How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?
$113,158 - $449,088
$113,158 - $449,088
Updated May 24, 2022Reviewed by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.
To build, buy, or renovate? It's a question most homeowners ask themselves. If you've researched all the options in your ZIP code and decided to build, you may wonder how much it'll cost to build a house. In 2022, the average cost to build a home in the U.S. is $280,911, with a typical range of $113,158 and $449,088. Continue reading to find out the various cost factors that’ll affect your total project cost.
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|Typical Range||$113,158 - $449,088|
|Low End - High End||$2,500 - $800,000|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 793 HomeAdvisor members.
The most significant cost determinant? You guessed it: It's the size of your dream home. Simply put, the bigger the build, the more materials and labor costs you should expect. The cost to build a new house is about $150 per square foot, and the average new home constructed in the U.S. is approximately 2,200 square feet. If you'd like to know the general price range of your dream build by size, take a look at these averages below. A simple omission like an extra bathroom or pantry can greatly affect your pocketbook.
|Square Feet||Average 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|
The house footprint will also impact the total project cost. If you're looking to save money, opt for a small footprint rather than building outward. For example, building upward with a two-story design can decrease the footprint. Where you build can also play a big role when it comes to costs, which we'll explore later.
In the U.S., three-bedroom homes typically range from 976 square feet to over 2,400 square feet. Four-bedroom homes range from 1,900 to 2,800 square feet, and five-bedroom homes range from 2,500 feet to the mid-3,000s. The table below gives you a sense of the home cost by the most common bedroom sizes.
|Number of Bedrooms||Average Cost|
Metropolitan settings like New York City or San Francisco have a higher labor cost, so builds in these bigger cities can run $400 per square foot or more.
|U.S. State||Average Cost|
Besides square footage, the construction pros who build your house represent 30% to 50% 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 their ability to get reasonably priced labor. These factors are on top of the size and complexity of your home.
Large custom-built homes have a higher labor cost than smaller modular homes. Modular properties are prefabricated, with up to 90% of the work 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 on-site with no prefabrication. The lack of factory-made elements significantly increases labor costs.
Some labor costs (not including material fees) include:
General contractor costs: 10%–20% of the total project cost
Architects cost: $125–$250 per hour
Structural engineers cost: $100–$200 per hour
Draftspeople cost: $50–$130 per hour
Interior designer rate: $50–$200 per hour
Landscape architect fee: $70–$150 per hour
Construction manager costs: 5%–15% of the total project cost
House framer rates: $7–$16 per square foot
Electrician rates: $50–$100 per hour
Plumber costs: $45–$200 per hour
You can't build a home without buying the land first. The average lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2016 was 8,562 square feet, just under one-fifth of an acre. While there aren't many rules on how much land you have to buy, think about the overall home size, including the backyard and front yard. You also need to set aside space for fencing on your property line and where your home's utility grid will go.
On average, purchasing your own lot costs anywhere from $3,000 to $150,000. Pricing varies significantly depending on the lot size, location, and whether the utilities are already at the site or need to be brought in.
In 2020, the National Association of Home Builders reported that the median lot price reached a record high of $53,000. The most expensive lots were in the New England region, where the median lot values reached $120,000, and the second-most expensive area was the Pacific region, with a median lot value of $103,000.
Clearing land for construction prep costs around $1,300 to $5,100. If you bought your own lot, you might have to hire an excavation contractor near you to clear it, but the land might already be prepared for building in most developments. Costs you may incur include:
Soil testing costs around $800–$2,100.
Land excavation and grading cost around $1,500–$5,600.
Land surveyor costs around $400–$750.
If no utility, sewer, or cable lines have been pulled to a site, it's considered an unfinished lot. You'll usually only run into this issue in rural areas. If you buy land in a metropolitan setting, developers will probably have finished the lot prior to listing it. When building on unfinished lots, plan for some additional costs, such as:
Connecting to city sewers costs on average $550–$2,300.
Connecting to the city electric grid costs on average $1,000–$30,000. Fees depend heavily on how close your home is to the nearest lines.
Connecting to city water lines costs on average $1,000–$5,000. You'll pay only one fee if you need both water and sewer.
Whether you're looking for a small two-bed country-style property or sprawling modern farmhouse, you can find a variety of stock plans or pre-designed home plans with features homeowners typically want. Expect to pay $500 to $5,000 for stock plans that'll give you an overall vision of a home while saving you architectural fees. Custom plans will require an architect and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. These plans are tailored to the exact vision of the buyer.
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 local construction manager can give you an accurate "cost to build" estimate.
To build a new home (or add to an existing house), you'll also need a building permit. The cost of a building permit for a home is between $1,200 and $2,000 and can vary based on your location and the permitting requirements in your area.
Constructing your home from scratch can be a costly and time-consuming process. Below, we break down the most significant elements of building a home, from the materials needed to framing and plumbing requirements.
Expect to spend about 50% of your total budget on home-building materials. Lumber costs an average of $25,000 to $65,000 nationwide. For a new build, concrete costs about $1,000 to $10,000. Flooring typically costs $1 to $5 per square foot.
