Correct Measurement & Use Of Square Foot In preparing a “cost per square foot” guide, we must be clear on how we define the area used as the denominator to calculate this value. We have adapted the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors’ definition, which dictates:

1. Measure each floor to the outer face of the external walls;

2. No deductions for openings at stairs, elevators or vertical ducts are made;

3. A deduction is made for a non-service vertical protrusion, e.g., atrium space;

4. Mezzanine floors are generally included;

5. Balconies are excluded; enclosed solarium’s in residential condominiums are included;

6. Sloping and stepped floors (auditoriums/movie theaters) are measured flat; and,

7. Exclude all external covered walkways.


Your square footage is the very base of how we determine costs.The quickest way: (square footage x $200 to $350)

Example: Approximate cost for a 4,000 sq. ft. home 4,000 sq. ft. x $175 – $235 = $700,000 – $940,000



1. All costs are in Canadian dollars.

2. Unit costs cover construction costs only – all development or “soft” costs are excluded.

3. Rates are based on average standards and should only serve as basic guidelines. There is no substitute for a detailed estimate.

4. Unit prices exclude GST/HST.


Metro Vancouver

Speculative (Basic Quality) 100 – 165

Speculative (Medium Quality) 165 – 225

Speculative (High Quality) 225 – 350

Custom Built 400 – 1,000