Green Building Construction Cost Guidelines 2013-2014

Since Construction Costs always seem to go up regardless of the economic trends, putting together a realistic Construction Budget is more important now than ever. The following information can help you formulate a realistic Construction Budget that helps you determine where to cut costs and where you can splurge, based on realistic goals, objectives and needs.

Confused about where to begin, what to do & how to get there? Comet Studios can help you.

Comet Studios can help by working with you every step of the way! Whatever stage you are in with your project, Comet Studios can help you create the best possible solutions by drawing on our  substantial experience and insight. We look forward to an opportunity to help you set and achieve your goals with realistic solutions that provide a better quality of life while at the same time protecting and sometimes enhancing your investment.

Regardless of project size, we can offer flexible, cost effective and efficient support, custom tailored to each individual project’s requirements. Comet Studios offers economical, efficient and personalized attention to all phases of project planning, architectural design, project budgeting and construction with innovative sustainable solutions that often incorporate renewable energy technologies.


02_crook_house2Following is a breakdown of construction costs for the Santa Fe area:

• Economy merchant-built home: $100-$150/square foot (s.f.)
• Low-end custom home: $140-$175/s.f.
• Mid-range custom home: $175-$225/s.f.
• High-end custom home: $225/s.f. and up
• 2×6 garage, insulated, slab, stucco, sheetrock: $85-$120/s.f.
• Typical portal w. slab floor: $85-$100/s.f.
• Typical carport w. slab floor: $85-$100/s.f.
• Typical kitchen: $300-$350/s.f.
• Typical bath: $250-$300/s.f.
• Typical LR or BR: $150-$175/s.f.
• Permits per $1,000: $2.50-$4.75
• Workers Comp insurance: 15-20% of payroll
• Contractor profit & overhead: typically 15% of construction cost. Can be as low as 10%
• Gross Receipts Tax: town 8.1875% county 7.125%


Annual construction cost increases have historically been about 5-7%.  For the last year or two, construction cost increases have been a bit lower.

Construction costs in Taos Ski Valley tend to run higher ($250/sf or more) regardless of home type, due to the high altitude mountain location, required sturdy alpine construction, short building season and extreme weather conditions.

2013-2014 Estimated Construction Cost Guidelines for a typical custom home in  Santa Fe:

The following estimated lower-end custom home construction cost does NOT include architecture & engineering services, renewable energy solutions other than passive solar, landscaping, permits & other required costs and fees. 

Onsite Utilities (builder’s cost): $20,000
2,000 s.f. Home @ $175/sf (builder’s cost): $350,000
300 s.f. attached Portals @ $115/sf (builder’s cost): $34,500
500 s.f. Garage @ $100/sf (builder’s cost): $50,000
Subtotal: $454,000
15% Profit & Overhead: $68,175
8% Gross receipts tax: $54,540
Estimated total: $576,715

Read the complete Comet Studios_Construction_Costs_2013-2014 »

About Comet Studios:

Comet Studios offers comprehensive planning, design, construction oversight & real estate development services for a variety of residential & commercial clients and projects:

  • Feasibility Studies & Project Programming
  • Single Family Homes
  • Cabins & Log Homes
  • Custom Estates
  • Condominiums & Live / Work Lofts
  • Sustainable Community Planning, New Urbanism & Urban Agriculture 
  • Land Analysis & Acquisition
  • Sustainable Eco-Community Development & Well-Being Lifestyle Programs
  • Environmentally Conscious Green Building & Renewable Energy Solutions


A&J_02_smJohn Halley, founder and president of Comet Studios, has specialized in energy efficient passive & active solar home design, sustainable community planning, real estate development and renewable energy solutions for over 35 years. Comet Studios is also a dealer for Solar Logic computer equipped hydronic heating controllers and SolarLogic’s related standardized hydronic heating system design.

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