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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

Most frequent questions and answers

Table of Contents

Consultations

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Here is a list of projects & consulting that we do:

1. Custom homes
2. Accessory dwelling units
3. Whole-house remodels.
4. Land purchase due-diligence
5. Building site cost analysis.
6. Remodels that involve a full kitchen remodel and the bathrooms being remodeled with a budget of $100,000 or more.
7. Most home remodeling projects that have a budget of $100,000 or more.
8. Steel buildings ONLY when they are built along with a new custom home or home remodeling project.

Here is a list of projects we do NOT do:

1. Free project estimates
2. Tiny homes
3. Manufactured homes
4. Kitchen remodels under $100,000.
5. Bathroom remodels under $100,000.
6. Steel buildings when they are not built at the same time as a custom home or home remodeling project.
7. Septic systems when not accompanied by a custom home or home remodeling project.
8. Any home remodeling project with a budget of less than $100,000.
9. We do not do partial projects such as building the structure of the home and then having the owner finish out the inside.

Click here to watch the video, read the instructions, and fill out the form. Once you do that we will have someone from our team contact you right away.

If you would prefer to call the office you can reach us at 760-788-6846.

Yes, we do charge for project & land consultations. The first step towards seeing if we can help you is to apply here

Once you fill out the form here is what you can expect:

1. You will get a phone call or an email from one of our team members asking you more about yourself and your project.

2. If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $100 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $100 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

3. Once payment has been made we will contact you right away to schedule a consultation either via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian.

The fee is for the initial consultation is $100.

The first step towards seeing if we can help you is to apply here

Once you fill out the form here is what you can expect:

1. You will get a phone call or an email from one of our team members asking you more about yourself and your project.

2. If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $100 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $100 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

3. Once payment has been made we will contact you right away to schedule a consultation either via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian.

If it looks like your project or land purchase is something we can help you with one of our team members will send you an email with a link to make a $100 payment via our website, or this can be done over the phone. The $100 consultation fee will be credited back to you if we end up working together in a design or consultation agreement.

To request a consultation click here or call our office at 760-788-6846.

1. You will meet via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian. The consultation will be an hour in length. The type of meeting will be based on what works best for you and the type of consultation you are needing.


2. We will discuss your needs and the exact items you are needing help with.


3. We will answer any questions you may have about your project or land purchase.


4. We will discuss what the next steps are and how we can help you.

All consultations are an hour in length.

1. You will meet via phone, Zoom call, or an onsite in-person meeting with either Bill or Brian. The type of meeting will be based on what works best for you and the type of consultation you are needing.

3. We will discuss your needs and the exact items you are needing help with.

5. We will answer any questions you may have about your project or land purchase.

7. We will discuss what the next steps are and how we can help you.

After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Buying Land

General Information

Yes, absolutely we can help you purchase land. We offer a couple of different options when it comes to buying land.

If you were already working with a real estate agent we can work for you on a consulting basis to help you do all of the due diligence and site evaluation work with the city, county, engineers, surveyors, utility companies, grading contractors, etc. This will allow you to find out if your lot is buildable and what the site development cost will be when you do decide to build your home.

Typical land consultation packages run from $1,000 to $5,000. Most will fall in the $2,500 to $3,500 range. Some lots take more work than others to evaluate and that is why there is a variance in the cost to complete the lot evaluation and due-diligence work.

As a separate service, we can also help you find land and represent you as a real estate broker in the purchase of your lot. This service is not offered through Freeman Construction Inc. It is offered through our real estate company called Freeman Real Estate.

When you’re looking to buy land the most important thing you can do is figure out what it is going to cost to do all of the site development in order to build be home.

The site costs to develop the land will consist of grading, driveway improvements, electrical power, cable, phone, gas, solar systems septic systems, stormwater management, water wells, water storage tanks, bio-retention basins, underground water lines, and planting of slopes disturbed by the grading.

Once you know what the site costs will be you can then determine how much you are able to pay for the land.

We offer consulting services to help you with evaluating the site costs and buildability of the lot.

No, we can help you buy a lot and you can build on it later. 

Site costs are the expenses that you have for a project that are directly related to getting the land or building site ready to build your home or ADU. These include grading, soil compaction engineering, underground utilities, paving for driveways, bioretention basins, best management practices for stormwater control, septic systems, and any other site-related expenses.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Custom Homes

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Building a custom home that is 1500 square feet to 2,500 square feet will take about six months to seven months. Building a 2500 square-foot to 3500 square-foot all will take seven to eight months. Building a home from 3500 square feet to 5000 square feet can take 8 to 12 months or longer.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do is get a set of completed plans. This is going to include floor plans and elevations.

