Custom Home Budget Basics: What $250 Price Per Square Foot Will Get You

April 11, 2018

Ask ten different people to describe what “custom home” means to them and you’re likely to get ten very different answers. (You may even get very different answers from custom home builders.) Unlike production homes where features and finishes are purchased in bulk to achieve a similar price per square foot for an entire neighborhood, custom homes are designed to be unique to the style and budget of specific individuals. So we talk about price per square foot because pricing a custom home is often less about the bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage as it is about what goes inside the home.
At Estes Builders, we specialize in homes that range from approximately $250 to $450 per square foot. In this Budget Basics series we’ll walk you through what type of home you can expect at each of four price points: $250, $300, $350, and $400 and up per square foot.
(Each post in this series is simply a guideline. You can always move more dollars around in your budget to make a certain item “fit,” but these examples assume no compromises need to be made.)
Here’s a room-by-room breakdown.


The kitchen is usually the room where our customers spend the largest percentage of their design budget. A kitchen at the $250 per square foot range will typically include quartz counters, prefab cabinetry, and a standard appliance package.

Master Bath

Another room that’s worth the splurge is the master bathroom.  Common master bathroom features at the $250 per square foot range include tile counters and shower surrounds. The master bathroom may also include a standard, separate drop-in bathtub.

Interior Finishes

A popular choice among customers in the $250 per square foot range is pre-finished hardwood floors throughout the main living areas. Another popular option for customers in this budget range is masonry accents that give the home a unique and rustic appeal that’s very popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Exterior Finishes

Another popular feature for customers in this budget range is a 3-car attached garage. Because attached garages are a relatively inexpensive line item in a design budget it’s typically affordable to add on a third garage bay to accommodate a standard-sized vehicle, workshop or added storage. Masonry accents and a small deck (around 200-400 square feet) are also sought-after features.
What features are most important in your custom home? We can help you create a design for your new home that’s the perfect fit for your style and your budget. Contact us for a free Project Analysis to learn more.