Build a Townhouse Cost

How much does it cost to build a townhouse property?

There are many variables in such a question. For one thing, townhouses can be independent single-story structures in a housing project, or they can be buildings containing one or more two-story homes. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at a standard townhouse structure containing two single-family dwellings of two stories each, and which share a common wall. According to real estate statistics, the size of the average single townhouse as described above is 2200 square feet which assumes a "footprint" of approximately 30'x35' per home.

The building of a townhouse cannot be a "DIY" project and requires an architect, a knowledgeable contractor, a team of subcontractors, and a cooperative owner to get the job done in a suitable period of time.

For the building of a townhouse with two units, the typical costs include:

  • With mid-range materials, a normal foundation with full basement, an accessible attic, efficient doors and windows, all appliances, and "turnkey" finishing the project would cost an average of $261,465 per unit, or $522,900 to complete the entire building. This does not include acquisition of the building lot however.
  • The above figures place this construction at a $119 per square foot cost, though national average stands between $85 to $125 for most commercial or multiple unit projects. This pricing structure is built on a fee base that indicates carpenters, masons and excavators charging 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.
  • This sort of building, however, could not necessarily come in at a simple cost of $85 per square foot due simply to the excessive amount of construction required on the interior spaces. The materials for a two-story unit of wooden construction, with two townhouses, would cost $258,500, labor would cost roughly $251,400, machine costs would stand at roughly $13,100 and the contractor would take in over $74,000 for the project. This excludes land acquisition and site improvements like parking, gardens and play areas.

Cost breakdown

What is included:

The basic structure of this project would be best if left in an uncomplicated "four square" design. Most developers 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;
    • Serve in an advisory capacity to select a contractor and help the client through the bid review process as well;
    • 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 $52,200 to $88,900 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 per square foot. They might also "mark up" supplies and services as well. For example, on the average townhouse construction described here the contractor might account for roughly $66,600 in markup and indirect fees.
  • A general townhouse 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

Typical costs


(2,200 square feet. footprint of about 30'x35' per home)

Cost to build a townhouse property varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from builders in your city.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
Austin, TX
Bronx, NY
Buffalo, NY
Chicago, IL
Columbus, OH
Detroit, MI
Fort Worth, TX
Fresno, CA
Indianapolis, IN
Kissimmee, FL
Los Angeles, CA
Memphis, TN
Milwaukee, WI
Mission, TX
New York, NY
Orlando, FL
Phoenix, AZ
Portland, OR
Sacramento, CA
Saint Paul, MN
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
Staten Island, NY
Tucson, AZ
Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Brooklyn, NY
Charlotte, NC
Cincinnati, OH
Dallas, TX
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fremont, CA
Houston, TX
Jacksonville, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Louisville, KY
Miami, FL
Minneapolis, MN
New Orleans, LA
Oakland, CA
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Riverside, CA
Saint Louis, MO
San Antonio, TX
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Tampa, FL
Washington, DC
Labor cost in your zipcode