How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

National Average Range:
$390,000 - $710,000
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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by

Whether you want to design your dream home or cannot find what you want in your area, there are many reasons why you may want to build a home. Building a home provides the ability to control the space, how it looks, and its layout. However, building a home is a challenging and complicated process, especially determining the costs. The home type, builder, and location impact costs.

The average price to build a 2,600 sq.ft. single-family home in the U.S. ranges from $390,000 to $710,000, with most homeowners spending $493,000 for a 2,600 sq.ft. stick-built home with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck. This project’s low cost is $200,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. prefab modular home with no changes. The high cost is $1,000,000 for a 2,600 sq.ft. custom-built home with high-end materials, 3-car garage, covered deck, and landscaping.

Price to Build a House

New House Construction Cost
National average cost$493,000
Average range$390,000-$710,000

Build Single-Family House Cost by Project Range

2,600 sq.ft. prefab modular home with no changes
Average Cost
2,600 sq.ft. stick-built home with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck
2,600 sq.ft. custom-built home with high-end materials, 3-car garage, covered deck, and landscaping

2023 Notice on the Construction Industry​​

The costs of materials and lumber have been volatile for the last few years. While at the end of 2022, they fell to nearly pre-pandemic costs, they are expected to climb in 2023. This, along with inflation and higher interest rates, could mean higher costs for building in 2023, in addition to the nearly 14% increase in costs seen in 2022. However, it is also assumed that this cost increase will slow in 2023, and many materials may see cost decreases, making building more affordable. Going forward into 2023, expect a roughly 32% to 33% increase in costs, but between inflation, interest rates, and volatile material markets, these costs could change dramatically.

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Average Cost per Square Foot to Build a House by Region

The average price 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 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 without basements have a different price per square foot than homes in areas with basements. Homes with attached garages have a different square foot cost than homes without them.

The price of building materials and how easy the ground is to build on also impacts the square foot price. According to the National Home Builders Association, costs in late 2022 put the median cost to build a new mid-grade home at $189 a sq.ft. However, custom homes can cost as much as $500 a sq.ft., while a basic builder-grade home has an average cost of $130 a sq.ft. Below are the average costs by region according to the NHBA.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a house in the south, midwest, northeast, and west region

Cost per sq.ft. to build a house in the south, midwest, northeast, and west region

RegionPrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
South$111 - $125
Midwest$128 - $147
Northeast$145 - $198
West$173 - $206

House Construction Cost by Type

The home type and builder impact the price. This is partly due to the architecture because more complicated builds cost more per square foot. In addition, the materials used, construction method, and who builds it can influence the final price.

Most home builds can be split into two categories - modular and stick building. Modular building refers to the home being built offsite in a factory in modules that are carried to the site and assembled there. Stick-built homes are built on-site using traditional building methods. Modular and stick building can be further broken into different categories. Modular can be prefab or custom, and stick-built homes can be developer or architect-built. This leads to a wide range of costs for each type.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular and a stick-built house

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular and a stick-built house

Build TypePrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Modular$100 - $400
Stick Building$130 - $500

Modular Home Construction Price

Modular homes cost between $100 and $400 a sq.ft., depending on the type. Modular homes are built offsite in a controlled environment and driven to the construction site, where the sections are pieced together, and the home is finished. Once a modular home is set on the foundations and assembled, it cannot be moved. Modular homes are often slightly less expensive than a traditional build, as well as much faster to build. They also often use more materials despite their lower costs, and can be considered more durable. There are fewer delays for weather and more standardized building practices, including computer aided building, which produce these results. You may have fewer choices in custom builds using this method. This varies depending on the company you use because some allow custom details.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular prefab and custom home

Cost per sq.ft. to build a modular prefab and custom home

Modular Home TypePrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Prefab$100 - $150
Custom$150 - $400

Prefab Modular Homes

Prefab modular homes range from $100 to $150 a sq.ft. These are the fastest and least expensive home builds. These also have the least amount of customization. A prefab modular home is built from readymade plans. You choose the home style and layout, and it is built as is or with some changes. Most of the changes are minor and based on the home as it is now. The more changes you make, the higher the costs.

Custom Modular Homes

The price of a custom modular home is $150 to $400 a sq.ft. Custom modular homes are designed by an architect. You can design the home from scratch or work from a set of plans that were not part of the manufacturer’s set layouts. These have the most detailed variation. You can design everything to suit your needs. Costs increase as the design becomes more complex.

Stick-Built Home Construction Price

The price of a stick-built home ranges from $130 to $500 a sq.ft. Like modular home construction, stick-built homes can be broken into two categories. They can be built by developers and home builders or architects. The home is constructed on-site using traditional construction methods and materials. However, the home is designed differently, with varying input levels. You have a range of prices, materials, layouts, and architectural styles to consider, depending on your choice.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a stick-built house by a developer and an architect

Cost per sq.ft. to build a stick-built house by a developer and an architect

Stick Building TypePrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Developers / Home Builders$130 - $200
Architect-Built / Custom$200 - $500

Developers and Home Builders Price

The price to have a developer or home builder build your home ranges from $130 to $200 a sq.ft. Having a developer or home builder do the work is the most common method of building a home. Each developer and home builder have their own way of calculating prices 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. Some builders give you a budget to work, allowing you to make changes within that budget. Others go with your wants or needs, letting you decide the final price.

Custom Home Construction Cost

The price of a custom or architect-built home averages $200 to $500 a sq.ft. Custom homes are designed with an architect rather than a standard blueprint layout. If you want a home that is completely unique or built around your needs, this is the method to choose. You pay more for the design and materials, accounting for the higher costs. The architect’s time makes up a significant portion of the custom build. This is true even if you use standard-grade building materials for the construction.

Cost per Square Foot to Build a House

House sizes have continuously increased since 1910 by an average of 74% in the United States. 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 price to build different, depending on the features your home has, such as decks, porches, basements, attics, and utility areas. You may find your home has a livable area of 2,000 sq.ft, while it has a total square footage of closer to 2,800 sq.ft. You are charged at the higher square footage when building.

The cost to build a small house also works with these factors. Many home sizes can be considered a small house. According to the Census Bureau, the average size home in the U.S. is just under 2,600 sq.ft. in 2022. Therefore, anything below 2,000 sq.ft. could be considered small. However, a small house is usually considered anything smaller than 1,000 sq.ft. This gives a price range of $104,000 to $900,000 to build a small house using traditional stick-building methods and between $80,000 and $720,000 using modular methods. The prices below are for stick-built and modular homes based on the total square footage.

Cost to build a house by square footage: 800 sq.ft., 900 sq.ft., 1,000 sq.ft., 1,200 sq.ft., 1,500 sq.ft., 1,600 sq.ft., and 1,800 sq.ft...

Cost to build a house by square footage: 800 sq.ft., 900 sq.ft., 1,000 sq.ft., 1,200 sq.ft., 1,500 sq.ft., 1,600 sq.ft., and 1,800 sq.ft...

Square FootagePrice to Build (Modular)Price to Build (Stick-Built)
800 sq.ft.$80K - $320K$104K - $400K
900 sq.ft.$90K - $360K$117K - $450K
1,000 sq.ft.$100K - $400K$130K - $500K
1,200 sq.ft.$120K - $480K$156K - $600K
1,500 sq.ft.$150K - $600K$195K - $750K
1,600 sq.ft.$160K - $640K$208K - $800K
1,800 sq.ft.$180K - $720K$234K - $900K
2,000 sq.ft.$200K - $800K$260K - $1M
2,500 sq.ft.$250K - $1M$325K - $1.2M
2,700 sq.ft.$270K - $1.08M$351K - $1.3M
3,000 sq.ft.$300K - $1.2M$390K - $1.5M
3,500 sq.ft.$350K - $1.4M$455K - $1.7M
4,000 sq.ft.$400K - $1.6M$520K - $2M
5,000 sq.ft.$500K - $2M$650K - $2.5M

Average Cost to Build a House by Number of Bedrooms

Many variables make up the total cost to build a home, and size is one. Larger houses are more expensive than smaller homes, which can be generalized in two ways - by the number of bedrooms and square footage. The number of bedrooms a house has does not always correlate to the home’s size, and the more bedrooms, the more likely it also has more bathrooms, a larger garage, and more common space, translating into higher costs.

