Build a Villa Cost

How much does it cost to build a villa?

Long before the popular bungalow style came into fashion there was the villa. This is a type that evolved out of the ancient Roman design, and which lasted well into the twentieth century. Today not many villas are constructed, and when they are they will be somewhat costly and full of custom features. These homes will always use materials that fall under the "best" descriptors, including marble, rare hard woods, brass and bronze, etc. They will also feature more costly stone work in a much wider range of spaces including floors and foyers.

Their larger building lots, extensive landscaping, and many custom interior and exterior features add many costs to the average construction project. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at the cost of constructing a traditional villa-style home which has an average size of 3700 square feet which assumes a "footprint" of approximately 35'x50' per building.

The building of a villa home would never be a "DIY" project and requires an architect, a knowledgeable contractor, a team of subcontractors, and a cooperative owner to get the job done within a single calendar year.

For the building of a villa-style property of 3700 square feet, the typical costs include:

  • With luxury-range materials (that include top-end cabinetry and countertops, decorative paneling and finishes, solid wood doors, etc.), a masonry foundation with full basement, custom doors and windows, high-end appliances, two fireplaces, an attached garage, several balconies and a terrace, and "turnkey" finishing would cost an average of $1.23 million to complete. This does not include acquisition of the land, however, which is a significant issue due to the large footprint 1 of the building.
  • The above figures place this construction at a $332 per square foot cost, though national averages stands at $125 to $175 for most contractors (remember that villas rely on luxury and custom finishing techniques). The average pricing structure assumes that charge an average of electricians between $65 to $85 per hour, carpenters, masons and excavators around $70 per hour, painters between $20 and $35 per hour, and plumbers between $45 and $65 per hour.
  • Materials would cost around $607,000, labor would cost roughly $590,900, machine costs would stand at roughly $30,400 and the contractor would take in over $173,300 for the project.

Cost breakdown

What is included:

The structural design of all villas tends to be complex, and usually involves more than ten corners on the building. This makes roofing and overall construction far more complex. Most owners rely on both an architect and a contractor, and the architect will require an additional sum equal to roughly 10 - 17% of the total building budget;

  • An architect will:
    • Determine the scope of the project and establish a preliminary budget;
    • Draft list of proposed work, budget, and outline of plans;
    • Create the schematic design and draft floor plans with elevation drawings. Then work with any structural engineers and meet with planning agencies to verify any requirements;
    • Finalize drawings and incorporate all details about materials and finishes, any fixtures or equipment, and all systems in the structure;
    • Serve as the manager and review the plans with any required local agencies while also obtaining necessary permits;
    • Serve in an advisory capacity to select contractor and help the client through the bid review process as well;
    • Complete construction documents;
    • Administer the construction, ensure that contractor's requests for payments are accurate and that all "final" details are corrected or finished by the contractor; and
    • Based on figures given the architect on this project would receive from $122,800 to $208,800 for their services.
  • A contractor will:
    • Provide the services and materials required for the entire job;
    • Hire subcontractors according to need;
    • Suggest plans and ideas to owner to help them meet goals;
    • Deliver final cleanup of entire home;
    • Pull all permits for work and utility installation; and
    • For doing all of the day to day management of the project the average contractor earns around $85 to $125 per square foot. They might also "mark up" supplies and services as well. For example, on the villa project described here the contractor would earn around 14% of the budget and account for roughly $173,300 in markup and indirect fees.
  • A comprehensive villa construction project will cover:
    • Bath fixtures
    • Built In Appliances
    • Cabinets
    • Carpeting
    • Countertops
    • Doors
    • Excavation
    • Exterior Finish
    • Exterior Trim
    • Final Cleanup
    • Finish Carpentry
    • Finish Hardware
    • Flooring
    • Foundation, Piers, Flatwork
    • Heating and Cooling Systems
    • Insulation
    • Insurance
    • Interior Wall Finish
    • Lighting Fixtures
    • Painting
    • Permits
    • Utilities
    • Plans
    • Specs
    • Plumbing Fixtures
    • Plumbing Rough-in and Connection
    • Roofing, Flashing 2, Fascia
    • Rough Carpentry
    • Rough Hardware
    • Unit Heating and Cooling
    • Windows
    • Wiring
    • and more
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Footprint: The entire area of ground covered by a building, including the exterior walls and porch or patio areas
2 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through

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

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Corona, CA
+19%
Cupertino, CA
+33%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Gainesville, FL
-12%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Glendale, CA
+14%
Harrisburg, PA
+2%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Newark, NJ
+27%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Plano, TX
+24%
Portland, OR
+11%

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources