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How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?

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National Average Change Location | View National
Typical Range
$148,287 - $436,184
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Building a new home is an opportunity to meet your exact design and usability requirements. But from-scratch construction can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to price. This in-depth look at the prices associated with home building will help you make the right budgetary decisions.
However, homeowners report the average cost to build a new house comes in at $291,533, which would put a 2,000 square foot home costing about $150 per square foot. This will obviously vary greatly with all the costly variables involved, so the cost could range between $148,287 and $436,184.
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.

Custom Homes: $350,000 - $1.5 Million+

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 five to 15 percent of your construction costs. If you’re hesitant to hire an architect, ask your builder to submit a design. Their costs typically range from $1.50 per square foot to more than $2.50 per square foot.
Estimating the cost of a custom home is difficult because of the wide range of options. Generally, custom homes cost between $100 and $400 per square foot. Location and materials will play a major role in the price of your custom home. Tiny homes are a popular alternative to larger custom homes. These downsized dwellings offer the personalization of custom homes without the price tag.

Modular and Prefabricated Homes: $50,000 - $300,000.

Prefabricated homes are 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 percent less than custom-built alternatives. Prefabricated homes also break down into two types:
Panel building. Panel construction involves fastening premade walls to the floor of the home. This style of building is ideal for home designs with features that are unavailable in modular construction. Additionally, in many cases, 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. Modular homes are created in sections and assembled onsite. Modular manufacturing can result in smaller rooms, but many modern modular homes offer additional design options that can open up cramped areas. In most cases, 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.

Developers and Home Builders: $50,000 – 1.5 Million+

Housing developments offer a high degree of customization, but are limited to a 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. Additionally, many new-build neighborhoods are farther away from entertainment and cultural centers. Developments are priced for a variety of homeowners, ranging from first-time buyers to retirees seeking luxury homes.
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 percent on home building costs. In some cases, this can be on par with modular homes, but few developments will drop below that amount. Another option in this category is to work with a company that has a development in progress. This can increase savings, although the amount of changes made must be minimal to take full advantage of the price.

Material and Machine Costs

Your home’s materials are an important part of determining the cost of your construction. The cost of materials will vary widely based on their type and the size of your home. The region of your home can also affect the cost of materials. Your pro should be able to give you an estimate based on your designs. Here’s a quick breakdown of general building material costs:
Machine costs will also vary based on what your hired professional owns and what will have to be rented. The size and location of your home will affect machine costs. Building in rocky or unleveled environments will require specialized machinery, which will increase your costs. Most builders use backhoes equipped with the necessary attachments. The average cost of a backhoe is between $70 and $90 per hour.
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Labor Costs

Labor costs vary according to your pro and the size and complexity of your home. Large, custom-built homes will 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. The cost to hire architects and engineers will also vary based on location.
Here’s an estimation of the labor costs associated with each part of your home’s construction:

Foundation: $4,000 – $12,000

Excavating, pouring, and back filling make up your foundation costs. Some homes also require retaining walls and additional landscaping to eliminate flooding or other foundation-damaging problems. Additional work can increase this cost.

Framing: $1,500 - $6,500

Your home’s frame will dictate the size and location of rooms and other important features like roofing. Framing costs include the overall home’s frame, as well as trusses and general metal work.

Exterior finishes: $40,000 - $60,000

Exterior finishing includes exterior walls, roofing and adding windows and doors. The number and type of exterior finish, windows and doors will affect this price.

Major systems installation: $30,000 - $50,000

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 something like a solar panel cost and grows based on its size, wiring and labor that connect it to all the fixtures, outlets and appliances in the house.

Interior finishing: upwards of $85,000

Interior finishing adds the comforts of home to your new build. This can include insulation, drywall, interior trim, painting, lighting, appliances, flooring and plumbing fixtures.

Final details

The final steps of your home construction will prepare it for moving. These last-minute updates include landscaping, decks, patios, driveways and clean up.

