A $100,000 House?

A project that Stafford County Economic Development (EcoDevo) worked on in conjunction with K-State’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design has been receiving a lot of publicity.

As part of the Net Positive Studio under Professor and Architect Michael Gibson, graduate students researched, designed, and helped build an affordable, energy efficient house.

Our challenge to the students was to design a house that was closer to $100,000 than $200,000. We knew that $100,000 was a lofty goal. However, given that the median income in Stafford County at that time was around $45,000, that’s the price point that would truly make it affordable.

The students designed more for functionality, esthetic, and energy efficiency than specifically cost. The total estimated cost of construction for this house was $130,000 pre-pandemic. This was an architect’s estimate and was not based on actual contractor bids. Having the students build the prefabricated panels and be the labor for some of the construction, Gibson estimated the out-of-pocket cost for the prototype would be around $110,000.

In December 2019, K-State had sponsorships to cover about $40,000 of the project, leaving EcoDevo responsible for an estimated $70,000 and any contingency. In the end, EcoDevo contributed over $100,000 to finish the house.