Step 2: Get a cost breakdown that will show the bank total costs of the project and the contingency.  Each bank’s a little different as far as the amount of contingency that they require. 5% is typical and some banks will be less than that. You will also need descriptions of materials or specifications packages.

Step 3: Another thing that the banks will require before they fund the loan is they want an approved septic layout if you’re on a septic system or proof that you are able to tie in the city sewer. 

For more information on how to get a construction loan please visit here.

No, we do NOT do any work related to manufactured home projects including the foundations and site improvements needed.

No, it is not. Typically if you are just doing ICF walls on the exterior of the house and framing all of your interior walls with steel studs or wood frame you will spend an extra 13% to 20% more on the overall project to build with ICF. So to clarify, this means that if a typical wood-frame home was going to cost $500,000 to build you would need to budget an additional $100,000 to build it out of ICF Construction. That example would be assuming it was an extra 20% to do the exterior walls out of ICF.

For the roof trusses, you can either build them out of wood or Steel and then use spray foam insulation up against the roof sheathing of the home to create an energy-efficient envelope.

If you talk to companies that sell the ICF block they will tell you that it’s actually cheaper to build with ICF. We have not found that to be the case in San Diego County area.

If you do not need a septic system or water well installed you will need to contact your local sewer & water municipality to find out what the costs will be to tie into the city sewer system & water supply. 

Plans & Design

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The initial costs involved to get your home designed and the plans drawn will run between 3% to 5% of the overall cost to build your home. So if the total budget to build your home was $500,000 you could expect to spend $15,000 to $25,000 to get the design, budget, selections, plans, structural engineering & energy calculations completed & ready to submit to the local building department.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, we do. You can download our custom home floor plans here.

 

Yes, you can save money if you choose to use plans for a home we have already built. The savings can range from $2,500 to $6,000 on homes ranging from 1,200 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq ft. The savings can be more if you are building a larger home. You can download our custom home floor plans here.

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

The very first step in the process of designing your custom home is to establish the budget for the project. We have seen it happen many times where a complete set of plans have to be thrown away and a smaller or less elaborate home designed because the costs to build the original home came in much higher than expected.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Permits & Fees

Currently, right now with covid-19, it is taking between 6 to 9 months to get a building permit with the county of San Diego to build an Adu or a custom home. The time frame starts when you submit your plans to the County of San Diego. You will need to schedule a free submittal appointment with the county of San Diego in order to start this process. It is taking anywhere from 30 to 60 days currently to get a plan submittal appointment. Prior to submitting your plans, you must have all of the architectural and structural plans completed as well as your site plan. It is also a good idea to have your septic layout completed so you can submit this at the same time or actually get it submitted prior to submitting your building plans. The time frames for getting a septic layout approved or extended significantly as well. These have been taking anywhere from two to five months to get approval. These are the current time frames as of January 2021.

Permits and fees include school fees, traffic impact fees, building plan check fees, park fees, building permit fees, septic layout & septic permit fees.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for permits & fees will run between $25,000
to $40,000 depending on the size of the home you want to build and the location. Below is an example for a 2,226 square foot home with a 576 square foot garage that is plan checked through the San Diego County building department and located in Ramona, CA.

$7,747 – School Fees @ $3.48 sq.ft.

$4,119 – Traffic Impact Fees

$2,331 – Building Plan Check Fees

$5,582 – Building Permit Fees

$4,500 – Park Fees

$2,337 – Septic Layout & Permit

$1,000 – Permit Process

$27,616 – Total Permits & Fees Costs

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

School fees are charged on a per square foot basis and will vary for different school districts. Traffic impact fees also vary depending on what location you are in.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

School fees do fluctuate. Make sure you are updated on the current cost for the school fees in your school district. For example Ramona Unified School District fees are currently $3.48/sq.ft. and Poway Unified School District is currently $4.04/sq.ft. 

To calculate your school fees you will multiply:

School Fee Price/Sq.Ft. x Square Footage of Home = School Fees to Be Paid

Lets say you want to build a 2,000 sq.ft. home you would take $3.48 (Ramona Unified School District) and multiply that by 2,000 and you would get $6,960 that would be due for your school fees.

