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How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?

Typical Range: $164,850 - $476,882

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Cost to Build a House

On average, it’ll cost $305,809 to build a house, or between $164,850 and $476,882. Spending an average $100 to $200 per square foot means a 2,800 square foot home costs $280,000 to $560,000 to build. Custom and luxury homes cost $200 to $500 per square foot. Labor makes up roughly 40% of your build cost, with permits, design fees and materials making up the rest.

The single largest factor to building a home is the location. Design and materials come in a distant second. Building a new home gives you the opportunity to meet your exact design and usability requirements. But what’s it all cost? This guide covers every aspect of a complete home build including labor, materials and pricing differences between regions and home types. Keep in mind, these costs reflect new builds only, so you’ll be buying all your windows, doors, appliance and doing entire projects at once.

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National Average
$305,809
Typical Range
$164,850 - $476,882
Low End - High End
$11,000 - $800,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 487 HomeAdvisor members in .

Average Custom House Cost

Average Cost$305,809
Typical Range$164,850 and $476,882
High Cost$800,000
Low Cost$11,000

House Building Cost Estimator & Budget Guide

WorkPercent of Job CostTypical Range
Land & Site Work3%-8%$5,000-$38,000
Framing10%-20%$16,600-$95,000
Exterior Work
(roofing, doors)
15%-20%$25,000-$95,000
Foundation10%-15%$16,600-$71,250
Major Systems
(electric, HVAC)
10%-15%$16,600-$71,250
Interior Finishes
(drywall, floors)
25%-35%$41,500-$166,250

Building Cost Per Square Foot

Home building costs $100 to $200 per square foot with the average landing right around $150 per square foot. The location you build in and the quality of finishes you choose alter the price. High-end builds in urban settings with a high cost of living, like New York or San Francisco, can run $400 per square foot or more.

New Construction Costs Per Square Foot

Square FeetAverage Range
800$80,000-$160,000
900$90,000-$180,000
1,000$100,000-$200,000
1,200$120,000-$240,000
1,500$150,000-$300,000
1,600$160,000-$320,000
1,800$180,000-$360,000
2,000$200,000-$400,000
2,500*$350,000-$500,000
2,700*$270,000-$540,000
3,000$300,000-$600,000
4,000$400,000-$800,000
5,000$500,000-$1,000,000

*Most common new home sizes in 2019. Home sizes are trending downward as of 2017.

Average Cost to Build a 1, 2, 3, or 4 Bedroom House

Bedroom CountTypical Cost
1$90,000-$300,000
2$140,000-$350,000
3$180,000-$400,000
4$200,000-$500,000

The cost of a 1-bedroom house depends pretty heavily on when it was built. Home sizes have nearly doubled since 1975 from around 1,500 square feet to about 2,600 square feet in 2019. This table counts only new construction and goes off current home size standards and takes into account both location and size differences.

Cost Per Square Foot to Build a House with a Basement

Building a house with a basement costs an additional $10 to $100 per square foot, depending on whether you finish it or not. That means you’ll end up spending an average range of $110 to $300 per square foot to build a home with a basement.

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Residential Construction Costs by State

StateAverage Cost Range
Alabama$200,000-$380,000
Arizona$200,000-$625,000
California$200,600-$600,000
Colorado$300,000-$500,000
Connecticut$300,000-$800,000
Florida$240,000-$350,000
Georgia$100,000-$400,000
Illinois$200,000-$750,000
Maryland$200,000-$380,000
Massachusetts$250,000-$600,000
Michigan$225,000-$265,000
Mississippi$180,000-$300,000
Missouri$310,000-$485,000
New York$250,000-$950,000
North Carolina$320,000-$450,000
Ohio$290,000-$345,000
Oregon$175,000-$400,000
Pennsylvania$345,000-$450,000
South Carolina$300,000-$400,000
Tennessee$185,000-$380,000
Texas$235,000-$660,000
Virginia$200,000-$560,000
Washington$200,000-$450,000
Wisconsin$220,000-$400,000

Price to Build a House by City

CityTypical Cost
Asheville$350,000-$475,000
Austin$300,000-$475,000
Charlotte$300,000-$450,000
Chicago$200,000-$750,000
Dallas$200,000-$650,000
Denver$275,000-$550,000
Houston / Galveston$200,000-$450,000
Las Vegas$275,000-$400,000
Los Angeles / Laguna$150,000-$500,000
New York City$175,000-$550,000
Portland$150,000-$500,000
San Antonio$225,000-$475,000
San Diego$200,000-$600,000
San Francisco$200,000-$600,000
San Jose$350,000-$750,000
Seattle$200,000-$475,000
Washington D.C.$200,000-$575,000

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House Construction Costs

Labor30%-60%
Materials30%-50%
Administrative/Design/Permits10%-25%

You can break down house building costs into a few categories, not just labor and materials. The percent that each category takes up with your build depends mostly on the quality of materials you buy. High end materials weights your budget towards materials.

