According to Forbes, building a house is a significant investment, with the average cost reaching approximately $300,000, excluding the cost of land. As housing trends continue to evolve, new builds can range from $30,000 upcycled shipping containers to multi-million dollar luxury smart homes. The final cost of your dream home will depend on factors such as taste, location, and the demand for labor and materials. It is advisable to budget for a 10-15% contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses or upgrades during construction.
Average New House Cost Per Square Foot
Cost to Build a House by Size
|Area (Square Feet)||Estimated Building Cost|
Cost to Build a House by State
The costs below are estimates and averages to build a 2000 square feet house.
|State||Estimated Building Cost|
Building Cost Estimator
|TYPE OF EXPENSE||AMOUNT|
|Off-site living accommodations (7 months)||$8,500 – 12,000|
|Water and sewer inspections||$4,300 – $4,600|
|House plans||$350 – $3,650|
|Construction project management fees||$2,500 – $52,600|
|Building permits||$2,600 – $3,500|
|Impact fee or local charges||$2,900 – $3,200|
|Excavation||$2,100 – $2,400|
|Foundation||$8,800 – $9,500|
|Framing||$32,900 – $33,150|
|Exterior Siding||$11,400 – $11,700|
|Roofing||$9,000 – $9,500|
|Exterior windows and doors||$7,500 – $7,900|
|HVAC||$11,000 – $11,300|
|Plumbing||$10,600 – $11,500|
|Electrical||$9,900 – $10,500|
|Insulation||$5,100 – $5,500|
|Drywall||$15,300 – $15,800|
|Painting||$6,950 – $7,250|
|Trim and interior doors||$10,750 – $11,450|
|Flooring||$10,100 – $10,400|
|Cabinets and countertops||$11,550 – $11,950|
|Plumbing fixtures||$3,000 – $3,450|
|Lighting fixtures||$2,950 – $3,250|
|Appliances||$3,300 – $3,700|
|Driveway||$4,150 – $4,850|
|Landscaping||$5,600 – $6,000|
|Cleanup||$2,250 – $2,850|
|Contingencies/other||$44,750 – $45,400|
House Building Costs – All Costs Explained
Off-Site Living Expenses
While planning your budget, consider the living expenses you’ll incur during the construction period. New home construction can take anywhere from seven to 24 months to complete, depending on the availability of materials, builders, and site accessibility. Make sure you account for housing costs during this time.
Plot of Land Costs
Land costs vary greatly based on location, soil quality, and view. HomeAdvisor says the average cost of purchasing land is $77,800, with undeveloped lots in rural areas available for as low as $2,850. Land preparation costs can range from $1,150 to $5,850.
Water and Sewage Inspection
Once you’ve purchased land, budget for a water and sewage inspection to ensure proper water supply and waste drainage systems. This assessment typically costs around $4,500 but may be cheaper with existing lines.
Demolition and Deconstruction
If your site has an unsalvageable or undesired house, include the cost of demolition in your budget, which can range from $5,500 to $21,500. Deconstruction costs for salvaging and selling features of the old building can reach $25,000 or more.
House Plans or Architectural Fees
Factor in the cost of purchasing or creating house plans. Pre-designed blueprints can be bought online for a minimal fee, while custom home designs may require hiring an architect or draftsperson, with fees ranging from 8 to 12% of the construction cost.
Construction Management Fees
An experienced project manager can help with labor coordination, material deliveries, workmanship quality, and paperwork. Their fees range from 5 to 15% of the total construction cost.
Building Permits and Local Fees
Budget for building permits, impact fees, and state or municipal fees before construction can begin. House plans typically cost around $5,000, with building permit fees averaging between $2,600 and $3,500.
House Exterior Material Costs
Excavation prepares the site for a sturdy foundation, and costs can range from $2,100 to $2,400.
The cost of a typical slab foundation ranges from $8,800 to $9,500. A foundation with a basement can range from $17,500 to $81,750.
High-quantity lumber framing averages $32,900 for a home in the U.S., while metal stud framing systems start at about $33,150.
Shingle roofing costs between $9,000 and $9,500, with the total cost depending on the type of roof you choose.
Exterior siding costs an average of $13 per square foot, with options such as vinyl and natural stone available.
A paved driveway costs approximately $4,150, while a gravel driveway averages around $4,850.
The budget for landscaping expenses can start at $5,600 for sod, grass, and other plants.
Home Interior Material Costs
HVAC installation costs $11,000 to $11,300, including ductwork, central AC, and a furnace. A masonry fireplace starts at about $4,500.
Plumbing costs vary depending on the material, with copper pipes being the most expensive at around $10,600 for a 1,500-square-foot home.
Electrical wiring installation costs around $10,500 or roughly $5 per square foot, depending on factors such as wiring material and floorplan complexity.
Insulating a new home costs approximately $5,500 for materials and labor, with options such as batting, blown-in, or spray foam available.
Installing drywall costs about $1.25 per square foot, averaging $15,800 for an entire home.
Doors and Windows
The cost for a new door and window installation ranges from $5,450 to $9,250, depending on style and type.
Cabinets and Countertops
Builder-grade cabinets cost an average of $11,550, while countertops average $11,950.
Trimming a house costs about $10,750 to $11,450.
Flooring typically costs between $10,100 to $10,400, or roughly $5 to $12 per square foot.
Professional paint costs approximately $7 per square foot, with DIY options to save on labor.
Budget around $5,000 for plumbing fixtures and $3,450 for lighting fixtures in a 2,000-square-foot home.
Installing new kitchen appliances costs $3,300, with washer and dryer sets averaging $3,700.
Furnishing a 2,000-square-foot home can range from $19,500 to $81,450, depending on style and availability.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a House
The size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square footage of living space are crucial factors determining the costs of building a new home.
The home’s design, including aspects like open floor plans or traditional layouts, can impact construction costs due to varying utility requirements.
Finishes and Features
High-end materials, appliances, fixtures, and other finishing touches significantly impact the overall cost of building a new house.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is a cheaper option; buy a house or build one?
Buying or building a house depends on the housing market, land availability, labor supply, and the condition of homes in the area.
Are there any drawbacks to building a house?
Building a house can be costly and strenuous, potentially negatively affecting relationships. Choosing trustworthy contractors is vital for communication, timely completion, and budget adherence.
Which home is the cheapest to build?
Tiny homes are a cost-effective alternative, with prices averaging around $46,450, offering an affordable option for homeownership.
Understanding the factors influencing the cost of building a house, such as home size, design, and finishes, will help you create a comprehensive budget for your new home. By accounting for these factors and considering whether to buy or build, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and lifestyle preferences. Building a house can be both a challenging and rewarding experience, but with proper planning and attention to detail, your dream home will become a reality.