It's unlikely that anyone would build a 2-foot-by-50-foot house — or even a 10-foot-by-10-foot one — but examples like this are useful in explaining to customers why two houses with the same square footage can cost radically different amounts.
It's unlikely that anyone would build a 2-foot-by-50-foot house — or even a 10-foot-by-10-foot one — but examples like this are useful in explaining to customers why two houses with the same square footage can cost radically different amounts.

No contractor wants to talk to customers about square-foot cost. But the topic will inevitably arise, because everything about planning a construction project — especially a new home — leads the customer to think in terms of cost per square foot. When customers buy a set of stock plans, it says right there on the prints how many square feet the project involves. If they hire an architect, they begin by telling him or her how many feet they need and what they want to spend — and, naturally, they assume there's a linear relationship between square feet and cost.

The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to explain how to think about square-foot costs yourself; and second, how to explain them to the customer in such a way that you can still get the job.

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