Building your own house can be a daunting task, especially in the current market where real-estate cost increases every year. That said, having your own home will give you the comfort, convenience, and peace of mind you can’t get from renting an apartment. Although it’s pretty difficult to accurately determine the cost of building a house as it would largely depend on the state and city you live.
Average Cost of Building a House in the USA
The average cost according to the survey is nearly $280,000 to build a house in the USA. But, then again, the price will vary depending on the location.
Here is the average cost-per-square-foot of a new house for a single family
|Region||Avg cost per sqft||The median cost per sqft|
|All regions in the USA||$112||$101|
Here is an average cost breakdown of building a new house
Site Work – $16,000+
- Permit fees – $3600+
- Impact fees – $1700+
- Architecture – $4500+
- Water and sewer fees inspection – $4100+
- Others – $1900+
Foundation – $33,000+
Framing – $52,000+
- Framing – $44,600+
- Trusses – $3800+
- Sheathing – $1200+
- Metal and steel – $1200+
- Others – $900+
Exterior – $43,000+
- Wall finish – $2700+
- Roofing – $10,000+
- Windows and doors – $12,000+
- Other – $500+
Rough-In – $43,000+
- Plumbing – $12,000+
- Electrical – $12,000+
- HVAC – $12,000+
- Others – $700+
Interior – $85,000+
- Insulation – $6400+
- Drywall – $11,700+
- Lighting – $3000+
- Cabinet and Countertops – $16,000+
- Plumbing fixtures – $2700+
- Fireplace – $1300+
- Appliances – $13,000+
- Flooring – $4400+
- Painting – $9000+
- Trims, doors, and mirrors – $12,000+
- Other – $700+
Finalization – $19,000+
- Landscaping – $6000+
- Outdoor structures – $4000+
- Driveway – $6000+
- Clean up – $2000+
- Other – $700
Total – $280,000
Determining the Cost of House Construction
Prices mentioned above and further are average cost, which may not tally with the cost you will incur in reality while building your own house. The actual cost that you will have to pay will vary largely on your area and the contractor you hire. Your actual house building cost could be higher or lower than our average estimate.
- The first cost is the lot you will buy and by NAHB (The National Association of Home Builders) reports the average price for a buildable lot should be nearly $85,100, which also includes financing and other associated costs.
- Then the lot has to be level, thereby increasing cost; then again building access such as roads has to be created if there isn’t any. It will require excavation who cost will vary depending on the site and local labor costs.
- For the house’s foundation, the NAHB suggests that the average total should be no more than $33,500 including excavation, creating walls, and other necessities.
- The construction price will also depend on the square footage of the house and the number of stories you want to build.
- For drywall, the NAHB estimates an average cost of $11,700.
- A significant part of your expense will go into building doors and windows. The NAHB suggests that the cost of installing windows, doors and garage door in a new house should be nearly $12,000.
- Roofing on the newly built home should cost around $10,000 according to NAHB
Additional House Improvement Cost
- Your choice of siding for your house and significantly increase or reduce overall cost. Experts say that for a home valued over $760,000, homeowners should use stucco and brick siding. However, stucco can add up to the expense at the rate of up to $9 per square foot. Other expensive options are brick and stone veneer which will cost up to $15 per square foot. The cheaper alternative would be vinyl siding which will cost around $4 per square foot.
- For flooring, the NAHB suggests a total of $13,000 on average. If you go for wall-to-wall carpeting, it will cost you between $3 – $5 per square foot; however, hardwood flooring will cost between $9 – $12 per square foot.
- Installing a plumbing system should cost you nearly $12,000. The electrical system will cost you another $12,000.
- Kitchen cabinets, fixtures, appliances, hardware, countertops, etc. should cost your somewhere around $22,000; $16,000 for cabinets and countertop and $5000 or more on appliances.
- An HVAC system for heating, ventilation and air conditioning on average should cost just over $12,000 according to data from NAHB.
- Exterior finishes such as garage, driveway, patio, deck, landscaping you should expect to pay $6000 for landscaping, $6000 for the driveway, $4000 for a patio.
What are the benefits of building your own house?
- Customize interior, exterior and everything in between just the way you want
- Pick your lot, have your garden and position your house in whichever direction you wish.
- Create your own media room and other features to the building.
- Everything is brand new and can expect to last for 10 – 20 years without much maintenance.
- New appliances will help you save money as they will not need repairs or maintenance for a long time.
Why some people prefer renting over building their own house?
- It takes time, nearly a year to complete building a house
- Homeowners have to be actively involved with the labors and contractors
- It takes time to pick-up various items such as tiles, floors, furniture, etc.
