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building costs

 
stcmike
(@stcmike)
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I am thinking about putting up a house on some property I have, the land is flat so it should be a relatively easy build. What's the average cost for a 2000 sq foot home on the island?

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Topic starter Posted : February 21, 2010 10:28 pm
li2stx
(@li2stx)
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stcmike
we just finished building on the east end of stx. using a local guy, it was about $190 sq/ft. he was on time and on budget. if you want more info pm me.
li2stx

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Posted : February 22, 2010 12:12 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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That is an extremely low sq' ft $ number for the VI -- good job! -- Is the house Concrete? What percent is wood? Hurricane windows or shutters? Any 'green' energy ? Flat Lot? Did the local man get you a CO?

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Posted : February 22, 2010 10:42 pm
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
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That is an extremely low sq' ft $ number for the VI -- good job! -- Is the house Concrete? What percent is wood? Hurricane windows or shutters? Any 'green' energy ? Flat Lot? Did the local man get you a CO?

I was thinking the same thing. Not that you shouldn't be able to hit these numbers, but I don't know anyone that has. Most of the reported numbers that I have seen have been in the $400 to $600 range per foot.
Jay

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Posted : February 23, 2010 9:37 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
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I've been hearing $300 to $350 per Sq Ft. Depends on the quality of finishes, steepness of lot, etc...

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Posted : February 23, 2010 10:21 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
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Having built a small poured concrete house 3 years ago on a relatively steep lot my cost for a 1000 sq. ft. was @ $180/ft/sq. Because of the topography my excavation costs were @ $25K, but the view is irie. So, If you allowed $200 for basic and then include any amenities, like pools, decks and all that you should be able to get close to a cost to build price. There are always surprises so add another 15% to be sure you get it done.

I included extra rebar for wind resistance and insulation in the roof structure which added a dollar or two.

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Posted : February 23, 2010 10:53 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
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Wow, these numbers make my 2000 square foot Tulipan home that I paid $230,000 for seem like a bargain. Interesting info!

Sean

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Posted : February 23, 2010 11:25 am
li2stx
(@li2stx)
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the house is 1350sq/ft with a 400sq/ft covered gallery. it is block construction with exposed cypress ceiling, metal roof. he had most of the interior shipped over from home depot in florida ( cabinets from h.d. st thomas , craftmaid w/ quiet close draws). centerline metal louver windows and sliding doors ( to save a bit of money). included in price was a grey water system,on-demand hot water & transfer switch. the lot was considered somewhat flat, the cut is about 15 feet deep, and yes he did get us the co. neighbors who watched the entire job said they have never seen a house go up so quickly, and also commented on how neat and tidy he kept the site during construction. being off island during construction, he send pictures every week for the entire nine months and we talked several times a week. no major traumas and we are very pleased with the entire job. many people warned us to stay away from local talent, we would disagree, rocky was more professional than the other three guys from the states we interviewed and was about a third less in price.

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Posted : February 23, 2010 11:35 am
li2stx
(@li2stx)
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sean
this might sound stupid, but what is a tulipan home ?

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Posted : February 23, 2010 11:58 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
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I live in Tulipan on Mount Welcome. My understanding is that a developer from the states built all the homes up there (which are well constructed) in a kit like fashion back in the 1970's. I even heard that they used the D.C. ball field site as a concrete factory to build the Tulipan, Flamboyant and Mahogony communities and then tore down the concrete plant to make the ball field but I haven't verified this. If anyone knows about the area I'd be interested in knowing more as a side note.

Most houses up in Tulipan have downstairs apartments that can be rented and many bartenders/waiters/waitresses from local restaurants live in them. They've always referred to them as "Tulipan Homes" after the neighborhood we live in when I talk to them. It seems like everyone in that community has lived in a Tulipan home at one point in their stay on island! Even one of our good friend had lived in the downstairs of our apartment before we bought it.

It sounds like things worked out very well on your house construction. One day we may go that route, while our house was significantly cheaper per square foot I've done (and had others do) all the work you'd expect on a nearly 40 year old home. Enjoy the new house!

Sean

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Posted : February 23, 2010 1:18 pm
li2stx
(@li2stx)
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thanks sean
we are enjoying it and hope to for a long time
steve

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Posted : February 23, 2010 2:32 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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Li2stx -- Damn fine job and thanks for the info - enjoy! Was the cistern poured and have you found it to be large enough? Does the grey water system flush the toilets? Glad to hear a good word for local labor - I concur.

