How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Average range: $260,000 - $710,000
Low
$140,000
Average Cost
$358,800
High
$1,000,000
(2,600 sq.ft. standard build home with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck)

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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by Fixr.com.

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. However, building a home is a challenging and complicated process, especially determining the costs. The finished interior space is only a portion of the project, so be aware of the unfinished space, including garages, decks, and driveways when calculating the total price. The home type and who builds it can also impact costs, with modular homes and custom homes having different price points than stick-built homes.

The average price to build a 2,600 sq.ft. single-family home in the U.S. ranges from $260,000 to $710,000, with most homeowners spending around $358,800 for a standard build with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck. The low cost for this project is $140,000 for a 2,600 sq.ft. prefab modular home with no changes. The high price is $1,000,000 for a 2,600 sq.ft. custom-built home with high-end materials, 3-car garage, covered deck, and landscaping.

New House Construction Costs

Cost to Build a House
National average cost$358,800
Average range$260,000-$710,000
Low-end$140,000
High-end$1,000,000​

Build Single-Family House Cost by Project Range

Low
$140,000
2,600 sq.ft. prefab modular home with no changes
Average Cost
$358,800
2,600 sq.ft. standard build home with mid-grade materials, garage, and deck
High
$1,000,000
2,600 sq.ft. custom-built home with high-end materials, 3-car garage, covered deck, and landscaping

2022 Notice: The Effect of the Pandemic on the House Construction Industry​​

Since the pandemic began, there have been numerous fluctuations in the cost of construction, as well as in the cost of building materials. This has its roots in several different factors that all began with the pandemic in March of 2020.

With many people spending time at home, more DIY and home projects were being done than in the years previously, which caused a shortage of certain supplies such as lumber. Supply chain issues, combined with labor shortages and material shortages caused costs for construction to climb roughly 4% or more during this time period, with materials in particular climbing even higher.

It is predicted that in 2022, the costs of construction will continue to climb a further 4% to 7% in total. This, combined with the concern that houses are not being built fast enough to meet current demand may mean that costs for all materials and labor may be more volatile over the coming year. In addition, there may be more delays and longer wait times for those who are looking to start building in the coming months. It may be recommended that anyone who is considering building in 2022, lock in a contract and pricing now to help avoid additional cost increases in the future.

Average Cost Per Square Foot to Build a Home 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 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 price of building materials and how easy the ground is to build on also impacts the square foot price. The national average is around $138 a sq.ft., according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 information. These costs include all types of home construction, including modular, architect-built, and all home types and styles. Some home styles are more expensive to build per square foot than others. The average prices per region, according to the Census Bureau data are in the following table.

Average Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Home in the North, Midwest, Northeast, or South U.S. Region

Average Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Home in the North, Midwest, Northeast, or South U.S. Region

RegionAverage Price per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Northeast$186
West$142
Midwest$140
South$122

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House Construction Cost by Type

The home type you build and who builds it impacts the price as well. This is partly due to architecture - more complicated builds cost more per square foot. In addition, the materials used, construction method, and even who builds it can influence the final price.

Most home builds can be split into two categories - modular building and stick building. Modular building refers to how the home is built off-site 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 can lead to a wide range of costs for each type.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Modular or Stick Building Home

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Modular or Stick Building Home

Build TypeAverage Prices per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Modular$50 - $230
Stick Building$100 - $400

Modular Home Construction Price

Modular homes price between $50 and $230 a sq.ft., depending on the type. Modular homes are built offsite in a controlled environment, then driven to the construction site, where the sections are pieced together, and the home is finished. It is important to mention that, once a modular home is set on the foundations and assembled, it cannot be moved. Modular homes 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. You may have fewer choices in terms of custom builds using this method. This varies depending on the company you use, however because some allow custom details.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Prefab or Custom Modular Home

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Prefab or Custom Modular Home

Modular Home TypeAverage Prices per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Prefab$50 - $100
Custom$120 - $230

Prefab Modular Homes

Prefab modular homes ranges from $50 to $100 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 to the plan, the higher the costs.

