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How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Cape Coral?

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Cape Coral is a dynamic city that provides its residents with a tropical lifestyle mixed with a small hometown atmosphere. The city was developed with the vision of being a progressive waterfront community and an urban center that offers economic and social opportunities. As a primarily residential area, its community is mostly composed of retirees and working-class families. Cape Coral continues to expand in terms of business and population growth as a result of young professionals and families moving to the area.

The Cost of Building a Home in Cape Coral

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Unfortunately, Cape Coral’s construction industry is having trouble keeping up with the high demand for new home construction. Some firms with projects in progress have reported experiencing delays. According to the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association (CCCIA), the average number of single family homes being issued per month rose from the 150 to 250 range to almost 400.

Other construction delays include rising costs and supply and labor shortages. Firms are working on recruiting more employees to alleviate the burden of rising demand, but it is a slow process. One of the problems in hiring employees is the tightness of the labor market. On top of finding employees to hire, firms are struggling to retain workers.

The delays in construction have resulted in projects being completed in a year and a half instead of the usual eight months.

Experts believe that the delay issues are not caused by recent events, but by the effects of the recession 10 years ago. Firms had stopped building homes, which has become a factor in the current limited housing supply. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.

Figure 1. Typical cost breakdown of a single-family home constructed using the conventional method, according to Home Builder Digest.

Compared to the national home construction cost average of $207 per square foot, Cape Coral’s average cost is considerably lower at $155 per square foot. The typical range for construction costs in Cape Coral is $100 to $210 per square foot. Pricing will differ from project to project based on details like level of intricacy, customization, and square footage.

Total construction costs are composed of hard and soft costs, which project owners will have to be careful of. Hard costs are related to the aspects of construction that are physically part of the house, including framing, plumbing, flooring, and roofing. Soft costs, meanwhile, are land costs, permitting fees, and architectural and design fees. Hard and soft costs do not affect one another and will fluctuate independently.

Hard Costs

Constructing basic and simple homes in the Cape Coral area will usually cost around $100 to $130 per square foot, while mid-value type homes that have a little more detail will be priced in the $131 to $170 per square foot range. Plans with customized features and higher-end finishes for high-end homes in Cape Coral are about $171 to $210 per square foot and above. It should be noted that these figures are estimates; firms may charge more or less depending on different factors like square footage and additional features.

On top of construction costs, project owners need to take into account the costs incurred from foundation, roofing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and electrical installation.

Cape Coral’s roofing costs generally range between $126.62 to $1,753.20 per 100 square feet, depending on the roofing type. The following table provides price ranges that project owners can expect to see:

The cost for Major systems is a combination of HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. The following are the average costs for major systems: an HVAC system is about $4,867, while a plumbing system is $323, and electrical installation is $350.

Soft Costs

Figure 2. Soft cost percentage and average price range of additional fees, determined from the overall cost of custom home building in Cape Coral.

Cost of the Land

Cape Coral is on the list of the fastest-growing metro areas in America, with an annual growth of 2.52%. Because it has a positive growth rate, it is expected that the cost of land in the city will increase more than those in cities with negative or stagnant population growth.

Plots of land available for residential development on Zillow have an average cost of $99,048.65. The cheapest lot is $35,000 for 10,018.8 square feet. It is located in Northeast Juanita Place. Meanwhile, the most expensive lot is $225,000. The lot is about 10,018.8 square feet and can be found along Southwest 32nd Street.

Redfin’s plots have an average cost of $147,849.50. The cheapest lot is $38,900, which is located along northeast 5th Avenue and is about 10,018 square feet. The most expensive lot is $699,000. This lot is located in Sarasota Court and is 10,062 square feet.

Permits and Other Fees 

Information on the permitting process for Cape Coral can be found on the local government website. Applicants can typically set an appointment through self-service on the EnerGov platform, but homeowners are required to come in person for permit application. The in-person application process can be done through QLess.

The local government’s website has a Permit Document Center where things like documents required for permits, the electronic permitting process, and application forms can be downloaded.

The permitting fee schedule can be found in an online PDF file provided by the local government. Some of the fees for residential projects are provided in the table below:

There is a 15% non-refundable deposit at the time of submittal, as well as a 3% surcharge fee to all permits associated with the enforcement of the Florida Building Code.

Residential permit costs may be computed through the local government’s online calculator.

Architecture and Design Fees

Architects will typically charge based on the total construction value. For Cape Coral-based architects, that would be about 9.74 to 10.23%, depending on the services rendered, project complexity, and architect experience.

Project owners may also come across firms that charge by the hour or by square footage. Pricing is dependent on the request, project location, and the architect’s position, experience, training, and reputation. The most common services are layered drawings, project management, concept development, consultation, and site visits.

The Future of Cape Coral’s Residential Construction Industry

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy forecasted a 3.9% expansion in job growth for the construction and extraction industries for 2022. Unfortunately, many do not expect to have enough labor supply to fill in the new job openings.

Consumers benefited from low interest rates and pandemic-related savings, which resulted in the construction industry’s recovery from some of the effects of the pandemic. The industry experienced an upward trend due to the rise in demand for single and multifamily homes. Because of the influx of work, the construction industry added about 121,000 jobs.

Job Market Outlook reported that 7 million people are not enough to fill in the labor gap. Businesses continue to struggle with finding and retaining employees and decreasing the turnover rate. The report noted that more workers are quitting their jobs than ever before.

The construction industry is forecasted to continue struggling with job orders as demand for housing is not expected to calm down any time soon. In addition, the national housing supply is expected to reach historic lows within 2022. The demand for labor will contribute to higher wage growth to retain existing workers and attract new employees. LaborIQ projects a 3.9% increase in annual median wage growth.

Backlog on Permits

A new system is being implemented in Cape Coral to address the backlog of building permits. The local government is working on improving on the online permitting system, EnerGov, to streamline the process for permit applications.

The backlog issues of Cape Coral have resulted in a nine-day freeze on new permit applications between April 9 and April 17, 2022. Cape Coral officials are looking for ways to decrease permit times as well. As a result of the work being put into increasing the process efficiency and addressing issues, the number of backed-up applications has gone down from 5,000 to the low hundreds.

Homeowners and firms can expect to come across fewer delay issues from the permitting side, which will allow them to focus more on the supply chain and material acquisition facets of construction.

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