Build a Ranch House Cost

How much does it cost to build a ranch house?

Ranch-style homes are the product of 1920s architectural innovations, and today they are still a popular and extremely affordable style. They tend to require mid-range materials, larger footprints (due to a single-floor design and traditional attached garage), and feature open floor plans and simple exteriors. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at the cost of constructing a traditional ranch-style home. According to home industry statistics, the size of the average ranch house is 2500 square feet which assumes a "footprint" of approximately 40'x60'.

The building of any ranch-style home would never be a "DIY" project and requires a knowledgeable contractor, an architect, a team of subcontractors, and a cooperative owner to get the job done in a single calendar year.

According to Hawkins Research, Inc., the typical costs for the building of a ranch of 2500 square feet would include:

  • With mid-range materials, a masonry foundation with full basement, high-efficiency doors and windows, full appliances, and "turnkey" finishing the house would cost an average of $433,500 to complete.
  • The above figures place this construction at a $173 per square foot cost, though national average stands between $125 to $175 for project managers. This pricing structure assumes that carpenters, masons, and excavators charge an average of $70 per hour, electricians between $65 to $85 per hour, painters between $20 and $35 per hour and plumbers between $45 and $65 per hour.
  • Materials would cost around $219,000, labor would cost roughly $212,600, machine costs would stand at roughly $11,100 and the contractor would take in over $63,000 for the project.

Cost breakout

What is included:

The basic structural design of all ranches tends to be low-slung, rectangular, and relies on the uncomplicated "four square" design. Most have unfinished attic space and attached garages as well. Homeowners rely on both an architect and a contractor, and the architect will require an additional fee of approximately 10 - 17% of the total building budget;

  • An architect will:
    • Determine the scope of the project and establish a preliminary budget;
    • Draft list of proposed work, budget, and outline of plans;
    • Create the schematic design and draft floor plans with elevation drawings. Then work with any structural engineers and meet with planning agencies to verify any requirements;
    • Finalize drawings and incorporate all details about materials and finishes, any fixtures or equipment, and all systems in the structure;
    • Serve as the manager and review the plans with any required local agencies while also obtaining necessary permits. (If contractors are to be used it is at this point that they must be selected);
    • Serve in an advisory capacity to select contractor and help the client through the bid review process as well;
    • Complete construction documents;
    • Administer the construction, ensure that contractor's requests for payments are accurate and that all "final" details are corrected or finished by the contractor; and
    • Based on figures given the architect on this project would receive from $44,300 to $75,400 for their services.
  • A contractor will:
    • Provide the services and materials required for the entire job;
    • Hire subcontractors according to need;
    • Suggest plans and ideas to owner to help them meet goals;
    • Deliver final cleanup of entire home;
    • Pull all permits for work and utility installation; and
    • For doing all of the day to day management of the project the average contractor earns around $85 to $125 per square foot. They might also "mark up" supplies and services as well. For example, on the average home construction described here the standard contractor would account for roughly $67,200 in markup and indirect fees.
  • A general ranch house construction project will cover:
    • Bath fixtures
    • Built In Appliances
    • Cabinets
    • Carpeting
    • Countertops
    • Doors
    • Excavation
    • Exterior Finish
    • Exterior Trim
    • Final Cleanup
    • Finish Carpentry
    • Finish Hardware
    • Flooring
    • Foundation, Piers, Flatwork
    • Heating and Cooling Systems
    • Insulation
    • Insurance
    • Interior Wall Finish
    • Lighting Fixtures
    • Painting
    • Permits & Utilities
    • Plans & Specs
    • Plumbing Fixtures
    • Plumbing Rough-in and Connection
    • Roofing, Flashing, Fascia
    • Rough Carpentry
    • Rough Hardware
    • Unit Heating and Cooling
    • Windows
    • Wiring
    • and more