Labor Cost to Build a House

Labor makes up 30% to 60% of your project costs. Labor costs vary according to your pro and the size and complexity of your home. Large, custom-built homes have a higher labor cost than smaller modular homes. It's important to factor the cost of hiring architects, engineers and surveyors into your budget as well.

Some labor costs (not including materials they may use), include:

Framing

Framing costs $20,000 to $50,000. Your home's frame will dictate the size and location of rooms and other important features like roofing. Framing includes the overall home's frame, as well as trusses and general metal work. Usually, framers also do the home’s sheathing and subfloor installation.

Major Systems

Major systems installation costs $30,000 to $75,000. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC comprise most of your major system costs. The size and type of systems can affect the price of these installations. For example, installing an energy efficient system starts with the cost of solar panels and grows based on its size, wiring and labor that connect it to all the fixtures, outlets and appliances in the house.

Foundation

Foundations cost anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000, including all excavating, form setting, pouring and back filling. Adding the cost of finishing a basement can quickly double that price. Some homes also require retaining walls and additional landscaping to eliminate flooding or other foundation-damaging problems. Additional work can increase this cost.

  • Slab costs: $3,600-$7,200.
  • Basements run: $10,000-$30,000. Not including finishing.

Exterior Home Finishing Costs

Exterior finishing costs $40,000 to $60,000 and includes exterior walls, roofing, and adding windows and doors. The number and type of exterior finish, windows and doors will affect this price.

Costs to Finish a Home’s Interior

On average, interior finishing costs $50,000 to $175,000 but can run much higher. It’s one of the priciest parts of building a home. Interior finishing adds the comforts of home to your new build.

Interior Home Finishing Costs
Cabinet install fees$6,000-$30,000
Countertop installation costs$1,900-$4,200
Door installation cost$5,000-$20,000
Drywall installation prices$5,000-$30,000
Flooring install price$10,000-$35,000
Interior painting prices$5,000-$15,000
Appliance prices$3,000-$15,000
Lighting fixture costs$2,000-$12,000
Fireplace installation fees$2,000-$10,000
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House Plans and “Cost to Build” Estimates

For plans alone, expect to spend $2,500 to $8,000. Getting a “cost to build” estimate generally comes from an architect’s firm. However, many land developers have multiple plans already designed to give you a semi-custom home. If you’re hiring a home architect, make sure you thoroughly research firms and check previous work.

Depending on your needs, you’ll deal with a variety of design professionals. Find out more about what they do and how they charge in the following guides:

Cost to Build a Home on Your Land

Purchasing your own lot costs anywhere from $3,000 to $150,000 per acre. Pricing varies significantly depending on the location and if it’s upgraded for utilities or not. In housing developments, expect to spend in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, although it can go much higher depending on your location. In rural areas, you might find undeveloped lots for as little as $20,000.

Clearing land for construction prep costs: $1,200 to $4,500. In most developments, the land is already prepared for building. If you purchased your own lot, you may have to hire a pro to clear it and excavate.

  • Backhoe rentals: $70 to $90 per hour. Most builders use backhoes equipped with the necessary attachments.
  • Machine costs: vary based on what your hired professional owns and what will have to be rented. The size and location of your home will affect this. Building in rocky or unleveled environments requires specialized machinery, increasing your costs.

Upgrading the lot: If you purchase a lot that hasn’t been upgraded, this means no utilities, sewer or cable. You’ll usually only run into this issue in rural areas. If you buy land in an urban setting, developers upgrade the lots prior to listing.

  • Connecting to city sewers costs: $1,300-$5,000.
  • Connecting to the city electric grid runs: $1,000-$30,000. Fees depend heavily on how close your home is to the nearest lines.
  • Cost to connect to city water lines runs: $1,000-$5,000. If you need both sewer and water, expect to only pay one fee for both..

Cost to Build a House on an Existing Foundation

Rebuilding a home on an existing foundation costs $100 to $150 per square foot. The pricing varies depending on the condition of the existing concrete. You might save anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 off your total build price.

Always check to see if the foundation needs repairs before building. Foundation repairs cost only $2,000 to $7,000, significantly less than a new basement.

