8-20-13 Who’s feet are square?

Whose feet are square?  Not mine, and probably not yours either.  So, why are folks so focused on the cost of a square foot when it comes to building a new home?  Part of the answer lies with the appraisal  industry’s approach to calculations of value.  When you look at how to reduce the cost to a minimum, you can build a square box, entirely with dimensional lumber, have a 4/12 pitch room with no accents, not enclose soffits or porch lids, paint it only one color, and even use an exterior siding product that attaches directly to the structural studs.  Take it further and only have one bathroom for the house, a kitchen with minimal cabinets, and basic flooring.  The appraisal will often not end up being substantially different than a similarly sized house with more updated features and style.  But then, you might not want to live in the house, and when you go to sell it, you might have trouble finding a buyer.  Sacrificing essential or desirable features to reduce the square foot pricing may be a mistake.