Here we cover: estimating construction costs. Our goal is to keep things simple, but also give you enough knowledge to compare apples to apples!
TCHC: Total Construction Hard Cost
If you use an am‑cor Ferrocement Kit to construct your building, you will save money and time:
- Constructing your shell: assembling your foundation, walls, roof, and so on
- Pouring your floor slabs
- Putting in insulation
- Installing services (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.)
- No requirement for sprinkler systems
- Overall schedule & management
- And more!
You won't necessarily save time/money on things like installing fancy kitchen countertops, or siteworks. To keep things simple, we like to talk about Total Construction Hard Cost (TCHC).
- TCHC = $$ required for constructing your building on a prepared site, so you can get a Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
Total Construction Hard Cost: Hard cost of constructing a finished building. Includes material & labor for construction and enclosure of the building shell: foundations, structure, finishes, services, insulation, basic trim, fixtures and cabinetry. Does not include costs indirectly associated with construction of the building, such as: siteworks, contractor overheads, utility hookups, taxes, permits, fees, etc.
|Construction Management Type|
|one-off (contracted)||multiple (contracted)||one-off (DIY)|
|Last Updated 2021-06|
|residential (single family)||$120/sq.ft||$105/sq.ft||$85/sq.ft|
|residential (multi family)||$105/sq.ft||$95/sq.ft|
(warm & dark)
NB: The TCHC estimates above include the am-cor Kit. They are national (USA) averages of different designs & specifications in different regions, using different contractors, based on figures from our project history. Your costs may be higher or lower, depending on your design, quantity, specification, regional labor & material rates, choice of contractors, etc.
To get a rough estimate of the TCHC for your project using the am-cor System, use this general formula:
- [Floor plan area] x [# of floors] x TCHC rate = TCHC Estimate
For example, let's say you hire a contractor to build the earth-bermed 1-story, 1150 sq.ft. Solar Arcade 1BR , with a very basic specification: just enough to get a Certificate of Occupancy so you can move in to your home.
Let's use the formula above:
- [ 1150 sq.ft. ] x [ 1 floor ] x [$120/sq.ft ] x [ 8% extra for excavation & waterproofing ] = $149,040
So, your contracted and earth-bermed am-cor home, using standard mid-range interior finishes, is estimated to have a Total Construction Hard Cost of US $149,040.
👉 If you decide to Do-It-Yourself, you can save much more by managing and doing your own labor. We've seen clients save around 50% of the builder's price, by DIYing most or all of their project!
This includes cost of subcontractors to perform excavation, concrete ground floor slab, and service installations. This estimate does not include siteworks or project overhead costs. It is a national average, and may be higher or lower, depending on your site location.
If you're outside the USA, the estimates above won't apply to you (your savings may be even greater).
It's tough in the construction industry to compare apples with apples: numbers can vary dramatically, depending on what's included and what's not. Please contact us, and we'll help estimate construction in your region.
We can help you with general budgeting for your project. Please provide, via email or snail mail:
- Your contact information
- General project overview
- Number of units, estimated construction date
- Dimensioned sketches or drawings
- Any other info; e.g.: environmental or green material concerns
Then we'll send you an interactive Budget sheet, so you can get an idea of your TCHC.
If you are interested in using, modifying, or creating an architectural design to turn into an am-cor Kit, please check out our Designs section.
Price estimates issued are FOB Culpeper, VA, USA (shipping not included) and in US Dollars ($).
am-cor inc. can arrange shipping as a courtesy to the customer.
Estimates for Standard Kits and Custom Kits vary with the design type, structure, and region of each project. All figures are approximate, time-sensitive, and non-binding. Factors that effect cost include:
- Local labor and materials
- Choice of interior finishes, insulation, etc.
- Cost of transportation
- Site issues (accessibility, drainage, slope, local ordinances, etc.),
- Fluctuating raw material costs, etc.