Building on Stilts or a Beach House Cost

Building a house on stilts, or pilings, adds $20,000 to $60,000 to your homes build. You’ll need these if you build on a flood plain, common with vacation and some coastal homes. But if you’re thinking of just lifting the house later, don’t. It’s significantly cheaper to do it with new construction. Lifting a house costs can get as high as $100,000 to $300,000.

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Additional Factors

  • Size: A home with greater square footage will cost more than a smaller one.
  • Number of Stories:Additional stories means additional construction and design work.
  • Complex Shape: The more corners a home has the more it will cost. Unusual shapes are more common in custom designs.
  • Design Features: Pools, outdoor kitchens and large decks are common design features. While these can increase the value and enjoyment of your home, they can also impact its construction and upkeep costs.

Material Costs to Build a House Calculator

Home building materials cost about 50% of your total build. However, the quality of the material you choose makes a big difference. For instance, you can clad your home in vinyl siding for around $2 per square foot or use high end stone for $30 or more per square foot. Your pro should be able to give you an estimate based on your designs.

Building Material Prices
MaterialCost
Lumber$25,000-$65,000 total
Concrete$1,000-$10,000 total
Drywall$10 per sheet
Flooring$1-$5 per square foot
Siding$2-$15 per square foot
Insulation$0.10-$1 per square foot
Roofing$1,000-$3,000 total

Cost to Build a Timber Frame House

Timber frame homes run higher than most other homes at $200 to $250 per square foot. They use wood, but with different structural techniques to build a lasting home with classic, but extraordinarily strong building techniques.

Metal or Steel Frame Home Cost

Steel framed homes cost $10 to $15 per square foot, slightly more than wood framing. This type of construction uses cold-rolled thin steel studs with I-beams for structural support.

Building a Brick House Cost

Building a brick house costs $10,000 to $75,000 more than a standard home. But this price only includes brick as a siding or a wood or timber frame. Due to code requirements for insulation, it’s almost impossible to build a home entirely out of brick.

Concrete House

An insulated concrete form home costs slightly less than a stick framed home, although experts disagree on the exact ranges. You’ll likely save about $10,000 overall and an additional 20% to 30% more on home heating and cooling costs over the life of the home. Just a concrete basement costs $13,000 to $30,000 to install. Adding on concrete stories above it dramatically increases the price and engineering requirements.

Wood Log Cabin

Wood log cabins cost $125 to $300 per square foot. You’ll spend anywhere from $100,000 to $800,000 or more depending on the size and quality. Building log cabins usually requires specific builders with many companies offering complete kits for the DIY inclined.

Cost of Building a House by Type

Cost to build vary across types, from $50 to $400 per square foot. Single-family, or detached, home costs will vary based on the construction of the building, as well as added extras like location, lot size and materials.

It's also important to note that detached homes are standalone structures. Due to their unique construction, the costs associated with standalone homes cannot be applied to duplex or townhome construction. Here's a look at the costs associated with each kind of single-family home build, including custom, prefab and development.

Housing Development House Build Costs

Housing developments offer a high degree of customization for $100,000 to $1.5 million but are limited to a set library of floorplans and locations. Production homes are usually part of a master-planned community. While this can offer attractive amenities, it can also mean constant construction around the neighborhood.

The amount of customization available in a development is considerable. Housing developments are also more affordable than custom homes. In fact, opting for a development can save up to 15% on home building costs.

Cost to Build a Custom Home

Custom homes cost anywhere from $350,000 to $1.5 million or more. Expect to pay $300 to $500 per square foot for custom and luxury builds. Custom homes come in almost any shape and size. They’re a step up from the semi-custom options you’ll find in many suburban housing developments.

Custom construction allows you to create a home that meets your exact aesthetic and functionality needs. The unlimited options associated with custom homes make them costly both in terms of money and time. Additionally, custom builds will require the services of a residential architect. Hiring design professionals can range from 5% to 15% of your total construction costs.

Modular and Prefabricated Homes

Prefabricated homes cost $180,000 to $360,000. That includes both materials and construction since you can’t buy them prior to the fabrication. They’re manufactured offsite and assembled on location. While prefab homes may not have the design options of custom homes, they come at a substantially lower cost. Many pre-built homes cost 10% to 20% less than custom-built alternatives.

Prefabricated homes also break down into two types:

  • Panel building. Involves fastening premade walls to the floor of the home. Panels are cheaper to transport than modules. Some builders install fixtures like sinks and toilets before installing the walls. This can speed up construction time and lower costs.
  • Modular building. Created in sections and assembled onsite. Porches and garages are not available on modular homes. Combining modular and panel construction is a popular alternative for those seeking designs not available in modular construction.
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Average Cost to Build a Ranch House

A ranch style home costs the same as any typical house, or $100 to $200 per square foot on average. They’re simply one-story homes favored for their low profile and lack of steps, making access easy.

Cost to Build a Modern House

The ultra-modern glass house cost ranges widely from $750,000 to $15 million. Most homes like this have only the highest-end finishes and tend to be larger than the average home, or around 3,000 to 6,000 square feet.

Duplex or Row House

Building a duplex or row house costs anywhere from $100 to $400 per square foot, depending on your location. A duplex has two homes connected, while a row house uses common walls to build an entire row of homes, often called a townhouse.

Victorian

Victorian homes tend to run $250,000 to $550,000 to build. But size and quality matter. Victorian refers to a specific design style crossing Gothic and Romanesque elements made popular during the Victorian era of the British Empire. In most respects, they’re built exactly the same as any other modern home but tend to have an extravagant number of finishing touches and complex design elements, such as dormers, high peaked roofs and wrap around porches.

Octagon or Dome House

For just a shell and floor, you’ll spend $50 to $75 per square foot. After that, you can customize the interior layout any way you desire, from leaving it completely open to installing permanent or temporary walls.

Bungalow or Cottage House

Bungalows, single-floor style homes that usually use top tier materials, cost anywhere from $200,000 to $600,000 on average or about $250 per square foot. They also tend to use a smaller footprint, or about half the square footage of modern homes.

Shipping Container or Tiny House

Shipping container and tiny homes range from $10,000 to $180,000 to build. It’s a very DIY centric style of building, but many tiny home companies specialize in these builds.

Saltbox

Saltbox homes run $150 to $250 per square foot to build. They’re a traditional New England style of home built using timber frame construction or classic stick framing techniques.

Cob or Straw Bale

A cob or straw bale house varies quite a bit in price. Most of these types of homes are DIY projects, made from organic materials including clay, straw and sand. When done correctly, they’ll last 100 years or more and provide incredible insulation. Most often, you’ll find this construction in Earthship homes.

Treehouse

Building a treehouse ranges as far in price as your imagination and budget will allow. Building a simple treehouse for your kids might not pass a few thousand while a luxury adult treehouses cost $75,000 to $400,000.

Guest House/ Pool House

Adding an addition costs $21,000 to $70,000 but can hit a high of $130,000 or more. Additions include a guest house, pool house, enclosed deck, garage or even a new master suite.

A-Frame

A frame homes cost $90 to $130 per square foot. The simple design allows for quick construction. Essentially, it combines walls and roof into one steeply angled wall, meeting at the top.

Cost to Build Your Own House vs. Hiring Home Builders

If you have the time and appropriate skills, you can realistically save around $20,000 to $60,000 building your own home. Most of that comes from acting as your own general contractor. But the savings generally isn’t worth the time you’ll invest.

Building the typical 2,600 square foot home already takes a full, professional crew and subcontractors months to put together. If you do it yourself, you’ll still need to understand the complexities of construction, building codes, timelines, and have to spend money hiring labor to help put it up. Some DIYers have taken years to build their own home.

For most common construction, turn to a professional. If you want to go the DIY route, look into shipping container and tiny home construction.

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FAQs

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

The average purchase price of a home is around $300,000. Compared to the cost of building one, it’ll cost up to $150,000 more to build than to buy.

How do I find the price per square foot to build a house by zip code?

You can find general cost ranges and averages to build a home in your zip code using our calculator at the top of this page. To find exact prices, you’ll need to contact a local general contractor.

How much does it cost to build a house in Florida?

Homeowners report building a house in Florida costs $240,000 to $350,000 on average. You’ll want to check with local builders as some areas in Florida conform to hurricane building codes, requiring sturdier structures and materials.

How much does it cost to build a house in California?

Homeowners in California report its costs $200,600 to $600,000 to build a home there.

How expensive is it to build a house from scratch, and why?

Starting with commonly manufactured materials like concrete and lumber, you’re looking at $100,000 to $500,000 depending on where you live and the quality of materials you choose.

If you want to create your own materials like lumber from scratch, it isn’t clear, but you can expect costs and the total time to increase significantly.

What’s the most expensive part of building a house?

The most expensive part of building a home is usually finishing the interior. Depending on the level of finishes you want, you can spend about half your budget on flooring, appliances, cabinets and other high-end touches.

How much money do you need to buy land and build a house?

Buying land and building a house ranges from $150,000 to $500,000 in most areas.

Is it worth it to build a house?

If you want a customized home or simply want a new house, building your own is the way to go. But it’s pretty easy to spend more or less than a competitively priced home in your area. Talk to a realtor and architect to get a better idea of what will work best for you.

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