Hurd Builders- Luxury Home Builders
About Hurd Builders
In 2000, Hurd Builders, LLC opened its’ doors with a simple business philosophy; to provide personalized residential design/build services to home buyers stuck in a sea of production builders. Hurd Builders embarked on a course to become a “boutique” builder, focusing on innovative designs which accommodate women’s needs and desires for her new home. We became a business that not only allowed women (and men) the latitude to design their own home, but a business that thrives in that creative environment.
The Hurds understand that true custom home building does not necessarily have to be more expensive than the new home products delivered by big builders. Innovative and cost efficient home design just takes more time, effort, and thoughtfulness than most other builders are willing or able to expend. It takes more commitment as well. That commitment is what seperates Hurd Builders from the competition.
Melody and Russell Hurd are co-owners of Hurd Builders, LLC, a new home building company, and Hurd Builders Specialty Projects, LLC, a home improvement firm. Both Mel and Russ enjoy vast home building business experience. Each of them bring extensive complementing backgrounds that include working with merchant and custom builders. After working in the construction industry for 14 years, they recognized the unfulfilled “boutique builder niche” in the home building marketplace which they targeted and formed their business.
In 2015 Russ and Melody joined the Frederick County Building Industry Association (FCBIA). The FCBIA recently recognized Hurd Builders with two Awards of Excellence in Custom Home Building categories.
Custom Home Building
Methods used to calculate square footage differ
Some builders measure a home’s size from the outside of the wall framing. Other builders measure to the outside of the siding material. With these variances, an all-brick home may be hundreds of square feet bigger than the same exact home with a lap siding.
Was the second story area of a 2-story high entry foyer included? It’s heated space and can be a beautiful area in your home, but it isn’t “walkable” square footage.
How about the staircase and its openings – were they counted once or twice? These differences in calculating total square footage return a different cost per square foot.
What square footage was included?
Was the basement included – all of it or just the portion of the basement that’s finished living space?
How about the attic spaces? What if the attic has a sloping ceiling and you can only stand up in a small portion of that attic?
Finished space in a basement or attic is typically much less expensive than finished footage on the main floor of the home. Why? The foundation, walls and roof are already there. If the price per square foot of the home was calculated based on “finished” square footage, that figure is typically lower for homes with finished basements and/or attic space.
Do you include a home’s three-season room, porches, deck, or patio?
What if those outdoor spaces are covered by the roof? If the garage is not included in the home’s reported square footage, then a bigger garage won’t affect the price per square foot because those square feet don’t count, right? So, why not build a 4-car garage? Obviously garages and decks aren’t free.
Cost per square foot comparisons are meaningless if the square footage of these areas are counted differently by various builders.
Did the cost per square foot quoted include the home site? A $25,000 lot represents $12.50 per square foot for a 2,000 square foot home. But if you are building that same home on a $60,000 lot, the home site equates to $30.00 per square foot – $17.50 per square foot higher!
Even the neighborhood can impact your cost per square foot. If subdivision covenants require a full masonry (brick/stone or stucco) front elevation, the home will cost more than if it were built with vinyl siding on the front. Community amenities such as walking trails, pocket parks, clubhouses, pools, etc., all have a cost which is passed along to each homebuyer in the form of higher prices for the building lot.
Cost is driven by design
Though design has a strong bearing on a home’s cost, design, functionality, and a home’s livability don’t necessarily correlate to square footage. In fact, good design can often save you money when, for instance, you can eliminate long hallways and actually reduce the home’s square footage.
Outside, sophisticated rooflines and grand entryways cost more but don’t add to a home’s square footage, so such homes cost more per square foot.
Inside, there’s almost too many variables to count that impact a home’s cost, but don’t affect square footage. Take ceilings for an example – many new homes feature 9-foot high or taller ceilings, tiered or vaulted ceilings, and artful ceiling details. Such ceiling amenities increase the cost per square foot compared to homes with standard, 8-foot flat ceilings.
Every corner in a home’s foundation costs more, so simple rectangular foundations reduce a home’s square footage cost compared to homes with numerous foundation jobs. Carpet typically comes in 12’-wide rolls, so designing a room 12’8” wide is more expensive due to the added labor costs for cutting and seaming the carpet and the increased material waste.
Then there’s the cost of the home plans. Pre-drawn plans might cost $1,000, about $.50 per square foot for a 2,000 square foot home. Custom drawn plans typically range from $3 to $10 per square foot.
What’s included in the price?
Some builders usually base their cost per square foot number on their “standard” materials.
Builder A includes hardwood flooring.
Builder B includes carpet.
Builder C includes full sod and a generous landscaping allowance.
Builder D only includes grass seed in the yard. Was an asphalt driveway included?
Don’t laugh! Such factors don’t affect the size of your home but can raise or lower the cost per square foot.
The included materials and products used differ by each builder.
Your price includes granite countertops, but granite can range from $45 – $100 per square foot based on color and thickness. Are the included hardwood floors ¾” or the cheaper 3/8” thickness? Are they prefinished or finished in place?
Five inch wide flooring is considerably more expensive than the same brand in a 2 ¼” or 3” wide flooring. Seeing on a builder’s specifications sheet that granite countertops and hardwood floors are included is insufficient for comparing different builder’s cost per square foot. Quality name brand windows could easily add $10,000 or more compared to a quality lesser known brand of windows. Even within name brands, product prices vary widely. Quiet dishwashers – something you will truly appreciate – are more money than their entry level counterparts.
The type of home you build impacts cost
A one story home with 2,000 square feet of finished living space has a foundation under the entire 2,000 square foot home and a 2,000 square foot roof.
A 2,000 square foot two-story home with 1,000 square feet on the main floor and 1,000 square feet on the second floor will have a smaller, less expensive foundation and a smaller, less expensive roof. The wider and deeper one-story home will often require a larger, more expensive building lot. So, even though the finished square footage of the two homes is identical, two-story homes usually cost less per square foot.
The total size of the home
Some costs are constant regardless of the size of the home. Permits, environmental, neighborhood, government fees, inspections and utility hook-ups are unaffected by the home’s size. A smaller home will still have a kitchen with all of the same appliances – just like a larger house. Generally, smaller homes have a higher cost per square foot assuming finish levels are comparable.
Check out your builder
We hear horror stories of builders who will quote a price based purely on square feet and then pound the buyer with extras after the job is started.
Reputable builders will have a long list of references from happy homeowners. Contact those references! Similarly, there is great value in a builder’s longevity. You don’t last in homebuilding without treating your customers and your subcontractors right!
A cheaper cost per square foot will be long forgotten when issues within the home arise after you’ve moved in, your builder ignores your plea to fix your warranty items, or simply goes out of business and starts working under another name. What’s the cost of the square foot of your new home warranty?
Frederick, MD 21703