The total cost of the design process will vary based on the unique characteristics of your project and often fall in the range of about 6%-10% of the total construction costs.

Example home:

A home with a projected $750,000 construction budget may cost approximately $45,000 to design (6%); a home with a $1,000,000 construction budget may cost $70,000 to design (7%); a home with a $550,000 construction budget may cost $44,000 to design (8%).

Remember that design costs are not included in typical square foot construction costs, so when considering the rough square foot pricing in the next section, the design work is always additional to those typical costs.

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Construction Cost of a Home

Based on our experience building high quality, high performance custom homes in Northern New Mexico we have developed a very good understanding of what typical construction costs are in this region.

Although each project is unique with varying site considerations, and finishes representing the unique taste and aesthetics of each owner, the typical construction costs below are adequate for preliminary budget planning, and thus for planning the size of home to design.

In each case, a specialized and itemized construction budget will be developed that represents the exact costs of your project, and will vary somewhat from the typical costs shown here. This method of budget projection is very important to begin the design process with realistic expectations.

In general, the cost of building a custom high performance home in Northern New Mexico averages between $325 and $425 per square foot of heated living space. Where your project’s costs will land in that range will be influenced by many factors, some of which are often unknown at pre-design. These include existing conditions of your chosen lot, topography, soil conditions, proximity to utilities, and ease of access. Also, Home Owner Association requirements, City or County restrictions and conditions of your recorded survey will influence cost. Then of course there are the design factors including the selections of finishes and fixtures, and overall design complexity of the home which will play an important role in final construction costs. The exercises below are a useful starting point in determining a realistic budget range to plan for, or conversely what size home is within your desired budget. From here, a clear path can be set to achieve a comprehensive design and detailed construction budget

Enclosed Heated Area (measured from the exterior of the walls): $265-$365 per square foot.
Areas Enclosed but not Heated (garages, storage rooms, attics, etc.): $115-$140 per square foot.
Covered outdoor spaces (varies widely based on finishes & fixtures.): $65-$140 per square foot.
Decks and Patios Uncovered:$65-$115 per square foot.

A simple rule of thumb for an economically minded project is to take the total gross roofed area (all square footage under roof including garages, storage, portals, patios, main house, guest house, studio, etc.) and multiply that area by $235-$300 per square foot.

Basic Calculation Total Area Under Roof X Typical Cost Range = Construction Budget Range
Example 4000 sf X $235-$300 = $940,000 – $1,200,00
Your Calculation X $235-$300 =


Reverse Construction Budget Goal ÷ Top of typical Cost Range = Total Area Under Roof to Design For
Economical Example $950,000 ÷ $235-$300 = 3166sf – 4042sf
Your Calculation ÷ $235-$300 =


More Detailed Approach Areas X Typical Cost Range = Construction Budget Goal
Heated 2800sf X $275-$365 = $770,000 – $1,022,000
Enclosed Unheated 600 sf X $125-$150 = $75,000 – $90,000
Outdoor Covered 600 sf X $75-$150 = $45,000 – $90,000
Outdoor Uncovered 500sf X $75-$100 = $37,500 – $50,000
Projected Construction Budget = $927,500 – $1,252,000



Your Project Areas X Typical Cost Range = Construction Budget Goal
Heated X $275-$365 =
Enclosed Unheated X $125-$150 =
Outdoor Covered X $75-$150 =
Outdoor Uncovered X $75-$115 =
Projected Construction Budget =
Add Design Costs to Projected Construction Budget 6%-10% =
Total Project Budget Goal =


Again, we are incredibly experienced in each of these areas and can assist in expediting the process in many ways. We have designers, architects and engineers all ready to assist you with your design and build.

Start your process by simply calling us and getting the conversation started: 505-988-7230