running through this thread is the idea that somehow because the op is
in north dakota, building should be cheaper. i ran into a similar
attitude in northern mn where people from the twin cities would expect
us to be cheaper because we were "up north". the opposite is true.
1. there is less building activity, so there are fewer subs and thus
less competition between subs.
2. subs aren't as specialized so work takes longer. where i live, you
cannot find a sub who specializes in framing, for example, let alone
one who specializes in concrete reinforcement.
3. there are no illegals working in the trades.
4. frost depth is 60" (current job i am working on, the excavation
and icf foundation is 70 grand on a 2200 sq. ft house).
5. windows and insulation required for our cold winters are more
6. materials are more expensive because transportation costs are
higher. (what do you think, we can step out the back door and cut down
a tree and build a house with it?)
7. the building season is shortened by severe winters.
right now in my area (duluth, mn), a "production home" by one of the
few builders who produce such a thing runs 150 a sq. ft. a custom home
hits 200 without batting an eye. turnkey log cabins are up to
$425/square foot. so don't come up here thinking you'll get some local
yokel to build you a house cheaper than in st. louis or denver. ain't