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Cost of New Home Construction in Palo Alto

Original post made by tracy, Midtown, on Jun 22, 2011


I own a very old home in the midtown area. I'm currently considering tearing it down and getting it rebuilt. Does anyone know roughly how much the construction would cost nowadays? The new home would be roughly 3000 sqft.

Any recommendation on architects and contractors is welcome, too!

Thank you!


Comments (6)

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Between the Palo Alto Planning Department, and the de-facto requirement that all your neighbours near and far must approve every facet of design and construction, you can estimate your new house will cost $10,000 per sq.ft and take 10 years to finish.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I think new construction costs should run somewhere between 300-500 per square foot, there are a lot of variables... I would hire an architect and a builder who has experience dealing with the Palo Alto process - it really is a process. Good luck!

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Posted by TJfan
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Hey Tracy:
We did a full teardown and new construction about 4-5 years ago. I can't remember the exact cost per square foot, but at the time I think the low end was $300, and at the high end, well...a lot more! You can easily find out a range by meeting with a few contractors. They'll be happy to walk through and give you a ballpark. I think an initial meeting would be pretty low pressure. Sometimes they'll even tell you on the phone. There's a lot of ads for that in the post and the weekly.

In terms of the time and issues that outside observer mentioned, it can wear on your patience. If you build 2 stories, the design review process can be lengthy and intrusive. I have talked to multiple neighbors who have been through that, and their problems mainly stemmed from dealing with the city, forget about the problems you might have from your neighbors. I think some areas of Palo Alto, and maybe Midtown is one of them, people are a little more "live and let live."

Also, if you can survive in your existing house, I think its worth it to spend a long time on this process. I feel like we really fast-tracked everything, and although I am generally happy (and having a roof over your head is plenty to be happy about) there are some things I never thought of because we moved a long so fast.

Good luck, and don't give up on your dreams just because it might take a little longer!

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Expect to spend the cost of your old home before the first shovel is dug. There is talk about simplifying the Palo Alto Process, but don't tear down the old one before every permit is signed. Bring your contractor into the fold early. Good luck!

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

Building costs should be in the $300's. That does not include design, engineering, plan reviews, permits, change orders, etc.

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Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

I know a family who recently built a new house for about $150/sq.ft. They purchased a pre-fab house from a canadian company called pacific-homes, you can check a gallery of their houses on their web site: Web Link
They have green packages as well.

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