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How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Sandy Springs?

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Sandy Springs is a city within the northern Fulton County of Georgia. It’s approximately twenty to thirty minutes away from Downtown Atlanta. The suburb is surrounded by sixteen parks that offer over 950 acres of land. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood and an ideal place to live to avoid traffic and parking problems usually encountered in a metropolitan area. 

Some of the popular locations in Sandy Springs include Morgan Falls Overlook Park, Anne Frank in the World Museum, and Big Trees Forest Preserve. The notable people who came from Sandy Springs are singers Akon and Usher, celebrity chef Todd English, and former NFL player Harris Barton. Besides popular individuals, Sandy Springs is also known for its biggest annual community event, which is the Sandy Springs Festival. It was founded in 1984 and has an expected yearly 30,000 attendees.

The Cost of Building a Home in Sandy Springs

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Sandy Springs is an ideal home for growing families primarily because of its safe neighborhoods like Riverside and North Springs. Based on the 2020 census, Sandy Springs is home to over 108,080 residents. There are also job opportunities in business-centered areas like Perimeter Center and Powers Ferry Landing. The corporate headquarters for UPS, Cox Enterprises, and Mercedes-Benz USA is located in Sandy Springs. 

Typical house construction in Sandy Springs can cost an average of $210 per square foot, depending on the location, land size, and finishings of the project. 

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

The total costs of home construction are typically based on the labor, materials, and location required to complete the project. The building of a house is not only based on the price of the residential land or the materials, but it involves permit fees, installation fees, and design fees. The costs for home construction plus the additional fees can pile up and be divided into hard costs and soft costs. 

Hard Costs

Hard costs are costs directly related to the home construction itself, including labor, materials, and landscaping. In Sandy Springs, a value-conscious home can range from $150 to $200, a mid-range home is from $200 to $350 and a luxury-grade home is priced from $350 to $450 and higher

For a 3,000-square-foot roofing project, it can cost anywhere from $5,800 to $6,800 for a 25-year 3-tab shingle roof. Lifetime Architectural shingles are priced from $6,600 to $7,900Drip edge on roofing is required in Sandy Springs and can cost $300 to $400 for an additional Drip Edge on the entire roofline. 

The cost of an air conditioning system can range anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000 depending on the type chosen by the homeowner. Meanwhile, the costs for electrical projects depend on the quality chosen by the homeowner. Basic ceiling fans and lights are priced from $250 and more, while complicated types are priced at $350 and above. Installing new basic switches and outlets for lights, fans, television, oven, and such ranges from $1,028 to $6,840.

Plumbing services like gas and electric water heater replacements cost $1,600 and more. The price for basic garbage disposals ranges from $249 to $449, and water system repiping for the whole house is priced at $5,600 and above. The gas supply for the home generator is priced at least $995

For families who prefer to have a swimming pool at home, the price for a pool installation is based on the dimension, depth, finishing, and water type — whether saltwater or chlorine. On average, the fixed cost for an in-ground pool in Georgia is $46,533

Here is a summary of the price range for hard costs in Sandy Springs:

Soft Costs

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Soft costs are costs for factors not related to the house construction itself. This includes the price of the residential land, permits and other fees, as well as architectural and interior design fees. 

Cost of the Land

Based on real estate listings in Sandy Springs, the average cost of land is $1.3 million with the average size of land being 69,821.24 square feet. The median cost of land in Sandy Springs is $18.70 per square foot

The most expensive cost of land is listed at $12 million which was one of the thirteen landscaped acres. The land also has access to the Chattahoochee River at Whitewater Creek Park. The most expensive cost of land per square foot is $33.60 for 0.41 acres of land and a total of $600,000. The land is located within a gated neighborhood in Sandy Springs. The cheapest cost of land is located in Huntcliff and is priced at $299,000. The most affordable land per square foot comes down to $4.17 for 3.3 acres of land and a total of $600,000. 

Permits and Other Fees 

The permit fees are calculated based on the guidelines given by the International Building Code (IBC). The actual permit fees will follow a multiplier and are based on the total construction value in the past year and the percentage of the building department’s budget from the building permit revenue. The permit fee multiplier should look like this:

The permit fee will be determined through the building gross area, the Square Foot Construction Cost, and the Permit Fee Multiplier as seen below: 

Permit Fee = Gross Area x Square Foot Construction Cost X Permit Fee Multiplier

The fees for plan review will depend on the total project valuation. An administrative fee of $25 is needed for all new permit applications submitted in Sandy Springs. 