Cost to build a 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom house

Cost to build a 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom house

Number of BedroomsPrice (Modular)Price (Stick-Built)
1 Bedroom$80K - $400K$104K - $500K
2 Bedrooms$100K - $480K$130K - $600K
3 Bedrooms$150K - $800K$195K - $1M
4 Bedrooms$200K - $1M$260K - $1.2M

Cost to Build a 1-Bedroom House

The average price to build a 1-bedroom house is $80,000 to $400,000 for a modular home. The price of a stick-built home ranges from $104,000 to $500,000. 1-bedroom homes range from 800 to 1,000 sq.ft., which is smaller than the typical home. 1-bedroom homes are less common than other types. You may find more cottages and other small homes in this category. This means you can build a 1-bedroom home for less than a larger home. However, you can build much larger 1-bedroom homes, increasing costs.

Cost to Build a 2-Bedroom House

The price to build a 2-bedroom home averages $100,000 to $480,000 for a modular home. The price to build a 2-bedroom home using stick-building methods is $130,000 to $600,000. The average 2-bedroom home in the U.S. measures between 1,000 and 1,200 sq.ft. This is also smaller than the typical house size today. Therefore, 2-bedroom homes can be less expensive to build than the average 3 or 4-bedroom home. 2-bedroom homes are also less common than 3 or 4-bedroom homes, but they are more common than single bedrooms, so you may find a larger range of plans.

Cost to Build a 3-Bedroom House

The price to build a 3-bedroom home averages $150,000 to $800,000 for modular construction. The price for stick-built construction is $195,000 to $1,000,000. This is one of the more common homes in the U.S. A typical 3-bedroom home is between 1,500 and 2,000 sq.ft. You can build one that is smaller or larger than average, however. These prices also reflect average or mid-grade construction materials. Building with higher-end or lower-quality materials impacts the project's price. Homes may also have other features, such as extra bathrooms or family rooms, which may impact final costs.

Cost to Build a 4-Bedroom House

The average price to build a 4-bedroom home is $200,000 to $1,000,000 for a modular home. The price of a stick-built home is $260,000 to $1,200,000. 4-bedroom homes average 2,000 to 2,500 sq.ft. in the U.S. However, they can be smaller or larger, impacting the final cost. Like other home sizes, you can also use a range of construction materials that impact prices. The home type and style also impact the final costs. However, it is much more common for homes at this size to use custom plans and layouts. Semi-custom plans may also be used, but homes of this size typically require more personalization, increasing costs.

New House Construction Costs by Number of Stories

Houses come in various square feet and different heights. Overall, the cost to build a home with one story versus one with two stories does not vary much per square foot. This is because typical 1-story homes like ranches tend to be longer and spread out. This means more roof space and a higher price per square foot. The same amount of interior space built up can be less expensive. In some cases, a 2 or 3-story home might be larger, having a larger footprint than some 1-story homes. This makes that home more expensive to build, not because it has more stories, but because it is larger. This means that depending on where you live and the home style, size, and features, you could have identical prices per square foot regardless of the number of stories.

Cost per sq.ft. to build a 1-story, 2-story, and 3-story house

Cost per sq.ft. to build a 1-story, 2-story, and 3-story house

Number of StoriesPrice per Sq.Ft. (Modular)Price per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)
1 Story$100 - $300$130 - $500
2 Stories$115 - $380$130 - $480
3 Stories$125 - $400$130 - $480

Cost to Build a 1-Story House

The average price to build a 1-story house ranges from $100 to $300 a sq.ft. for modular construction. The price for stick-built 1-story homes is $130 to $500 a sq.ft. According to the Chicago Tribune, 1-story houses are preferred by 82% of Americans aged 65 and over because stairs can present a challenge. If all other things are equal, and the footprint is the same, the price per square foot is generally the same regardless of the number of stories. However, a broad 1-story house costs more than narrow 2 or 3-story homes because a sprawling 1-story home has more roof to frame and often a larger foundation. These are two of the biggest costs in building a home. This can sometimes make a 1-story home more costly than other types.

Cost to Build a 2-Story House

The price to build a 2-story house is between $115 and $380 a sq.ft. for modular homes. The price of stick-built homes is $130 to $480 per sq.ft. Cost variations are mostly due to regional differences. The biggest costs involved in building a home are the roof and foundation. Because these are usually smaller in a 2-story home, the overall costs can be lower than with a single-story home of the same interior square footage. However, costs increase when building modularly because of how the home must be transported and assembled on site.

