Construction Calculator Confusion

by Maureen McCabe on November 15, 2007

hammerI have to admit the house I cobbled together on the Building Cost Calculator was a mess. I did NOT read directions on the calculator. Mea culpa.

I flew through the program and I mixed up “Quality Class” to make a crazy 3200 square foot house with inadequate bathrooms (and maybe other oddities.)

I thought it was odd, that the Building Cost Calculator never asked how many bathrooms. That was in choosing “Quality Class.” I chose average. Average gave me two bathrooms, back to back. Not what you would find in a typical two story, 3200 square foot home. Of course all of the 3200 square foot real homes that sold in 2007 that I compared to had more than two baths! Build YOUR Columbus dream home for $304,933 Lots more baths.

I went back and redid the calculations for each of three “Quality Classes” Best, Good, Averge. Still 3200 square feet. I believe I made the same choices as far as garage, basement, fireplace, etc for Best, Good and Average.


Total Living Area 3200
Number Of Corners 6
Foundation Quality Class 1
Exterior Walls Quality Class 1
Exterior Finish Quality Class 1
Windows & Doors Quality Class 1
Roofing Quality Class 1
Interior Finish Quality Class 1
Flooring Quality Class 1
Bathroom Quality Class 1
Kitchen Quality Class 1
Plumbing Quality Class 1

Total Cost
Material $223,785
Labor $144,211
Equipment $5,412
Grand Total $373,408



Total Living Area 3200
Number Of Corners 6
Foundation Quality Class 2
Exterior Walls Quality Class 2
Exterior Finish Quality Class 2
Windows & Doors Quality Class 2
Roofing Quality Class 2
Interior Finish Quality Class 2
Flooring Quality Class 2
Bathroom Quality Class 2
Kitchen Quality Class 2
Plumbing Quality Class 2

Total Cost
Material $185,432
Labor $121,569
Equipment $4,479
Grand Total $311,480



Total Living Area 3200
Number Of Corners 6
Foundation Quality Class 3
Exterior Walls Quality Class 3
Exterior Finish Quality Class 3
Windows & Doors Quality Class 3
Roofing Quality Class 3
Interior Finish Quality Class 3
Flooring Quality Class 3
Bathroom Quality Class 3
Kitchen Quality Class 3
Plumbing Quality Class 3

Total Cost
Material $168,760
Labor $111,989
Equipment $4,085
Grand Total $284,834


Best Grand Total $373,408

Good Grand Total $311,480

Average Grand Total $284,834

Make more sense? I still think it is odd… Maybe a bit off. It’s that Columbus ZIP code thing…

The theoretical homes are still inexpensive in comparison to the real home sales I came up for various Central Ohio school districts including the Columbus school district:

Big Walnut School District- $486,165
Columbus School District – $517,531 (These it turns out are condos, the single family home sales were smaller square foot.)
Dublin School Disrtict- $440,466 (seems freakishly low)
Hilliard School District – $484,994
Olentangy School District- $429,978

New Homes Search on the Real Living New Construction Portal This includes more than MLS (multiple listing service) but obviously not ALL Central Ohio new construction.

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1 Eve November 15, 2007 at 05:23 pm

I’m just following the Randomizer wherever it takes me. Trying to make some new friends, see some interesting websites, and leave a message or two. Today it brought me to you.

How interesting! I’ve been drawing houseplans for fun for years. I drew one plan for a 400 sf home just to see if I could get everything in it that I consider essential for my comfort. Amazing what I came up with. Now I gotta check this out and see how much it would cost to build one of my ‘dream’ houses.

2 Maureen McCabe November 15, 2007 at 06:11 pm

I don’t know what the Randomizer is but thanks for stopping by.

A 400 SF home house sounds interesting, like the Katrina Cottages.

3 Maureen McCabe November 15, 2007 at 06:15 pm

Now I know what the randomizer is… I had stopped by Eve’s site and saw she was doing the NaBloPoMo but thought it was just a coincidence, but it’s not.

the randomizer on NaBloPoMo

“What’s this? National Blog Posting Month?!
During the month of November, a group of bloggers – led by the formidable Mrs. Kennedy – have banded together and made a pact to blog every single day.

What’s that? A “randomizer”?!
As I was perusing the lengthy list of NaBloPoMo contributors, I thought about how much fun it would be to be able to click through them in a random fashion. And here we are!

Just click the “view next blog” button at the top of the page to check out a random selection of participating blogs.”

4 Maureen McCabe November 15, 2007 at 06:37 pm

I had to see if I could do a 400 SF house, I did it all Average Quality Class and in a Columbus ZIP it would be $53,452.00.

I did no attic, no garage, no fireplace but I did a 400 SF basement. Thanks Eve, that was fun.

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