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General Information on the Cost of a Natural Built Structure

Generally speaking to give an idea, the cost of our structures start at $120 sq. ft. for non permitted small projects under 140 sq. ft to $240 per sq. ft. for permitted custom homes.  The estimate of $240 per square foot does not include finishes like: Light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, counter tops, flooring, tile, windows, roofing, or finish plastering.  These phases are hard to estimate on a per square foot price because clients may choose inexpensive products or high end products. This price per square foot only takes into consideration the enclosed building shell with labor for: leveling coat plasters, rough electrical, rough plumbing, window installation, roof framing and sheathing.   

The square foot price can go up or down depending on the finishes chosen (windows, cabinets, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc.) in most cases around $280 per square foot for mid range finishes, and up to $400 per square feet for high end finishes.   This price is almost exactly the same as conventional buildings, except our natural structures are one of a kind; built with love and care. They are non toxic, provide a healthier indoor environment, use natural materials, save on energy costs and of course, beautiful.

These estimated prices do not include design, earthworks, septic, wells, PG&E hook up, or any solar power installation.

We work with designers, engineers, contractors and the county. Their fees are not included in the above square footage estimate.

Ways to Make Your Natural Structure More Affordable:

We have worked hard to create a program that offers ample labor hours in exchange for hosting such a program but taking on such an endeavor still requires adequate financial backing.  So here are some other ways to help offset costs.

  • Consider doing most if not all of the materials resourcing yourself.  This takes times and paying someone to do it can add up.

  • Take time to plan and design the structure that you are wanting so consultations can be kept to a minimum and design decisions can be made faster.

  • Build small.  Depending on the structure, keeping the design small and simple will save a lot of time and money.  Utilizing an intern program to get a structure built can be quite successful for a small non permitted structure.

  • What materials may you have available on your site? Utilizing abundant and local resources can save money, just don’t forget the time it takes to harvest and process them.

  • Workshops can also be facilitated to bring in extra hands for the bulky stages of work.  However, the energy it takes to host can be demanding and unless you plan to teach the workshop yourself, you will have to hire the instructor who is experienced with these types of workshops.  But also, the educational magic that happens at workshops are often priceless.

  • Consider doing some of the work yourself.  You may feel comfortable taking on some phases on your own, you have us to learn from while we are there.  Please feel free to come learn with the interns at any point, this is a great opportunity for you as the host to join in on the magic.

If you are interested in building a natural structure on your land, or retro-fitting your current home with natural materials, please take a moment and fill out the form below. We will get back to you shortly!

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