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Posted : February 23, 2010 6:46 pm
li2stx
(@li2stx)
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exit zero-
thanks, it all worked out great and we would do it again in a new york minute if rocky is involved.
yes, the cistern is poured and it is over sized. we only needed approx 14,000 gallons ( i believe it is 10 gallons for every sq/ft of house ) for code and our is approx 17,000 + gallons, so far so good. as far as the gray water is concerned everything but the toilets empty into one tank (gray water) with a separate pump and the toilets empty into a different tank (black water). the gray water can only be used for watering garden plants. it should allow us to water the "lawn" without using any cistern water.
we also have permits to install a wind generator, but will hold off on that till we see what our electric usage is for a couple of months. we are use to spending time on a boat , so we are pretty conservative with both water and electric usage.
given the horror stories we heard about building in the vi, we must be the exception not the rule, i guess. boy are we happy !

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Posted : February 23, 2010 8:10 pm
stcmike
(@stcmike)
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Thanks everyone for the info, quite interesting

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Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2010 10:55 pm
specialk
(@specialk)
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Friends who were planning to build on the east end of STX were recently quoted $300 per sq ft by one the the island's "top" architects. 10% goes to the architect and 15% to the GC. The architect's 10% covers only the initial design. After that anything additional, like site visits to rectify design problems and computer time to make changes, would be billed at $175 per hour...to correct HIS mistakes! They chose to pursue this guy based on his reputation dealing with multi-million $ projects. After receiving his quote they interviewed another architect (based on reputation) who quoted $275 per sq ft. They've since decided to nix the construction idea and are about to buy an existing house.

A person I know who has a 2-story 1600+ sq ft poured concrete house currently under construction on the STX east end told me he received quotes ranging from $125 sq ft to $175 sq ft. (I don't know what he's paying for his project) He will be supplying his own cabinets, and fixtures.

A neighbor who has been a contractor on STX for 22 years agreed with the $125-$175 figures and added $200 sq ft should be the current day maximum for upscale construction. He said $300 sq ft is a price from 5 years ago and nobody should have to pay that much in today's market. But he'd gladly build a house for anyone who wants to spend $300 sq ft 😀

A bit of info from my friends in the first example - while discussing mortgages with the local banks they were asked who their architect and GC would be. The bank rep had a list of people who, for the lack of a better term, are approved vendors. People they feel comfortable being responsible for the money they will be lending the homeowners.

I've been hearing $300 to $350 per Sq Ft. Depends on the quality of finishes, steepness of lot, etc...

"I was thinking the same thing. Not that you shouldn't be able to hit these numbers, but I don't know anyone that has. Most of the reported numbers that I have seen have been in the $400 to $600 range per foot."

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Posted : February 27, 2010 12:33 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I think a fair amount of the discrepancy showing up in the $$ numbers has to do with building on STX vs. STT -[ the STJ $$#'s are really skewed] AND the level of finish and materials used. I know the discussion has centered on STX but realize CaptJay lives on STT and that was his quote about the $400 and up.
I was really glad to hear it being done at reasonable prices and suspect the house li2stx built is much more to my style and liking than one costing a lot more per sq ft - but even there I wouldn't want metal louvered windows and overall prefer the traditional West Indian hip roof simplicity of the older designs.
I recommend looking at Pamela Gosners " Historic Architecture of the U.S. Virgin Islands" and Edith Woods " The Three Quarters of Charlotte Amalie" but realize many people want a much more modern look and layout.

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Posted : February 27, 2010 1:42 pm
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

I think a fair amount of the discrepancy showing up in the $$ numbers has to do with building on STX vs. STT -[ the STJ $$#'s are really skewed] AND the level of finish and materials used. I know the discussion has centered on STX but realize CaptJay lives on STT and that was his quote about the $400 and up.

EZ,
Is right my frame of reference is St Thomas and to a lesser part St John, which has seen some crazy prices. I used to be a GC in the real world and have given consideration to building a small house here. I just haven't been able to come to grips with the pricing. Even with the cost of shipping materials here everything I see just doesn't add up. The other issue is almost everyone that I have talked to or have read about have always had huge cost over runs. I am glad to hear that some of the people in the industry are starting to get a little more realistic about pricing as well.
Jay

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Posted : March 1, 2010 8:29 pm
Jumbie
(@ohiojumbie-2)
Trusted Member

Does anyone know what GC's, etc are quoting for residential building on STJ these days? We built in 2002/2003 here on STX and our total costs were roughly $150/sq ft. The GC we had left STX to go over to STJ in late 2002 because he said the building opportunities over there were much greater than here. I know in the fall of 2007, the company he went to work for (Sunnyrock Design & Building) was quoting $500/sq ft to build on STJ. One of the biggest costs there was the cement trucks had be ferried from STT over to STJ, plus the cement trucks couldn't haul a full load due to weight constrictions of the commercial ferry boat.

Jumbie on STX

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Posted : March 2, 2010 10:03 am
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