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How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?

Typical Range: $162,447 - $483,868

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Reviewed & approved on June 26, 2020 by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost to Build a House

On average, it’ll cost $309,349 to build a house, or between $162,447 and $483,868. Spending an average of $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 the build cost, with permits, design fees and materials making up the rest.

the average cost to build a house is $100 to $200 per square foot

Building a new home gives you the opportunity to meet your specific design and functionality requirements. Say you decide to build your own home, what will it cost? In short, there are many factors that will influence your bottom-line price, including the location of your home, the building materials and products you select, pricing differences among regions and home type and the cost of labor in your area. This guide will detail those important factors, plus other issues you must consider before you get started designing your dream home.

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National Average $309,349
Typical Range $162,447 - $483,868
Low End - High End $12,000 - $850,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 547 HomeAdvisor members in .

Average Custom House Cost

Average Cost$309,349
Typical Range$162,447 and $483,868
High Cost$800,000
Low Cost$12,000

House Building Cost Estimator & Budget Guide

WorkPercent of Job CostTypical Range
Land & Site Work3% - 8%$5,000 - $38,000
Foundation10% - 15%$16,600 - $72,000
Framing10% - 20%$16,600 - $95,000
Exterior Work15% - 20%$20,000 - $95,000
Major Systems (electric, HVAC)10% - 15%$17,000 - $72,000
Interior Finishes (drywall, floors)25% - 35%$42,000 - $167,000

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 price you will ultimately pay is based on the location of the property, the size and footprint of the house, and the quality of the finishes and products you select. 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*$250,000 - $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

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 is based on current home size standards.

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. You’ll spend an average 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, OR$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%

Building a house is a complicated endeavor, but if you take it step by step, you can get a solid estimate on your final costs. The trick is to be organized and ask your builder a lot of questions. Below are some of the categories you need to consider.

Labor Cost to Build a House

"Smaller costs, such as those for surveys, driveway paving and soil testing, must be considered up front because they add up quickly and can blow your budget."Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

The construction pros who build your house represent 30% to 60% of your project costs. As you might guess, the labor costs vary relative to the size of your house, your contractor’s buying power and ability to get reasonably priced labor, and the size and complexity of your home. Large, custom-built homes have a higher labor cost than smaller modular homes.

Some labor costs (not including materials), 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, and install the windows and doors.

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, a 2,000-square-foot new HVAC unit costs $5,000 to $9,000.

Interested in heating and cooling your house with solar power instead of a traditional HVAC system? Installing an energy-efficient solar system starts with the cost of solar panels and grows based on system size, wiring and labor that connects 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: $4,000-$7,000.
  • 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, windows and doors. The number of building openings and the types of exterior finishes 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 Material & Installation Costs
Cabinet install fees$2,000 - $30,000
Countertop installation costs$2,000 - $4,000
Door installation cost*$5,000 - $20,000
Drywall installation prices$5,000 - $30,000
Flooring install price$10,000 - $35,000
Interior painting prices$4,000 - $11,000
Appliance prices$3,000 - $15,000
Lighting fixture costs$2,000 - $12,000
Fireplace installation fees$1,000 - $10,000

*accounts for multiple interior doors for an entire home

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House Plans and "Cost to Build" Estimates

House plans cost $2,000 to $8,000. You can find a wide variety of house plan companies online. Most offer search filters to narrow down the thousands of plans into a handful for you to consider. Once you’ve picked a plan, give the bid set that comes with your plan purchase to your builder. He can then give you a “cost to build” estimate.

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 lot. Pricing varies significantly depending on the size of the lot, the location, and whether the utilities are already at the site or need to be brought in. 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 $3,000.

Clearing land for construction prep costs $1,500 to $5,000. 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-$90 per hour. Most builders use backhoes equipped with the necessary attachments.
  • Machine costs: These 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.

Finished vs. unfinished lots: If no utility, sewer or cable lines have been pulled to a site, it is considered an unfinished lot. You’ll usually only run into this issue in rural areas. If you buy land in an urban setting, developers will probably have finished the lots prior to listing.

  • Connecting to city sewers costs $1,300 to $5,000.
  • Connecting to the city electric grid runs $1,000 to $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 to $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 home’s build. You’ll need these if you build in 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 while you are building the house. Lifting a house costs can get as high as $25,000 to $100,000.

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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. Complicated rooflines and exterior bump-outs can also add costs.
  • 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.

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 are built with wood using a unique structural technique, which results in a long-lasting home with classic design appeal.

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. Because metal transfers heat and cold more readily than wood, your builder will need to carefully consider insulation choices.

Building a Brick House Cost

Building a brick house costs $10,000 to $75,000. But this price only includes brick as a siding. Because of new code requirements for insulation, brick masonry homes (those made from brick and concrete block) are rarely built.

Concrete House

A house constructed entirely of insulated concrete forms (ICFs) costs about $5-$8 per square foot more than a stick framed home. Although ICFs cost more up front, you’ll likely save about 20% to 30% on your home heating and cooling costs over the life of the home. However, if you are just considering ICFs for your basement, note that a concrete basement costs $13,000 to $30,000 to install, which is about the same cost as an ICF basement. Floors above the basement built using ICFs will be more expensive because of added 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

The cost to build a new home varies across types, from $50 to $400 per square foot. Single-family, or detached, home costs will vary based on the location, lot size, construction of the building, and material choices.

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 new-home neighborhood, custom and prefab.

Housing Development House Build Costs

If you want to live in a new-home neighborhood built by a production home builder, expect to pay $100,000 to $1.5 million. While you are limited to a library of floorplans and locations, you can typically customize your plan, creating a semi-custom home. Although, remember, your costs go up with every change you make! Housing developments usually offer attractive amenities, like pools and parks.

Because production builders are able to get volume discounts on materials and products, homes in new-home developments are more affordable than custom homes. In fact, opting to buy in 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.

If you’re hiring a home architect, your best bet is to research firms thoroughly, ask for some addresses of homes they designed, and go take a look at them. Do the details look proportional? Did the architect’s choice of exterior materials stand the test of time? Is the house designed to fit into its neighborhood or on its site?

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Modular and Prefabricated Homes

Prefabricated homes cost $180,000 to $360,000. These types of homes are manufactured offsite and assembled on location. While prefab homes may not have the design options of custom homes, they come at a lower cost. Many pre-built homes cost 10% to 15% less than site-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.

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. However, sprawling ranch homes that have larger than average footprints can cost more than a two-story house because of the added foundation costs.

Cost to Build a Modern House

An ultra-modern house featuring large expanses of glass 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, decorative trim and wraparound 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 can last 100 years or more and provide incredible insulation.

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 $400 while 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 $125,000 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.

FAQs

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

The average purchase price of an existing home is about $285,000. It’ll cost up to $150,000 more to build a new home than to buy an existing home.

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 or new-home development sales representative.

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 it costs $200,000 to $600,000 to build a home.

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, 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 one-third of 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. Depending on how much work you want to do yourself, how much customization you need, the difficulty of the lot you have chosen, and a whole host of other factors, you will spend more or less than a competitively priced home in your area. Talk to a local realtor and builder to get a better idea of what will work best for you.

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.