How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Typical Range:

$112,352 - $450,243

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 781 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated February 2, 2022

Reviewed by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost to Build a House per Square Foot

You've picked the perfect plot of land for your new home, and now it's time to think about costs. New home construction typically falls between $100 and $200 per square foot, but custom and luxury options can reach $500 or more per square foot. From walk-in closets to a playroom for the kids, each choice you make will affect how much you pay.

On average, in the U.S., it costs $281,081 to build a house, with most homeowners spending between $112,352 and $450,243. Labor makes up roughly 40% of the build cost, with permits, design fees and materials making up the rest.

The price you will ultimately pay is based on the location of the property, the size and footprint of the house and the quality of the finishes and products you select. High-end builds in urban settings with a high cost of living, like New York or San Francisco, can run $400 per square foot or more.

2022 Notice: Material Prices are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials have grown over the past year. And, as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

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National Average $281,081
Typical Range $112,352 - $450,243
Low End - High End $2,500 - $800,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 781 HomeAdvisor members.

2. New Construction Costs by House Size

Square FeetAverage Range
800$80,000 - $160,000
900$90,000 - $180,000
1,000$100,000 - $200,000
1,200$120,000 - $240,000
1,500$150,000 - $300,000
1,600$160,000 - $320,000
1,800$180,000 - $360,000
2,000*$200,000 - $400,000
2,500*$250,000 - $500,000
2,700$270,000 - $540,000
3,000$300,000 - $600,000
4,000$400,000 - $800,000
5,000$500,000 - $1,000,000

*Most common new home sizes in 2021. Home sizes are trending downward as of 2017.

3. House Building Cost Breakdown

WorkPercent of Job CostTypical Range
Land & Site Work3% - 8%$5,000 - $38,000
Foundation10% - 15%$16,600 - $72,000
Framing10% - 20%$16,600 - $95,000
Exterior Work15% - 20%$20,000 - $95,000
Major Systems (electric, HVAC)10% - 15%$17,000 - $72,000
Interior Finishes (drywall, floors)25% - 35%$42,000 - $167,000

4. Price of Pre-Construction When Building a House

Pre-construction costs can vary depending on the cost and condition of your land, house plan design prices, permitting costs, and demolition considerations. These costs generally make up 10% to 25% of your total home building costs.

Building a house is a complicated endeavor, but if you take it step by step, you can get a solid estimate on your final costs. The trick is to be organized and ask your builder a lot of questions, like different price points of materials and how additional charges will be handled.

Below are some of the pre-construction costs to consider.

a. House Plans and "Cost to Build" Estimates

House plans cost $2,000 to $8,000. You can find a wide variety of house plan companies online. Most offer search filters to narrow down the thousands of plans into a handful for you to consider, from a small two-bed country-style property to a sprawling modern farmhouse or Craftsman-style home.

Once you've purchased your chosen house plan, give the bid set to your builder. The bid set consists of all relevant plans, including elevations, wall sections, and floor plans. Based on this, your construction manager can give you an accurate "cost to build" estimate.

Depending on your needs, you'll deal with a variety of design professionals. While it's important that you interact with the key pros throughout the entire process, it's best for you to work with a general contractor as your primary contact.

The general contractor will oversee the whole build and manage the other pros that are an integral part of the project.

Here’s what a variety of pros may charge to build a house:

b. Purchasing Land

Purchasing your own lot costs anywhere from $3,000 to $150,000 per lot. Pricing varies significantly depending on the size of the lot, the location and whether the utilities are already at the site or need to be brought in.

In housing developments, expect to spend in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, although it can go much higher depending on your location. In rural areas, you might find undeveloped lots for as little as $3,000.

Finished vs. Unfinished Lots

If no utility, sewer, or cable lines have been pulled to a site, it is considered an unfinished lot. You'll usually only run into this issue in rural areas. If you buy land in an urban setting, developers will probably have finished the lots prior to listing.

