In today's world and today's market home construction costs have skyrocketed. Regulations are a huge contributor to this issue, along with insurance costs and materials. We used to be able to build a house to a fairly standard design with no architects or engineers involved. All of the basics were in the code book, houses were built, we never had an issue. It used to be you could buy trusses for much less than the material to frame a roof. Now it's double the cost of the framing material and in most towns if you want to frame it by the code book you have to have an engineer design it. Because of all of this and to some extent the "Tiny homes" craze we are getting more and more requests for smaller more efficient houses.
Recently we designed and built a small home in Narragansett RI. The owner wanted a 2 bedroom home with 1-1/2 bathes and an open floor plan on the first floor. Another desire was to design it in such a way that a master suite could be added in the future. We worked closely with the client to get to a basic design she liked and then did a line item budget sheet to get a sense of where we were for cost. At that point we decided it would make long term sense to build the future unfinished master suite while we were building the house, leave it unfinished inside, but put the rough plumbing and some electrical in place. This way the future suite would require no tearing apart of the existing home and most of the rough plumbing was already in place. Below are some pics and a floor plan. We did this using what are sometimes considered high end features, at a reasonable cost. Along with that the cost of energy for the home will be low because the square footage is low by today's standards (about 960 sq. ft. of finished space) and the spray foam insulation is very tight. The house had an air exchange rate of 1.25 changes per hour. The new building code requires a max. of 7. Radiant heat was used on the entire first floor. Adjustable panel radiators on the second.
The owner opted for a few more expensive upgrades that were important to her based on our very extensive line item budget this was fairly simple to do and keep track of.
Front of home nearing completion
Kitchen nearing completion