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Build Single-Family House Cost

Build Single-Family House Cost

National average
$423,800
(2,600sq.ft. standard build home with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck)
Low: $140,000

(2,600sq.ft. builder-grade or basic-grade home with no changes)

High: $1,000,000

(2,600sq.ft. custom-built home with high-end materials, three-car garage, covered deck, and landscaping)

Cost to build a house varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from builders in your city.

The average cost to build a house is $240,000 - $710,000.

In this guide

Average Cost Per Square Foot to Build a Home by Region
Average Cost to Build a House by Size
House Types
Home Building Cost Breakdown
Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a Home
Labor Costs to Build a Home
Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House?
Enhancements and Improvements
Additional Costs and Considerations
FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Whether you want to design your dream home or just cannot find what you want in the area where you want to live, there are many reasons why you may want to consider building your home. Building a home provides the ability to have control over the space, how it looks, and its layout.

But building a home can be a challenging and complicated process, including determining the costs. The finished interior space is only one portion of a home, so when calculating the total price, be aware of the unfinished space as well, including garages, decks, and driveways. The type of home build and who is building it can also impact costs, with modular homes and custom homes having different price points than stick-built homes. The average cost to build a 2,600 sq.ft. single-family home in the U.S. ranges from $240,000 to $710,000, with most homeowners spending around $423,800 for the job.

New House Construction Costs

Cost to build a house
National average cost$423,800
Average range$240,000-$710,000

Minimum cost

$140,000
Maximum cost$1,000,000​


Average Cost Per Square Foot to Build a Home by Region

The average cost per square foot to build a new home varies depending on multiple factors. This is due to how a builder calculates the price per square foot. Some builders add in the costs for landscaping, while others add costs for the finished space at full cost, basements and garages at half cost, and outdoor areas like decks at quarter cost.

For this reason, areas that do not have basements have a different price per square foot than homes in areas that have basements. Also, homes with attached garages have a different square foot cost than homes without them.

The cost of building materials and how easy the ground is to build on also impacts the square foot price. The national average is around $163 a square foot. Costs by area are around:

Average Cost to Build a Home in Each U.s. Region


Average Cost to Build a Home in Each U.S. Region


RegionAverage Cost
Northwest$180/sq.ft.
West$165/sq.ft.
Midwest$140/sq.ft.
South$130/sq.ft.


Average Cost to Build a House by Size

Many variables make up the total cost to build a home, and size is one of them. Larger houses cost more, on average, than smaller homes, and this can be generalized in two ways - by the number of bedrooms and by the total square footage. Keep in mind that the number of bedrooms a house has does not always correlate to the total size of the home, and the more bedrooms, the more likely it will also have more bathrooms, a larger garage, and more common space, which translates into higher total costs:

Average Cost to Build a House by Number of Bedrooms

Average Cost to Build a Home


Number of BedroomsAverage Cost
1 Bedroom$195,000
2 Bedrooms$305,000
3 Bedrooms$420,000
4 Bedrooms$560,000


When looking at square footage, most builders calculate the total square footage of a build differently than the amount of livable square feet. This can make the average cost to build different, depending on the type of features your home has like decks, porches, basements, attics, and utility areas:

Average Cost to Build a House by Square Footage

Cost Per Square Foot to Build a House


Square FootageAverage Cost to Build
1,000 sq.ft.$163,000
1,200 sq.ft.$195,600
1,500 sq.ft.$244,500
2,000 sq.ft.$326,000
3,000 sq.ft.$489,000
3,500 sq.ft.$570,500
4,000 sq.ft.$652,000


House Types

The type of home you build impacts the price as well. This is partly due to architecture. More complicated builds cost more per square foot.

Modular/prefab

Modular and prefab homes are built offsite in a controlled environment, then driven to the build site, where the sections are pieced together, and the home is finished. These have a much wider range of associated costs, but it is often slightly less expensive than a traditional build. This is because there are fewer delays for weather and more standardized building practices. The average cost per square foot is around $140, making a 2,600sq.ft. home $364,000.

Developers and Home Builders

Each developer and home builder have their own way of calculating costs per square foot. Many have a range of set building plans to choose from, and the closer you follow the plans and set materials, the lower the overall price. The more changes you make to the basic plans, such as upgrading from carpet to hardwood or laminate countertops to granite, the higher your total expenses. This type of building is the most common and has an average per-square-foot cost of $163 or $425,000 for a 2,600sq.ft. home.

Custom Homes

Custom homes are designed with an architect, rather than going with a standard blueprint 1 layout. They have an average cost per square foot of $250, so a 2,600sq.ft. custom house will be around $650,000.

Home Building Cost Breakdown

Different components go into the building of a home, and each one has its own price that impacts the final project cost.

Prep-work

A lot of work goes into the preparation before you break ground. This includes purchasing the plans for the home ($1,000), permits ($1,000 - $2,000), inspections for utilities ($500), and any land clearing you may need in order to prepare the lot for building ($1,500 - $3,000). If you make changes to the plans or need to hire a structural engineer because of different soil types, you may have additional costs to this portion of the project.

Foundation

The foundation is always the first part of a new home build. Once the land has been cleared and graded, the foundation will be poured. This has a range of costs, depending on the type of foundation. A full basement foundation starts at $11,000 on average

Framing

The framing of the home takes place once the foundation has cured. This part of the project varies, depending on the layout, how many stories it has, and the configuration of the space. Framing costs may also differ, depending on the type of materials used. They start at around $9 a square foot and usually make up about 18% of the total project cost. Expect to pay between $31,000 and $76,000 for the frame on average.

Exterior Finishes

The exterior materials for your home also have a wide range of costs. This includes the house wrap, insulation, siding, windows, and doors. You may have materials like insulated steel siding, wood siding, or brick, which have a wide range of prices. Expect your exterior finishes to cost between $25,000 and $40,000.

Roofing

Your new roof will also need to be framed, with truss 2 costs coming in at around $16,000 on average. Another style or type of roof will have a different price, which may be higher or lower. In addition, the material you finish the roof with also has costs, with a roof shingle installation of around $9,000 on average. Using a different material type for the roof can raise or lower expenses.

Major Systems Installation

Heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, appliances, ductwork, and fixtures each have another set of costs. Installing these systems can be $50,000 to $100,000 all together on average but may cost more or less, depending on the features and layout of the home.

Interior Finishes

Finishing the interior of the home has another set of costs that have many variables. This includes insulation, drywall, flooring, cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, closets, painting, and lighting. It is not uncommon to find a broad range of prices with each of these materials. Costs range from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the material and layout of the home. Kitchens are around $30,000 on average, while each bathroom costs around $20,000.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a Home

In addition to the above price breakdowns, other factors go into the final cost of your new home. This can include your location, both the area or region you live in, but also the location of the lot and how easy it is to access. The cost of the lot itself is sometimes factored into the total price of the build. The number of stories and the layout also impact the cost. The shape and architectural style, finishes, quality of materials and fixtures, landscaping, length of the driveway, number of garages, whether you build a deck or porch onto the home, and even the time of year you start the project all impact the final cost.

Labor Costs to Build a Home

Various professionals work together to build the home. In most cases, if you contract with a builder, they oversee the different professionals working on the project. Most charge for their labor on an hourly basis, some charge by the square foot, and others charge by the job.

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House?

Purchasing a home and building a home have a wide range of associated costs, which can make it difficult to compare which one will save you the most. In general, when building a new house, you first need to purchase the lot where the home will be built. Land prices vary by state, which can make the cost considerably higher in some areas. Building a custom house can sometimes be less expensive because you can get exactly what you want without needing to first buy and then renovate to meet your needs.

This also takes into account the quality and general repair of the home you are considering buying. If the house is in poor condition, its value will be artificially lowered so that you can purchase it for less. You then have to factor in the cost of renovating and repairing, however, which can raise the total overall expenses.

In general, it is thought that there is not much difference between the cost to purchase or to build after these considerations are taken into account. In this case, you may want to build if you want something custom, want a home in a specific area, or you are planning on building something smaller and less elaborate than what may be on the market near you.

Enhancements and Improvements

Landscaping

Some builders include basic landscaping, such as a lawn and starter bushes as part of the build cost. You can purchase upgrades later. Others do not account for these. In general, you need to hire a landscaper for some of the project, with an average cost of $13,200 to landscape the entire yard.

Pool

At the time of the new project build, you may want to consider installing a pool at the same time. The average in-ground pool has a cost of around $50,000.

Porches and Decks

Porches and decks are common additions to new homes. Many builders include them in their estimates at half or three-quarters of their cost per square foot for the rest of the property. However, you can usually estimate costs at around $21,440 for a porch and $17,200 to $19,000 for a deck.

Garage

Garages are also common additions that builders factor in at half or three-quarters of the cost per square foot. A good estimate to build a two-car garage onto your new home is around $35,000.

Basketball and Tennis Courts

Some properties also include recreational areas as part of the landscaping. Basketball and tennis courts are two popular additions that may be built at the time of the home. They have average costs of $30,000 for a basketball court and $65,000 for a tennis court.

Home Theater in the Basement

Most home build costs only include an unfinished basement. If you want to finish the basement, this will be between $25,000 to $55,000 with another $1,300 if you want to add a theater setup.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • The cost of building a single-family home cannot be applied to building duplexes or townhouses due to their unique construction.
  • Tiny homes have a different cost breakdown and are generally less expensive because they do not require the purchase of a plot of land.
  • It is always a good idea to purchase insurance on the construction project before groundbreaking. This covers you from a wide range of issues.
  • Shipping container homes are a unique way to build houses of varying sizes. They typically cost $150,000 - $175,000 to build.
  • Once the construction is complete, you need to have a final inspection done to ensure the home meets all local building codes and matches the submitted plans. You need to have this inspection before occupying the home.
  • If you purchase a lot for your new home where there is an existing house to be demolished, you will have added demo fees. You will save slightly on electrical and sewer connections, however, because these will already be in place.

FAQs

  • Can I get a mortgage to build a house?

Yes, but this varies by area. In some cases, you can get a construction loan that converts to a mortgage once the home is built.

  • How much is the construction cost per square foot?

The average cost of construction is around $163/sq.ft., but there can be a wide range of associated prices.

  • Can you build a house for $250,000?

You can if you are planning on building a small home with a simple plan.

  • How can I save money when building a house?

Use a simple plan, make few changes, and choose standard materials and finishes throughout.

  • What is the most expensive part of building a house?

This varies from home to home, but the biggest single expense is usually with the framing.

  • How long does it take to build a house from start to finish?

This depends on the type of home, type of construction, and size of the project. It can take several weeks to several months on average.

  • Is it possible to build a house by yourself?

It is possible if you have a lot of experience with carpentry and other systems, but it will take significantly longer.

  • How much does it cost to build a 1,200-square-foot house?

The average cost to build a home this size is $195,600.​

  • How much does it cost to build a 3,000-square-foot house?

The average cost to build a home this size is $489,000.

  • ​What should I put in my new house?

Investing in quality materials that will last is usually a good idea, as is investing in energy-saving appliances and things like insulation.

  • How do I build a custom home on a budget?

Start with a basic plan and make changes to the areas you want to customize, rather than having custom plans drawn from scratch. Decide which parts you want to customize the most and put your money into them, and use standard-grade materials for everything else.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Blueprint 1 Blueprint: A technical drawing of an architectural design. Traditionally these were made using a printing process that produced a white line on a blue background. They can also be made with CAD software and a large-scale printer
glossary term picture Truss 2 Truss: Structural framework used to support a roof

Cost to build a house varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Three-story single-family house with brick siding during the building process

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bowie, MD
+16%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Wayne, IN
-7%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Irvington, NJ
+27%
Jackson, MS
-10%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Madera, CA
-10%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources