How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Seattle?

Typical Range:

$241,000 - $580,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated December 16, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to build a home in Seattle is around $403,200. However, the typical range for building a house in Seattle ranges from $241,000 to $580,500. Because building a house will vary depending on the house size, the exact location of the house, and how you’re building the house, you may see any price from $30,000 to $650,000.

With over 750,000 people living in Seattle, which is an increase of over 23% from 2010, it’s no wonder why the cost of building a house in the Emerald City has seen a significant increase. The evergreen forests, nearby mountains, and coastal charm matched with the city life makes for beautiful sights and a booming housing market.

Estimating the Costs of Building a House in Seattle

When it comes to building a house, you’ll need to consider everything from hiring an architect to design the house to finding a construction manager that can help you build your dream home.

Material Prices

Materials make up around 50% of the total build project. You’re going to need a range of materials from lumber to concrete to get your house up and running. But materials often have some budgetary wiggle room; for example, choosing a less expensive type of flooring in favor of a higher-end roof.

MaterialPrice
Lumber (for frame)$3 – $6 per square foot
Concrete$4 – $6 per square foot
Drywall$0.50 – $1 per panel
Flooring$9 – $32 per square foot
Siding$2 – $50 per square foot
Insulation$0.20 – $2 per square foot
Roofing$1 – $20 per square foot
Electrical Wiring$6 – $10 per square foot
Plumbing Pipes$5 – $7 per square foot

Labor Costs

There isn’t one single professional that’s more important than another when it comes to building a home. You can’t have electricity installed without an electrician and your project would likely fall apart without hiring a nearby construction manager. Each contractor plays a crucial role in ensuring that your home is up and running in a timely and safe manner.

Consider these labor fees when making a house building budget:

Permits

Permits to build a house in Seattle cost around $1,200 to $2,000 on average. This may increase if you’re looking to build items, such as patios, pools, or guest homes. Therefore, the total cost of permits may be upwards of $8,000.

Additional or Unexpected Costs

Seattle is a relatively hilly area, so you may end up needing to increase your budget by 5% to 10%. This accounts for more requirements around excavating the area and using more concrete to stabilize the home’s foundation. On top of that, working at an angle is not necessarily the easiest project to accomplish.

If you’re looking to get some extra square footage in your home, you might want to consider finishing your basement. Finishing a basement in Seattle costs roughly $175 to $200 per square foot.

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How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Seattle by Square Foot?

The cost of building a house in Seattle ranges from $350 per square foot to upwards of $500 per square foot for all the bells and whistles. Generally, the larger the house, the lower the cost per square foot, since most of the extra square footage in large homes comes from extra bedrooms or living spaces, rather than kitchens or bathrooms. Any additions, such as a guest home, additional room, or garage, will cost upwards of $300 per square foot.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Seattle Yourself?

There’s almost no situation where you’ll be able to build a house on your own in Seattle. Building a house takes a large team, around 20 to 40 people, at any given time. Even with a well-oiled machine of a team, you’re still looking at a minimum of three months to complete the build.

The larger and more difficult the scope of the project is, the more time it’s going to take to complete. Some houses can even take up to 20 months before getting the final seal of approval.

You could technically save money by becoming your own construction manager. This would save you around 5% to 15% in the long run. But you’re essentially going to be working a full-time job to accomplish this, so it pretty much comes out to be the same in the end.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Seattle by Type?

Seattle is home to a wide variety of home types. It’s not uncommon to drive up and down I-5 and see everything from cozy tiny homes no larger than 300 square feet to large custom-built homes that border on being a castle.

You’ll need to make sure you contact the right professional to get the project started. For custom homes, you’ll want to hire a custom home builder. For modular homes, contact a modular home builder near you.

Common types of homes you’ll see include:

  • Modular: $65–$100 per square foot

  • Tiny Home: $61,500–$155,000

  • Custom: $400–$650 per square foot

  • Semi-Custom: $300–$450 per square foot

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Seattle by Style?

Seattle is also home to a wide variety of different home styles. You’ll turn one corner and see a lovely ranch-style home and then turn another corner and be greeted with an old-fashioned Victorian. This means you can somewhat style your home as you see fit, as everything tends to be unique in Seattle.

Common prices for these styles of homes include:

  • Wood cabin: $200 per square foot

  • Ranch-style: $350–$500 per square foot

  • Victorian: $300–$600 per square foot

  • Bungalow: $250–$600 per square foot

  • Modern: $500–$750 per square foot

What Factors Influence the Cost to Build a House in Seattle?

If you’re going for a completely custom home, then how large of a kitchen you want, the number of rooms and bathrooms, and additions like a pool will also need to be factored in. From there, you’ll need to consider the quality of materials.

A general breakdown of these cost factors include:

Type of AdditionPrice
Bedroom or Living Space$50,000 – $75,000 per room
Kitchen$50,000 – $200,000 per kitchen
Bathrooms$20,000 – $80,000 per bathroom
Pools$44,000 – $84,000 per pool
Patio$2,400 – $6,600 per patio

FAQs About Building a House in Seattle

Should you build or buy a house in Seattle?

Building a home in Seattle typically costs around $100,000 to $200,000 more than buying an already built home. The majority of the savings from buying this type of home comes from the fact that the land has already been purchased.

How do you find an architect for designing the home?

You may not need to hire an architect for your home design if you’re going for something a little more simple. Architects are needed to design a home when the plans for the home need engineering and technical support.

If you're looking for someone to simply draw up plans for the home, you'll want to hire a draftsperson instead. To hire a draftsperson, take into consideration their qualifications and past work done. The cost of hiring a draftsperson is around $1,750 on average.

How does building a home in Seattle compare to the rest of the U.S?

The average cost to build a home in the United States is around $284,000. This puts the cost of building a home in Seattle approximately 30% higher than the national average.

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