  • Connecting to city sewers cost: $1,300-$5,000

  • Connecting to the city electric grid: $1,000-$30,000. Fees depend heavily on how close your home is to the nearest lines.

  • Cost to connect to city water lines: $1,000-$5,000. If you need both sewer and water, expect to only pay one fee for both.

c. Clearing and Prepping Land

Clearing land for construction prep costs $1,500 to $5,000. In most developments, the land is already prepared for building. If you purchased your own lot, you may have to hire an excavation contractor near you to clear it and excavate.

Costs you may incur include:

d. Demolition

The cost to demo a house on your land falls between $3,000 and $25,000. Some factors that can impact this price include the size of the house you’re demolishing, the location of your land, and the presence of asbestos or another toxin in the old home materials.

e. Building Permits

To build a new home or to add to an existing house, you'll need a building permit. The average cost of a building permit for a home averages between $1,200 and $2,000. This cost can vary based on your location and the permitting requirements in your area.

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5. Residential Construction Costs

Labor30% - 60%
Materials30% - 50%
Administrative/Design/Permits10% - 25%

a. Home Building Material Costs

Home building materials cost about 50% of your total build. However, the quality of the material you choose makes a big difference.

For instance, if you're working on a tight budget or you want to splurge elsewhere, you can clad your home in lower-end vinyl, wood or aluminum siding for $2 to $5 per square foot. You could also use high-end stone for $35 to $50 per square foot. Your pro should be able to give you an estimate based on your designs.

MaterialCost
Lumber$25,000 - $65,000 total
Concrete$1,000 - $10,000 total
Drywall$10 per sheet
Flooring$1 - $5 per square foot
Siding$2 - $15 per square foot
Insulation$0.10 - $1 per square foot
Roofing$1,000 - $3,000 total

b. Labor Cost to Build a House

"Smaller costs, such as those for surveys, driveway paving and soil testing, must be considered up front because they add up quickly and can blow your budget."

Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

The construction pros who build your house represent 30% to 60% of your project costs. As you might guess, the labor costs vary relative to the size of your house, your contractor's buying power and ability to get reasonably priced labor and the size and complexity of your home.

Large, custom-built homes have a higher labor cost than smaller modular homes because of the way each is built. Modular properties are pre-fabricated and up to 90% of the work is done off-site in a factory setting before it's shipped to its final destination and assembled.

Large custom-builds are constructed from the ground-up onsite with no prefabrication. The lack of factory-made elements significantly increases labor costs.

Some construction labor costs (not including materials) include:

c. Foundation

Foundations cost anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000, including all excavating, form setting, pouring and back filling. Some homes require retaining walls and additional landscaping to eliminate flooding or other foundation-damaging problems, which adds to the overall cost.

Other considerations that impact the cost of building a foundation include the type of foundation, whether you're adding a basement and if you're also adding a garage foundation..

Cost per Square Foot to Build a House With a Basement

Building a house with a basement costs an additional $10 to $100 per square foot, or between $10,000 and $30,000 for the basement alone. Adding the cost of finishing a basement can quickly double your foundation costs.

Finishing a basement costs an additional $7 to $23 per square foot. The lower end of the budget will get you a basic finish with inexpensive materials and some lighting and electrical outlets. At the higher end, you can turn the basement into a real living space, with multiple rooms, including a bathroom. You'll spend an average of $110 to $300 per square foot to build a home with a basement.

d. Framing

Framing is the backbone of every house and costs $20,000 to $50,000. Your home's frame will dictate the size and location of rooms and other important features like roofing. Framing includes the overall home's frame, as well as trusses and general metal work. Usually, framers also do the home's sheathing and subfloor installation, and install the windows and doors.

e. Major Systems: Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

Major systems installation costs range from $30,000 to $75,000. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC comprise most of your major system costs because of the sheer volume of work and the labor-intensive nature required in each of these areas.