Additional Factors that Affect Costs

Numerous factors influence the final cost of the home. Here’s a look at additional factors that will increase your cost:
  • Land and Excavation - Prepping the land for construction is an important first step, and can vary in price. 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.
  • Size - A home with greater square footage will cost more than a smaller home.
  • Number of Stories Additional stories will require additional construction and design work, which will increase your building costs.
  • Shape The more corners a home has the more it will cost. Unusual shapes are more common in custom designs.
  • Type of Roof The installation and upkeep costs of specialty roofs will cost more than asphalt options. This is an area where durability should trump other concerns.
  • Fixtures/Finishes The grade of fixtures can impact the cost of a home. Granite countertops and marble floor tiles are high-end options that come at a premium price. Most pros can recommend materials and fixtures that will meet your aesthetic and budgetary needs.
  • Appliances Refrigerators can range from fifty dollars to several thousand. The same goes for most major appliances in the home. Be sure to factor this cost into your budget before you begin construction.
  • 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 costs. Design extras can increase your home’s upkeep costs as well.
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Major Steps in Building a House

Building a home has several steps. Here’s a quick look at the construction process.

Create a Budget

Your budget will limit the size, building type, interior features and customization of the home.

Purchase Property

The location of your home will play a part in determining its costs, as well as additional details like school districts and entertainment options.

Choose a Construction Method

Decide between custom, prefab or a development. Always get multiple estimates, regardless of which construction method you choose. For modular homes, this can often be done online.

Develop Plans or Designs

Many homeowners don’t factor plans into their budgeting. For those building a larger or high-end home, the planning stage can be especially expensive.

Obtain Permits and Inspections

It’s best to let your general contractor or builders pull your paperwork. Permits are a complicated and time-consuming part of building a home. Having the right licensing will ensure your inspections are error-free. You'll want to answer this question while you budget for a new build: How much is it to get a permit?

Purchase Construction Insurance

It’s a good idea to purchase construction insurance before ground breaking begins.

Begin Construction

Construction includes a number of steps that range from site preparation and foundation work to installation of carpentry framing. The construction stage will likely include several professionals.

Book a Final Inspection

This step is a last examination of the home to ensure it matches the plans and local building codes. The inspection is necessary to receive permission to occupy the home.

Complete Landscaping

Landscaping is the last step to home construction. This can include laying sod, planting trees and shrubs and even adding decorative walkways. It’s important to plan your landscaping according to your climate.
These steps may vary based on individual decisions, location and circumstances.
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ivin boren More than 1 year ago
I demand a crawl space 3 ft. instead of a slab type foundation.This 3 ft. crawl area will provide access to water pipes, sewer pipes,any electrical,any air ducts,and termite prevention. I would locate the garage away from the house so that its slab (holds moisture underneath) would keep moisture away from wood of the main house.As an experenced energy advisor I also recommend extending rain water gutters min. 10 ft. away.
Venkataramanan thirumalachari More than 1 year ago
Show the cost for modular Homes Square -feet - & cost
Rachel Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
Very helpful information......
frank pterson More than 1 year ago
Want to have 3 homes built for resale I am 71 and need the money for bypass surgery and kidney dialyses so I can spend some quality time with my grand children. Good luck to every one with there dream home ventures  
Daniel Alexa More than 1 year ago
Most importantly you need to figure out the housing market in the area you plan to build and try to stay at least 15% under the value so you can get some money out of your investment. Location should determine how much money you should put in a house. Location is most important in building a home.
clarence stoddard More than 1 year ago
may want to consider wall stud size and insulation in wall and roof for cost of living in the home. also roof pitch.
Omar Obenza More than 1 year ago
I demand on affordable site built home, as I look around here in Bastrop TX. How the house is build, it's not that sturdy , the foundation of course is concrete. Then they will wood post ,hanger frames , mostly wood work, not even concrete post , on four corners , this design is will not stand for category 3 hurricanes ,not mention ,this not Florida but central TX. , materials is not that expensive , I guess it's the labor ,permits approvals septic electrical , mostly , house will cost as more than how it's made of. I know what is business and overpriced hone project, I hope when I decided to have my hone built. Will not a rip off.
Dan M More than 1 year ago
Not sure if this is in Canadian $ or American. The cost to build in Toronto is easily over $250/ sq ft for both a customer home built on site or a modular factory built home.
HASupport More than 1 year ago
Hi Dan, All costs are reported in USD. -HASupport
Gerry Lipthratt More than 1 year ago
Thank you, have been waiting 25+ years to have our house built and still waiting. Both have retired and are anxious to move to Gardi.
Papa et Mama Papa et Mama More than 1 year ago

Excellent recommendation.

Thank you

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