Kephart Living


Sunday, January 29, 2012

South Carolina Costal

Sidekick Model # 22, or Backyard Pavilion 2 is placed above a two-car garage and shop on the first floor. The stair to the upstairs living space is located outside and leads to the large veranda placed to capture distant views. This raised house form comes directly from the low country Tidewater homes that stood on stilts to keep them above the frequent floodwaters. Sidekick will add this home to our Library when the construction drawings are finished.

The architectural Style of Costal Carolina is as distinct as the Southwestern Pueblo style of Santa Fe, New Mexico or The Spanish Colonial Revival style preserved in Santa Barbara, California. They are all three eclectic assemblages of details, materials, color, and roof shapes. Formed by tidewater influences as well as other environmental factors, The Costal Carolina Style grew out of the revival of classic architectural styles such as Victorian, Colonial, and Greek Revival, all popular in the 19th century.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 10:45 AM 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


is how Councilman Paul Lopez characterized the new Sidekick Home being built by Mark Druva of Druva Redevelopment. The Villa Park neighborhood in west Denver will soon be served by the west line of the Fast Tracks light Rail system and this new backyard cottage is just 1 block from a newly completed station on the light rail. Residents will be able to travel downtown and several colleges within minutes. This ADU (accessory Dwelling Unit) is the type of new affordable home envisioned by the drafters of the new Denver Zoning Ordinance. It is a 576 square foot one story one bedroom home accessory to an existing two bedroom home. The pair of homes will be listed to sell together.

We're hoping to raise the awareness in Denver homeowners of an opportunity they may have to build their own ADU for their own family or to rent to bolster family income.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 11:04 AM 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Does a Small House Cost?

I find the question of cost to be the hardest to answer. When cost estimates, in widely separated regions, vary greatly for the same small house I know that the difference is due to something more than regional influences. Quality, ease of access, local fees for building and utilities, and intangibles such as distance to the job site and perceived expectations all play a role.

National figures for homebuilding, as published by the “RS Means Company”, (adjusted) recognize location and quality, as modifying influences on their base square foot costs. Base costs do not include: basements, garages, utility extensions, Custom design fees, or fees for permits and impacts. We have used their highest quality level for the following example, as our finish materials include granite countertops, wood base and trim and the best workmanship available. Invisible quality features include: High efficiency furnaces, tankless water heaters, and sprayed-in foam insulation in walls, roofs, and crawl spaces.


A 600 square foot/ one-story house with a small porch

National highest quality base cost per RS Means = $210.00 per sq. ft. (adj. for small size)

Adjusted cost for the following cities:

Sacramento, CA----- $210 X 1.12 (factor for location)= $235.00 per square foot

Grand Junction, CO- $210 X .91 (factor for location)= $189.00 per square foot

Austin, Texas-------- $210 X .78 (factor for location) = $165.00 Per square foot


So why did my costs come in so much higher than these numbers? Let’s add it up: first there are local building and utility fees that can add $10,000.00 to $30,000.00 to the total cost of a home. Custom design services may add another $5,000.00 and a basement and a garage may add another $30,000.00. These things could total $50,000.00 or $83.00 per square foot for our small 600 sq. ft house (by the way this only adds $26.00 per sq ft to a median sized 2300 sq. ft house). Then there are the intangibles: a difficult to reach building site will require more hand work for everything from bringing in materials to removing excess earth from excavations, and the distance for a builder to travel will also have an impact.


The house total costs with and without the extras for the above cities are as follows:

Sacramento------$141,000.00 up to $191,000.00

Grand Junction--$114,000.00 up to $164,000.00

Austin-------------- $99,000.00 up to $149,000.00

Figures are rounded to the nearest $1,000.00

posted by Custom Blogs @ 9:25 AM 

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