Plumbing, electrical and HVAC work is critical to the safety, integrity and efficiency of your property, so this is not the place to try and cut costs. The size and type of systems can affect the price of these installations.

For example, a 2,000-square-foot new HVAC unit costs $5,000 to $10,000. Here’s a look at more costs associated with major systems:

f. Exterior Home Finishing Costs

Just as important as building a new home that fits your needs and personal aesthetic, the exterior finish also contributes to the overall look and feel of your property.

Exterior finishing costs $40,000 to $60,000 and includes exterior walls, roofing, windows and doors. The number of building openings and the types of exterior finishes will affect this price.

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6. Interior Home Finishing Costs

On average, interior finishing costs $50,000 to $175,000 but can run much higher. It's one of the more expensive components because it adds the special touches that’ll make your new house a home. This includes everything from custom countertops to a crystal chandelier over your breakfast nook. How much you'll pay depends on your budget, anything you can DIY to reduce costs and your personal style.

For example, if you have the time and skill to do the painting, even if you use high-end paint, brushes and rollers, you'll save up to $10,000. These savings might let you splurge on granite countertops, solid wood kitchen cabinets or an upscale appliance or two.

Cabinet install fees$2,000 - $30,000
Countertop installation costs$2,000 - $4,000
Door installation cost*$5,000 - $20,000
Drywall installation prices$5,000 - $30,000
Flooring install price$10,000 - $35,000
Interior painting prices$4,000 - $11,000
Appliance prices$3,000 - $15,000
Lighting fixture costs$2,000 - $12,000
Fireplace installation fees$1,000 - $10,000

*accounts for multiple interior doors for an entire home

7. Factors to Consider When Building a Custom House

  • Size: A home with greater square footage will cost more than a smaller one.

  • Number of stories: Additional stories mean additional construction and design work.

  • Complex shape: The more corners a home has, the more it will cost. Unusual shapes are more common in custom designs. Complicated rooflines and exterior bump-outs can also add costs.

  • Design features: Pools are a nice-to-have feature that adds value to the property. Inground pools cost anywhere from $36,000 for a more basic model to $100,000 for a luxury custom design. Outdoor kitchens will cost between $5,530 and $22,150 and large decks costs $4,080 to $11,300. While these features can increase the value and enjoyment of your home, they can also impact its construction and upkeep costs.

8. FAQs

a. Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

The average purchase price of an existing home is about $285,000. It generally costs up to $150,000 more to build a new home than to buy an existing home. If you want a customized home or simply want a new house, building your own is the way to go.

Depending on how much work you want to do yourself, how much customization you need, the difficulty of the lot you have chosen, and a whole host of other factors, you will spend more or less than a competitively priced home in your area. Talk to a local realtor and builder to get a better idea of what will work best for you.

b. Can I build my own house?

Building your own house costs average from $122,500 to $411,500. If you have the time and appropriate skills, you can realistically save around $20,000 to $60,000 building your own home. Most of that comes from acting as your own general contractor. But the savings generally isn't worth the time you'll invest.

Building the typical 2,600-square-foot home already takes a full, professional crew and subcontractors months to put together. If you do it yourself, you'll still need to understand the complexities of construction, building codes, timelines, and have to spend money hiring labor to help put it up. Some DIYers have taken years to build their own home.

c. How much is it to build a custom home vs. a home in a housing development?

Custom homes average from $350,000 to $1.5 million or more. Expect to pay $300 to $500 per square foot. Custom or luxury homes come in almost any shape and size. They're more customizable than the semi-custom options you'll find in many suburban housing developments.

Alternatively, if you want to live in a new-home neighborhood built by a production home builder, expect to pay $100,000 to $1.5 million. While you are limited to a library of floorplans and locations, you can typically customize your plan, creating a semi-custom home. Although, remember, your costs go up with every change you make.

Because production builders are able to get volume discounts on materials and products, homes in new-home developments are more affordable than custom homes. In fact, opting to buy in a development can save up to 15% on home building costs.

d. How much is the cost of building a house by type?

The cost to build a new home varies across types, from $50 to $400 per square foot. Single-family, or detached, home costs will vary based on the location, lot size, construction of the building, and material choices.

It's also important to note that detached homes are standalone structures. Due to their unique construction, the costs associated with standalone homes cannot be applied to duplex or townhome construction.

Here's a look at the costs associated with each kind of popular home build. Click in to our guide on each individual type of home for more details.

  • Modular or prefabricated homes cost: $180,000–$360,000. These types of homes are manufactured off site and assembled on location. While prefab homes may not have the design options of custom homes, they come at a lower cost. Many pre-built homes cost 10%–15% less than site-built alternatives.

  • Timber frame homes: $200–$250 per square foot.

  • Steel framed homes cost: $10–$15 per square foot, slightly more than wood framing.

  • Building a brick house costs: $10,000–$75,000. This price only includes brick as a siding.

  • Concrete houses cost: $204,000–$416,000.

  • Wood log cabins cost: $125–$300 per square foot. You'll spend anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 for a small, 500-square-foot home.

  • Ranch style homes: Single story homes cost about the same as other typical houses at $100 to $200 per square foot on average. Sprawling ranch homes that have larger than average footprints can cost more than a two-story house because of the added foundation costs.

  • Modern homes: Those featuring large expanses of glass range widely from $750,000–$15 million.

  • Building a duplex or row house costs: $100–$400 per square foot, depending on your location.

  • Victorian homes: $250,000–$550,000 to build. Size and the quality of the home and finishes impact costs.

  • Octagon or dome house: For just a shell and floor, you'll spend $50–$75 per square foot. After that, you can customize the interior layout any way you desire.

  • Bungalow or cottage house: $200,000–$600,000 on average or about $250 per square foot.

  • Shipping containers and tiny homes cost: $8,000–$150,000+. It's a very DIY centric style of building, but many tiny home companies specialize in these builds.

  • Saltbox homes: $150–$250 per square foot. They're a traditional New England style of home built using timber frame construction or classic stick framing techniques.

  • Cob or straw bale houses: These homes vary quite a bit in price. Most of these types of homes are DIY projects, made from organic materials including clay, straw and sand.

  • Treehouses cost: $75,000–$400,000 when building a luxury model. Building a simple treehouse for your kids might only run you about $400.

  • Building a guest house costs: $45,000–$100,000+

  • A-frame homes cost: $100–$200 per square foot.

  • Beach houses cost: +$20,000–$60,000 to your home's build due to the addition of stilts. If you're thinking of just lifting the house later, don't. It's significantly cheaper to do it while you are building the house. Lifting a house costs can get as high as $25,000–$100,000.

e. How much does it cost to build a house in my state?

StateAverage Cost Range
Alabama$200,000 – $380,000
Arizona$200,000 – $625,000
California$200,600 – $600,000
Colorado$300,000 – $500,000
Connecticut$300,000 – $800,000
Florida$240,000 – $350,000
Georgia$100,000 – $400,000
Illinois$200,000 – $750,000
Maryland$200,000 – $380,000
Massachusetts$250,000 – $600,000
Michigan$225,000 – $265,000
Mississippi$180,000 – $300,000
Missouri$310,000 – $485,000
New York$250,000 – $950,000
North Carolina$320,000 – $450,000
Ohio$290,000 – $345,000
Oregon$175,000 – $400,000
Pennsylvania$345,000 – $450,000
South Carolina$300,000 – $400,000
Tennessee$185,000 – $380,000
Texas$235,000 – $660,000
Virginia$200,000 – $560,000
Washington$200,000 – $450,000
Wisconsin$220,000 – $400,000

For costs by city, try our calculator.

Costs to build a house by state, showing the 4 least and 4 most expensive
epic_fail / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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