Cost to Build a 3-Story House

The price to build a 3-story house averages $125 to $400 a sq.ft. for modular building. The price of stick-building is $130 to $480 a sq.ft. This is about the same price per foot as a 2-story house when building using traditional methods. Building up is always cheaper than building out. Modular methods are the opposite, however. A 3-story home costs more than a single-story because of delivery and assembly. The more levels the home has, the higher the transportation costs. In addition, because multi-story modular homes are assembled on site, the higher the pieces must be lifted, the higher the total finishing costs for the project.

New Home Construction Cost by Style

While the average home costs $189 a sq.ft. to build, homes come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, ranging from $130 to $500 a sq.ft. Some are cheaper or more expensive than this average. Homes can have average sizes, impacting your total construction price, even at the national average cost. Style, accents, and architecture influence what you pay for your new home. Below is the average price to build each, based on their average sizes.

Cost to build a house by style: tiny, loft, villa, dome, craftsman, cottage, pole barn...

Cost to build a house by style: tiny, loft, villa, dome, craftsman, cottage, pole barn...

House StyleAverage Prices (Modular)Average Prices (Stick-Built)
Tiny$20K - $50K$40K - $80K
LoftN/A$90K - $450K
VillaN/A$111K - $150K
DomeN/A$120K - $240K
Craftsman$115K - $300K$195K - $412K
Cottage$125K - $350K$200K - $400K
Pole Barn$100K - $200K$200K - $400K
Ranch$75K - $391K$200K - $600K
Cape Cod$150K - $200K$225K- $325K
Modern$100K - $460K$240K - $710K
Duplex$225K - $430K$285K - $537K
Colonial$250K - $1.4M$473K - $1.8M
Victorian$250K - $2M$520K - $2.5M
Mansion$1M - $2.5M$1.25M - $3M

Cost to Build a Tiny House

For modular tiny homes, the price is $20,000 to $50,000. The price to build a tiny house ranges from $40,000 to $80,000 for stick-built homes. Not all single-family homes have to be the national average in size. Tiny houses are a less-costly option to build and live in. They can be on permanent foundations or trailers to allow them to move. They are generally under 400 sq.ft., and laws vary by state in total size and where you can build them. They can be customized to meet your needs, or you can purchase them built from prefab plans to lower costs.

Cost to Build a Loft

The price range to build a loft apartment averages $90,000 to $450,000. These cannot be built with modular construction. Lofts are not technically a single-family home because they are built into a larger building of other units. Lofts are often characterized by their industrial appearance, with exposed pipes, ducts, and bricks being prominent. Loft apartments come in many forms. Hard lofts are converted from existing buildings and cost less because they use existing materials. These are sometimes considered the more authentic loft because the buildings have the most character. Soft lofts can be added onto an existing building or constructed new. They have higher costs because they are an involved building method. Both types have a range of associated materials, styles, and costs to consider.

Cost to Build a Villa

The average cost to build a villa ranges from $111,000 to $150,000. Villas must be stick-built because of modular home placement restrictions. Villas are often considered a lower-cost type of home or building style. They are frequently built in groups, which can help keep costs down. Villas can be constructed in a few ways. They can be attached, detached, or semi-detached. Each type has different costs to build. Detached villas usually cost the most, while semi-detached and attached cost less. In addition, the style and construction materials also influence the final cost. Villas typically average 1,000 sq.ft., but they can be as small as 800 sq.ft. or as large as 1,500 sq.ft.

Dome House Price

The costs to build the average dome house are between $120,000 and $240,000. Dome houses are unique because they cannot be built using modular construction. They must be constructed in one piece on-site. A dome house is a structure shaped like a sphere or dome. It has doors, windows, and a roof like ordinary houses, but it is technically built around a shell. Dome houses are typically less expensive to build than most standard homes. The shell costs significantly less to construct, and the home usually has a smaller foundation and roof. Because the foundation and roof are two of the biggest costs associated with any construction, minimizing their size keeps costs down. Dome houses typically have sizes between 1,000 and 2,000 sq.ft.

Cost to Build a Craftsman House

The average cost to build a Craftsman home is between $115,000 to $300,000 for modular construction. The costs of the stick build average $195,000 to $412,000. There are many types of Craftsmans. The most common is the bungalow, which can be further broken down into different categories. Craftsman homes are usually built using local materials. They may also be built to higher standards than other homes. It is common for them to have built-in cubbies and storage in many rooms. This can increase costs, despite the fact that they are generally smaller than the average home, around 1,500 sq ft.

