Los Angeles Home Builders Question - cost per sq ft

6 Replies

Hi Contractors and BPers, 

What is a good "binding bid" estimate to build a mid-century modern single family home in Los Angeles with quality materials? And considers overhead and contractor profit? Not luxury, but very good quality turn key home.  Finished kitchens, baths, hardwood floors, plumbing, wood windows, wood beams, etc.  

• $125 a sq ft?

• $165 a sq ft?

• $185 a sq ft?...more?

Thank you in advance,


Stucco exterior, wood floors, average kitchens and baths your looking at 230 per sf. Start adding nice light fixtures, high end bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances and you will be in the 300 per sf range easily.

Define the degree of quality you want, 10? 20? 30? 60/sq ft tiles? 10? 20? 30? 60/sq ft floors? 100 / 200 / 300 / 3000 per fixture? 0.50 / 1 / 4 / 15 per wall plate? Very basic build could be done at 120/sf, laminate counters, $1/sf tile/floor, asphalt shingle, etc. Kitchen upgrades could start at 10k up to 50k, so whatever floats your boat. I've installed $5,000 bathroom fixtures also, just 3 sets fixtures 1 shower and 2 faucets, not including remodeling cost, waited 6 months for a broken faucet drain rod or was it a connection, cant remember. I'd say 250/sf would be a safe bet, profit, OCM, etc included.

Hi Mosun,

I agree with Manolo D. If you are not a contractor/builder yourself I would say expect to start at $225-$250/sq. ft.  It sounds like you'll be in a good neighborhood which will warrant higher-end finishes. You also mention a specific-style (mid-century, which I love!) so this should also add to your cost allowance. 

Pick up a copy of Dwell or Atomic Magazine (not sure if Atomic is still published?) and go through their advertisers. You'll find mid-century specific agents and maybe even a builder. Also check the builders in Palm Springs, as they have a lot of mid-century homes in the desert.

Best of luck to you. My buddy is a designer/architect/contractor that does work primarily in the South Bay and Westside of Los Angeles, that's where I get my numbers from.

I have a different taste of "mid" than others. So it is all about preference, best bet is shop at homedepot and set that as your "ceiling price". Do not go beyond it, but some of their items I could get up to 40% off shelf retail. Like who would imagine I buy my paint from Glidden at 65 when they are retailing it for 135. Lol.

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