Your Home is One of Your Biggest Investments

That’s Why it’s Important to Know Who Your Builder Is

Building a new home is expensive, but the same is true for remodeling.

Let’s face it…construction of any kind costs a lot.

Currently the average cost to build a new house is around $300,000.00 not including the land. Like anything, this price will vary depending on what you want in your dream home. There’s a wide range of materials and workmanship that will affect the final price. The size of the home and location are also determining factors.

The national average price per square foot is $150.00. This means that a $300,000.00 price would get you a 2,000 square foot home.

The final price comes down to what you want in your home. It’s like looking at a bag of groceries – until you know what’s in it, you can’t know what it’s going to cost.

It makes a difference whether that bag is full of tissue paper or steak.

Most people don’t realize how much these choices can affect the price. Some of the things that have the biggest impact are –

  • Construction style – This could be a simple ranch style on a concrete slab or a multi-level house on a finished basement with high ceilings, a complicated roof and wrap around porches or somewhere in between.
  • Windows – These can be simple single hung vinyl windows all the way to custom triple pane wood windows with window treatments between the panes.
  • Cabinets –This is another place where there is a big difference in quality and styles. You could use simple basic lumberyard cabinets with veneered manufactured wood, or you might choose custom made real wood cabinets with specialty options.
  • Countertops – Can be pre-manufactured plastic laminate going all the way to custom solid surface or marble.
  • Flooring – There are a lot of flooring options, both solid surface and carpet. Sheet vinyl flooring is much less expensive the ceramic tile, and, in the middle, there’s a range of luxury vinyl. Carpeting can be a lightweight inexpensive product or a very expensive wool.
  • Plumbing fixtures – Even the lower priced plumbing fixtures aren’t cheap, and higher priced ones can be scary expensive.
  • Electrical fixtures – It’s amazing how many different styles and qualities of electrical fixtures there are, not to mention the number of cool new electrical gadgets that are out there.
  • Woodwork – You can choose to have simple basic base and casing installed or you can have multipiece custom made woodwork done. Not to mention that there is an enormous number of woodwork things like stairways, mantels, post and beams that can be done.
  • Finishes and features – Painting and staining are one of those things that most people see as a simple process that shouldn’t cost that much. What they don’t realize is that there is a lot more to it than simply brushing on a coat of paint. Preparation is the part that makes a huge difference to the finished product. The same is true for staining and applying the clear finish. This isn’t even taking into account custom paints and finishes.

These things are just a small part of what needs to be considered when building your dream home, and this is just the financial part.

In addition to the dollars and cents, there’s an emotional cost that comes with a home construction project. The emotional part can be a lot more expensive and is harder to measure. Most of the time this part of the construction process isn’t given much though.

That’s why it’s important when considering a construction project to know how to BUILD.

This doesn’t mean knowing everything about construction, rather it means knowing how to navigate the process so you can avoid the overwhelm that happens too often.

This is where having the right builder comes in. In our next post we’ll explore what you should look for in a builder and how rare it is to find a good one.

The Difficulties of Doing Things You Don’t Know How To

What to Do When Faced with Something You’ve Never Been Taught

When faced with things that we aren’t proficient in, there’s really only three options.

  • Attempt to do it ourselves
  • Hire a professional
  • Close our eyes and pretend like it’s not happening

There are variations of these, but ultimately these are the three choices.

We all have our own areas of expertise and skill. I don’t know about you, but mine isn’t marketing. Marketing is defined as “the activity and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market with goods for sale.

As entrepreneurs we tend to be of the mindset that we can figure “it” out whatever “it” is.

I know this is certainly my default approach to obstacles. An “I’ve got this” attitude can be an asset…it can also be a liability. It’s great to learn new things and I like knowing how things work. This learning comes at a cost.

In my forty plus years of doing construction I’ve learned a lot about building, both physical construction and how to operate a successful business. One of the things that I’ve never needed to know much about is marketing. When doing quality work and taking care of customers, word of mouth is marketing enough.

Whether it’s time or money, there’s a cost.

Now that we’re expanding our business to include business coaching, systems and training as well as customer consulting and educating, we need some marketing.

For several years I’ve been working on this. Trying to learn how while not spending any money. Then I spent a little money here and there on programs that I thought might be the trick with still no traction.

After years of very little forward progress, earlier this year I decided that I had “closed my eyes and pretended like it’s wasn’t important” for long enough.

At that point I began investing in myself and my idea. I started by joining Kingdom Builders Mastermind. It’s not cheap. In that mastermind I met Bryan Switalski who is a digital marketer using the Story Brand system which I had already been working to learn. I’ve hired him to help me with a lead generator and some sales funnel work. Through Bryan and Becky Warner another mastermind member. I found out they along with Dean Kaneshiro were getting ready to start a 90-Day Launch course. Designed to get a product to market in 90 days.  

This is a substantial investment of time and money, but

What has it cost me in the time over the last 6-7 years and I haven’t sold anything yet?

I realized as I was going through this process to improve my marketing, that the same reasons that I hadn’t moved forward sooner, are the same reasons construction companies don’t do accurate and consistent proposals.