Cost to Build a Cottage House

The cost to build a cottage house using modular construction is $125,000 to $350,000. The average cottage costs $200,000 to $400,000 to build using traditional methods. Cottages have roughly the same average cost per square foot as the national average. They tend to be smaller than the average home, giving them lower costs. Most cottages are 1,000 to 1,500 sq.ft., but you can build them smaller or larger. They can also be built of many materials or given a bespoke interior, increasing costs. There are many cottage styles, varying based on your location.

Cost to Build a Pole Barn House

The cost to build a pole barn house using modular methods is $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the size and style. Pole barn homes range from $200,000 to $400,000 to build using traditional methods. These costs assume a home that is roughly 2,000 sq.ft. Pole barn homes are unique, having a different building method than most homes. They have no foundation and an atypical frame. The frame consists of steel or aluminum poles that are driven into the ground. These poles support the home. Because there is no typical frame or foundation, the home can be built for considerably less money. They can be finished on the exterior using more traditional building materials, giving them a range of appearances.

Cost to Build a Ranch-Style Home

The cost to build a ranch-style house using modular methods is $75,000 to $391,000. Ranch-style homes range from $200,000 to $600,000 using stick-building methods. The ranch is typically a 1-story home, but you can find raised ranches that are 2 stories and even 1½ stories. Because the ranch is a sprawling layout, it has higher costs to build than the average 2-story home. The house tends to be smaller at 1,500 sq.ft., but costs per square foot are closer to $200 than the national average of $138. Ranches can be finished in various ways. They can also have different rooflines, with some having vaulted ceilings. These features contribute to the higher cost to build.

Cost to Build a Cape Cod House

The cost to build a Cape Cod house using modular methods is $150,000 to $200,000. The average cost to build a Cape is between $225,000 and $325,000 when using stick-building methods. Capes are a type of small house, often with dormer windows, low ceilings, chimneys, and sharply pitched roofs to keep snow from piling up. Their typical size is smaller than the average size of most homes. While a Cape can be larger, most fall around 1,500 sq.ft. Adding a wing or a third bedroom can increase their costs. Most Capes do not have attached garages, so adding one also increases the construction cost.

Cost to Build a Modern House

Modern modular homes cost $100,000 to $460,000. The average cost to build a modern home is $240,000 to $710,000 for stick-built homes. Modern homes come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. They have more innovative appearances with glass on the exterior. This, combined with an average size larger than many homes - closer to 2,800 than the average 2,600 sq.ft. - means they cost more than other styles. Modern homes are more likely to be custom. They often feature unique rooflines and custom layouts. These features can add to the bottom line. Modern homes are also more likely to use higher-end materials and include energy-efficient upgrades.

Cost to Build a Colonial House

The average cost to build a Colonial is between $250,000 to $1,400,000 for modular building. The cost of stick building is $473,000 and $1,800,000. Colonials are larger than the average home in the U.S. Many of the homes considered to be McMansions are a variation of the Colonial or New Colonial. It is common for this home to be 3,000 sq.ft. or larger, with most ranging between 2,500 and 3,500 sq.ft. While the average cost to build per square foot is similar to the national average, the cost of the project tends to be higher. You can use higher-end materials for a more expensive build and use modular techniques to lower the cost. Colonials also come in variations that impact how decorative their exteriors are. The more decorative variations have higher costs because they require more customization than the simpler varieties.

Cost to Build a Victorian House

For modular building, the cost of Victorian houses is $250,000 to $2,000,000. The cost to build a Victorian home averages $520,000 to $2,500,000 when using traditional methods. Victorians come in a range of sizes, with most ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 sq.ft. This means the smallest can be below average for a typical home, while the largest may border on becoming a mansion. A Victorian home generally costs more than other styles. This is because there are numerous custom details and decorative features in the Victorian, such as towers, shapely windows, stained glass, or ornate staircases. Lots of decorative woodwork and adherence to certain materials can increase the cost.

Cost to Build a Mansion

The average cost to build a mansion ranges from $1,000,000 to $2,500,000 for modular building. The cost of traditional building is $1,250,000 to $3,00,000. Mansions are much larger than the average home. The smallest mansions measure roughly 5,000 sq.ft., while many are 6,000 sq.ft. or larger. They are usually custom-built using high-end materials. For this reason, their average cost to build per square foot is closer to $250. This, combined with their larger size, creates a much higher cost to build than the typical home. Mansions are more likely to include extra amenities, such as game rooms, theater rooms, attached garages, pools, tennis courts, and other amenities that can further increase their costs.

