Building Trends: Understanding the framework of construction cost |

Building Trends: Understanding the framework of construction cost

Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: This article is the third is a series of five leading up to the Summit County Parade of Homes.

The cost to build homes varies across the country. Geographic location, size and style are all contributing factors to the construction cost. Because of various site conditions, desired aesthetics and engineering requirements, homes built in Summit County are typically designed from the ground up as custom homes.

Before the first shovel hits the ground, permits, as well as tap, line extension and impact fees, can cost as much as $45,000 without adding any noticeable value to the home.

Summit County has a mandated sustainable building code called the Summit Sustainable Building Code.

This code can add an additional 300 percent to the cost of insulation. Because Summit County is located in climate zone 7, which is equivalent to locations in northern Canada, additional consideration is given to higher U-values for windows and doors, better insulation methods and R-values for walls and roofs, specialized air-sealing techniques and methods, unique flashing details and electrical needs.

Heavy snow loads, frost depths and wind loads result in extreme engineering requirements that call for additional structural steel or framing requirements, as well as additional concrete that simply isn’t necessary in other parts of the country.

Recommended Stories For You

Finally, some homeowners associations require certain types of exterior finishes and architectural elements that significantly increase costs, as superior-quality finishes can quickly add $100 per square foot.

To learn more about construction in the High Country, visit the Summit County Builders Association blog at and website at

Summit County Builders Association and Summit Association of Realtors contributed to the contents of this article.