The Garden State has seen a big increase in real estate buying, selling, and building since the pandemic. Housing costs and the costs to build are rising, making now a good time to lock in costs and get started on a new home build. New Jersey is a small but diverse state with many architecture styles and home sizes. Its proximity to New York makes for an easy commute to the city for work or pleasure, with a lower cost of living than New York state. This makes it a nice choice for people who want to stay near New York but not in it.
The state average cost to build a new home in New Jersey is $600,000 to $1.2 million, with most people paying $900,000 for a 3,000 sq.ft. colonial built using traditional construction methods with some floorplan customization and quality materials. This project’s low cost is $200,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. Cape Cod-style home built using modular construction. The high cost is $1.75 million for a 3,500 sq.ft. fully custom McMansion-style home built using traditional construction methods and high-quality materials.
|Price to Build a House in NJ|
|National average cost||$900,000|
Like in most areas, you can have your New Jersey home built using one of two methods. The first is stick-building, the more traditional method for building a home. In stick-building, the home is built on-site. It takes longer and costs more but allows you to make changes as you go, so if you want to adjust layouts or room sizes, this method can allow for these things.
The second method is modular building. In modular building, most of the home is built off-site in a controlled environment before transferring to the job site and finished there. This method is faster and less expensive than stick building. Most modular-built homes are also built using more material than stick-built homes, so they are generally high quality. However, no changes can be made once construction begins. Both types can use pre-existing plans, or you can have a custom home built. Custom homes cost more. Below are the average costs to build a home in New Jersey using both methods.
|House Type||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Modular||$100 - $300|
|Stick-Built||$200 - $500|
The cost per square foot to build a house in NJ ranges from $100 to $500, depending on the building method and if the build is custom or uses pre-existing plans. Most people spend $200 to $400 per sq.ft., with basic modular homes costing less and high-end custom homes costing more.
Most new homes in New Jersey are around 3,000 to 3,500 sq.ft., with smaller homes being around 2,000 sq.ft. However, you can build smaller or larger homes in the state, depending on the style and location. For example, if you build a townhouse or small rustic cabin, your square footage may only be 800 to 1,000. However, you could build a large Queen Ann or Greek Revival of 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.
As with any new build, the larger the home you build, the higher the overall costs. Below are the average costs to build a new home of varying sizes in New Jersey using both methods.
|Size||Cost to Build (Modular)||Cost to Build (Stick-Built)|
|800 sq.ft.||$80K - $240K||$160K - $400K|
|900 sq.ft.||$90K - $270K||$180K - $450K|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$100K - $300K||$200K - $500K|
|1,200 sq.ft.||$120K - $360K||$240K - $600K|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$150K - $450K||$300K - $750K|
|1,600 sq.ft.||$160K - $480K||$320K - $800K|
|1,800 sq.ft.||$180K - $540K||$360K - $900K|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$200K - $600K||$400K - $1M|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$250K - $750K||$500K - $1.25M|
|2,700 sq.ft.||$270K - $810K||$540K - $1.35M|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$300K - $900K||$600K - $1.5M|
|3,500 sq.ft.||$350K - $1.05M||$700K - $1.75M|
|4,000 sq.ft.||$400K - $1.2M||$800K - $2M|
|5,000 sq.ft.||$500K - $1.5M||$1M - $2.5M|
Just as homes in New Jersey come in many sizes, these homes can also come with a varying number of bedrooms. The average new home built in New Jersey has 3 to 4 bedrooms, with 4 being slightly more common. However, when building a cottage or townhouse, the more common number is 2, and there are also small homes that may only have 1. Larger homes are the current trend in New Jersey, meaning several bedrooms or a mixture of bedrooms and spare rooms is common new builds.
