01. Best Advice for Beginner Developers: How to Start & How Much It Will Cost

Here's a glimpse at what you'll learn from us in this episode:

  • The first 3 things you NEED to consider when starting to plan your project

  • The top challenges you will encounter when creating your budget, and how to overcome them.

  • What about building with shipping containers? Can it really save on costs?

  • How Three Squared helps you put your budget together the right way.

  • What it REALLY took to achieve our 100% permit approval rate.

  • 3 simple ways you can control your costs.

  • Breck's Project Highlight of The Week: Lone Tree Point Acres!

For behind the scenes footage, project updates & more, follow @threesquaredinc on Instagram. Find the full show notes from today's episode here. >> Ask us about your project HERE.

“What we are sharing here is super relevant across the board [for all project types] on how to get started.”


- Leslie Horn (CEO of Three Squared, Inc.)



  • 0:30 - Introduction to the first episode.

  • 0:50 - Where to find Three Squared’s Instagram & Website.

  • 1:03 - Got questions? Submit them directly to us here!

  • 1:20 - Leslie and Breck’s introduction to Episode 1.

  • 1:52 - Container home interest had a major boom this year & Three Squared takes on more projects than every before.

  • 2:23 - Breck’s Project Highlight of the Week: Lone Tree Point Acres!

  • 3:25 - How to get started developing a project.

  • 4:23 - Leslie discusses why this question is so relevant for everyone looking to get started as a developer.

  • 5:00 - Breck introduces the 3 questions you should ask FIRST: Where are you building? What are you building? And how much money do you have to build it with?

  • 5:49 - #1 Where are you building? And figuring out the logistics of your building site.

  • 7:32 - #2 What are you building? We don’t decide what you are building, you do.

  • 8:49 - #3 How much money do you have to build it with? Three Squared will design something that fits within your budget.

  • 8:58 - How much do things really cost?

  • 11:13 - Cost fluctuation based on what your needs and wants are.

  • 11:53 - What is your budget?

  • 13:10 - Leslie’s advice on costs and what to keep in mind when looking to build.

  • 13:27 - Construction costs and saving money through time.

  • 14:50 - Energy efficiency.

  • 15:32 - “How much is my cost per square foot for general construction in my neighborhood?”

  • 16:37 - Other factors you need to consider when building.

  • 18:08 - The difference between hard vs. soft costs.

  • 19:30 - Three Squared has 100% approval in every municipality we have entered across the U.S.

  • 21:50 - The 3 ways you can control your cost expectations.

  • 21:59 - #1 Scale: how big you want to build.

  • 22:20 - #2 Timeline: how fast you want it built.

  • 22:54 - #3 Quality: quality of your finishes.

  • 22:25 - Concluding thoughts.

  • Have a specific project in mind? Connect with our team for a one-on-one consultation to ask questions & receive custom guidance on next steps for your project.

Exercise: Answer these 3 questions...

1. Where are you building?

  • City/State

  • What site do you want to build on?

2. What are you building?

  • What is your project type? (Multifamily, Mixed-Use, Single Family Home, etc.)

  • How many square feet do you want to build?

3. How much are you building it for?

  • Are you financing your project through a construction loan?

  • What are average construction costs in your area? (Check this on Google and/or contact a local General Contractor if you are unsure)