Custom Modular Homes

The price of a custom modular home is $120 to $230 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 variation in detail. 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 $100 to $400 a sq.ft. Like modular home construction, stick-built homes can be broken into two basic categories. They can be built by developers and home builders or by architects. In both categories, 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 Developers/Home Builders or Architect-Built/Custom Home

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a Developers/Home Builders or Architect-Built/Custom Home

Stick Building TypeAverage Prices per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Developers / Home Builders$100 - $200
Architect-Built / Custom$200 - $400

Developers and Home Builders

The price to have a developer or home builder build your home ranges from $100 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 $400 a sq.ft. Custom homes are designed with an architect, rather than going with a standard blueprint 1 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, which is where the higher costs come from. 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 to Build a House per Square Foot

Houses have continuously increased in size 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 type of features your home has like 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 prices below are for stick-built and modular homes based on the total square footage.

Cost to Build an 800, 900, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500, 1,600, 1,800, 2,000, 2,500, 2,700, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 or 5,000 Sq.Ft. Modular or Stick-Built Home

Cost to Build an 800, 900, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500, 1,600, 1,800, 2,000, 2,500, 2,700, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 or 5,000 Sq.Ft. Modular or Stick-Built Home

Square FootageAverage Price to Build (Modular)Average Price to Build (Stick-Built)
800 sq.ft.$40K - $184K$80K - $320K
900 sq.ft.$45K - $207K$90K - $360K
1,000 sq.ft.$50K - $230K$100K - $400K
1,200 sq.ft.$60K - $276K$120K - $480K
1,500 sq.ft.$75K - $345K$150K - $600K
1,600 sq.ft.$80K - $368K$160K - $640K
1,800 sq.ft.$90K - $414K$180K - $720K
2,000 sq.ft.$100K - $460K$200K - $800K
2,500 sq.ft.$125K - $575K$250K - $1M
2,700 sq.ft.$135K - $621K$270K - $1,08M
3,000 sq.ft.$150K - $690K$300K - $1,2M
3,500 sq.ft.$175K - $805K$350K - $1,4M
4,000 sq.ft.$200K - $920K$400K - $1,6M
5,000 sq.ft.$250K - $1,15M$500K - $2M

Cost to Build a Small House

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 2021. Therefore, anything falling 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 you a price range of $80,000 to $800,000 to build a small house using traditional stick-building methods and between $40,000 and $460,000 using modular methods.

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 of them. Larger houses are more expensive, 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:

Cost to Build a 1, 2, 3, or 4-Bedroom Modular or Stick-Built Home

Cost to Build a 1, 2, 3, or 4-Bedroom Modular or Stick-Built Home

Number of BedroomsAverage Price (Modular)Average Price (Stick-Built)
1 Bedroom$40K - $230K$80K - $400K
2 Bedrooms$50K - $276K$100K - $480K
3 Bedrooms$75K - $460K$150K - $800K
4 Bedrooms$150K - $575K$200K - $1M

Cost to Build a 1-Bedroom House

The average price to build a 1-bedroom house is $40,000 to $230,000 for a modular home. The price of a stick-built home ranges from $80,000 to $400,000. 1-bedroom homes typically range from 800 to 1,000 sq.ft., which is smaller than the typical home. This means that it is possible to build a 1-bedroom home for less than it would be to build a larger home. Keep in mind, however, that it is possible to build much larger 1-bedroom homes, which can increase costs. It is also possible to construct smaller 1-bedroom homes. The materials and home type built also influence the final cost.

Cost to Build a 2-Bedroom House

The price to build a 2-bedroom home averages $50,000 to $276,000 for a modular home. The price to build a 2-bedroom home using stick-building methods is $100,000 to $480,000. 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. Like single-bedroom homes, you can build a two-bedroom that is much larger or smaller than average. It is also possible to use a wide range of materials, which can impact the total project cost.