Total Costs = $7,000 to $8,000 range.

For more information on school fees please visit here

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

Tying into city sewer can cost upwards of $15,000 or more. Tying into the city water supply and getting a new water meter can cost upwards of $15,000 or more as well.

Prior to COVID, we were seeing anywhere from a two-week timeframe, three weeks max. We’re now seeing it taking two months to actually get approval for the septic layout. So it’s increased fourfold as far as a timeline to get that done.

For more information on septic layout approvals please go here.

Site Costs

The site costs for building a custom home will vary greatly depending
on the land that you will be building your home on. The site costs will
include grading, soils testing, BMP’s (erosion control), sprinklers, landscaping, drilling a water well, water storage tanks, booster pump
and pressure tanks for water storage tank, septic system, electrical service line, propane or natural gas line, city sewer line connection, water meter connection, asphalt or concrete driveway and area drains.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for all site costs typically falls between $50,000 to $125,000. Below are some rough costs you can expect to spend on site costs; utility connections and grading are not included as they vary greatly for each project.

$1,500 to $3,000 – Soils Testing

$1,000 to $3,000 – BMP’s (Soils Erosion)

$25,000 to $35,000 – Water Well, Storage Tanks & Pumps

$10,000 to $15,000 – Septic System

$3.25 / Square Foot – Asphalt Driveway

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

If you’re getting ready to build a custom home and want to build an ADU or other dwelling in the future you will want to make sure a 400 AMP Meter is installed. The reason for doing this is a typical meter is only 200 AMPs for a single unit. However, when you get the 400 AMP meter you will then need a dual electric meter. 

For more information please see here.

SDG&E will come out and install the dual electric meter but they will just leave the side for the future dwelling blanked off. What Freeman’s Construction Inc will do is we’ll actually connect that panel and run a sweep out from the slab and just sweep and stub it out in the dirt and then tape off the end of that so it’s ready to go for tying on later. Then all you will have to do is trench to the new location for the ADU and then get the wire pulled and have your electrician put in a sub panel on the Accessory Dwelling Unit that will then bring the power inside the unit. Doing this will save you a lot of headaches with not having to re-tie everything back in when you decide to build the ADU.

For more information please go here.

To go from a 200 AMP panel to a 400 AMP panel is somewhere in the range of about   $3,000 to upgrade to that panel.

For more information please go here.

Build Costs

The bottom of the range is for a home with “Average” finishes & the upper range is for a home with “Upscale” finishes:

$150 to $250 sq. ft. – Living Area

$80 to $100 sq. ft. – Garage (Attached)

$45 to $65 sq. ft. – Covered Porches

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Below are some rough cost examples of what you can expect to invest to build a custom home. These costs do not include the “plans & design”, “permits & fees” or “site costs”. These numbers are strictly for the costs to build the structure of the home.

Example 1-

Total Costs: $372,788.00

Level of Finishes: Average

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area

576 sq.ft. – Garage

532 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

Example 2-

Total Costs: $447, 087.00

Level of Finishes: Average

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area

953 sq.ft. – Garage 

730 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

Example 3-

Total Costs: $692,488.00

Level of Finishes: Custom

4 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

2,939 sq.ft. – Living Area

1,144 sq.ft. – Garage 

467 sq.ft. – Covered Porches

Example 4-

Total Costs: $1,239,302.00

Level of Finishes: Upscale

5 – Bedrooms

3.5 – Bathrooms

4,399 sq.ft. – Living Area

1,144 sq.ft. – Garage

714 sq.ft. – Covered Porch

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

When we are figuring the costs to build a custom home we will look at
similar projects we have built with similar finishes and evaluate the costs
of three different parts of the home. They are the:

  • Living Area
  • Covered Porches
  • Garage (attached)

The reason for doing this…

Example #1:  You can have a 2500 sq. ft. home with a 2000 sq. ft. wrap around porch and a two car garage and it will cost more to build than the exact same house and garage with only 500 sq. ft. of covered porch.

Example #2: Similarly if you had a 2500 sq. ft. home with a 1500 sq.
ft. garage it is going to cost more to build than the same house with a two car garage that is 576 sq. ft.

Example #3: Another example is if you have a 2500 sq. ft. home with no garage it will be much cheaper to build than the same house with a garage. 