The following valuation will be used for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) permits:

  • Total job cost based on valuation up to and including $5,000 will incur a minimum permit fee of $50
  • Total job cost based on a valuation that exceeds $5,000 will incur a $50 minimum permit fee plus $5.00 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof

Architecture and Design Fees

The architectural fees in Sandy Springs can typically be 7% of the total construction costs, depending on the homeowner’s preferences. The pricing can differ depending on the services offered by the firm and whether they prefer by square footage or by the hour. 

When it comes to interior design fees, some firms offer a basic consultation fee of $250 for an hour to discuss the design-build and interior budget. It can be expected that interior design services can cost about 10% of the total project costs or about $1,500 to $5,000. Some firms offer services for a fixed rate, by hourly rate, or by square feet. 

How do the custom home building costs in Sandy Springs compare to other nearby cities?

Dunwoody is approximately 9 minutes away from Sandy Springs. The average construction cost in this location is $571,720 and can range from $309,271 to $1 million, depending on the home design and size. Most of the residential construction in Dunwoody is for single-family homes while some others are townhomes. 

Another nearby city is Marietta which is 21 minutes away from Sandy Springs. Average home construction in this location is $210,763 and can range from $104,272 to $386,600. There’s also Decatur which is 26 minutes away from Sandy Springs. The average cost for home building in this location is $188,340 and can range from $75,000 to $550,000. Most of the new house construction in Decatur are two-story single-family detached homes with a garage. 

What Leading Custom Home Builders and Architects that Serve the Sandy Springs Area Say

According to an architectural firm in the area, the costs for home construction can differ whether it’s a remodel or new construction. Generally, new construction costs 8 to 15% of the total budget, while remodeling is about 6 to 12% for additions and renovations. The pricing can also be affected by factors such as inflation, a saturation of competition, and more. Currently, the costs for materials and labor are high and will only lower when global markets and economies stabilize from the effects of the pandemic and supply shortages. Costs will likely remain high for the next few years; waiting for a drop in prices might not be an ideal move for homebuyers.

Based on a statement by Studio One Architecture, most firms are currently busy with construction backlogs caused by the pandemic. Despite this, the pricing for some materials has gone down a bit and is more available compared to the earlier part of this year. The supply chain is showing signs of improvement but isn’t back to normal. As pricing for materials continues to increase, it has affected new construction in the past few years and has also caused project delays. The biggest factors affecting pricing are supply, demand, and liquidity. 

Daniel Martin Atlanta Architecture & Interior Design shared that construction values by square footage are not accurate since it doesn’t include the pricing for the porch, outdoor kitchen, and swimming pool. Architectural fees are usually based on the level of service and design preferences of the homeowner. According to the firm, full services can also include site planning, solar orientation, unique custom home design, full construction documents, structural design, and more. 

The firm also mentioned higher costs in the supply chain saying, “these costs may decrease marginally once construction activity decreases due to rising interest rates, but don’t expect prices to come down significantly since inflation and gas prices are on the rise as well.”

The Future of Sandy Springs’ Residential Construction Industry

As home construction costs get more expensive, more middle-income families are leaving Sandy Springs for more affordable cities. Rent prices in the suburbs have already increased three times more than regular incomes in the past couple of years. In 2011, an 800-square-foot apartment used to cost $800 per month, and today, the price has hiked up to $1,050. 

Between 2011 and 2020, up to 350 homes were demolished and replaced with expensive single-family homes valued at $1 million and more. To address this problem, Sandy Springs recently changed their development code to require that 10% of new housing structures above three stories to be priced affordably. 

There are plans for the construction of a large subdivision in Sandy Springs, which wasn’t received well by current residents. According to them, most of the houses in Sandy Springs currently have half-acre residential lots. They fear that the construction of a subdivision with many homes may result in uncontrollable traffic. In addition, a vacant shopping center in Sandy Springs is also set to be turned into a luxury apartment project by Fairfield Residential. For this project, the 9-acre space will be reconstructed into a 286-unit multifamily project. 

A Family-Friendly Community

Despite the increasing cost of housing in Sandy Springs, the area is still regarded as being a family-friendly community. Based on a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, the area is gaining new-home growth despite the national housing shortage. Sandy Springs ranked fourth in the United States for metropolitan areas with the most single-family home building permits in the past year. 

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