The average client, in spite of the difficulties above mentioned, insists upon securing from the architect an approximate idea of how much of a house he can have for $12,000.00, etc., or whatever sum he has been able to save for his small home. In order to approximate this figure, the architect must use the cubic-foot system of estimating. Now under changing conditions of prices this system is rather inaccurate, so that it should be used with great care. Any figures which are given here are bound to be only approximations, due to the fact that they are more or less of a local nature and must be given at this time of writing. The only satisfactory way of using the cubic-foot system of estimating is to secure prices from one's own locality on work recently finished.
If the approximate cost of a house of Type I is desired, observe some recently erected house of that same character, secure its dimension, and calculate its cubical contents and then its cost per cubic foot. In order to be consistent, the method of computing the cubage must be the same in all cases. The following is recommended as a uniform basis:
1. Determine total area of the building on the ground floor, including all projections.
2. Determine the average height of the building from the cellar floor to the average height of the roof.
3. Multiply the above together for the cubical contents.
4. Open porches may be added at one-quarter their cubical contents, and closed ones at their full value.
Prices per Cubic Feet Near New York for Two-Story Dwellings,
.32 to 38 cents per cubic foot
38 to 42 cents per cubic foot