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Average cost to have drawings of a new home with floorplan?

Adam
3 years ago
We were working with a builder to purchase a home in their subdevelopment but the deal fell through.

We have a floorplan of the main floor and second floor (attached) and were getting ready to sit down with the architect to have him draw up renderings based on the floor plan and our 15 different ideabooks (exterior, kitchen, master, great room, bathrooms, etc.)

While we aren't going to use this builder, we'd still like to have renderings created so we can hopefully show this to other builders in the area.

Any idea what the costs are associated with doing something like this? Also, can we find architects on Houzz?

Located in the Boston area and the house is roughly 3,500 SQ ft - 4BR, 4BA, 3 car garage
Example exteriors attached

Comments (45)

  • PRO
    Summit Studio Architects
    3 years ago

    Costs will vary significantly based on the services you're asking for. Just getting it drafted would be cheap (used on purpose as opposed to inexpensive). Full architectural services will depend on your area. Perhaps some Boston architects can chime in.

    Do be careful with copyright law if you're planning to base your home on this plan.

  • PRO
    PPF.
    3 years ago

    Also, can we find architects on Houzz?


    Find Professionals at the top of the page.

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    Wow -thanks, you guys! These are all great suggestions. Our boys are 4 months and 2 years, so the space will need to grow with them and you all have given us some ideas we definitely will use. I wish this site had the feature to respond to people directly, but I'll do my best to compile my thoughts here. @sheilaskb, definitely agree with your note about the windows. it's a little less apparent when you are standing in it (the photo makes the room look smaller than it is) but bringing uniformity in that way is a great idea. We're going to play around with an accent wall and paint, but what we do will be guided by the eventual layout and design on the ground. @Rawket Girl YESSS x100. My husband is totally into the idea of a loft. We are checking for an ok from the HOA, but this sounds like so much fun! There's a natural bend in the stairs where they could open up access and i think the boys would love it. I think I;m pretty much going to copy your first image and your idea for the layout below. Thanks for being my spirit guide and life coach :) Yes again to @linlac. We have been planning on shelving as divider, but aren;t sure how to do it so it doesn't lead to constant chaos or safety issue. I want to do a built-in, but something more modular like you described makes sense. @auntthelma I have already bought a teepee in my mind, so you and I are on the same page. Kids aren't into television yet, but they have so. much. stuff that I would love to hide away, so @aylorfamily's idea about swapping the zones is primo. Also, a tiny stage would be AMAZING. So fun. I say we go for it. My husband is a touring musician, so we have plenty of spare stage stuff to make it look legit :) Smart points about balancing out the window and using the sitting area as sitting/dining. We close on 4/30, I can't wait to get in there and start figuring out the space!
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  • Naf_Naf
    3 years ago

    I know a very good residential architect in the Boston area. Send me a PM and I can give you his info and web page.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    3 years ago

    It's not clear from your post, but if the floor plans were generated by the builder, then they own the copyright to the plans unless you have a written agreement that grants you ownership. Designs derived from them may be copyright infringement. Proceed with caution.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Charles, the floor plans are publicly available samples on their site. I didn't steal them from anywhere and these are not the custom versions. I wouldn’t do something like that.

    I’m simply using them as a reference to understand the scope of what I’m looking for. This is all new to me, so I don’t know if it will cost $1,000 or $10,000 :-)
  • David Cary
    3 years ago

    Public availability does not equal permission for use - from my understanding.

    I live in a lower COLA area than Boston and we pay from $1.5 to $7 a sqft so way more than $1000 and possibly more than $10k. I would expect an architect in Boston to be upwards of $10 a sqft.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    Contact a few local architects and ask them.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Looks like I can't delete this post or edit to link directly to the builder....?


    I don't get the wiseass remarks. I planned on searching out architects but figured I'd try coming on here first. Figured it was a simple ask for an average $$ number and referrals (usually, people like referrals). Obviously, that was a mistake.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Why would you want a plan where when you enter the front of the house, the first thing you see is the kitchen?

