Beyond the Build

Commodities Pricing

The Bigger Picture.

In our business, there are times when the tendency is to quantify by the unit. “Price per square foot” is used to measure all kinds of things, from the average property value, all the way to building cost. While it can be a quick and easy reference at times, a summary is just that. A summary.

Maybe we would do better to step back and get a larger perspective, rather than get hung up on PPSF.

Years ago, I had a friend who was a residential real estate agent in Georgetown. A relevant story, as she relayed it to me, went something like this: There was a couple she was showing around one day and who routinely asked, ”How much per square foot?” as they visited different homesites. She finally said, “Where you are from, you may buy the home by the price per square foot, but here, we sell by the house.”

Value in commercial construction comes from the delivery method to any number of other hard-to-quantify factors. Sure, numbers matter. But if one is only looking at the smallest units to determine value, we are likely missing a much bigger picture.

{Image Source: Our friends at The Birmingham Museum of Art}

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.