So, using a blanket price per square foot to estimate the costs to build a custom home is just not an accurate way to figure the costs. Again, by breaking the costs into the three different parts of living area, covered porch area and garage area you are able to get a much more accurate cost projection for building a custom home.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive areas of the home to build. When you take the same size kitchen and the same quantity and size of bathrooms and put them into the house with the smaller square footage the price per square foot will be higher on the smaller house. 

Example: If you build a 4 bedroom 3 bath home that is 2500 sq. ft. the cost per square foot to build that home will be cheaper than if you built a 4 bedroom 3 bath home that is 2000 sq. ft. The reason for this is the smaller home has the exact same size kitchen and the exact same quantity of bathrooms.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

The cheapest square footage to build in the living area of the home is “open footage” which would be open area in the living room, hallways or bedrooms. These areas do not have cabinets, plumbing, countertops or electrical and are much cheaper to build per square foot.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Secondary bathrooms typically add $25,000 or more to the overall cost of a home. A master bath can add $40,000 on the low end and much more
depending on how elaborate the design is.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

One factor that greatly changes the cost per square foot to build your home is the type of materials you choose to finish your home. These include exterior and interior finishes. 

For example:

Exterior-

A home with a lot of stone veneer on the exterior, an elaborate siding design or Santa Barbara finish on the stucco will definitely increase the cost to build the home versus the same home without those finishes. 

Interior-

Similarly on the interior of a home if you have wood windows, open beam
ceilings, stain grade doors, stain grade wood trim, all tile floors, a smooth level 5 drywall finish, radiant floor heat and elaborate tile showers in all the bathrooms the price per square foot will be much higher than a home with fiberglass showers, LVP flooring, vinyl windows and drywall ceilings.

For more detailed information please download our “Custom Home Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, since April 2020 lumber has in fact tripled in price.

 

Cost Example-

 

September 2019: Custom Home 

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area 

576 sq.ft. –  Garage 

500 sq.ft. –  Patio 

$27,000 – Total Lumber Package 

 

September 2020: Accessory Dwelling Unit

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

650 sq.ft. – Garage

300 sq.ft. – Patio

$37,000 – Total Lumber Package 

 

For this example the lumber package included all the lumber plus the trusses. The garages and porches were very similar, but the ADU was about 1,000 square feet smaller, and the lumber package was $10,000 more than the 2,200 square foot home that we built about a year ago which is a significant increase.

For more information on tripling lumber prices please see here.

Home Remodeling

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

Yes, most of the time you do. If you are doing a mostly cosmetic remodel such as removing and replacing cabinets, fixtures, flooring, doors, trim, and painting you may only need a misc plumbing or electrical permit that are much easier to get than a remodel that involves changing the home structurally or adding on a room to the home.

The County of San Diego does have a “Self Certification Permit” option that allows us a contractor to very quickly pull a permit and then actually certify it as complete instead of having a County building inspector come out the project. This can save time and money and is a viable option for projects that are mostly cosmetic in scope. Get more info on this here

Soft costs are expenses related to remodeling your home that are not related to the actual remodel of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering and any other fees that are not directly associated with remodeling the home. 

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Kitchen Remodel Costs

Costs: $26,520

Level of Finishes: Mid-range

Project Details-

In a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinets and countertops, leave the cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, including new hardware. Replace cooktop/oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid priced sink and faucet. Add new resilient flooring. Finish with painted walls, trim and ceiling.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.  

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Costs: $153,000.00

Level of Finishes: Upscale

Project Details-

Update outmoded 200 square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of top of the line custom white cabinets with built in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Include stone countertops with imported ceramic or glass tile backsplash; built in refrigerator, commercial grade cooktop and vent hood, wall oven and built in microwave unit. Install high end undermount sink with designer faucets and water filtration system. Add new general and task lighting, including low voltage under-cabinet lights. Install tile or similar flooring that looks like wood.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Bathroom Remodel Costs

Costs: $25,540.00

Level of Finishes: Mid-range

Project Details-

Update existing 5×7 foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include porcelain on steel tub with 4×4 inch ceramic tile surround; new single lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Costs: $77,761.00

Level of Finishes: Upscale

Project Details-

Expand existing 35 square foot bathroom to 100 square feet within existing footprint of the home. Relocate all fixtures. Include 42×42 inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body spray fixtures and frameless glass enclosure. Include freestanding soaker tub with high end faucets; stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one piece toilet; and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Use all color fixtures. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting including waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry has custom drawer base, wall cabinets. Extend HVAC. Electric in-floor heating.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Costs: $39,821.00

Level of Finishes: Universal Design 

Project Details-

Update existing 5×7 foot space to be wheelchair accessible (zero-threshold, 36 inch wide door) and install flat panel electrical switches at sitting level (36 to 42 inches above floor). Replace toilet with comfort height fixture featuring elongated bowl and bidet type seat. Remove existing bathtub and install curbless, tiled, walk-in shower with adjustable showerhead, fold-out seat, thermostatic.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Costs: $60,095.00

Level of Finishes: Mid-range

Project Details-

Add a 6×8 foot bathroom over crawlspace with poured concrete walls. Use cultured stone vanity top with molded sink; standard chrome faucets; 30×60 inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround; single lever temperature and pressure balanced faucet; white low profile toilet; general and spot lighting; electrical wiring to code; mirrored medicine cabinet; linen storage closet or cabinet; painted trim; ceramic tile floor.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Costs: $107,758.00

Level of Finishes: Upscale

Project Details-

Add new 100 square-foot master bathroom to an existing master bedroom over crawlspace. Include 42×42 inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls, accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body spray fixtures and frameless glass enclosure. Put in freestanding soaker tub with high end faucets; stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one toilet; a humidistat controlled exhaust fan. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting and waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry has custom drawer base, wall cabinets. Extend HVAC. Electric in-floor heating.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Room Addition Costs

Costs: $164,176.00

Level of Finishes: Mid-range

Project Description-

Add 24×16 foot master bedroom suite over crawlspace. Include walk-in closet/dressing area, freestanding soaker tub, separate 3×4 foot ceramic tile shower, and double-bowl vanity with solid surface countertop. Carpet the bedroom floor;put tile in the bathroom. Paint walls, ceiling and trim. Install general and spot lighting, exhaust fan.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc. 

Costs: $335,067.00

Level of Finishes: Custom

Project Description-

Add 32×20 foot master bedroom suite over crawlspace. Add spacious sleeping area with lounging/sitting area adjacent to large master bath. Include custom bookcases and built-in storage with millwork details; high-end gas fireplace with stone hearth and custom mantle; and walk-in closet/dressing area with natural light, mirrors, and linen.

For more information on resale values and costs recouped please download our “Home Remodeling Cost Guide”.

Information gathered from Hanley Wood Media Inc.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's)

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Building an Adu will take about 5 to 6 months.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do is get a set of completed plans. This is going to include floor plans and elevations.

Step 2: Get a cost breakdown that will show the bank total costs of the project and the contingency.  Each bank’s a little different as far as the amount of contingency that they require. 5% is typical and some banks will be less than that. You will also need descriptions of materials or specifications packages.

Step 3: Another thing that the banks will require before they fund the loan is they want an approved septic layout if you’re on a septic system or proof that you are able to tie in the city sewer. 

For more information on how to get a construction loan please visit here.

No, we do NOT do any work related to manufactured home projects including the foundations and site improvements needed.

It depends on what you are needing. If you are looking for long-term value to be added to your property then a traditional stick-built ADU is going to be the best way to go. A stick-built ADU will definitely cost more to build but appraisers will give more value to it than a manufactured home.


If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get into a home then a manufactured home can be a good option. Also if you are looking to put a home on your property to generate rental income and cash flow an ADU that is a manufactured home will be cheaper and may produce a similar cash flow as a more expensive stick-built ADU.

We do NOT do manufactured home projects at Freemans Construction Inc.

If you do not need a septic system or water well installed you will need to contact your local sewer & water municipality to find out what the costs will be to tie into the city sewer system & water supply. 

Plans & Design

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The initial costs involved to get your home designed and the plans drawn will run between 3% to 5% of the overall cost to build your home. So if the total budget to build your home was $250,000 you could expect to spend $7,500 to $12,500 to get the design, budget, selections, plans, structural engineering & energy calculations completed & ready to submit to the local building department.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, we do. You can download our popular ADU floor plans here.

Yes, you can save money if you choose to use plans for an ADU we have already built. The savings can be up to $2,500. You can download our popular ADU floor plans here.

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

A design-build contractor will make sure your home is designed to meet your needs but also to make sure the plans and finishes are designed to meet your budget.