- It’s a daunting and stressful task
- Building a house is more expensive than buying or renting
According to NAHB (The National Association of Home Builders), building a house is more expensive than buying a house. Although it may not be the case every time. The cost of building a house goes to four prime aspects:
- The size of the house – the square feet of the house you are building
- The design of the house – A simple design house will cost less than building a house with corners, rounded walls, curved staircase, etc.
- Type of Material – From flooring to tiles, the choice of your material will determine the cost of your house.
- Added features – It will cost you a premium for your desired paint, tile, carpet, extra bathroom, etc.
How Long Will it Take to Build Your House?
Building a house takes up a lot of work such as buying a lot, deciding a design, consult with builders, get a loan, looking after its aesthetics, etc., each taking up significant time on its own. In general to building a house from scratch will take up one year to complete.
Most people choose to build their house in planned communities. Here, you will find a few builders who have their design and model. It is where you can get a house already designed for you, which will help you decide and modify a model if you need.
What about Home Construction Loan?
A home construction loan is applicable only when you hire a custom builder and build a house on your lot. With a home builder, you can get an FHA loan, VA loan; however, the builder will need a pre-approved letter and a 2% deposit to start the construction. The deposit goes to the down payment. It’s worth noting that an FHA loan requires a credit score of 580 and a 3.6% downpayment. However, for VA loans, you don’t need any down payment and get a loan with a lower credit score.
Buying vs. Building House
It completely depends on your personal choice, but you should consider the fact that building your own house will be expensive and you will have peace of mind and love your customized space. In case of buying a new house, you will be able to move just within 45 days, but then again, nothing would be to your liking. To make it your own, you probably have to renovate, change color, tiles, carpet, sinks, fix cracks, ceilings, etc. Moreover, the appliances you get are already old and may need repairs soon. Considering all these additional costs on top of purchase cost, buying a home can be expensive too.
Cost of Building a Kit Home
If you want to build your house on a budget, you should consider a kit home. Basically, these homes are designed and built off-site and then delivered to your property for assembly. They are cost-effective and enable DIY contractors to customize the house.
Factors that affect the cost of a kit home:
- House model and design – A four bedroom kit home will be very expensive than a one-bedroom kit home. Moreover, the floor space, number of bathrooms, office spaces, study spaces, and other designs would determine your home cost.
- The siding option – Whatever you choose: brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, etc. it will add up to the cost.
- Lot – A significant amount of cost will go into preparing the site. It will cost extra, if the site is not easily accessible for which they have to create roads, clean-up the area, level the place and others.
- Package – Some kit homes are priced only for the shell of the home, and there are others that include all the trimmings including air conditioning.
Before purchasing the kit, it would be wise to get an estimate and the list of item that’s included in the package. Then again, site leveling and soil testing will cost extra, which you will have to coordinate with the builders. Most importantly, make sure that you have properly planned out the house so that you don’t get last minute shock on over budgeting.
- Two-bedroom kit home – $55,000 to $120,000
- Three-bedroom kit home – $130,000 to $190,000
- Four-bedroom kit home – $160,000 to $220,000
Here are Some Additional Cost in Buying Your House
- Adding bathrooms and bedrooms – A typical two bedroom with a shared bath will cost you around $270,000. However, if you plan to add two bathrooms and two bedrooms, you should expect to spend another $300,000 to the existing house. If you are remodeling the kitchen and bath on the main floor, you should expect to spend another $300,000, which will include plumbing, heating, electrical outlet, etc. If you have to remodel the whole of the house, it would be better to deconstruct the building and start again from scratch.
- House lift – If you want to add a new lower floor, you have to lift the house, which will cost you a lot. Lifting just an 800 square foot house would cost yours over $350,000. However, the cost includes building a new floor, with a master suite, utility room, and office.
- Kitchen Renovation – Renovating kitchen would cost your nearly $70,000 which includes new cabinets, countertops, lighting, plumbing, appliances, etc. without expansion.
- Backyard Cottage – Building a 700 square foot cottage would nearly cost your nearly $350,000 in average.
- Garage – For the garage, you should expect to spend between $150 and $200 per square foot.
Cost of Remodelling a House
Because of increasing real-estate cost and interest rates, many homeowners are opting to renovate their own house instead of buying a new one. In an average, a house renovation should cost you between $20,000 to $30,000.
A kitchen renovation is the most common project among homeowners. Over 30% of remodeling done in the US is for the kitchen only. On the other hand, it’s an expensive project, where the budget could get out of hand, if not planned well. According to a report by Remodelling Magazine, a midrange minor kitchen would cost over $20,000; a major remodeling will cost over $60,000, and an upscale remodeling would cost over $125,000.