Cost to Build a 3-Bedroom House

The price to build a 3-bedroom home averages $75,000 to $460,000 for modular construction. The price for stick-built construction is $150,000 to $800,000. This is one of the more commonly sized homes in the U.S. A typical 3-bedroom home is between 1,500 and 2,000 sq.ft. . It is possible to 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 can impact the final price of the project.

Cost to Build a 4-Bedroom House

The average price to build a 4-bedroom home is $150,000 to $575,000 for a modular home. The price of a stick-built home is $200,000 to $1,000,000. Four-bedroom homes average 2,000 to 2,500 sq.ft. in the U.S. They can be smaller or larger, however, which impacts the final cost. Like other home sizes, you can also use a range of construction materials that impact prices. Using a higher-end construction material can result in a more expensive build, while using builder-grade materials typically lowers costs. The home type and style also impact the final costs.

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New House Construction Costs by Number of Stories

Houses not only come in a variety of square feet, they also come in different heights. Overall, the cost to build a home with one story vs one with two stories does not vary that much per square foot cost. This is because typical one-story homes, such as 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, rather than out, can actually be less expensive. In some instances, however, a two or three-story home might be larger overall, having a larger footprint than some 1-story homes. This would then make that home more expensive to build, not because it has more stories, but because it is larger overall. 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, 2, or 3-Story Modular or Stick-Built House

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Build a 1, 2, or 3-Story Modular or Stick-Built House

Number of StoriesAverage Prices per Sq.Ft. (Modular)Average Prices per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)
1 Story$50 - $184$100 - $400
2 Stories$50 - $230$100 - $380
3 Stories$75 - $230$100 - $380

Cost to Build a 1-Story House

The average price to build a 1-story house ranges from $50 to $184 a sq.ft. for modular construction. The price for stick-built 1-story homes is $100 to $400 a sq.ft. According to the Chicago Tribune, 1-story houses are preferred by 82% of Americans aged 65 and over, as stairs can present a challenge for them. 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. But a broad 1-story costs more than a narrow 2 or 3-story to build. This is because a sprawling 1-story home has a lot 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 $50 and $230 a sq.ft. for modular homes. The price of stick-built homes is $100 to $380 per sq.ft. Costs variations are mostly due to regional differences. 2-story homes can sometimes be less expensive to build than 1-story for stick-building. This is because two-story homes can have more interior space by building up, rather than out. This means that there is less roof to frame. Since this is a big part of the overall price to build, it means that a narrow 2-story will are less expensive than a broad 1-story. This is true even if the interior space remains the same. Modular construction becomes more expensive as you build higher because of the transportation and finishing costs.

Cost to Build a 3-Story House

The price to build a 3-story house averages $75 to $230 a sq.ft. for modular building. The price of stick-building is $100 to $380 a sq.ft. This is about the same price per foot as a two-story house. Building up is generally cheaper than building out. That means that it is usually less expensive to build a tall 3-story than a broad 1-story, when using stick-building methods. A narrow 3-story has less roof to be framed and a smaller foundation than a broad one-story. So even if the living space square footage is the same, it can be less expensive to build a 3-story than a 1. Modular methods are the opposite. A 3-story home costs more than a single-story because of delivery and assembly.

New Home Construction Cost by Style

While the average home has a cost range of $138 a sq.ft. to build, homes come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles, giving them a total range from $100 to $400 a sq.ft. Some are cheaper or more expensive than this average to build. In addition, homes can have average sizes, which impact your total construction price, even at the national average cost. Style, accents, and architecture all play a role in what you pay for your new home. Below is the average price to build each, based on their average sizes.

Cost to Build a Modular or Stick-Built Home by Style: Treehouse, Tiny House, Loft, Villa, Cottage, Ranch, Duplex...

Cost to Build a Modular or Stick-Built Home by Style: Treehouse, Tiny House, Loft, Villa, Cottage, Ranch, Duplex...