Once a budget has been established you need to determine what type of finishes you want in the home such as quartz countertops, stain grade doors, crown molding, tile flooring, etc. Once the level of finishes has
been established you can figure a rough cost per square foot that it will take to build the type of home you want and then divide that out by your total budget number to see what size home you can build with your selected finishes.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Permits & Fees

Currently, right now with covid-19, it is taking between 6 to 9 months to get a building permit with the county of San Diego to build an Adu or a custom home. The time frame starts when you submit your plans to the County of San Diego. You will need to schedule a free submittal appointment with the county of San Diego in order to start this process. It is taking anywhere from 30 to 60 days currently to get a plan submittal appointment. Prior to submitting your plans, you must have all of the architectural and structural plans completed as well as your site plan. It is also a good idea to have your septic layout completed so you can submit this at the same time or actually get it submitted prior to submitting your building plans. The time frames for getting a septic layout approved or extended significantly as well. These have been taking anywhere from two to five months to get approval. These are the current time frames as of January 2021.

Permits and fees include school fees, traffic impact fees, building plan check fees, park fees, building permit fees, septic layout & septic permit fees.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for permits & fees will run between $9,000 to $12,000
depending on the size of the ADU and its location. Below is is an example of the fees for a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 576 sq. ft. garage on a septic system that is plan-checked through the San Diego County building department and located in Ramona, CA.

$4,176 – School Fees @ $3.48 sq. ft.

$0 – Traffic Impact Fees (Waived by COSD)

$2,103 – Building Plan Check Fees

$2,048 – Building Permit Fees$0 – Park Fees (Waived by COSD)

$2,337 – Septic Layout & Permit

$1,000 – Permit Processing

$11,664 – Total

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

School fees are charged on a per square foot basis and will vary for different school districts. Traffic impact fees also vary depending on what location you are in.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

School fees do fluctuate. Make sure you are updated on the current cost for the school fees in your school district. For example Ramona Unified School District fees are currently $3.48/sq.ft. and Poway Unified School District is currently $4.04/sq.ft. 

To calculate your school fees you will multiply:

School Fee Price/Sq.Ft. x Square Footage of Home = School Fees to Be Paid

Soft costs are expenses related to building a custom home, ADU, or remodeling your home that are not related to the actual construction of the home itself. These are costs such as your plans, interior design, permits, structural engineering, surveying, septic layout, water meter fees, sewer fees, and any other fees that are not directly associated with developing the site or building the actual home.

Tying into city sewer can cost upwards of $15,000 or more. Tying into the city water supply and getting a new water meter can cost upwards of $15,000 or more as well.

Prior to COVID, we were seeing anywhere from a two-week timeframe, three weeks max. We’re now seeing it taking two months to actually get approval for the septic layout. So it’s increased fourfold as far as a timeline to get that done.

For more information on septic layout approvals please go here.

If you’re getting ready to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit, and you are on a city sewer with your primary dwelling, meaning you do not have a septic system. This is one of the best scenarios as far as being able to do this cost-effective, and get your plumbing tied in and your sewer lines tied in to the city sewer. 

Costs: $800 to $1,000 depending on your location.

However, what will happen when you get an ADU permit, they’re going to basically double the fee. So you’ll be paying an additional sewer fee that will go to that district every year. So make sure that you calculate that into the cost of that ADU. A lot of people are renting these ADUs out, and they forget that the actual fee is going to be a monthly recurring fee that you’ll have to pay. One tip I have though is to call your sewer district and find out what they’ll be charging and verify there’s no additional fees. Every district’s a little different, and there’s a lot of them.

For more information on sewer fees please go here.

Site Costs

The site costs for building an accessory dwelling unit will vary greatly depending
on the land that you will be building your home on. The site costs will
include grading, soils testing, BMP’s (erosion control), sprinklers, landscaping, drilling a water well, water storage tanks, booster pump
and pressure tanks for water storage tank, septic system, electrical service line, propane or natural gas line, city sewer line connection, water meter connection, asphalt or concrete driveway and area drains.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The average costs for all site costs typically falls between $50,000 to $125,000. Below are some rough costs you can expect to spend on site costs; utility connections and grading are not included as they vary greatly for each project.

$1,500 to $3,000 – Soils Testing

$1,000 to $3,000 – BMP’s (Soils Erosion)

$25,000 to $35,000 – Water Well, Storage Tanks & Pumps

$10,000 to $15,000 – Septic System

$3.25 / Square Foot – Asphalt Driveway

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

If you are able to find a lot that had an original home on it that burned down in the Cedar or Witch Creek wildfires in San Diego County you will find that the site costs may be lower than $50,000 because all of the utilities are already to the building site and sometimes a good portion of the asphalt or concrete driveway is still in good shape.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

If you’re getting ready to build a custom home and want to build an ADU or other dwelling in the future you will want to make sure a 400 AMP Meter is installed. The reason for doing this is a typical meter is only 200 AMPs for a single unit. However, when you get the 400 AMP meter you will then need a dual electric meter. 

