How much does it cost to build a house in Wisconsin?

National Average Range:
$310,000 - $600,000

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Build a House in Wisconsin Cost Guide

Updated: November 21, 2022

Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

Wisconsin is a beautiful state with affordable cities and much diversity. It is also a fairly popular state to live in, so much so that for more than a decade, demand has been greater than the supply. This makes building a new home in Wisconsin a great idea. You will be more likely to get the exact home type you want in your chosen area rather than competing for a limited number of existing homes.

The state average cost to build a new home in Wisconsin is $310,000 to $600,000, with most homeowners spending around $425,000 on a 2,000 sq.ft. 4-bedroom, 2-bath modern colonial home built using traditional methods. This project’s low cost is $150,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. ranch home built using modular building methods. The high cost is $1,000,000 for a 2,500 sq.ft. fully custom contemporary home built with high-end materials using conventional building methods.

House Prices in Wisconsin

Cost to Build a House in Wisconsin
National average cost$425,000
Average range$310,000-$600,000
Low-end$150,000
High-end$1,000,000

Average Cost to Build a House in Wisconsin by Type

Homes in Wisconsin can be built using two different building methods - stick-built and modular. Depending on the area you are in and which home type you are building, you may find that one suits you better than the other. The first type is stick-building or traditional home building. In this type, your home is built on the site from the ground up. This method is more expensive but allows you to make changes to the plans as you go, leaving more room for flexibility.

The other method is modular home building. In this method, your home is mostly constructed off-site in factory-controlled conditions and then transported to the site for final finishing. This method is less expensive and faster but does not allow for any changes once the build begins. Both construction types are fairly popular in Wisconsin, and many builders offer both types. You can have a home built from existing plans in either method, or you can have a fully custom home built. Because there is a wide range of different home styles and types that can be built using either method, costs range for both types, with readymade plans being the least expensive and custom homes costing the most. Below are the average costs per square foot for each building type.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular and a stick-built home in Wisconsin (mobile)

TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Modular$80 - $150
Stick-Built$150 - $400

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Cost per Square Foot to Build a House in Wisconsin

The total average cost range to build a home in Wisconsin is $80 to $400 per sq.ft. Most homeowners pay between $155 and $225 per sq.ft. Costs vary based on the materials, whether the home is built from preexisting plans or custom-built, and the building method chosen. A prefab modular home will have the lowest costs, while a fully custom stick-built home using high-end materials will have the highest costs. Homes in Wisconsin range in size, with most falling between 1,500 and 2,500 sq.ft. It is possible to find smaller cottages and cabins and larger 3-level homes. Below are the average costs to build a home in Wisconsin based on the size using the two different building methods.

Cost to build a modular and a stick-built house in Wisconsin by size: 800 sq.ft., 900 sq.ft., 1,000 sq.ft., 1,200 sq.ft… (mobile)

SizeCost to Build (Modular)Cost to Build (Stick-Built)
800 sq.ft.$64K - $120K$120K - $320K
900 sq.ft.$72K - $135K$135K - $360K
1,000 sq.ft.$80K - $150K$150K - $400K
1,200 sq.ft.$96K - $180K$180K - $480K
1,500 sq.ft.$120K - $225K$225K - $600K
1,600 sq.ft.$128K - $240K$240K - $640K
1,800 sq.ft.$144K - $270K$270K - $720K
2,000 sq.ft.$160K - $300K$300K - $800K
2,500 sq.ft.$200K - $375K$375K - $1M
2,700 sq.ft.$216K - $405K$405K - $1.08M
3,000 sq.ft.$240K - $450K$450K - $1.2M
3,500 sq.ft.$280K - $525K$525K - $1.4M

Price to Build a House in Wisconsin by Number of Bedrooms

Most new homes built in Wisconsin today have either 3 or 4 bedrooms, with 4 bedrooms being slightly more common. However, building a home with 1 or 2 bedrooms is possible, particularly when building a small cabin or cottage. There is a large overlap of home sizes regarding bedrooms. While homes with more bedrooms tend to be larger than homes with fewer, this is not always true. Sometimes, you have a much larger home with 1 or 2 bedrooms, or you may have a slightly smaller home with 3 or 4 bedrooms and a smaller main living area. In general, the more bedrooms, the higher the average costs. Below are the costs to build a home in Wisconsin with 1 to 4 bedrooms using both building methods.

Cost to build a 1, 2, 3, and 4-bedroom modular and stick-built home in Wisconsin (mobile)

Number of BedroomsCost to Build (Modular)Cost to Build (Stick-Built)
1 Bedroom$64K - $150K$120K - $400K
2 Bedrooms$80K - $240K$150K - $640K
3 Bedrooms$144K - $375K$270K - $1M
4 Bedrooms$160K - $525K$300K - $1.4M

Cost to Build a Home in Wisconsin by Number of Stories

Most homes built in Wisconsin have 2 stories, with most of the popular home styles consisting of 2 levels, including colonials, Capes, farmhouses, and contemporary homes. Some home styles also have a single level, such as ranches and some cabins and cottages, while others may have 3 levels, such as Victorians. In general, building a single-story home costs slightly more per square foot than a 2-story home. Meaning if you build a 2,000 sq.ft. single-story ranch and a 2,000 sq.ft. 2-story colonial, the ranch will have slightly higher costs to build. This is because the roof and foundation tend to be the most costly parts of a building, so building up tends to be less expensive than building out. That said, most homes that are a single story tend to be smaller in square footage, giving them an overall lower cost to build. There can be some overlap in costs, however, depending on the building type and overall size. Below are the costs to build a new home in Wisconsin based on the number of stories using both construction methods.

Cost to build a 1, 2, and 3-story modular and stick-built home in Wisconsin (mobile)

Number of StoriesCost to Build (Modular)Cost to Build (Stick-Built)
1 Story$64K - $150K$120K - $400K
2 Stories$96K - $375K$180K - $1M
3 Stories$200K - $525K$375K - $1.4M

Price to Build a House in Wisconsin by Style

There are many popular home styles in Wisconsin. The state is large and very diverse, so it is common to find bungalows, farmhouses, and cabins in more rural areas and Capes, ranches, and colonials in suburban spaces. Toward the major cities of Milwaukee and Madison, you will also find contemporary properties and a few Victorians and Tudors. In many cases, the cost to build your home can be influenced by the style, with the cost to build a cabin in Wisconsin being higher in some instances than the cost to build a bungalow. The more ornate the building, the more costly the project is likely to be. Some home styles tend to be larger than others and therefore have higher costs, simply from a size standpoint. Below are some of the most popular Wisconsin home styles and their average cost to build based on their typical sizes using both building methods.

Cost to build a modular and a stick-built house in Wisconsin by style: bungalow, cabin, ranch, cape cod, tudor… (mobile)

StyleCost to Build (Modular)Cost to Build (Stick-Built)
Bungalow$80K - $240K$150K - $640K
Cape Cod$80K - $270K$150K - $720K
Cabin$80K - $750K$120K - $1M
Ranch$120K - $300K$225K - $800K
Tudor$128K - $375K$240K - $1M
Split-Level$144K - $300K$270K - $800K
Farmhouse$160K - $450K$300K - $1.2M
Colonial$160K - $450K$300K - $1.2M
Victorian$160K - $525K$300K - $1.4M
Contemporary$160K - $525K$300K - $1.4M

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Home Building Cost Breakdown (Wisconsin)

Your new home may be unique, but the basic building process likely is not. Most new homes include various things like a foundation, frame, mechanical systems, plumbing, electricity, and interior and exterior finishing. This is true of any home built in Wisconsin as well. Each component makes up a general percentage of your total building costs. It is possible to vary the exact amount you spend in each area by changing materials, such as building your home out of ICF blocks instead of a wood frame or by using higher or lower-end materials, but most homes work out to roughly the same percentage of the budget going to the job areas.

In addition, many things can impact your cost to build in Wisconsin, including the location, with some major cities having different costs than others, and the basic area. Homes built in Milwaukee tend to be a little larger than homes built elsewhere in the state, while homes in Madison tend to have a slightly lower cost to build than the state average. Some very rural areas may have higher transport costs for materials, while some urban areas may have a higher demand for labor, driving costs up. Below is the average cost breakdown of what it costs for the various parts of a new home build in Wisconsin. These costs are based on stick-built homes, as modular homes use different methods and cost breakdowns. These costs assume a 2,000 sq.ft. home, the most common new home size in Wisconsin.

Home building in Wisconsin cost breakdown: prep work, foundation, framing, exterior finishing, roofing… (mobile)

CategoryCost (Labor Included)
Prep Work$24,800 - $48,000
Roofing$31,000 - $60,000
Foundation$34,100 - $66,000
Exterior Finishing$43,400 - $84,000
Major Systems Installation$46,500 - $90,000
Framing$52,700 - $102,000
Interior Finishing$77,500 - $150,000

Labor Cost to Build a Home in Wisconsin

Any new home construction project needs a lot of labor. This is true for all homes built in Wisconsin. In most cases, you will hire a builder or design/build firm to handle the work for you. You may also work separately with an architect and structural engineer if you are not using a full design/build firm. Generally, the builder or firm you hire will contract out the work to the correct professionals. These professionals have a range of costs based on things like how competitive the market is in that area - urban areas like Madison and Milwaukee will have higher labor costs - and the materials you are working with. Some materials are more difficult to work with and take longer to install, so you may have higher labor costs than with other materials. In most cases, you may need more than one of each professional on the job. The following costs for labor in Wisconsin refer to the cost per hour for one worker. So if your home needs 3 roofers, you would pay 3 times the labor cost per hour in total.

Labor costs per hour to build a home in Wisconsin: flooring installers, painters, carpenters, electricians... (mobile)

ProfessionalLabor Cost per Hour
Roofers$15 - $30
Landscapers$30 - $50
General Contractors$30 - $70
Painters$40 - $60
Carpenters$40 - $80
Plumbers$60 - $80
Flooring Installers$60 - $120
Electricians$70 - $90
Concrete Workers / Brick Layers$80 - $100
HVAC Technicians$90 - $120
Structural Engineers$100 - $125
Architects$125 - $300

Barndominium Wisconsin Cost

An alternative to traditional homes built in Wisconsin is the Barndominium. Barndominiums are built using what is essentially a metal pole barn shell, finished on the interior like a home. Because it does not use a traditional foundation or frame structure, building costs are considerably less. There are many builders for Barndominiums in Wisconsin, and as pole barns are fairly common in the state, you can often contract with barn builders to help you get started on your Barndominium. The average cost to build a Barndominium in Wisconsin is $147,000 to $168,000, all-inclusive.

Average Cost to Build a Home in Wisconsin by Location

Wisconsin is a large and diverse state with several large cities, including Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Madison. It also has several rural areas, lots of farmland, and borders two of the Great Lakes. So, the cost to build a home ranges throughout the state. Even among major cities, you see some variation with the cost to build a house in Madison, WI being a little lower than the cost to build a house in Milwaukee.

Keep in mind that wherever you are in the state, you will have a range of building costs based on the construction type, level of customization, and home style and size. Below are the average costs to build a mid-grade home in Wisconsin in some of the more popular areas.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a house in Kenosha, Paddock Lake, Madison, Racine County, Green Bay and Milwaukee (mobile)

LocationCost to Build per Sq.Ft.
Kenosha$100 - $250
Paddock Lake$100 - $250
Madison$100 - $250
Racine County$120 - $250
Green Bay$120 - $250
Milwaukee$155 - $300

How Much Are Building Permits in Wisconsin?

To build a new home in Wisconsin, you need a building permit issued. This is done after the plans for the home have been drawn up but before construction begins. The builder will submit the plans along with an application to your local municipality to receive the permit. The average costs in Wisconsin are $0.30 per sq.ft. for residential construction. So for a 2,000 sq.ft. home, you would pay roughly $600 for the permit. You may need several types of permits, depending on the location of the land, what you plan on building, and whether you need to make changes to things like utilities in the area, such as running a gas line to the property. If you are unsure, speak to your local municipality for more information.

Building vs Buying a Home in Wisconsin

Wisconsin homes have been at a premium for the last decade. There is a consistent shortage of homes compared to the number of people who want to buy them. This can make building a new home in Wisconsin an attractive idea on many levels. In most cases, it is possible to build more cheaply than it is to buy in the state due to the long-standing seller’s market. By building your own home, you can also get the exact layout, materials, and styles you want for the space, rather than settling for what is available on the market at any given time.

However, building is a long process that can have many contingencies and variables that can cause costs to fluctuate during the process, which can make it hard to plan. Buying a new home is faster, and while there is a housing shortage, costs are more stable, so it can be easier to plan and budget for a purchase rather than for a new build.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Interior Designer

Unless you are working with a design/build firm, you may want to hire an interior designer to assist with the build. Interior designers help you lay out the space so that every square foot is used. Because Wisconsin homes are a little smaller than those built elsewhere, having an interior designer can help make the most of the space. Interior designers charge between $50 and $450 an hour, depending on experience.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Shipping container homes. Another inexpensive way to build a home in Wisconsin is to use shipping containers. These recycled materials make up the shell of your home, reducing costs to $60 to $80 a sq.ft.
  • Demo fees. If there is currently a building on the land you are building on, you need to demolish it. Typical demolition fees are $7,500 to $15,000.
  • Inspection. Every new home requires an inspection before occupancy can be granted. This is triggered when you pull the permit for the new home. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
  • Contingencies. Always ensure you have a contingency fund of 10% to 20% of your total budget. This allows you to make changes as needed without slowing down the project.
  • Material shortages. Supply chain and labor shortages are continuing after the pandemic, which is impacting the cost to build. Expect some material volatility in costs, and try to lock in prices early by purchasing and signing contracts to avoid increases.
  • Buy land. If you do not already own land, you need to purchase it before you start building. The average cost of land in Wisconsin is currently selling for just over $5,000 an acre.

FAQs

  • How long does it take to build a house in Wisconsin?

Many things influence the time it takes to build a home in Wisconsin, including the home size, style, materials, and building type. Expect anywhere from 9 to 15 months.

  • Are tiny houses legal in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin does not have blanket laws on home sizes or tiny homes. However, each county or city may have its own rules. Check with your local municipality to find out if a tiny home is legal in your area.

  • What is the minimum square footage for a house in Wisconsin?

There is no state-indicated minimum square footage in Wisconsin. Each county or town may set its own minimums. Speak to your local municipality to determine what minimums are in your area.

  • Does a finished basement count as square footage in Wisconsin?

Yes, a finished basement in Wisconsin may count toward your total square footage. The entire basement must be finished, including the floors, walls, and ceilings, for it to count.