Posted on 3 Comments

The Cost of Building

So as we are finally getting to the build portion of our journey here, it’s time to talk dollars. I am doing this because it was difficult for us to estimate the cost of building this place because there wasn’t a lot of info the pertained to a kit house like the one we purchased, and we thought it could be helpful to others who are thinking about doing the same.

We started with purchasing the land. My current total for the cost of land & money we’ve spent on the maintenance up to and including the purchase of a tractor to help with the driveway is $144,937.50

The land was $125,000 for 16 acres. The well and septic are already in place, so we have no costs there. We purchased the 8n for I think $2500, and there’s a lot of maintenance costs to just allow us to STAY here until the house is built including $1285 ish in propane (our tank is 1000 gallons, was 35% when we filled it and they fill it to 80%). A note on the 8n. If we had to do it over again, we would have gone with something else. Our location has a lot of difficult terrain that is not at all suited for the tractor. So it’s been better than a shovel, but if we could go back we would have spent more and gotten something better suited to our property.
The house kit was $13,032.50 which includes the cost of delivery. We opted to set it up ourselves instead of having them put the shell up. Plans has to be tweaked by a local architect to meet code. That was $1570 total to reconfigure. She also helped me navigate the building department. I can’t calculate the value in having that help. Our soil testing ended up being a total of $1550. We ended up needing two tests because our first thought on build site wasn’t going to work. $600 for one guy and $950 for a different company.

Here is a copy of the Arched Cabin invoice so you can see the cost breakdown. It changed the date on the invoice when I opened the file, so please note that we purchased this kit in June 2017 and those prices reflected are from the cost of steel and the cost of the product in 2017.


So the above costs are BEFORE permits.  So here we are. Permits. Driveway permit was $50 for a driveway that is more than 150 feet. Pre-site inspection was $40 (for driveway). For the house, it’s calculated by square footage. So our house is 848 habitable space and 160 square feet for the deck.  The total cost for filing the permits was $1797 (including driveway permits). They were kind enough to break it down for me. $250 application fee, $928 permit fee, $150 Electrical, $200 Mechanical, $150 Plumbing, $279 to check over our plans.  So we paid about $1.78 per square foot. That’s for our county, each county will be different, and the website for ours was nice enough to have a permit calculator listed so you can go there and estimate your costs.

Power drop I covered in another blog post, that you can read here, and our excavation is going to be $4000 + a fuel surcharge which will be based on the number of gallons used. I’ll cover that breakdown once that portion of the project is done.

So I hope this info is helpful for anyone looking to do their own build with a little outside help due to lack of equipment. I think concrete is the only other thing that we’re hiring out, so everything else will be done by us.

Stay tuned! Things are finally ramping up, and I’m looking forward to sharing this journey. Thanks for reading, and I hope this is helpful.


3 thoughts on “The Cost of Building

  1. Considering Colorado and Arched Cabin also! Are you natives to that region? Also what part of Colorado? Am considering outside Walsenberg in high desert with mtn. Views off grid… Land is cheap there. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m not a native, but I’ve lived here half of my life. My suggestion is to look at the building codes for the area you are wanting to build and don’t hesitate to reach out to the local building department to see if you’d be able to do what you’d like out there. A lot of people go to build “alternative” housing only to find that local building codes won’t permit the structure.

  2. […] can read more in depth about some of the costs that I’ve covered here. I’ll periodically be updating the costs as we go, but that is the original post and goes […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.