Below are the average costs to build a home in New Jersey using building methods by the number of bedrooms, assuming that a 1-bedroom home has between 800 and 1,000 sq.ft., a 2-bedroom home has between 1,200 and 1,800 sq.ft., a 3-bedroom home has between 2,000 and 3,000 sq.ft., and a 4-bedroom home is 3,000 sq.ft. and up.
|Number of Bedrooms||Cost to Build (Modular)||Cost to Build (Stick-Built)|
|1 Bedroom||$80K - $300K||$160K - $500K|
|2 Bedrooms||$120K - $540K||$240K - $900K|
|3 Bedrooms||$200K - $600K||$400K - $1.5M|
|4 Bedrooms||$300K - $1.5M||$600K - $2.5M|
Homes in New Jersey also come in different levels or stories. The most common new homes built in New Jersey have 2 stories, but cottages and ranches, which have only a single story, are popular in the state. Some larger homes with a third or partial third story, such as a Four Square, Queen Anne, and most Greek Revivals, are also popular.
Typically, 2 and 3-story homes tend to be larger than single-story homes, with more square footage. However, a single-story home is more costly to build per square foot, so if a single-story home and a 2-story home have the same interior square footage, the single-story home is likely to cost more. This is because the foundation and roof are two of the most expensive parts. A single-story home has a larger footprint than a 2-story home of the same square footage, so its foundation and roof are larger, and the project is more costly. Most people typically build up rather than out when they want additional square footage. This means it is much more common for 2 and 3-story homes to be much larger than single-story homes. Below are the average costs to build a home by the number of stories using both types, based on the most common sizes for each.
|Number of Stories||Cost to Build (Modular)||Cost to Build (Stick-Built)|
|1 Story||$100K - $450K||$200K - $750K|
|2 Stories||$180K - $900K||$360K - $1.5M|
|3 Stories||$300K - $1.5M||$600K - $2.5M|
New Jersey is not a large state but is a very diverse one. New Jersey is a coastal state with mountains and forest areas and populated cities and suburbs. It is also an older state with a lot of history, so you can find a wide range of homes. Northern New Jersey is more likely to see larger and more stately homes than the rest of the state, with the McMansion being one of the most popular for new homes. You can also find Victorians, Queen Annes, Greek Revivals, and other large homes. Closer to the coast are more Mediterraneans, while in more populated areas, there are townhouses, colonials, ranches, and Capes. If you are in more rural areas of the state, you can also find farmhouses, cottages, and cabins. Each home has an average cost to build, with some more elaborate homes like Greek Revivals and Queen Annes costing more than simple homes like Capes or Four Squares. Tiny homes are also popular but have a slightly higher cost per square foot than the national average, much like the cost of building a single-family home.
|Style||Cost to Build (Modular)||Cost to Build (Stick-Built)|
|Tiny House||$22.5K - $200K||$50K - $400K|
|Townhouse||$80K - $400K||$160K - $750K|
|Cape Cod||$100K - $600K||$200K - $1M|
|Cottage||$100K - $600K||$200K - $1M|
|Ranch||$150K - $600K||$300K - $1M|
|Four Square||$200K - $750K||$400K - $1.25M|
|Farmhouse||$200K - $750K||$400K - $1.25M|
|Contemporary||$200K - $750K||$400K - $1.25M|
|Mediterranean||$200K - $750K||$400K - $1.25M|
|Colonial||$200K - $900K||$400K - $1.5M|
|Cabin||$200K - $1.2M||$400K - $1.75M|
|Victorian||$400K - $900K||$800K - $1.5M|
|Queen Anne||$400K - $900K||$800K - $1.5M|
|Green Revival||$400K - $900K||$800K - $1.5M|
|McMansion||$400K - $900K||$800K - $1.5M|
No matter which style you build in New Jersey, there are many parts of the build. These include the prep work, such as purchasing plans, clearing the lot, and working with architects or structural engineers, pouring the foundation, framing the home, finishing the exterior, roofing, installing the major systems like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, and finishing the interior. Each process uses a percentage of your total costs. The cost breakdown varies based on the style, size, and material.
The following costs break down the different areas of a stick-built home. Modular homes are laid and built differently, so they have different costs. These costs assume the average 3,000 sq.ft. home built in New Jersey.
|Category||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Prep Work||$48K - $96K|
|Foundation||$66K - $132K|
|Framing||$102K - $204K|
|Exterior Finishing||$84K - $168K|
|Roofing||$60K - $120K|
|Major Systems Installations||$90K - $180K|
|Interior Finishing||$150K - $300K|
Many professionals work on a new home. Most are hired by the builder or general contractor in charge of the project. However, the costs that each charges for their work can influence your project’s final cost. Labor can also be influenced by the materials for your home because some materials are more difficult to work with than others. You may find higher labor rates in the northern and populated areas of New Jersey higher than in other areas, but there is not much difference across the state. Below are the average labor costs for the various professionals in New Jersey you work with to build your home.
|Professional||Labor Cost per Hour|
|Painters||$20 - $60|
|Plumbers||$45 - $150|
|Landscapers||$50 - $100|
|General Contractors||$50 - $130|
|Concrete Workers / Brick Layers||$60 - $90|
|Carpenters||$60 - $100|
|Flooring Installers||$60 - $120|
|HVAC Technicians||$75 - $150|
|Roofers||$75 - $200|
|Electricians||$100 - $120|
|Structural Engineers||$140 - $170|
|Architects||$150 - $250|
The average cost to build an addition onto your existing home in New Jersey is $175 to $500 a sq.ft., all-inclusive. Costs vary depending on whether this is a 1 or 2-story addition, the foundation type, home style, and materials. A 2-story addition with a kitchen on the bottom floor is more expensive than an addition that adds space without plumbing and cabinetry, for example. Also, 2-story additions are more expensive than single-story additions. This makes the average 200 sq.ft. addition between $35,000 and $100,000.
New Jersey has a complicated fee schedule for building permits. These begin with a charge of $0.045 per cubic foot for the planned new home or addition. You also have electrical, plumbing, and HVAC costs and a state surcharge of $0.00265 per cubic foot, which the state charges on all building projects. The minimum cost for a permit before the surcharge is $70, but it can be much higher, depending on the project scope. Your local municipality should have a fee schedule calculator that you or your builder can use for an accurate estimate of your building permit costs. Because most calculators in the state are extremely detailed, you need the building plans ready to submit for the most accurate pricing.
If you are looking for a new home in New Jersey, you have two basic options. You can purchase an existing home or build a new home. Both have pros and cons. Buying an existing home is usually faster than building, and right now, while the cost of homes in New Jersey is above the national average, the cost to purchase is generally lower than the cost to build. Not as many homes are currently being built in New Jersey, driving the costs of building up as demand decreases. This means that if you choose to build, you have more options for builders and professionals, but it also means you are likely paying a premium. New homes in New Jersey must come with a 10-year warranty from the builder, which can result in peace of mind that your new home requires fewer repairs or other issues than an existing home. Building a new home also offers you the most customization, so if you are looking for features in a home that are not available in existing properties, building could allow you to include them in your design.
It is common when building a new home to involve an interior designer if you are not using a design/build firm. Interior designers can work with your builder or architect to help lay out the home to make the most of the space. They can also assist with choosing colors and furnishing the finished space. The average cost to hire an interior designer is $50 to $450 an hour.
Every home in New Jersey requires 150 sq.ft. of floor space for the first occupant and an additional 100 sq.ft. of space for each additional occupant.
This depends on the house you build and the construction type. Timelines range from 3 to 12 months.
Land in New Jersey is currently selling for $14,000 an acre, but real estate costs are highly volatile and may change.
All home builders must register with the state of New Jersey before construction can begin. If you have the necessary skills for the project, you may register to build your own home, but you should speak to your local municipality and get more information on what is required first.