For more information please go here

SDG&E will come out and install the dual electric meter but they will just leave the side for the future dwelling blanked off. What Freeman’s Construction Inc will do is we’ll actually connect that panel and run a sweep out from the slab and just sweep and stub it out in the dirt and then tape off the end of that so it’s ready to go for tie on later. Then all you will have to do is trench to the new location for the ADU and then get the wire poled and have your electrician put in a sub panel on the Accessory Dwelling Unit that will then get the power inside the unit. Doing this will save you a lot of headaches with not having to re-tie everything back in when you decide to build the ADU.

For more information please go here.

To go from a 200 AMP panel to a 400 AMP panel is somewhere in the range of about   $3,000 to upgrade to that panel.

For more information please go here.

If you’re in San Diego County and you’re wanting to build an accessory dwelling unit on your property and you don’t have access to city sewer, then this is something that you definitely will want to know. If you have a smaller lot we will start working immediately with a septic engineer  to establish the layout. But what happens is, you already have your primary residence and you have an existing primary system, the septic system, which is your leach field could be a potential seepage pit or it could be leach lines depending on the percolation rate. But that’s going to cover a certain amount of area. 

The City of San Diego also requires you to have a 100% reserve area. So even though there’s no system installed for your existing home, it’s there, you’re going to need twice the space that you need. So if it’s 400 feet of leach lines, you’re going to need to have additional area available for another 400 feet. That’s so if your primary septic system fails, you have space to put in a new system.

For more information on ADU septic systems please visit here.

Build Costs

The bottom of the range is for an ADU with “Average” finishes & the upper range is for a ADU with “Upscale” finishes:

$250 to $350 sq. ft. – Living Area

$55 sq. ft. – Covered Porches

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

$90 sq. ft. – Garage (Attached)

Below are some rough cost examples of what you can expect to invest to build a custom home. These costs do not include the “plans & design”, “permits & fees” or “site costs”. These numbers are strictly for the costs to build the structure of the home.

Example 1-

Total Costs: $261, 455.00

Level of Finishes: Average

1 – Bedrooms

1 – Bathrooms

763 sq.ft. – Living Area

477 sq.ft. – Garage

505 sq.ft. – Covered Patio

Example 2-

Total Costs: $298,270.00

Level of Finishes: Custom

2 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

1,157 sq.ft. – Living Area

164 sq.ft. – Garage

No Covered Patio

Example 3-

Total Costs: $379,800.00

Level of Finishes: Average

3 – Bedrooms

2 – Bathrooms

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

480 sq.ft. – Garage

120 sq.ft. – Covered Patio

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

When we are figuring the costs to build an accessory dwelling unit we will look at similar projects we have built with similar finishes and evaluate the costs of three different parts of the home. They are the:

  • Living Area
  • Covered Porches
  • Garage (attached)

The reason for doing this…

Example #1:  You can have a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 1000 sq. ft. wrap around porch and a two car garage and it will cost more to build than the exact same ADU and garage with only 250 sq. ft. of covered porch.

Example #2: Similarly if you had a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with a 1000 sq.
ft. garage it is going to cost more to build than the same ADU with a two
car garage that is 576 sq. ft.

Example #3: Another example is if you have a 1200 sq. ft. ADU with no garage it will be much cheaper to build that ADU.

So, using a blanket price per square foot to estimate the costs to build an accessory dwelling unit is just not an accurate way to figure the costs. Again, by breaking the costs into the three different parts of living area, covered porch area and garage area you are able to get a much more accurate cost projection for building an ADU.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive areas of the home to build. When you take the same size kitchen and the same quantity and size of bathrooms and put them into the house with the smaller square footage the price per square foot will be higher on the smaller house. 

Example: If you build a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom ADU that is 1,200 sq. ft. sq. ft. the cost per square foot to build that ADU will be cheaper than if you built a 2 bedroom 2 bath ADU that is 800 sq. ft.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

The cheapest square footage to build in the living area of the home is “open footage” which would be open area in the living room, hallways or bedrooms. These areas do not have cabinets, plumbing, countertops or electrical and are much cheaper to build per square foot.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Secondary bathrooms typically add $25,000 or more to the overall cost of a home. A master bath can add $40,000 on the low end and much more
depending on how elaborate the design is.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

One factor that greatly changes the cost per square foot to build your home is the type of materials you choose to finish your home. These include exterior and interior finishes. 