They never learned how.

They’ve either came up with a “guess-timation” way of giving customers prices or they’ve “closed their eyes and pretended it’s not important”. Either way the outcome isn’t very good.

This is precisely why I designed the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system. The peace of mind and lack of stress alone is worth the investment of time and money.

What Are the Best Construction Questions?

Neon question mark written in the dark



The Ones That Are Actually Asked



Last week I shared the list of questions asked by a group of Scouts. This week I’ll begin to answer them.

As I pointed out last week, due to the number of questions I’m going to divide them into different topics to keep the posts from getting too long. This week I’ll start by answering some basic construction questions. Keep in mind that asking and answering questions is communication and communication is a two-way process. This means that before I can answer questions fully and accurately, I need some questions answered.


How much does building a new house cost?

This is the most common first question. It only makes sense; cost is a critical part of deciding whether to build. It’s also one of the most difficult to answer, especially when asked without any specifics.

Here are some of the questions that need answered to determine a price:

  • Where will it be located? – location effects things like utilities, sewer, lot preparation, zoning, permitting, etc.
  • How big? – more square feet costs more.
  • How many levels? – stacked is typically less expensive per square foot.
  • Type of foundation? – slab, crawl space or basement.
  • How high are the ceilings? – higher is more expensive.
  • What style of roof? – more complicated costs more.
  • How many windows? – more windows cost more.
  • Quality of materials and finishes? – there’s a wide variation in quality which translates into a wide variety of price, i.e. cabinets, countertops, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc.


This is some of the things that need to be determined before getting an accurate price.

As a vague answer to a vague question, in the middle part of the US where we do construction, you can figure an average home to cost $110.00 to $150.00 per square foot of living space.


How long does it take to build a new house?

The answer to this question will be directly connected to the answers of the last question. Size, design, level of finish, etc. will all effect the length of time to build a new house. An average 2000 square foot home will take 6 – 9 months.



How much wood does a new house take?

Once again, the answer is going to depend on specifics of the house. Let’s just answer the question using the average 2000 square foot house that we have been using. Let’s assume that it’s going to have wood floor joists, sub-floor, wall studs, wall boxing, ceiling joists, rafters, roof sheathing, siding, windows, doors, cabinets, etc. All these things combined will be around 40 pounds per square foot. That means the wood used in a 2000 square foot house will weigh around 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons.


How much steel goes into a house?

There are some cases where houses are framed using steel, but typically that’s not very common. There are some steel things commonly used, like nails, screws, joist hangers, reinforcing steel in concrete, etc. Sometimes steel beams and posts are used for supporting heavier loads and wider spans. In a typical wood framed house, it takes around 10 pounds of steel reinforcing, fasteners and misc. per square foot to build. This means that our 2000 square foot wood framed home would have around 20,000 pounds or 10 tons.


Next week we’ll answer questions about the construction process. If you have any construction questions you would like answered, asked them in the comments below.



What Will the Cost of the Trip Be?

It’s Important to Know the Destination Before You Start Your Journey

Intentional goal setting, including writing them down, is directly connected to the successful outcome of goals. For years we have heard of how often New Year’s resolutions fail. Some statistics show that as much as 60 percent of people abandon them within the first six months. This is due to a lack of commitment.

Jesus’ goal was set from the very beginning. He knew the cost and the destination before He started, He never lost sight or veered from it. Even knowing the cost, He was willing to commit to it. He knew the goal was worth the ultimate cost. We see this in Luke 13:31-35 when He is unwilling to stop doing His work even when confronted by the enemy.

We need to determine where we want to go in this life and beyond and realize it is worth the cost.

Jesus uses the analogy of a hen gathering chicks under her wings in this Scripture. Pastor Lee told a story of a chicken house that was burned down. When looking through the ashes the farmer found a dead hen laying on the floor, her feathers burnt off her back. As he rolled her over chicks came running out, still alive. She put the chicks needs ahead of her own.

We are chicks having had the ultimate price paid for us. We need to repay that gift by being the hen and put other’s ahead of ourselves.

Often, we head off in a direction without thinking it through. We think we have it all figured out. Then when we run into a barricade, we continue bouncing off it, still thinking we know best. Many times, after we have either crashed through or given up, we find there was a better way.

A good example of this barricade banging is when a young boy was sick in the hospital. A doctor who specialized in his illness was called in. While driving to the hospital the doctor was confronted at a stoplight by a man with a gun. The doctor tried to explain the dire emergency, but the man didn’t care. He wanted the doctor’s car, so the doctor gave it to him.

After the doctor finally hailed a cab and caught a train, he made it to the hospital, but it was too late, the boy had died. The doctor was shown to the family in the waiting room. There stood the man who had stolen his car. It was the boy’s father. The father refused to listen to the man who could have saved his son. Too often this is the way we treat the One who can save us. We just keep banging into the barricades over and over and over. Jesus doesn’t want this for us.

The price for our eternal journey has been paid. We just need choose the destination.