no longer stay in Dune Allen
You cannot compare the cost of a Watercolor house with the cost of a house in Niceville. They are two different animals. I am going to generalize here, so bear with me.

A typical Niceville home is usually one or maybe two stories. Probably square or rectangular, maybe with a rectangular wing, giving it an 'L' shape in plan. The 2 car garage is attached with a big double-wide garage door. A low pitch hip roof with a mid-grade asphalt shingle finish. Boxed in overhang with T-111 soffit finish. The foundation is slab on grade (pouring concrete right on the ground), windows are vinyl (maybe builder-grade aluminium) single hung with an average of two per room, probably double-pane insulated, but no muntins and no impact glass. Fiberglass entry and rear door and insulated steel garage door, but not impact rated. Insulation is fiberglass batt in the walls and lay-in batt on the ceiling. Interior ceiling height is 9'-0". Interior finishes are nice, with drywall walls, tile or 1/2" thick engineered wood floors in bathroom and public spaces, with carpet in the bedrooms, 6'-8" tall flush hollow core interior doors, 3" 3-step base and opening trim, no crown at the ceiling. Kitchen is nice, with pre-manufactured box cabinets (painted or stained), granite countertops, typical appliance package in stainless steel finish. Bathrooms are nice, with pre-manufactured vanities.

A typical Watercolor house is two and a half stories, usually with a tower or some other roof feature. It is rectangular and usually has a small wing, but will have multiple bump-outs and bays, giving it a more complex shape. It has a continuous strip footing, which involves trenching down and filling the trench with concrete. The floor is a raised at least 30" and is wood frame beams and joists resting on concrete block piers, which rest on the strip footing. Already, the costs for materials and labor have far outpaced the slab on grade Niceville house. The roof is simple in form, but typically has dormers (with windows) and possibly a dutch gable detail. All overhangs are exposed rafter tails with a detail profile cut into each tail. Overhangs are typically 30"+ deep, with v-groove or exposed soffit finish. The typical roofing material is galvalume. Many times galvalume half-round gutters and round downspouts are used to control water flow. Layered trim details and banding are typical, as well as custom-built solid wood brackets under bays and overhang extensions. The windows are aluminum clad wood with insulated impact glass, double-hung or casement (though I think most everyone installs single-hung these days) with simulated-lite muntins. There are an average of four window per room (multiple window compositions in the stairwell, roof tower, and window seat bay. Multiple aluminum-clad French doors leading to porches (impact rated with 3-point locking systems), an engineered Mahogany entry door (engineered for impact acceptance), stained or painted wood cladding on two singe-width impact rated garage doors. Insulation is closed-cell foam underneath the floors, possibly in the walls, and open-cell foam to the bottom of the roof decking. Interior ceiling heights are typically 10' or 12', which in turn requires more drywall (and mud/paint and accompanying labor). Interior finishes are reclaimed wood floors ( 3/4" thick solid) throughout the public and bedroom spaces, 8' tall solid core wood or MDF doors, 8"+ base trim, multi-layer door trim with caps, crown trim at the ceilings. Kitchen cabinets are custom-made, as are the built-in bench seating and bookshelves, as well as the bathroom vanities. Commercial grade appliances and cabinet-depth refrigerator (cabinet depth alone = $5,000 increase) plus tankless water heaters.

Was that a general enough breakdown? :blink:

So, to summarize, almost each item on a Watersound-type house is an significantly upgraded version of a Niceville house item. Each and every one of those items contributes incrementally to the cost difference, making it impossible to compare the two.

If you want to simplify the comparison, price a builder grade vinyl window against a Weathershield impact-rated aluminum clad window.

However, I cannot argue that there is not what I call a 'Bridge Tax' on subcontractor labor. I don’t have the numbers, but labor charges in SoWal vs Bay county are different, I am sure. It is unfortunate, but, as Marmot said, is simply a supply and demand equation.
It occurs to me that you may have thought I was on the other side of the argument. I am not. My point is that it is more than simple supply and demand, though that is always a factor, and the sarcastic statement above by someone that wood costs 5x as much on 30a. I was making a concise point that there are huge architectural differences between niceville and WaterSound etc. In that spirit, Thank you for such a detailed breakdown elucidating my point. It’s quite a bit more effort than I’d have ever have gone to but I’m glad there’s folks like you out there.
 
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ravinhuxley

Beach Comber
Jul 11, 2008
34
4
It was a general reply to the overall thread. Once the relationship between Niceville/Watercolor was raised, I thought it was a good opportunity to make a comparison. Hopefully it will help others understand the 'Why' behind the cost differences.

And wood does cost more on 30A. Generally, when I can get away with it, I specify KDAT pine, which costs 50% more than #1 pine, which costs 50% more than #2 pine. KDAT = straight, little to no knots, little to no raised grain, dry on the inside, and square corners. #2 = somewhat curvy, knotty and sappy, areas of raised grain (painters don’t want to sand the entire house so you get what you get), wet on the inside, and rounded corners. KDAT = better looking but more expensive, #2 = rougher looking but less expensive.

Sorry, I digressed a bit there.....
 

Daniel D Ryan

Beach Crab
Sep 3, 2018
2
1
54
Illinois
My bank has a full list of their approved builders. If someone isn't on their list they conduct full check before I get their approval..they are looking out for their money as well as my best interest..actually whole process is kind of intimidating..going slow!!!!
steel1man were you able to find a builder or builders you like?
 

Daniel D Ryan

Beach Crab
Sep 3, 2018
2
1
54
Illinois
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.
Makoman82 were you able to find a builder or builders you liked?
 
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