much will my Green
Dream Home cost?
Plans Planning & Design Site Survey &
Contract Services Foundations & Drainage
Scaffold &Frame Erection Roofing Windows
& Doors Training Project
answers to these questions are vitally important but also
difficult to answer in anything but very broad and
generalized numbers. The only accurate manner in which to
tell you how much a Green
Dream home will cost is to
complete the design process, generate construction
drawings and obtain bids for all aspects of the
Guides for Costs Are:
Dream home can cost anything
between the same as an old fashioned wet trades,
bricks and mortar building and up to 25%-30% more
than a high-quality conventionally built, custom designed
home of the same size and volume, using the same finishing
materials. This is for the house only and does not include
land and those related costs.
Owner-builders who contribute a significant
amount of expertise and sweat equity (labour) can save up
to 30% over the fully contracted cost. However, a more
realistic savings for an owner-builder will be between 10%
and 20% savings.
An owner-contractor who
has real expertise and capabilities to perform the work of
a general-contractor can expect 10% to 20% saving over the
fully contracted cost.
can save an owner between 5% and 15% over the fully
that Increase Costs:
The cost of construction varies greatly from one area of
the country (world) to another. Resort regions where the
building season is limited because of weather will
increase costs. The cost of local labour and materials can
affect the cost by 10%-20%.
The weather can affect the cost of your home. Snow and
wind loads can add significant cost for additional
engineering and larger timbers. Severely cold climates may
require higher insulating values and thicker SIPs.
Site related issues:
Ledges and/or rocky terrain, a steeply
sloping site and problematic soil conditions can add cost
to the foundation.
and eclectic architecture with lots of interior and
exterior corners, complex rooflines, especially hips and
valleys will add costs.
vaulted ceilings add volume thereby increasing the cost
per square foot. A long narrow design will require more
wall area than a cube to enclose the same floor area and
Timber frame variables:
Douglas fir, red oak and quality-recycled timbers are more
expensive than eastern white pine. Complex trusses, such
as hammer beams, octagonal frames, hips and valleys will
add to the cost of the timber frame. Details such as
chamfering, curved knee braces and gun stock posts will
all increase costs.
Windows and doors:
These items can vary greatly - size, type (casements are
more expensive than double hung windows) and insulating
values (double or triple glazing) can add significant cost
to the project.
Interior finishes and materials:
The cost of kitchens and baths can greatly affect the
completed costs. Within the same space one kitchen can
easily be double or triple the cost of another
manufacturer's cabinets. Appliances also vary greatly in
cost. Whirlpool tubs and steam showers add significant
costs. A real stone fireplace can be three to four times
the cost of a "zero clearance" fireplace with
cultured stone finish. Floor finishes can add greatly to
the cost when stone, tile and hardwood are used. Heating
and cooling systems can increase costs. For example,
in-floor radiant heating costs can be upwards of two or
three times a hot-air system.
Exterior finish materials:
type and grade of wood finishes can vary greatly. Stone
finishes will add cost over simple wood trim. The roofing
materials you select can also add cost. Generally steel,
tile and other non-fiberglass/asphalt types of roofing are
that Reduce Costs:
Building in a competitive market where there is less
demand for builders can help contain costs. In these
areas local labour is more readily available and
usually at a lower cost.
affect the cost of your home. Moderate climates can
reduce cost with regard to the requirement for lower
insulating values and smaller timbers and less
A simple, flat or gently sloping site with good soils
will be less expensive to build on and help to control
designs usually mean less cost. For example, a simple
rectangular or L shaped house is probably going
to be less expensive than a fancy design with
Victorian features of the same floor area.
cathedral areas and using that volume to include a
second floor will reduce cost per square foot.
Dream pine frame is
usually less expensive than other species. Short spans
and common rafters (as opposed to principal trussed
rafters with purlins) will usually reduce costs.
Square edged timbers without chamfering will also help
Keeping windows to a minimum, using the double hung
style of windows and staying with basic argon filled,
low emissivity glass can reduce cost greatly.
finishes and materials:
carefully for kitchen cabinets, appliances and bath
fixtures will help reduce costs. Items such as
installing a wood burning stove in lieu of a fireplace
can save money. Selecting less expensive floor
finishes will also help.
brick or expensive types of siding and trim can
create significant savings. Staying with architectural
grade shiplap boarding as opposed to cedar shingles,
steel or tile is also advisable.
is vitally important to understand that materials, quality
and service vary greatly from one company to another.
all timber frame companies design, manufacture, sell and
erect completely engineered timber frame system buildings
and, when they do, you must ascertain the type of
materials they are using and the loads (weight and
deflection) to which they design.
Benfield Advanced Timber Technologies provide and install
a first floor joist and decking system as part of our
package, we include a complete system using the best
materials and designed for 65 pounds per square foot of
live load (45lbs/square foot is all that is required). Few
other companies conform to this standard.
Be certain to develop a spreadsheet type of comparison
listing material specifications and services
See current examples of their work
Speak with their references
Ask about issues of quality in the timber frame, SIPs and
other package materials
Ask about and carefully consider the services and support
provided above and beyond the timber frame package
Cost of Building A Benfield ATT Green
Timber Frame Home:
of garage, decks, and basement (if required), based on
constructed floor area of the house proper, but not
including walkout basements or garage floor areas:
Simple design built in a competitive market: £125 - £150
per square foot
portion: £65 - £85 per square foot) *
Simple design built in an inflated market: £135 - £160
per square foot
portion: £65 - £85 per square foot) *
Complex design built in a competitive market: £150 - £200
& up per square foot (Green
portion: £70 - £100 per square foot) *
Complex design built in an inflated market: £165 - £225
& up per square foot
portion: £70 - £115 per square foot) *
Green Dream Package
portion presumes Benfield ATT labour services but will
vary depending on the complexity of the design, species of
wood, SIP U-values, snow and wind loads, style of
windows and doors and their insulating values, type of
siding, trim and roofing.
Building a Green
for more information.
above costs are based on our experience and are intended
to serve as a general guide only and are not a guarantee
of the cost of and for any particular Benfield Advanced
Timber Technology Green
Dream Package or completed
speak to your Benfield ATT Green
Dream Technical Sales
Representative for more information about your specific
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