For example:

Exterior-

A home with a lot of stone veneer on the exterior, an elaborate siding design or Santa Barbara finish on the stucco will definitely increase the cost to build the home versus the same home without those finishes. 

Interior-

Similarly on the interior of a home if you have wood windows, open beam
ceilings, stain grade doors, stain grade wood trim, all tile floors, a smooth level 5 drywall finish, radiant floor heat and elaborate tile showers in all the bathrooms the price per square foot will be much higher than a home with fiberglass showers, LVP flooring, vinyl windows and drywall ceilings.

For more detailed information please download our “Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Building Cost Guide”.

Yes, since April 2020 lumber has in fact tripled in price.

 

Cost Example-

September 2019: Custom Home 

2,226 sq.ft. – Living Area 

576 sq.ft. –  Garage and about 

500 sq.ft. –  Patio 

$27,000 – Total Lumber Package

 

September 2020: Accessory Dwelling Unit

1,200 sq.ft. – Living Area

650 sq.ft. – Garage

300 sq.ft. – Patio

$37,000 – Total Lumber Package 

The lumber package includes all the lumber plus the trusses. The garages and porches were very similar, but the ADU was about 1,000 square feet smaller, and the lumber package was $10,000 more than the 2,200 square foot home that we built about a year ago which is a significant increase.

For more information on tripling lumber prices please see here

Building an ADU in Poway

If you have property zoned RRC in Poway you have some leniencies as far as setbacks.  In that zone, the setbacks are as follows:

  • Front Yard – 40 Feet
  • Side Yard – 20 Feet
  • Backyard – 50 Feet

Property zones in RRC you have to abide by the front yard setback, they don’t allow any exceptions for that. However, they will allow an encroachment of up to 4 feet from your property line on the side and backyard.

For more information on building setbacks for an ADU in Poway please see here.

What you can build is based off of the primary dwelling. So if the main dwelling is a two story home then the ADU will also be two story. If not, and it is a one story house then the ADU will also be one story. However, one trick is you find what the tallest point is in the primary dwelling and whatever that is the ADU cannot exceed that height. For an example if the tallest point is 22 feet then your ADU cannot exceed 22 feet to the ridge.

For more information on one and two story ADUs in Poway please see here.

Poway bases everything off of the primary dwelling size. So look at the actual living square footage of your primary dwelling that you’re living in now, they will allow you to build an ADU that is up to 50% the size of the primary dwelling. Let’s say the primary dwelling is 3,000 square feet. 

50% x 3,000 sq.ft. = 1,500 sq.ft. 

1500 is actually the maximum size you can go. However, there is an exception if you have a home that’s 4,000+ sq.ft., that detached ADU is going to only be allowed to be 1500 sq.ft. 

For more ADU building exceptions in Poway please visit here

That will be based off of your primary dwelling, and also off the square footage. The way it works is, if your primary dwelling has fire sprinklers in it already, you automatically have to put fire sprinklers in your new ADU. But if your primary dwelling does not have fire sprinklers, then you’re not required to put them in the ADU as long as you stay at 1200 square feet or smaller on the square footage for the ADU. However, when you exceed 1200 square feet, and you can go all the way up to 1500 square feet maximum in Poway, you are required to install fire sprinklers, even if the primary dwelling does not have them.

For more information on fire sprinklers in Poway ADU’s please see here

Metal & Steel Buildings

General Information

We do NOT offer free estimates. During the initial paid consultation we will review ballpark/rough numbers for the type of project you are wanting to do. After the initial consultation if it looks like we will be able to help you further we will get you over a consulting agreement or design agreement as needed. Once that is in place we will go to work helping you with your project or land purchase.

Yes, we do however we only will build a metal building along with another project such as a custom home, home remodeling project, or an accessory dwelling unit project that we are doing at the same time for you.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.

No. We either do the work ourselves or we work with our trade subcontractors to complete all of the work on your home or remodel. Many of our trade subcontractors we have worked with for 10 to 20 years or more and we have a great working relationship with them that allows us to deliver to you a quality home that we can stand behind and meet the project schedule that we agreed upon.