House Building Materials Cost: The Staggering Numbers Behind America’s Biggest Homes
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
House building materials cost can vary wildly, ranging from understandable to astronomical. As written by “Raymond Lombra” (Published in The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Housing Market), the housing industry comprises of many sub-sectors. As the economic conditions improve, there becomes an increase in demand for existing homes. It results in increase in the prices of existing homes. It also encourages the increase in construction. The figure given below explains this:
The Various Elements Propelling Housing
Today, we’ll take a look at the latter end of the spectrum and explore the staggering numbers behind the materials used to build America’s biggest and most luxurious homes.
How Much Does Building a House Cost?
Build Your Visions and Unleash Your Creativity by Transforming into Reality of Ultra-Luxurious Homes
House building materials for modular and prefabricated homes can range in cost from $50,000 to $300,000.
Development projects will have a higher ceiling house building materials cost but there’s no difference at the lower end, with a range of $50,000 to $1.5 million.
Things get crazy from here, however.
Luxury House Materials Building Cost
Drywall will not be Tolerated in a Luxury Home; Only the Best House Building Materials, Like Concrete, will do ($3-$8 Per Square Foot)
For most luxury homes, the house building materials cost starts at $350,000 and can blow well past $1.5 million in the United States. Although, $300 per square foot is the typical cost for a luxury home, they can get as high as $800 per square foot.
Indeed, the sky’s the limit for those looking to dive deeper into the world of ultra-luxury houses that make some of America’s iconic structures look pedestrian.
Also Read: Pros & Cons of Living in a Penthouse!
Here are the engineering marvels that money can go towards.
Keep in mind: unless noted otherwise, these figures only involve the materials cost of building a house on your own land. They don’t include labor or land; the real cost of building a house in the luxury market is even more astronomical than these numbers suggest.
Cost Breakdown of Building a House Designed to Wow
01. Heated Flooring ($16/Square Foot)
The Stove Won’t be the Only Heated Element in a Luxury Kitchen
At between $6 to $16 per square foot, heated flooring might seem pricey (to say the least) for those living in sub-2,000 square foot homes. That exorbitant cost becomes truly astronomical, however, when you consider that luxury homes can exist in the 5,000-plus square foot range. Bill Gates’ house is 66,000 square feet.
Although, with a net worth of $105.7 billion, Mr. Gates wouldn’t even notice $1,056,000 missing from his bank account if Mrs. Gates decided to surprise him by replacing all their floors with heated ones. Assuming he doesn’t have heated floors already, that is.
02. Quartz Surfaces ($100/Square Foot)
Design the Spaces to Embrace Your Homes With Quartz
Those looking to build a luxurious custom house will spring for only the best house building materials. In the case of bathrooms, this usually means using quartz, the highest-grade of which can cost upwards of $100 per square foot.
That’s $7,000 for a 70-square-foot shower. Of course, luxury home builders won’t stop at just the shower. Some may use quartz all over the bathroom, which gets costly in a typical large bathroom at 210-plus square feet (or $21,000 in quartz material costs alone at $100 per square foot).
Quartz is perhaps best known for its use in the kitchen, though, where the same costs per square foot apply to countertops and islands.
03. Floor to Ceiling Windows ($1,600/Linear Foot)
When you’re Rich and Every Room is a “Room with a View,” You’ll Want to Enjoy it as Much as Possible
The houses of the uber-rich tend to be surrounded by pristine landscapes that are worth looking at. And while most mere mortals don’t have the luxury of leaving their blinds open, lest the prying eyes of neighbors ruin their serenity, those who own everything within a several-acre radius can do as they please.
That includes installing window walls at up to $1,600 per linear foot.
04. Wooden Trim ($120/Linear Foot)
Cast your Impression with a Design from Solid Wood Trim
When you’re a celebrity, high-powered lawyer, or otherwise obscenely wealthy person, you care about the details in your house. After all, your fellow wealthy friends are judging every aspect of your property when they come over.
Solid wood trim is one of those house building materials people expect at least somewhere in a luxury home. You can’t cheap out on the stuff, either; there will be no $4 per linear foot molding in a luxury home.
Instead, you’ll probably opt for something like ebony, which can cost $120 per foot.
05. Retractable Glass Walls ($600/Square Foot)
When Rich People Say ‘move,’ Even the Walls Listen. Source; LaCantina Doors; Design by Build LLC
Speaking of glass, the high-powered clientele that occupy luxury homes aren’t always used to having things (including walls) stand in their way.
Retractable glass walls can solve that problem for the modest (if you’re a millionaire, at least) sum of $500 to $600 per square foot.
06. Luxury Walls ($35/Square Foot)
Add a Degree of Difference with Luxurious Walls
Drywall can cost between $1.15 to $2 per square foot. That’s embarrassingly low if you’re in the business of one-upping your fellow rich friends. In that case, you may prefer to use materials like concrete ($3-$8 per square foot) or glass ($25-$75 per square foot) when possible. Wood paneling falls nicely in the middle at about $7 to $35 per square foot.
So, What’s the Real Cost of Building a House in the Luxury Market?
The above house building materials cost estimates certainly don’t cover everything that goes into an ultra-luxury home. That’ll cover you for the basic and most obvious elements, though. It’s probably easy to see, then, why the cost of building a house on your own land in the realm of luxury can cost upwards of $800 per square foot.
That’s a house building materials cost of $4,000,000 if you’ve got a 5,000 square foot home. Bill Gates, by the way, could build 26,425 of those.
Here, we have touched only few materials and aspects. We have neither discussed interior and furniture and other appliances including that for smart home. And remember, as the material costs goes higher, the labour too would increase proportionately. This article gives a glimpse of few materials and discusses costs in US only. It will vary from native to native depending upon the local materials available there. Remember in grand old days the kings in India freely used Gold, Silver and such other precious metals for different elements. In a nutshell, one may only say that the cost has no upper limit. It also won’t tend to infinity, if one really intends.