House StyleAverage Prices (Modular)Average Prices (Stick-Built)
TreehouseN/A$6K - $15K
Tiny House$20K - $50K$40K - $80K
DomeN/A$50K - $100K
LoftN/A$85K - $400K
VillaN/A$111K - $150K
Craftsman$96K - $120K$144K - $210K
Cottage$125K - $350K$150K - $500K
Pole Barn House$100K - $180K$200K - $500K
Ranch Style$75K - $391K$200K - $600K
Cape Cod$148K - $185K$222K- $323,75K
Modern$100K - $460K$240K - $710K
Duplex$225K - $430K$285K - $537K
Victorian$100K - $460K$375K - $625K
Colonial$150K - $420K$407,5K - $570,5K
Mansion$1M - $1,38M$1,25M - $2,4M

Cost to Build a Treehouse

Treehouses cost between $6,000 and $15,000 to build on average. Treehouses must be constructed using stick-building techniques because of the structure’s placement. Treehouses come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. They can be simple platforms or elaborate homes that you can live in full time. The tree you put in the house is important too, make sure it is sturdy enough and try to find one with a “y” shape to make the building process easier. The exact price of your treehouse is dictated by numerous things. These include the building materials, finish level, and construction style. The more elaborate the design, the higher the costs. Likewise, if you want to add utilities or insulation, your costs will be higher as well.

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. Tiny homes average less than 500 sq.ft., with most being under 300 sq.ft. They can be mobile or permanent, and this dictates part of the cost to build. A permanent tiny home will have a foundation, which increases its costs over one that is designed to be moved. Many tiny homes will be custom built to help make the most of the space. Depending on the size and your needs, this can also have a range of costs for each project.

Dome House Price

The costs to build the average dome house is between $50,000 and $100,000. 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 unique structure that is shaped like a sphere or dome. It has doors, windows, and a roof like ordinary houses, but it is technically built around a type of shell. Dome houses are typically less expensive to build than most standard homes. The shell costs significantly less to construct, and the home will typically have a smaller foundation and roof. Since the foundation and roof are two of the biggest costs associated with any construction, minimizing their size keeps costs down.

Cost to Build a Loft

The price range to build a loft apartment averages $85,000 to $400,000. These cannot be built with modular construction. Loft apartments come in many different forms. Hard lofts are converted from existing buildings and tend to cost less. These are sometimes considered the more authentic type of 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 a more involved method of building. Both types have a wide range of associated materials, styles, and costs to consider.

Cost to Build a Villa

The average costs to build a villa ranges from $111,000 to $150,000. Vilas must be stick-built because of modular home placement restrictions. 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 tend to cost less. In addition, the style and construction materials also influence the final cost.

Cost to Build a Craftsman House

The average costs to build a Craftsman home is between $96,000 to $120,000 for modular construction. The costs of the stick build average $144,000 and $210,000. There are many different types of Craftsmans. The most common is the bungalow, which can be further broken down into different categories. Craftsman are usually built using local materials. They may also be built to higher quality standards than other homes. It is common for them to have things like built-in 2 cubbies and storage in many of the rooms. This can increase their overall costs, despite the fact that they are generally smaller than the average home.

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 $150,000 to $500,000 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, however, which gives them lower costs overall. Most cottages tend to fall around 1,000 to 1,500 sq.ft. It is possible to build them even smaller or on a larger scale. In addition, they can be built of many different materials or given a bespoke interior, which can increase costs.

Cost to Build a Pole Barn House

The cost to build a pole barn house using modular methods is $100,000 to $180,000, depending on the size and style. Pole barn homes range from $200,000 to $500,000 to build using traditional methods. These costs assume a home that is roughly 2,000 sq.ft. Pole barn homes are unique, having a building method than most homes. They have no foundation and an atypical frame. The frame consists of either steel or aluminum poles that are driven into the ground. These poles then support the rest of 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, however, 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, although it is possible to 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 a little smaller, but costs per square foot are closer to $200, rather than the national average of $138. Ranches can be finished in a variety of ways. They can also have different types of 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 $148,000 to $185,000. The average cost to build a Cape is between $222,000 and $323,750 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 somewhere 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 different shapes, sizes, and materials. They tend to have more innovative appearances with a lot of glass on the exterior. This, combined with an average size that is slightly larger than many homes, means that they tend to cost more than other styles. Modern homes are more likely to be custom. They often feature unique rooflines 3 and custom layouts. These features can add to the overall bottom line.

Cost to Build a Victorian House

For modular building, the cost of Victorian houses is $100,000 to $460,000. The cost to build a Victorian home averages $375,000 to $625,000 when using traditional methods. Victorians come in a range of sizes, from under 1,000 sq.ft. to just over 2,000 sq.ft. This makes them slightly smaller than many of today’s homes, although at one time they were considered one of the largest. A Victorian home generally costs more than other styles. This is because there are numerous custom details and decorative features in the Victorian, like towers, shapely windows, stained glass, or ornate staircases. Lots of decorative woodwork and adherence to certain types of materials can increase the cost of the home.

Cost to Build a Colonial House

The average cost to build a Colonial is between $150,000 to $420,000 for modular building. The cost of stick building is $407,500 and $570,500. Colonials tend to be larger than the average home in the U.S. Many of the homes considered to be McMansions are a variation of the Colonial or the New Colonial. It is common for this home type to be 3,000 sq.ft. or larger. So while the average cost to build per square foot is similar to the national average, the cost of the project tends to be higher. It is possible to use higher-end materials to get a more expensive build and to use modular techniques to lower the cost.

Cost to Build a Mansion

The average cost to build a mansion ranges from $1,000,000 to $1,380,000 for modular building. The cost of traditional building is $1,250,000 to $2,400,000. 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, tends to create a much higher cost to build than the typical home.

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Home Building Cost Breakdown

Different components go into the construction of a home, and each one has its own price that impacts the final project cost. These components can be loosely grouped together into various categories. Keep in mind that not every new project requires each component. Some breakdowns may be higher or lower, depending on your location, construction type, and materials used. 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 for Prep Work, Foundation, Framing, Exterior Finish, Roofing...

Home Building Cost Breakdown for Prep Work, Foundation, Framing, Exterior Finish, Roofing...

CategoryAverage Prices
Prep Work$4,000 - $6,500
Foundation$7,000 - $18,000
Framing$31,000 - $76,000
Exterior Finishing$25,000 - $40,000
Roofing$21,250 - $25,150
Major Systems Installation$50,000 - $100,000
Interior Finishing$50,000 - $150,000

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 construction. 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. Foundations range between $7,000 and $18,000, depending on the type. Basements cost more than slab foundations 4.

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 range between $25,000 and $40,000.

Roofing

Your new roof will also need to be framed with trusses 5 costs coming in at around $14,500 to $18,400 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 $6,750 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 cheaper or more expensive, 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.

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. 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 Costs to Build a Home: Electricians, Painters, HVAC, Carpenters, Plumbers, Roofers, Concrete Workers...

Labor Costs to Build a Home: Electricians, Painters, HVAC, Carpenters, Plumbers, Roofers, Concrete Workers...

ProfessionalAverage Prices (Labor Included)
Electricians$40 - $120/hr
Painters$50/hr
HVAC$50 - $70/hr
Carpenters$70/hr
Plumbers$75 - $130/hr
Roofers$1.00 - $1.50/sq.ft.
Flooring Installers$5 - $20/sq.ft.
Concrete Workers$110/cubic yard
Architects10% - 17% of the total building budget
Structural Engineers$100 - $500/hr
Interior Designers$75 - $450/hr
Landscapers$45 - $75/hr

Additions for Houses Cost

In addition to the house, 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 of these has a range of costs. Many can be built with the home, while some are later additions.

Cost of House Additions by Type: Playground, Shed, Patio, Driveway, Deck, Pool, Garage...

Cost of House Additions by Type: Playground, Shed, Patio, Driveway, Deck, Pool, Garage...

AdditionAverage Prices (Installed)
Playground$500 - $5,000
Shed$1,500 - $10,000
Fence$2,000 - $5,000
Patio$2,000 - $8,000
Driveway$3,200 - $10,000
Deck$5,000 - $15,000
Landscaping$8,000 - $15,000
Pool$10,000 - $100,000
Barn$10,000 - $200,000
Garage$22,000 - $60,000
Basement$25,000 - $40,000
Tennis Court$45,000 - $80,000

Playground Addition

The cost to add a playground to your property is $500 to $5,000. If you have children, a playground can add fun and entertainment. Playgrounds can be as simple as a small metal swing set or very complex structures. You can have custom playgrounds built from wood or something prefabricated. You can include climbing sections, slides, sandboxes, and more for added enrichment and fun. Generally, the more complex the structure, the higher the costs.

Shed Addition

The price to add a shed to your property averages $1,500 to $10,000. Many people add sheds to their property for storage. Sheds can be built to mimic any home’s style and materials. They can also be built in other styles or mimic barns and other outbuildings. Sheds can be used to house lawnmowers or gardening supplies or used as small work areas. The shed’s cost is directly related to the size, shape, and use.

Fence Addition

The average price to fence in a yard ranges from $2,000 to $5,000. Fences add privacy and security to your property. They can also enhance curb appeal and appearance. Fences come in many styles and materials, including metal, vinyl 6, and wood. The cost is determined by the size, material, and style. The bigger the yard you are fencing, the higher the costs.

Patio Addition

The price to add a patio to your home is $2,000 to $8,000. Many homes that do not have decks have patios. A patio is a ground-level area designed for entertaining outside. The patio is often part of the larger landscaping. They can be used as outdoor kitchens, living rooms, or bistro areas. You can use various materials to build them, and they can be open or covered.

Driveway Addition

The cost to pave a driveway is $3,200 to $10,000. Every home has a driveway as part of the property. Driveways come in many shapes, lengths, and materials. The most common materials for driveways include gravel, asphalt 7, and concrete, which change by region. For example, concrete is used most often in the South, while asphalt is used in the North. The exact cost is determined by the length, pitch, width, material, and style.

Deck Addition

The cost to build a deck averages $5,000 to $15,000. The deck type you add is partially determined by your home’s type and style. For example, ranches and other single-story homes likely use a platform deck. This deck is slightly raised above the ground. It is common to walk out from the home’s main level directly onto the deck. Two or three-story homes may have raised or multi-story decks, depending on the layout.

Landscaping

The cost to landscape a new yard is $8,000 to $15,000. All new homes need some landscaping after the house is built. Cleared lots can be damaged by heavy equipment and the building, likely meaning they are no longer level. Landscaping levels the lot and adds grass seed or sod to create a lawn. Many people also add bushes or trees around the front. Many homes may also have specific landscaping types to help them look their best.

Pool Addition

Adding a pool costs $10,000 to $100,000. Pools make great additions to many homes. They can be found in varying sizes and styles to meet any needs. If you have the space, you may wish to invest in a large in-ground pool. Homes without much space may do well with a smaller above-ground pool or a thinner lap pool. Pool costs are directly related to the size and type. Large pools and in-ground pools cost more than smaller and above-ground pools.

Barn Addition

The cost to add a barn to your property ranges from $10,000 to $200,000. If you live in a rural area, a barn can be a great addition to your property. Barns can be used for many purposes. They can be used for storage, equipment, livestock, or as a garage. They come in many shapes and sizes. You can match them to your home’s roofline and style or set them apart. Their costs are tied to the size and usage.

Garage Addition

The cost to add a garage is $22,000 to $60,000. Garages come in two basic types - attached and detached. In general, an attached garage is less expensive than a detached garage. The attached garage is usually built with the home. Detached garages may be added at a later time. In either scenario, the garage should have the same style as the home. This should include the siding and roofing materials, shape, and color.

Basement Addition

The price to add a basement to your home averages $25,000 to $40,000. Not all homes have basements. Basements cannot be added in all regions or parts of the country. In many parts of the country, it is difficult to excavate a basement safely without worrying about water, floods, and natural disasters. However, basements are common in other areas. The project costs increase if you add a basement to your home.

Tennis Court Addition

The price of a tennis court addition is $45,000 to $80,000. If you have the space, a tennis court can be a great addition to many properties. Tennis courts come in a few materials and sizes. Regulation sizes take up the most space, but you can build something smaller for recreation. The size, material, and whether you fence in the area determine the costs. The more complex the design, the higher the costs.

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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 construction. 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.

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, 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.

Single-Family Home vs Multi-Family Home

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 a 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. What is different is the size. Multi-family homes are much larger buildings, so you pay more even 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 an income stream and pay the mortgage faster. Below are the average costs to build single and multi-family single-owner buildings using stick-building techniques.

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Single-Family or Multi-Family Home

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Single-Family or Multi-Family Home

TypeAverage Prices (Labor Included)
Single-Family$260,000 - $710,000
Multi-Family$285,000 - $1,050,000

Townhouse vs Single-Family Home

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. Like a condo, you may have associated fees for shared areas. However, you may not have as much control over your property in a townhouse as with a single-family home because of the shared walls and other areas. Overall, single-family homes tend to be larger and more expensive to build and live in than townhouses.

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Townhouse or Single-Family Home

Comparison of the Cost to Build a Townhouse or Single-Family Home

TypeAverage Prices (Labor Included)
Townhouse$111,000 - $222,000
Single-Family$260,000 - $710,000

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Interior Designer

It is very common when building a new home to hire an interior designer. Interior designers can assist you with layouts, style, interior materials, and furnishings. They charge between $75 and $450 an hour.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

If you drive an electric vehicle, you may want to add a charging station to your new home. A charging station can make charging your car’s battery faster and easier. Charging stations range between $1,000 and $2,500 to install.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Townhouses. The price of building a single-family home cannot be applied to building townhouses due to their unique construction.
  • Tiny homes. Tiny homes have a different cost breakdown and are generally less expensive because they do not require the purchase of a plot of land.
  • Insurance. 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. Shipping container homes are a unique way to build houses of varying sizes. They typically range $150,000 to $175,000 to build.
  • Inspection. 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.
  • Demo fees. 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 price of construction is around $138 a sq.ft., but there can be a wide range of associated prices, from $100 to $400 a sq.ft. for stick building and $50 to $230 for modular.

  • 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.

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

Building a 1,200 sq.ft. house ranges $60,000 to $276,000 for modular construction and $120,000 to $480,000 for stick-built homes.

  • 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.

  • How much does it cost to build a small house?

The answer depends on the home type and how small you want to go. A tiny house ranges between $40,000 and $80,000, for example. A traditionally built home costs an average of $138 a square foot to build, with small houses costing between $80,000 and $800,000, depending on the type, style, region, and size.

  • How long does it take to build a 1,500 sq.ft. house?

This depends on many different factors. If it is modular, it can be much faster than stick-built. Homes with basement foundations take longer than those with slabs or no foundations at all. Homes that are sprawling take longer than homes that are thinner and narrower. The average length of time to build a home is just under 8 months from start to finish, but it can take longer or take less time, depending on many factors.

References

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 Built-in 2 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
glossary term picture Soffit 3 Rooflines: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Slab Foundation 4 Slab foundations: A layer of concrete, poured over a prepared surface of soil or gravel, that supports a house or other building structure
glossary term picture Truss 5 Trusses: Structural framework used to support a roof
glossary term picture Vinyl 6 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Bitumen 7 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads

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