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How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?

Typical Range: $123,860 - $451,713

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Updated: August 27, 2021

Reviewed & approved by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost to Build a House Per Square Foot

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

New home construction typically falls between $100 and $200 per square foot but custom and luxury options can reach $500 or more per square foot. On average in the U.S., it costs $287,297 to build a house, with most homeowners spending between $123,860 and $451,713. Labor makes up roughly 40% of the build cost, with permits, design fees and materials making up the rest.

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.

2021 Notice: Material Prices are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials have grown over the past year. And, as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

1. Cost to Build a House by Zip Code Calculator

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National Average $287,297
Typical Range $123,860 - $451,713
Low End - High End $4,500 - $800,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 670 HomeAdvisor members in .

2. New Construction Costs by House Size

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 2021. Home sizes are trending downward as of 2017.

3. House Building Cost Breakdown

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

4. Price of Pre-Construction When Building a House

Pre-construction costs can vary depending on the cost and condition of your land, house plan design prices, permitting costs, and demolition considerations. These costs generally make up 10% to 25% of your total home building costs.

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 pre-construction costs to consider.

a. 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. She or 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:

b. Purchasing 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.

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

c. Clearing & Prepping Land

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. Costs you may incur include:

d. Demolition

The cost to demo a house on your land falls between $3,000 and $25,000. Some factors that can impact this price include the size of the house you’re demolishing, the location of your land, and the presence of asbestos or another toxin in the old home materials.

e. Building Permits

The average cost of a building permit for building a home averages between $1,200 and $2,000. This cost can vary based on your location and the permitting requirements in your area.

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5. Residential Construction Costs

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

a. Home Building Material Costs

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

b. 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 construction labor costs (not including materials), include:

c. Foundation

Foundations cost anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000, including all excavating, form setting, pouring and back filling. Some homes require retaining walls and additional landscaping to eliminate flooding or other foundation-damaging problems. Additional work can increase this cost.

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, or between $10,000 and $30,000 for the basement alone. Adding the cost of finishing a basement can quickly double your foundation costs. You'll spend an average of $110 to $300 per square foot to build a home with a basement.

d. 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.

e. Major Systems: Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

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 $10,000.

f. 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.

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6. Interior Home Finishing Costs

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.

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

7. Factors to Consider When Building a Custom House

  • 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.

8. FAQs

a. Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

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

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.

b. Can I build my own house?

Building your own house costs average from $122,500 to $411,500. 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.

c. How much is it to build a custom home vs. a home in a housing development?

Custom homes average from $350,000 to $1.5 million or more. Expect to pay $300 to $500 per square foot. Custom or luxury homes come in almost any shape and size. They're more customizable than the semi-custom options you'll find in many suburban housing developments.

Alternatively, 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!

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.

d. How much is the 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 popular home build. Click in to our guide on each individual type of home for more details.

  • Modular or Prefabricated homes cost: $180,000-$360,000. These types of homes are manufactured off site 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%-15% less than site-built alternatives.
  • Timber frame homes: $200-$250 per square foot.
  • Steel framed homes cost: $10-$15 per square foot, slightly more than wood framing.
  • Building a brick house costs: $10,000-$75,000. This price only includes brick as a siding.
  • Concrete houses cost: $204,000-$416,000.
  • Wood log cabins cost: $125-$300 per square foot. You'll spend anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 for a small, 500-square-foot home.
  • Ranch style homes: Single story homes cost about the same as other typical houses at $100 to $200 per square foot on average. Sprawling ranch homes that have larger than average footprints can cost more than a two-story house because of the added foundation costs.
  • Modern homes: Those featuring large expanses of glass range widely from $750,000-$15 million.
  • Building a duplex or row house costs: $100-$400 per square foot, depending on your location.
  • Victorian homes: $250,000-$550,000 to build. Size and the quality of the home and finishes impact costs.
  • Octagon or Dome House: For just a shell and floor, you'll spend $50-$75 per square foot. After that, you can customize the interior layout any way you desire.
  • Bungalow or Cottage House: $200,000-$600,000 on average or about $250 per square foot.
  • Shipping containers and tiny homes cost: $8,000-$150,000+. It's a very DIY centric style of building, but many tiny home companies specialize in these builds.
  • Saltbox homes: $150-$250 per square foot. They're a traditional New England style of home built using timber frame construction or classic stick framing techniques.
  • Cob or straw bale houses: These homes vary quite a bit in price. Most of these types of homes are DIY projects, made from organic materials including clay, straw and sand.
  • Treehouses cost: $75,000-$400,000 when building a luxury model. Building a simple treehouse for your kids might only run you about $400.
  • Building a guest house costs: $45,000-$100,000+
  • A-frame homes cost: $100-$200 per square foot.
  • Beach House Cost: +$20,000-$60,000 to your home's build, due to the addition of stilts. 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.

e. How much does it cost to build a house in my 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

For costs by city, try our calculator.

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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.