A townhouse is an excellent option for people who want a smaller home that blends single-family living with condominium-style. Townhouses are less costly to build than single-family homes, and they offer many of the same benefits of single-family living for the owners. Their unique style and layout mean many townhouses can be built in smaller areas than would accommodate the same number of single-family residences.
Townhouses come in many sizes and styles, and with that comes a range of associated costs. The national average cost for building a single townhouse is $115,500 to $237,500, with most people paying around $175,000 for a 1,500 sq.ft. traditional-style townhouse, fully built. The lowest costs associated with townhouses are around $80,250 for a 750 sq.ft. townhouse with some modular construction, while the highest costs are around $335,500 for a 2,500 sq.ft. luxury townhouse in an urban area.
|Townhouse Property Building Costs|
|National average cost||$175,000|
Townhouses are single-family residences having two floors with the bedrooms upstairs and a living area and kitchen downstairs. They are built in rows, with each townhouse having one to two shared walls with the same row. While these are single-family homes, they tend to be smaller than average. They fall between 750 and 2,000 sq.ft., with most being around 1,500 to 1,700 sq.ft. Some townhouses may also have finished basements, which are not included in this estimate.
Townhouses are typically governed by some condo or homeowner’s association, with shared costs for communal areas. Each owner is responsible for both the interior and exterior of their townhouse, including the grass, yard, and parking space. According to a study done by the National Association of Home Builders, the number of new townhouse builds has been declining in the past years. In 2018, the number of new single-family constructions represented 14%, while in 2020 they represented just 11%.
The pandemic has had a serious impact on many industries, including construction. Overall construction costs have risen over the past year, with another projected increase of 4% to 7% for 2022. This impacts all construction types, including townhouses.
While townhouses are not constructed at the same rate as other single-family homes, the continued housing shortage can mean higher demand for builders. This can lead to delays in all types of residential construction, including townhouses.
For anyone looking to start construction on a new townhouse in 2022, it is recommended to sign a contract soon to help lock in costs before they rise and avoid possible delays.
Like any construction type, your townhouse can be built in two main ways. The first method is stick-building, which is the more traditional type. In this method, the townhouse is constructed on-site. The second method is modular building, where most of the construction happens off-site in a controlled environment. Finished sections of the building are transported to the job site and assembled. This means the townhouse can be built more quickly and often for less money than traditional stick-building.
Both methods have many of the same style, size, and material options, but your choice may come down to availability and cost.
Below are the average costs to build a townhouse using both construction methods.
|Construction Type||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Modular||$75,000 - $187,000|
|Stick Building||$115,500 - $237,500|
Building a townhouse using modular construction costs $75,000 to $187,000. Not all townhouses can be built completely modularly. If one section is modular, the entire row must be because townhouses are frequently connected. If a section is stick-built, it can be hard to add to this using modular construction. Therefore, you need to find a firm specializing in this style of modular building. Costs vary depending on whether you opt for a prefab or custom design.
The average cost to build a townhouse using traditional methods is $115,500 to $237,500. Stick building is the most common way to build this home type, but modular building is increasing in popularity. Stick building means all the units are constructed on-site. This allows for greater flexibility and customization between the units, which is more difficult to achieve with modular technology. However, it is more expensive, and the build is subject to issues like weather delays. Costs also vary for stick building, depending on the materials, location, and overall style and design.
Townhouses are generally less costly to build overall than single-family homes. The shared walls and building style often means that the interior layouts tend to be more similar, making this a less challenging and often faster build. This makes the average cost per square foot around $110 to $135 for most average townhouses, with townhouses built in urban areas having the highest costs. For modular construction, costs are usually lower, between $70 and $110 a sq.ft. for most projects. These numbers tend to remain true for both construction types regardless of how many units are being constructed, with four units at once being the average.
Below are the average costs to build a townhouse in the most common sizes for both construction types.
|Size||Average Costs (Traditional Construction)||Average Costs (Modular Construction)|
|750 sq.ft.||$82,500 - $101,250||$52,500 - $82,500|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$110,000 - $135,000||$70,000 - $110,000|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$165,000 - $202,500||$105,000 - $165,000|
|1,700 sq.ft.||$187,000 - $229,500||$119,000 - $187,000|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$220,000 - $270,000||$140,000 - $220,000|
|2,250 sq.ft.||$247,500 - $303,750||$157,500 - $247,500|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$275,000 - $337,500||$175,000 - $275,000|
Townhouses are constructed in groups, usually of four, five, or more at once. This means that when calculating costs, you need to consider the structure and cost per individual unit when the time comes for sale. The cost of the unit tends to stay the same no matter how many units you construct. Most townhouse rows or groups have similar construction materials and styles, meaning you do not have one more luxurious than the others, throwing off the cost. Below are some of the average cost ranges for townhouses using both traditional and modular building methods, assuming that each unit is around 1,500 sq.ft. in size, and each unit contains a garage.
