"Material and labor costs establish a minimum but not max...builders
charge as much as they can get, there is no max to profit. "
Well duh! That's like saying a supermarket charges as much as they
can for an orange. We all know that, but supply and demand put a limit
on it and there is an average price for an orange in NJ isn't there?
Or how about what's a TYPICAL price for getting middle of the road
carpet installed in a square 300 ft room? Does that vary 7-8X too?
Realtors regularly calculate the median and average price for a home
and come up with a number, don't they?
"It also depends much on what you want. Do you want Pella windows or
mill finish aluminum? Insert fireplace or masonry? Square footprint
with a simple roof or one that requires a chopped up roof? Wall to
carpet or hardwood floor? Simple flat ceiling or all sorts of trays,
etc.? MDF cabinets or hardwood? Et cetera. "
Which is why I stated in the original question:
"I know it will depend on a lot of things. Not looking for super
premium outfitting, nor cheapest either,
just avg for a nice 3000-3500 square foot house. Any estimates on how
much per sq ft? "
What I'm looking for is a middle of the road, typical house. Sure, we
all know you can spend a lot more on upgrades. Let's say a house
outfitted so that most people would consider it average costs $400K to
build. Suppose I put an extra $100K into it in upgrades, which would
make it well above average in terms of what's in it, at least for most
people. That's an increase of 25%, not 7-8X like Ed asserted.
"Seems to me that $120 - $900 is realistic for those reasons and
*where* something is being built has a huge effect on price. For
example, my concrete block/stucco house has 5400' under roof, another
3000' open (courtyards, patios); Monier barrel tile roof; tile floors
everywhere except one room which has 3/4" maple; large kitchen with
custom made cabinets, all lowers with pull outs; custom made butternut
interior doors. It sits on 10 acres of lakefront property which also
has 35-40 large oaks and a pond."
And if I built the same thing 10 miles away on a smaller lot without
oak trees and a pond it could cost 7-8X more or less? Because? Where
talking CONSTRUCTION cost here, not lot prices.
So far, a few people apparently understood the question. And Vic
provided an answer along the lines I was looking for, with his estimate
of $150-180 per square foot.