Home Building Cost Breakdown

Different components go into the construction of a home, and each has a price that impacts the final project cost. These components can be loosely grouped into various categories. Not every new project requires each component. Some breakdowns may be higher or lower, depending on your location, construction type, and materials. Each broad category contains many components. Prepwork includes preparing the site, drawing plans, getting permits, and doing things like soil analysis or structural planning. Interior finishing can include flooring, walls, the kitchen, and bathrooms, so this tends to be the biggest part of any new home build. The following cost breakdown assumes the average home built using traditional methods. The cost breakdown for a modular home is different because the construction methods are different and explained in our modular home guide.

Home building cost breakdown: prep work, foundation, framing, exterior finishing, roofing, major systems installation, and interior finishing

Home building cost breakdown: prep work, foundation, framing, exterior finishing, roofing, major systems installation, and interior finishing

CategoryAverage Prices
Prep Work$12,090 - $22,010
Foundation$35,100 - $63,900
Framing$46,800 - $85,200
Exterior Finishing$54,210 - $98,690
Roofing$39,000 - $71,000
Major Systems Installation$85,800 - $156,200
Interior Finishing$117,000 - $213,000

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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 hourly, some by the square foot, and others by the job. Not every job uses every professional. You may not use an architect or structural engineer, for example. In some projects, you may not be responsible for hiring these professionals, while you may be acting as the project manager in others. Below is the average cost of each professional.

Labor cost to build a home by professional: painter, electician, concrte worker, landscaper, interior designer, flooring installers, carpenters...

Labor cost to build a home by professional: painter, electician, concrte worker, landscaper, interior designer, flooring installers, carpenters...

ProfessionalAverage Prices (Labor Included)
Painters$40 - $60/hour
Electricians$40 - $120/hour
Concrete Workers$45 - $75/hour
Landscapers$50 - $100/hour
Interior Designers$50 - $450/hour
Flooring Installers$60 - $120/hour
Carpenters$75 - $125/hour
Plumbers$75 - $150/hour
Roofers$75 - $250/hour
HVAC$85 - $150/hour
Structural Engineers$100 - $500/hour
Architects10% - 17% of the total building budget


You may want to add many things to the structure or surrounding property. Patios, garages, landscaping, and driveways enhance your new home’s appearance and function. Each has a range of costs. Many can be built with the home, while some are later additions. Anything directly attached to your home, such as a deck or garage and some types of landscaping, are generally added when the home is built. This can sometimes decrease the costs of that project rather than adding it later. In the case of outbuildings, like sheds, it is always best to ensure it matches your home’s exterior for continuity, so sometimes building it at the same time can be more cost-effective and provide a better match.

If your home has a basement foundation, you can have that basement finished when the house is built if you intend to use it for something other than storage. If you want to add a treehouse to your property that complements the new home, you can do this during the new build or later. The cost to build a treehouse varies tremendously based on the size and style, but coordinating with your builder can help make the entire project more cohesive. Always speak to your builder about these projects if you intend to add any because it can sometimes be more affordable to do them at the time of the new home build rather than later. Below are the most common additions and their average costs.

Cost of add-ons to building a house: playground, shed, fence, patio, driveway, deck, landscaping...

Cost of add-ons to building a house: playground, shed, fence, patio, driveway, deck, landscaping...

AdditionAverage Prices (Installed)
Playground$500 - $5,000
Shed$1,500 - $10,000
Fence$3,000 - $7,000
Patio$3,000 - $8,000
Driveway$3,200 - $10,000
Deck$5,500 - $16,000
Landscaping$8,000 - $15,000
Treehouse$8,000 - $35,000
Barn$10,000 - $200,000
Pool$20,000 - $110,000
Garage$23,000 - $45,000
Basement$27,000 - $81,000
Tennis Court$45,000 - $80,000

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, the area or region you live in, and the location of the lot and how easy it is to access. The cost of the lot is sometimes factored into the total price of the construction. This can vary by location. If you purchase a lot that is ready to build on, you may have different costs than if you purchase undeveloped land that must be cleared and leveled before building. The cost of land varies tremendously by state. In some areas, land may be one of the biggest parts, while in others, land is relatively inexpensive. The number of stories and the layout also impact the cost. The shape and architectural style, finishes, quality of materials and fixtures, landscaping, driveway length, number of garages, whether you build a deck or porch, and the time of year you start the project impact the final cost.