|Number of Units||Average Cost Range (Stick-Built)||Average Cost Range (Modular)|
|1 Unit||$165,000 - $202,500||$105,000 - $165,000|
|4 Units||$660,000 - $810,000||$420,000 - $660,000|
|5 Units||$825,000 - $1,012,500||$525,000 - $825,000|
|Complex||$1,040,000 - $1,270,000||$750,000 - $1,040,000|
The average townhouse costs $165,000 to $202,500 to build using traditional construction. The same townhouse built using modular construction costs $105,000 to $165,000. Townhouses are rarely built singularly. They are constructed in groups with shared walls to keep costs down compared to other single-family homes. These are the typical costs to build a single unit, however. This is a good base cost for determining larger projects because costs tend to stay the same per unit.
The average cost to build 4 townhouses is $660,000 to $810,000 for traditional construction. The average cost to build 4 townhouses using modular construction is $420,000 to $660,000. Townhouses are usually built in groups, the most common size being four. The shared walls and roofing help keep costs down over other types of single-family homes. These costs are for a completely finished group of townhouses, including interior and exterior finishing.
The cost to build a group of 5 townhouses is $825,000 to $1,012,500 for traditional construction. The cost of building a group of 5 townhouses using modular construction averages $525,000 to $825,000. Groups of five townhouses are also fairly common. Even in larger complexes, you often have rows of 4 to 5 townhouses grouped together. These costs assume each townhouse is fully finished and has a single-car garage.
The average cost to build a townhouse complex using traditional building methods is $1,040,000 to $1,270,000. The average cost to build a townhouse complex using modular building is $750,000 to $1,040,000. A townhouse complex usually consists of a minimum of 4 or 5 units and some shared communal areas, such as a yard, landscaping, and parking. There may also be other shared amenities, such as a gym or community pool. This variation means many variables in the overall cost. Keep in mind that with modular construction, only the building has lower costs. The parking, landscaping, and other community amenities have the same costs as with traditional building methods.
While the traditional style is the most common and familiar, they come in several different styles and configurations. These can be generally grouped into three different types, with variations in general style, size, and layout. The most common is traditional, which arranges the townhouses in rows side by side. This is the most cost-effective and common building method.
The stacked townhouse is arranged side by side in rows but has two townhouses in each section, one on top of the other. You also find in urban areas what is known as the urban style. It is also laid out in rows, but they tend to be larger, with wider interiors and exteriors matching their surroundings. With the wider interiors and urban exteriors, these are the most expensive to build.
Below are the average costs per square foot using both building methods for each of the three styles.
|Style||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Modular)|
|Traditional||$110 - $135||$70 - $110|
|Stacked||$125 - $140||$85 - $115|
|Urban||$145 - $170||$120 - $150|
The average cost of a traditional townhouse is $110 to $135 a sq.ft. for stick-built homes. The average cost for modular building is $70 to $110 a sq.ft. The traditional townhouse is the most common and easily recognized of this type of dwelling. Traditional townhouses are usually two floors, with bedrooms upstairs and living spaces downstairs. They may have finished basements, and often have garages and sometimes yards. They share one to two walls with other townhouses in the building.
The average cost to build stacked townhouses using traditional building methods is $125 to $140 a sq.ft. The average cost to build using modular techniques is $85 to $115 a sq.ft. The stacked townhouse is less common but can be found in some more populated areas, and are quite popular in faraway suburbs. It has the same basic idea of the traditional townhouse but has one townhouse stacked on top of another, doubling the number of townhouses within one row. This means that the building is four stories high in total, rather than two. Both houses have doors onto the street, and the garages are in an alley behind.
The average cost to build an urban townhouse is $145 to $170 a sq.ft. The cost to build using modular construction is $120 to $150 a sq.ft. Urban townhouses are laid out similarly to the traditional model but are more contemporary in style and layout. They may be larger and have more open floor plans. Their exteriors are designed to blend in with urban areas, and they often have unique and innovative styles. Due to their locations and the more dramatic exteriors and layouts, they tend to be more expensive.
Like any construction project, many professionals and components are involved in building a townhouse. While every project is different, you can get a basic sense of the construction cost breakdown by assuming average materials used in a moderate 1,500 sq.ft. townhouse built in a traditional style. Not every project uses the same components, impacting the project cost.
Modular costs break down differently than traditional stick building costs. You can get a sense of how these costs break down in our Modular Home Guide. Below is the average cost breakdown of a single townhouse using traditional building methods.
|Project Area||Average Costs|
|Architect Fees (Added to Total)||$17,325 - $30,375|
|Structural Engineer (Added to Total)||$500 - $20,000|
|Contractor Fees (Added to Total)||$41,250 - $50,625|
|Foundation||$14,850 - $18,225|
|Floor Structure||$19,800 - $24,300|
|Walls and Exterior Finish||$9,900 - $24,300|
|Roof||$16,500 - $20,250|
|Windows and Doors||$8,250 - $10,125|
|Interior Finish||$9,900 - $20,250|
|Flooring||$4,950 - $10,125|
|Interior Features||$4,950 - $10,125|
|Bathrooms||$6,600 - $8,100|
|Kitchens||$13,200 - $16,200|
|Electrical||$16,500 - $20,250|
|Plumbing||$19,800 - $24,300|
Townhouses are a blend between single-family home living and condominium living. In a townhouse, you are responsible for your property’s interior and exterior, but you have at least one shared wall. This means you have greater control over your space and its appearance, but you are also impacted by the decisions of those around you. One of the advantages of living in a townhouse is that the maintenance of common areas will likely be covered by the HOA. However, these HOA fees can be quite expensive. Another benefit is that it will give you a sense of community and will also give you access to some common area amenities, like a shared pool or a clubhouse.
Many people compare living in a townhouse with living in a condo because both are shared spaces with some association governing the shared areas. There are some key differences between them, however. In a condo, you are responsible for your living space’s interior, while the exterior is maintained and overseen by the condo association. In a townhouse, you are responsible for the interior and exterior of your home, and only communal areas are maintained and overseen by the homeowner’s association. This means greater autonomy in a townhouse but also more personal maintenance, upkeep, and potential repairs. Townhouses also offer more privacy than condos, as you will only have neighbors on either side of you, not above and below too. While townhouses always have separate entrances, condos come in more configurations. This includes some very large complexes with shared exterior entrances, hallways, and stairwells. This means they can have many more layouts than townhouses.
Condos often have higher association fees than townhouses, but their costs can overlap, depending on the policy. Condos tend to be less costly to build per unit, but you often have more units per building. Below are the average per unit costs for both projects.
|Home||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Condo||$75,000 - $150,000|
|Townhouse||$115,000 - $237,500|
If you consider building a group of connected residences, rowhouses and townhouses offer many of the same benefits. Both are laid out in connecting rows of four to five homes and treated the same way. Each homeowner has their own entrance and takes care of their property. They have the same costs to build and similar costs for homeowner fees.
The biggest difference is in the way they are arranged and laid out. Rowhouses are generally in a straight row, while townhouses can have more variation in shape. There may be some variation from one to the next in rowhouses, but they are generally identical in exterior appearance. Townhouses can be arranged in different ways, with some set back slightly or stacked above one another. They also vary more in size and appearance from one to another versus a rowhouse, which has few differences between each home.
Townhouses are not the largest homes, so making good use of every inch makes the space larger. Interior designers help with this, decorating, and space layout. You should ideally hire one before starting the project. The average cost to hire an interior designer is between $50 and $450 an hour.
Some townhouses may have decks overlooking their backyard, particularly if the yard is more communal because having a deck gives personal space. The average cost of deck construction for a townhouse is around $7,500 to $9,000, depending on the size and materials.
This varies depending on the layout, landscaping, and amenities. The average number of townhouses per acre is roughly 20, depending on the total size of the units.
This depends on the cost of utilities in your area, townhouse size, personal usage, energy-efficiency, and how you plan to heat and cool the home. Overall, they tend to be lower in a townhouse than in a single-family home.
This is a personal decision. Both have pros and cons to consider, with townhouses being typically less expensive to build and buy than single-family homes, but you live right next to your neighbors with little space. Townhouses are almost always part of an HOA, while single-family homes may or may not be, depending on the area.
The biggest disadvantages of living in a townhouse are the shared areas. Your neighbors have shared walls with you, and you have an HOA dictating the communal spaces from parking and walkways to the use of recreational areas. This can often result in higher yearly fees than other single-family homes.