    And why would you want all the bedrooms on the second floor but the laundry on the first floor?

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    One other thing. It sounds like what you want is a draftsman to draw up what you have already. An architect takes your wishes, wants and needs and creates a plan that works for you and your family.

    A draftsman draws what you think you want. An architect creates what you didn't know you wanted.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hi cpartist, I mentioned above that this was a sample to get an idea of what kind of cost I'd expect to hire an architect. These are not finalized or even customized plans. :-)


    Yes, probably a draftsman then. I'd have to do research on the terminology and different roles. We need to keep the cost of the house <$700k not including land, hence the reason I need someone to walk us through all this to let us know what kind of home we can expect for that kind of money. I'm VERY new to all of this.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    3 years ago

    " Obviously, that [asking nationally for local prices] was a mistake."

    You're right.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Realize that the cost of an architect is probably one of the best investments you can make in building a custom house because they can find ways to actually save you money in the long run.

    If you're in the Boston area, I'd message JDS, an architect and member here who works in the Boston area.

  • Naf_Naf
    3 years ago

    cpartist, that is what I wanted to do, so I asked for him to send me a PM.

  • chispa
    3 years ago

    Just to give you an idea, since you wanted some numbers. We paid $18K to have plans drawn up for a guest house 7 years ago in the LA area. That did include the architects time to take the plans in front of the building department to get some variances and have the plans approved for building.

  • mojomom
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Since you wanted numbers, we paid around $60,000 for duplex plans about 5200 square feet finished and another 3,000 in unfinished, but heated and stubbed, walk out basement. That number also included engineering. We also got a basic set of basement plans for the future (which is coming a lot faster than we anticipated at least for our side).

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    3 years ago

    >>>

  • PRO
    PPF.
    3 years ago

    We were working with a builder to purchase a home in their subdevelopment but the deal fell through.

    Is this important?


    We have a floorplan of the main floor and second floor (attached) and were getting ready to sit down with the architect to have him draw up renderings based on the floor plan and our 15 different ideabooks (exterior, kitchen, master, great room, bathrooms, etc.)


    You paid someone to produce a floorplan (construction documents) that you own the rights to build from, and now want someone to create renderings of the exterior?


    While we aren't going to use this builder, we'd still like to have renderings created so we can hopefully show this to other builders in the area.


    You will take your plans and renderings and get bids?


    Is this what you expect from a rendering?


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 years ago
    To create a full set of “build” drawings for this size home in our area (Gulf Coast Texas) would run around $30,000. Builder’s generally use plans and build the homes over and over to spread cost. If your talking a custom design plan on a min of $30k plus additional cost for licensed structural engineers work. It is complex process and requires many meetings to discuss all details. You should also budget for a “kitchen designer” to help develop specific kitchen detail plans. Details in kitchens are CRITICAL and if not done well, considering fractions of inches, work flow triangle, proper distances etc etc. plan on that being around $3k depending on complexity and quality desired. That will be the best money next to a designer who can help enormously to help you make hundreds of decisions that you will have to make in fairly rapid order. Stressful to say the least. Hope that helps and as mentioned previously costs vary region to region. Best of luck. It is a wonderful project but full of challenges. Buckle up!
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 years ago
    Send me a email at manganflo@gmail.com if you would like a copy of my “Tips for New Home Building”. It helps identify key elements you will need to be aware of as you venture into a deal.
  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    It fell through because at this time we can't find a suitable lot in this phase of the development. We now wait until another lot *might* open or come next year when a 20 phase two lots will open.


    Rather than sit and wait, I wanted to get the ball rolling on my own. We have not paid for customized floor plans - in my first post, I was taking a generic plan to show the scope and size to try to get an idea of what I'd be spending if I found a draftsman/architect to draw up preliminary/rough renderings of floorplans.


    Ideally, we want to find a few reputable builders in the area and bring plans to them. We'd have to see if they would be willing to build the home and their $/sq ft cost to build. Rather than show a builder a generic plan with no exterior and a bunch of Houzz Ideabooks, I wanted a preliminary floor plan and some interior renderings, much more detailed than what you pasted above @PPF.


    I asked my original question because I wanted to find out how much I'd be spending to "test the waters" with designs to see if I could find a builder.

    "Hey Bob the Builder, here are floor plans that I had drawn up for a 3500sq ft, 4BR, 4BA house, along with renderings of the exterior and interior to show you the flow through the home and finishes that we're looking for. Would you be willing to do this, are you available and what's your price?"



    I'm certainly not going to drop $50k on designs and then hope I can find a builder and if not, throw them in a filing cabinet to collect dust.

  • jn3344
    3 years ago

    Why would that happen?

  • David Cary
    3 years ago

    You do not need to spend $50k on designs. But there is definitely a big budgetary problem with custom. Pay $X to find out you can't afford it is hard. What you can do is go to a builder and ask how much to build this plan. You can't actually build it but it would at least give you an idea. He could give you a ballpark at least.

    We used a designer to do our plans. Draftsmen implies no design talent, designer is one step up and then there is architect. We paid $6k or so. More complex but similar size house. Our build cost will be about $700k in NC. Building in the Boston area will be more - just climate alone. I would think that labor is about 50% more.

    There are significant costs that a custom house incurs compared to a development. One thing I would look around and see if there are houses in the custom spec market around your price point.

    Most people buy in a development partly because you get better value - at least superficially. At the price point you are looking at, most would say you can't get custom in your area for that size and complexity of house.

    CP is right - this plan has some awful stuff.

  • simmtalker
    3 years ago
    I made my layout idea on the computer, and the architect/draftsman (don't know which) that works with the builder charged around $1,000 to do the plans, but it was taken off the price of the house when I moved forward with the build.

    IP is IP. Doesn't matter if it is published, COPYRIGHT STILL APPLIES! If you wish to be inspired by plans you have seen, no problem, but don't steal other people's work.
  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    3 years ago

    Adam, I'm sorry that you feel attacked on this forum--unfortunately once you open yourself up to questions on the internet you have no control over what comes back.

    I agree that you should select the building site first--then the architect designs the house to maximize the views, light, etc. depending on the orientation of the land. Start investigating local architects to see their work, how they charge, and their personality to see if you would enjoy working with them. You will be spending a lot of time with anyone (builder, designer, architect) involved in creating your home, so you want to make sure you have a rapport.

    As for the plan you posted, I don't think it has "awful stuff." It may not be optimal for your site, but it's a start, and can give an architect an idea of what is important to you in a home. When we built our vacation home we pored over home plan books for many months to get an idea of what we might like. Then we found a local design/build firm and used their architect to create a custom home for us. The architect's fee was included in the cost to build.

    Good luck with your search!

  • just_janni
    3 years ago

    My architect had a program for $3K to do a "feasibility study" that had an output that you could "generally" provide a builder to see if you were in the ballpark or drunk and disorderly with your $ expectations. If you went forward, the $3K was credited to his full fee. Very helpful. (Although we later fell into the drunk and disorderly area - that was our own fault - LOL!)

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    3 years ago

    Not paying for a good design will end up being much more expensive in so many ways. Bad design costs you in comfort, usability, and mistakes. With building in a boom phase, and everyone overbooked, and hurricane rebuilding affecting the lumber market, costs have risen bigly.

    700K in Boston is not a custom home. Unless you envision a small maybe 1500-2000sf simple home that could be added on to when more funds were available. It’s a 2500-3000 Sf tract home, built by the hundreds, in a builder owned and controlled subdivision. Where there is little choice in plans, materials, or individuality. Individuality is much more costly.

    Or buy existing. And save up for eventual renovations.



  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I think the gist of this is that I'm going to need to find a balance if I want a new home, but also stay under $1MM budget. (I can't believe $1MM is the new norm)

    The goal will still probably be to find a sub-development where the builder will be very open to modifying floor plans and customizing within reason.


    It certainly seems that paying tens of thousands for designs to only find out that my resulting home would cost me $1.5MM isn't going to work

  • Denita
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Adam you state: The goal will still probably be to find a sub-development where the builder will be very open to modifying floor plans and customizing within reason.

    ^Not very likely to happen.

    Those developments are with production builders (typically). The reason production builders can provide the homes at a comparatively lower price point is because the plans are stock plans to that builder. Generally shortcuts are taken in the high dollar areas such as kitchen and baths as well as other areas of the house. You don't really discover the shortcuts until you get into their 'design studio' which is set up for you to upgrade to anything resembling normal, not even high end.

    The builder that makes significant modifications is going to cost you more because your home will be a one time build and not a production build. Not custom because you are using one of that builder's plans, but not entirely stock either.

  • Alison
    3 years ago
    Adam I agree the process is hard. Homeowners have to invest a ton to really get an accurate picture of what a custom house would cost. But you can easily get a ballpark that will tell you if you are even in the region of affordability. We did this by meeting with several builders who gave us budgets for past builds in our area. Of course this wasn’t specific to us, our house, or our finishes but it wasn’t far off. This helped us know who we couldn’t afford to work with and who we could. We also toured homes they had built to confirm they were done to our standards.
  • sonni1
    3 years ago

    Thirty years ago, I bought a lot in a subdivision. The homes built there weren't custom homes, but not tract homes either. There was a particular house plan in the neighborhood that I liked, I met with the builder who built those homes. It was a fairly small construction firm in a semi rural area. He arranged for me to meet with several homeowners who had built homes from that plan. I toured a few of the homes and talked with the homeowners about features they liked and didn't. The builder was amenable to changes. The builder built me a home that I loved, it wasn't custom , but I got to pick out my flooring, countertops and options from a number of floorplan changes. And it was within my budget and I was able to get a price (before upgrades.) I'm not sure if this approach would work for you, but my guess is that to have a custom home designed and built will be very very costly.

  • David Cary
    3 years ago

    Sonni1 - not sure that exists anymore. It certainly might in certain areas.

    In my area, we are done for the most part with subdivisions like that. Land prices are high, banks are tight, and only the large national builders can afford to get a subdivision going. Also what you describe would be more expensive than tract with really very little advantage. More expensive because the builder is not working with volume discounts.

    What I see is we have a 2 class system. Tract and custom. And generally it sounds like most tract is moving away from even appearing to be semi-custom - as in partially customizable floor plan.



  • simmtalker
    3 years ago

    In this region, there are local/regional developers which offer choices for building, based on one of their plans, but able to be customized. There are also the "here ya go, better love it" type, too, but many do offer options.

  • Naf_Naf
    3 years ago

    Adam, I sent you the info.

  • Suru
    3 years ago

    Here's my numbers. I designed the floor plan and elevations myself. My drawings had all dimensions, window sizes, roof pitch, etc. as well as all the finishes picked out. I had the ceiling heights, window heights, wall thicknesses, interior elevations and sections, cabinet drawings, and every other detail I could think of that was pertinent to building the house. I created a detailed site plan showing the setbacks and the finished floor elevation as well as driveways and drainage. We even had some of the structural elements on there as suggestions.

    I took my very detailed drawings to a structural engineer who also had drafters on staff to design client's houses. They transferred my drawings to their CAD program, figured out the structural engineering, gave me 4 sets of stamped plans, emailed me the files so I could print plans to get bids, and charged me $3,500.00

  • Jeff G
    3 years ago

    $1M for the land and a 3500 sq foot house in the Boston area? I live in the Boston area (so much so I am in Boston). Where would that be possible? The prices around here are absurd (which I am currently enjoying since I already own my house). Maybe OP is just in Boston, but is looking to build elsewhere. Sorry to go OT, but I can't fathom how bonkers this RE market is around here and would love to know it isn't completely absurd.

  • Alison
    3 years ago
    Timmy you shouldn’t look at real estate in Vancouver then. 1.5 mil sounds like a steal.
  • Jeff G
    3 years ago

    Well, same here . . . 3,500 sq feet in any one of the popular/nearby Boston suburbs is $1.5m to start. In a nice city neighborhood, $2m would be amazing. I can't figure out who buys all of these homes.

  • Alison
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    1.5 is a tear down here...not a 3500 square foot anything.

    Cheapest house in my area currently is 1.6 for a 3 bed starter home.

  • Jeff G
    3 years ago

    Insane . . . sorry for the hijack.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    @Timmy, you are correct. It is absurd in the Boston area.

    5-15 minute drive from Boston and every house for sale is over $1MM min. Type in Dover, MA for an example, or Wellesley, MA

    30-40 minutes from Boston the land is about $200-300k per acre, usually in a subdivision.

    That gives you $700-800k to drop on a house to stay under $1MM. When I say “custom,” I’m implying that the home is based on an existing floor plan and then highly customized. The sample floor plan that I mentioned earlier was $569k to build the house (land is separate) and the allowances and features are surpassingly generous.

    If we added $150k we would have been able to:
    1. Bump the house out 5-7 feet, so the upstairs common area was more spacious and had a foyer feel
    2. Redesign the master suite
    3. Finished garage with epoxy flooring
    4. Hardwood throughout
    5. Irrigation
    6. Well
    7. Large mahogany deck in front and back
    8. $1,000 sq ft of finished basement at $45 sq ft
    9. Additional $20k for cabinets and counters
    10. Additional trees/shrubbery around the property
    11. Cedar shingles

    The list goes on, but my point was that this would feel like a “custom” home because we had so much input.
    All-in, the home would be $920-980k.
  • Holly Stockley
    3 years ago

    So, it sounds like you know what it costs to build with a developer, in your area. Are you asking what it would cost to build the same size custom home? And the drawings would be your tool to communicate with builders to try to get an accurate statement of cost?

    I'm not sure that's going to A. work out all the accurately or B. be worth the cost to have drawings done that are that detailed.

    As my builder explained to us, every custom home is a prototype. No one has ever built it before, so there is no handy-dandy cost chart. There are some very, VERY rough "houses about this size are built for about this much" answers to that question. OR - you take your pretty nearly finished drawings from a person of design talent and let the builder get specific bids from his subs to frame, roof, HVAC, plumb, etc. And even make some basic specs about finishes. And that can give you a decent bid for the project. To get that far effectively requires a significant investment in the design.

    Part of the value of the architect who designs the project is that (at least for us) when we've gone back and said, "Nope, can't make that work, it's out of our budget", in the rough estimate phase, the next version was not just smaller, but simplified and designed to be more efficient to build. (Helpful hint - you'll affect the finished price of the house more with things like excessive corners and enormous roof profiles than you will with your finish choices, unless you get REALLY extravagant).

    But I get not wanting to dump 5 figures into a design that you'll never be able to afford to build. Custom is something of a leap of faith. (Even out here in Fly Over Country, where we paid ~$8K/acre for our parcel and I cringed)

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    3 years ago

    One of the best cost control strategies for a custom home is to retain an architect for the design and construction documents, and at the same time a compatible builder to advise on costs in the early design phase.

    Working together with an owner, experienced and compatible architect and builder can develop early conceptual drawings which can be priced for budgeting purposes.

    These early drawings shouldn't take more than a week's time and cost by an architect, plus the daily rate for a builder.

    Good luck on your project.

  • live_wire_oak
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Economy of scale and repetition is totally absent from a custom build. Even if you use "the same" floor plan that a tract builder uses, and have another builder build it "exactly", expect least a 20% price increase. If you want changes? Start at 30% more. It will only go up. It will never be cheaper.