One-story house with a driveway and fiber cement siding

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House?

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

This also considers the home’s quality and general repair. If the house is in poor condition, its value is artificially lowered so that you can purchase it for less. You also must factor in the cost of renovating and repairing, raising expenses.

In general, there is not much difference between the cost to purchase or 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 plan to build something smaller and less elaborate than what may be on the market near you.

Single-Family Home vs Multi-Family Home Price

When building a new home, you may want to consider building a single or multi-family home. Multi-family homes can be as small as a duplex or large apartment building. Most people considering multi-family construction are looking at duplexes, triplexes, and quads or “six-packs.” In general, the cost to build per square foot is not very different. The difference is size. Multi-family homes are much larger, so you pay more if everything else is equal.

However, multi-family homes have many beneficial uses. You can have a multi-generational family living on a property like this while maintaining privacy. You can also rent out the units in a multi-family home to generate income and pay the mortgage faster. Below are the average costs to build a single-family home of 2,600 sq.ft. and a multi-family single-owner building of three stories with two units per floor, or a “six pack” using stick-building techniques.

Comparison of the cost to build a single-familiy and a multi-family home

Comparison of the cost to build a single-familiy and a multi-family home

TypeAverage Price (Labor Included)
Single-Family$390,000 - $710,000
Multi-Family$3,200,000 - $3,600,000

Townhouse vs Single-Family Home Price

You can also build a townhouse for a single family. Townhouses are typically joined with other homes, making them less expensive. You own your unit and are responsible for its upkeep, but there may be some shared costs with your neighbors for exterior work. While a single-family home has its own plot, townhouses have shared walls and other areas. This may mean you do not have as much control over your building, its size, and appearance. However, townhouses are smaller and usually less costly to build than single-family homes. Single-family homes are larger and more expensive to build and live in than townhouses. Below are the average costs to build a townhouse and a typical single-family home.

Comparison of the cost to build a townhouse and a single-family home

Comparison of the cost to build a townhouse and a single-family home

TypeAverage Price (Labor Included)
Townhouse$115,500 - $237,500
Single-Family$390,000 - $710,000

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

If you drive an electric vehicle, you may want to add a charging station. A charging station can make charging your car’s battery faster and easier. Depending on the type and how many cars you may need to charge, this can sometimes necessitate upgrading your home’s electrical panel. It is a good idea to know before you begin building whether you add the station because the panel can be designed with the charging station in mind from the beginning, saving on upgrade costs. Charging stations range between $1,000 and $2,500 to install.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Insurance. It is always a good idea to purchase insurance on the construction project before groundbreaking. This covers you for a wide range of issues. Your homeowners' insurance can vary depending on the materials. Speak to your insurance agent about what upgrades you may do that could lower your premiums.
  • Shipping container homes. Shipping container homes are a unique way to build houses of varying sizes. They use existing materials for the shell and walls, so they are eco-friendly and less expensive to build than a typical home. They typically range from $150,000 to $175,000 to build.
  • Inspection. Once the construction is complete, you need a final inspection to ensure the home meets local building codes and matches the submitted plans. You need this inspection before occupying the home.
  • Demo fees. If you purchase a lot for your new home where there is an existing house to be demolished, you have added demo fees. You save slightly on electrical and sewer connections because these are already in place.
  • Financing. It is common to get a loan for your home-build project. At the end of the project, this loan converts to a standard mortgage. Depending on your home type, you could acquire grants or credits for energy-efficient upgrades. Speak to your bank and builder about what options may be available.
  • Warranty. New home warranties are required in some states and are options in others. These guarantee your home’s structure for up to 10 years after building. Some builders also offer limited warranties on other things, such as labor and material. Speak to your builder about available warranties.


  • 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.

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

You can if you are planning on building a small home with a simple plan. You can also build a home for this figure when modular building, which is typically cheaper. These prices do not include the land cost, which can add more.

  • How can I save money when building a house?

Use a simple plan, make few changes, and choose standard materials and finishes throughout. You may also want to look into alternative building practices, such as building a pole barn house, using modular building, or building a shipping container home.

  • 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, followed by the foundation.

  • 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 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.


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

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Three-story single-family house with brick siding during the building process
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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources