Do you know how much it will cost to build this house?
No, no one actually does, it’s a mystery to the very end. You can find references as to how much a home costs per square foot, but this can be misleading; after all, a Yugo and a BMW are about the same size. These guides can be helpful if they are detailed to your area of the country and given in ranges of quality. The biggest cost variable usually is determined by the quality of the finish materials; sheet vinyl flooring vs. ceramic tile, Masonite siding vs. cedar shingles, plus a whole range in cabinet prices, grades of window, etc. If you can find builders in your area building a similar grade of house that you want, they might be able to help you and in the process, you might find a builder you can work with. If you know the selling cost of a similar house, subtract the land cost as well as any other expense you don’t expect to have (example; real estate commission, etc.). This can give you an approximate square foot cost to factor into a plan.
A two story home is generally the most cost efficient to build due to its having the least amount of roof and foundation. Two story homes most often have all the bedrooms upstairs to utilize that space. A 1 1/2 house is one where some rooms are contained within the roof framing, usually the secondary bedrooms. These homes will cost a little more than a two story home, but allows a nice balance of living spaces, generally with the main bedroom down stairs. The single story plan requires the largest amount of foundation and roofing materials, therefore costing the most, given all else is equal. One story homes are generally called ranches or bungalows, depending on viewing it from the short end or the long side.