Cabinets and Countertops
Cabinets and countertops take up most of the space in a kitchen, and it comes in various price points. In a budget, a countertop could cost from $1,600 for a butcher block to over $15,000 for quartz. However, within a budget, stock cabinets and butcher block countertop should cost you around $3,500. A midrange remodeling with granite countertop and custom cabinets will cost you around $13,000. An upscale remodeling will cost you over $50,000.
A fresh set of kitchen appliances should cost you just under $1,500 for a generic brand. However, bigger brands such as Whirlpool Kitchen Suite will cost you over $2,200, and Bosch Kitchen Suite will cost your nearly $6,500.
The bathroom is the second-most common remodeling projects among homeowners. A mid-range bathroom remodeling with average fixtures would cost your nearly $20,000. If you want to splurge more for a spa experience with a rain-style showerhead, some that look like it came out of a magazine could cost yours over $60,000.
In general, a bathroom renovation starts with the tiles; it could depend on the design and type of tile you want in your bathroom. For a budget remodeling, you should expect to spend $4.5 per square foot of ceramic tile with an installation cost of nearly $5 per square foot. Granite tiles would cost around $7 per square foot with an installation cost of nearly $7 per square foot. For custom mosaic tile, per square foot tile costs around $25, with an installation cost of over $20 per square foot.
Plumbing and drains work is comparatively inexpensive but can quickly add up if you decide to both plumbing for water, shower, sink, toilet, and everything. In an average, moving one plumbing line would cost you over $600, adding other fixture and moving wall will cost a lot more. For a budget plumbing change, you should expect to spend nearly $800 only to move the shower; however, moving both shower and toilet would cost over $1,300, and if you plan to move the sink as well, you should expect to pay more $1,000.
Bedroom renovation is fairly inexpensive; you can practically give your bedroom a new look just by repainting the interior. However, if you completely want to remodel the bedroom with new walls, floors, and paints, you should expect an average expense of $7,000. However, in a budget for just painting the walls, it should cost around $200, and for better paint, it would cost close to $700.
Master Bedroom Addition
Adding a master bedroom suite is often opted by most homeowners looking for remodeling, but it does cost a lot. That said, adding a master suite will significantly increase your property resale value by over 50%. In an average, a midrange master suite addition will cost over $120,000, and for an upscale project, it should cost you around $250,000.
A small closet renovation should get you under a budget of $500. If you want a custom walk-in closet, it should cost you under $2,500. For a completely custom closet renovation, you should expect to pay around $6,000.
Rarely does one think of remodeling the laundry room; but can be a great project and some do strive to create a comfortable and welcoming laundry space. Depending on what you want to achieve from moving to plumb to fixtures, it could cost at a budget of just $2,000 to high-end remodeling that can cost over $10,000.
Remodeling is more of a luxury than necessity; however, if you want to splurge, you should expect to spend over $75,000 just for the roof. For minor repairs, it should cost just under $1,300. For an asphalt shingle roof, you should expect to spend between $3,000 to $11,000.
Top Hidden Costs While Building a House
- Legal Permit and Fees – Legal permit fees can add up to your house building budget. The average price of legal permit fees for one home is nearly $1,000. For a high-end building, it could cost up to $4,000. You will need additional permit room additions, major renovations, structural changes, plumbing, and mechanical work.
- Site Preparation – The average site preparation cost per square foot is from $15 to $30. So, for the 2000 square foot house, the cost of site preparation would range between $25,000 to $60,000.
- Landscaping – Landscaping is often overlooked by homeowners when building their house. Landscaping alone can cost thousands of dollars ranging from $1500 to $5000. The average cost of hiring a landscape architect is $7,000.
- Furniture – I guess, you never thought of furniture when planning your house. In an item of average total furniture, the cost will range between $5,000 to $9,000.
Home Decoration Cost Breakdown
|Decor Items||Quantity||Avg. Cost|
|Living Room Chair/Club Chair||2||$1,000|
|Bedding and Pillows||$1,000|
Building a house is an expensive undertaking and is exhausting to keep track of its progress. This probably is going to be the most expensive investment of your life, but with rising land cost and designer furniture and fixture, rarely does one builds the house of his dream unless he decides to splurge a lot. On the other hand, many consider building a house to increase its resale value. It is worth noting that not all renovations and building features add up to the selling price of the house; moreover, the price mentioned above is an average estimate; the real cost of building a house will largely depend on your expectations and your state.