The quality of the material you choose makes a big difference. For instance, siding costs about $2 to $15 per square foot. But if you're working on a tight budget or want to splurge elsewhere, you can clad your home in lower-end vinyl, wood, or aluminum siding for $2 to $5 per square foot. On the other extreme, 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 design.
|Lumber||$25,000 – $65,000|
|Concrete||$1,000 – $10,000|
|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|
2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging
Demand for siding and other building materials has 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.
The frame of your house is the skeleton that'll support your finishing features, like drywall, windows, doors, and even your roof. It's the backbone of every house and is traditionally made of wood. Framing costs $20,000 to $50,000. If you don't live in a cold climate, ask your builder about using cinder blocks, a great way to save money. But be forewarned: It's not a great insulator.
Your home's frame will dictate the size and location of rooms and other essential features like roofing. Framing includes the home's overall frame, trusses, and general metalwork. Usually, framers also do the home's sheathing and subfloor installation and install the windows and doors.
If you want to make changes after the framing has begun, it'll increase the price. Increases depend on many variables specific to each project, creating a general estimate for this guide impossible. Even seemingly simple changes like adding a door, moving the window's location, or adding loads to a second floor all affect the final bill. If you want to keep your costs lower, avoid these kinds of changes.
Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC comprise most of your major system costs because of the sheer volume of work and labor-intensive nature required in each of these areas. Major systems installation costs range from $30,000 to $75,000. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work are critical to your property's safety, integrity, and efficiency, so this isn't the place to try and cut costs. The size and type of systems can affect the price of these installations.
For example, a new HVAC unit installation costs $5,000 to $10,000. Here's a look at more costs associated with major systems:
Rough-in plumbing costs around $7,500–$15,000.
Electrical wiring costs on average $20,000–$30,000.
HVAC costs on average $1,500–$13,000.
Solar panels cost on average $18,000–$35,000.
Interior home finishes refer to all the natural and synthetic materials used to cover the interior of a building's frame, and they also add the special touch that'll make your new house a home sweet home. On average, interior finishing costs $50,000 to $175,000 but can run much higher. It's one of the more expensive components, and there are endless luxury options available. Think custom countertops and a crystal chandelier over your breakfast nook. How much you'll pay depends on your budget and personal style.
Custom cabinet prices: $2,000–$30,000
Countertop installation costs: $2,000–$4,350
Interior door installation costs: $5,000–$20,000
Drywall installation prices: $5,000–$30,000
Flooring installation prices: $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
Consider anything you can DIY to reduce costs. For example, if you have the time and skill to do the painting, you can save up to $10,000. These savings might let you splurge on granite countertops, solid wood kitchen cabinets, or an upscale appliance or two.
Just as important as building a new home that fits your needs and personal aesthetic, the exterior finish also contributes to your property's overall look and feel. The exterior finish is the material or coating used to decorate and protect the exterior wall surfaces. This can include masonry veneer, stucco, siding, and shingles.
Exterior finishing costs about $40,000 to $60,000 and includes exterior walls, roofing, windows, and doors. The number of building openings and types of exterior finishes will affect this price:
Roofing installation costs around $5,700–$12,000.
Window installation costs around $3,000–$9,600.
Painting a home exterior costs around $1,800–$4,400.
Here are some additional items to consider if you’re interested in adding a pool, backyard, or even a basement.
When you’re thinking about building a house, don't forget about planning out the cost of outdoor living space. The national average is about $7,670 for an outdoor living space, with a typical range between $4,150 and $11,190.
Pools are a great feature that adds value to the property. In-ground 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 cost $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.
You'll spend an average of $110 to $300 per square foot on building a home with a basement. Finishing a basement costs an additional $7 to $23 per square foot, while the lower end of the budget will get you a basic finish with inexpensive materials and some lighting and electrical outlets. You can turn the basement into a real living space at the higher end, with multiple rooms, including a bathroom.
When calculating the cost of building a house, the best advice is to budget the dollar amount each project requires as well as the necessary space and time to build. If you're unsure how to calculate the project cost—including architect rates, permit costs, material prices in the current market, and the finishes—allot a buffer of around 20% on top of your budget for emergency circumstances.
"Smaller costs—such as those for surveys, driveway paving, and soil testing—must be considered upfront because they add up quickly and can blow your budget," says Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.
The average purchase price of an existing home is about $408,800, and the average cost to build a home right now is $282,051. 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've chosen, and a whole host of other factors, you'll spend more or less than a competitively priced home in your area. Talk to a local realtor or home builder near you to better understand what will work best for you.
If you have the time and appropriate skills, you can save around $20,000 to $60,000 by building your own home. Most of that comes from acting as your own general contractor, but the savings generally won’t be worth the time you'll invest. Building the typical 2,600-square-foot home can already take an entire 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, and timelines, and you’ll have to spend money hiring labor to help put it up. In fact, some DIY-ers can take years to build their own home.
The cost to build a new home varies across types, from $50 to $400 per square foot. Here's a look at the costs associated with each kind of popular home build:
Cost of modular or prefabricated homes: $180,000–$360,000
Timber-framed homes: $200–$250 per square foot
Steel-framed homes: $10–$15 per square foot
Brick house: $10–$15 per square foot
Concrete house cost: $204,000–$416,000
Log cabin cost: $125–$300 per square foot
Tiny home cost: $8,000–$150,000+
Treehouse cost: $75,000–$400,000
Guesthouse cost: $45,000–$100,000+
A-frame home cost: $100–$200 per square foot