How Much Does It Cost to Frame a House?

Typical Range:

$1,368 - $6,315

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,905 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 April 20, 2022

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

Written by HomeAdvisor.

House Framing Costs

Average house framing costs range between $7 to $16 per square foot

For house framing projects, HomeAdvisor users paid an average of $3,760 for labor and materials. Users reported paying an average of $3,747 for carpentry framing projects, or generally between $1,368 and $6,315. The type of project and size are the biggest cost factors, with small, simple projects costing as low as $300 and large projects like framing a whole house costing as much as $32,000 or more.

If you're building a new home or constructing an addition, this type of carpentry is essential to your project. It can be tough to predict the costs for a specific project, but this guide will walk you through general ranges and considerations. It's also best to understand house framing basics first. The first step is to contact a general contractor to determine the prices and best course of action.

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National Average $3,760
Typical Range $1,368 - $6,315
Low End - High End $300 - $15,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,905 HomeAdvisor members.

House Framing Cost Factors 

The complexity of your plans along with how often you change them only add to the closing price tag. Always have the professional sign a detailed contract with all charges and contingencies listed with costs.

Size & Complexity

Most contractors charge between $4 and $10 per square foot in labor costs for framing. The more complex your plans are, the more you can expect to pay. Every intersecting wall requires more studs, increasing material needs. Extra slopes and valleys add both to time and materials. Price depends on your house plan's complexity.

Size matters because contractors estimate per square foot. However, it matters far less than complexity. For example, a simple, 3,000-square-foot home estimated at $4 per square foot only costs $12,000 while a complex, 2,000-square-foot, two-story home estimated at $9 per square foot has a higher total price of $18,000.

Residential vs. Commercial Framing

Commercial pricing is slightly higher with a range of $12 to $40 per square foot including labor, installation, and insulation. Most commercial buildings use steel construction rather than wood.

Changes

If you decide to make any changes after the framing has begun, it will increase the price. Increases depend on many variables specific to each project—making a general estimate for this guide impossible.

Simple changes like adding a door, moving the location of a window, or adding loads to a second floor all affect the final bill. Try to keep these changes to a minimum.

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Costs for House Framing

Though overall pricing tends to run between $4 to $10 per square foot for labor with an additional $3 to $6 per square foot for materials, specific jobs have their own considerations.

Labor Rates per Square Foot

Labor runs between $4 to $10 per square foot. In urban areas, expect to pay on the higher end of this range, or a little above depending on demand. The size of the project will make a significant impact on the cost of installation. Some professionals charge per square foot versus the amount of time a project takes. Regardless, bigger homes will take longer and will require more materials.

Home Sheathing

Sheathing will cost an additional $2 to $8 per square foot. Contractors put up the sheathing, which adds structural elements to the home. Often, these contractors will also install house wrap, such as Typar or Tyvek, for an additional $0.50 to $1 per square foot. House wraps serve as weather-resistant barriers.

Full-House Framing

The average, 2,000-square-foot single-story home runs between $14,000 and $32,000 with an additional $4,000 to $16,000 for sheathing and wrap. This is a fraction of the total average home building cost of $290,000. The second story of a two-story home generally runs about $3 per square foot more than the first floor.

Home Addition Carpentry

Framing makes up about 8% to 12% of a home addition's cost. Final pricing depends on what type of addition you're adding. Home addition costs range drastically based on the grade of materials and products used as well as the details of the design. A simple box with no bump-outs or insets is far cheaper than one with complicated angles that require special framing.

For example, framing for a 500-square-foot addition will run between $3,500 to $8,000 while the total project would range from $30,000 to $100,000. Depending on what you're adding, you may need to hire an architect or a structural engineer to determine the best placement for an addition before framing.

Basement Framing

Basement walls in established homes run on the lower end of the cost spectrum at about $5 per square foot. They aren't load-bearing or complex and don't usually require extensive planning.

Attached or Detached Garages

Expect to be on the lowest end of the framing range or at about $4 to $5 per square foot. Garages are usually the simplest structure to build.

Wall, Ceiling, & Interior Reframing

On average, interior wall projects cost $1,900. Interior walls and ceilings follow the same rates as listed above, usually in the $7 to $12 per square foot range. Interior walls present a different challenge when adding them to an established home. There is less room to work, more care must be taken regarding dust and debris, and the homeowner is often living in the residence during construction.

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Roof Framing Costs

Though roof framing pricing remains roughly the same as the rest of the home, most roofs fall in the $6 to $9 per square foot range. Simple designs without any dormers and few valleys or hips—the place where two slopes join—will fall on the low end. Complex designs with numerous angle changes and dormers will end up on the higher end of the spectrum.

To avoid rafters and stick roof construction altogether and lower overall project costs, consider using premade roof trusses (see below).

Roof Truss Prices

Roof trusses cost between $35 to $150 per truss depending on the length of the truss. Trusses for a standard 2,000-square-foot- home run between $7,200 to $12,000, including labor and equipment. Roof trusses are pre-made roof framing members that run anywhere from 10 feet to 36 feet or more. Though they cost more per piece than wood rafters, you'll save money overall because they take far less time to install than a new stick frame roof, which reduces labor costs. They also require less material as they are usually installed at 24 inches on center, while rafters are typically 16 inches on center.

New Structures vs. Replacing Roof Framing

New roof construction will often cost quite a bit less than replacing a roof. Expect to pay an average of $20 per hour for labor plus $3 to $6 per square foot in materials. Replacing an old roof frame requires additional home demolition costs of an additional $4 to $15 per square foot. You can save money on labor by using roof trusses as described above.

Garages and Other Detached Structure Roofs

Garage roof costs are the same as a home roof. Costs depend on the type of roof you're installing and your climate. The heavier the roof, and the more snow weight it will need to support, the closer together the load-bearing rafters or trusses need to be.

Converting a Flat Roof to Pitched

Converting a flat roof to a pitched roof is essentially framing a new roof for an average of $6 to $9 per square foot. Detailed flat to pitched roof conversion costs include hourly rates, which tend to be higher in addition to considerations like complexity, equipment, and material prices.

Framing Material Cost Estimator

Framing materials run from $3 to $6 per square foot. Since lumber pricing fluctuates, it can be tough to predict costs in advance. You'll end up paying about $350 to $500 for 1,000 board feet of lumber. Metal framing costs historically tend to run a bit higher than wood by about 10%. Check with your local lumber yard or general contractor for local pricing.

Wood vs. Steel Framing
WoodSteel
$1 – $5 per square foot $9.50 – $11 per square foot
Popular choiceExtremely durable
Easy to work withRequires professional installation
Insect proneInsect and rot proof

Lumber Frame

Lumber runs between $1 to $5 per square foot with overages ranging from 15% to 20% waste. A 2,000-square-foot home comes in at $6,000 to $12,000 in materials. For sheathing, add an additional 15% to 22%. Lumber is easy to work with, quick to install, and lasts the life of the home.

Steel Frame

Steel framed homes run between $9.50 to $11 per square foot or about $19,000 to $22,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home. Some homes use steel while it's commonly used in commercial construction. Steel installation is slightly more expensive at $1.50 more per square foot. But it's extremely durable, has a lower impact on the environment, and holds up better against termites.

Wood & Metal Calculator

"Lumber prices are currently as high as steel in many areas of the country. If you opt to steel frame your structure remember that it will impact your insulation needs because of its thermal conductivity. Your contractor will know how to design and insulate your house to minimize heat or cold transfer from the steel members to your interiors."

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

Code requires homes to have studs every 16 inches on center for load-bearing walls and 24 inches on center for non-load-bearing walls. Using a framing material calculator or consulting with your architect or contractor is the best way to determine exact material needs. To find out how much of the materials you need, follow these tips:

  • Sketch the layout.

  • Determine the linear feet of the wall.

  • Add one extra stud at each corner and two at any openings.

  • Add 15% for waste on your estimate.

  • Determine prefabricated roof trusses by measuring the slope side wall and divide by 16, round up.

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FAQs

How do you come up with a rough estimate for a framing job?

Most commonly, a contractor comes up with rough estimates by looking at a plan, determining the complexity of the work, and applying a price per square foot. For detailed bids, ask the professional to break out costs as line items. The detailed bid should include insurance, travel expenses, waste, materials, labor, tools and equipment, and administrative expenses (legal, accounting, etc.).

How much do framers make?

Framers tend to make between $12 to $30 per hour with an average hourly rate of $20. They usually receive additional benefits like health insurance and retirement contributions for another 30% of their salary. Framer salaries are just one small part of overall constructions costs, which include overhead, marketing, insurance, travel, and tools and supplies.

What are some tips for hiring a framer or contractor?

Here are some tips to follow when hiring a framer or contractor:

  • Get at least three bids.

  • Ask to see samples of previous work or talk to previous clients.

  • Use a general contractor to find framing contractors. Framing contractors tend to have loyalty to general contractors who provide them ongoing work versus a homeowner with a one-off project. This translates into better rates and better work.

  • Interview all contractors, and trust your instincts. Go with the professional you feel is right for the job.

  • Get a clear and detailed contract.

  • Submit all changes and request to your contractor in writing.

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