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9 min read Mar 31, 2023

How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Chicago, IL?

How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Chicago, IL

The average cost to build a house in Windy City is $270,000 excluding the land cost. With styles trending from self-sustaining to modular to luxurious, home building costs could reach millions.

How much you spend on building your house in Chicago depends on the location, hourly labor rate, material costs, and the style of home you choose.

Can I Build My Own House in Chicago?

Yes, you can build your own house in Chicago. Apply for the residential home building permit at your local authorities by filling out the forms and paying the permit fee – head to for more information.

Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a House in Chicago?

Currently, it is cheaper to buy a home in USA than to build your own home according to the most recent study by the National Association of Home Builders. It costs $34,000 more on average to construct a new home than to buy one.

According to HomeBuilderDigest, basic home building costs in Chicago are between $206,000 to $350,000. This cost varies depending on the property’s size, type, and location and can cross the $800,000 mark easily. The median home value in Chicago is $328,000 (as of October 2022).

Building a new home involves several costs such as land buying costs, labor costs, permit fees, construction costs, etc. Also, building a house from scratch takes about three to six months. So, new home construction is not only expensive but also time-consuming.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Chicago?

As per HomeBuilderDigest, it costs about $270,000 to build a basic house in Chicago. However, this is an average figure. It can go up or down depending on several factors like type, size, labor demand, material costs, etc.

Below is the table showing the construction cost per square foot for different types of houses:

Home TypeConstruction Cost (Per Square Foot)
Modular$60 to $230
Standard$120 to $240
Luxury$250 to $610

Home Building Costs Breakdown in Chicago

The home building costs can be broken down into two categories:

Hard Costs to Build a House in Chicago

Hard cost comprises the cost of things directly involved in the home-building process. This includes labor costs, material costs, etc. which play a role in estimating the project completion.

1. Material Cost

Material cost makes up the major chunk of the hard costs. As per Homeadvisor, it is around $50 per square foot. So, to build a 1,500-square-foot house you can expect to spend $75,000 on materials.

Materials costs have dropped substantially post-pandemic. This is due to global supply chains returning to normal and fewer people buying homes. The following costs are included in the home building material costs:

ItemsEstimated Cost*
Flooring$3 to $12 per sq. ft.
Drywall$1.76 to $1.88 per sq. ft.
Lumber$2 to $12 per sq. ft.
Siding$2 to $12 per sq. ft.
*costs will vary as per material

2. Labor Cost

Many professionals are involved in the home-building process. This includes electricians, architects, floor installers, plumbers, HVAC installers, carpenters, etc. Apart, you need a contractor or a firm to manage the construction process. Usually, the contractor or the firm hires the professionals involved in the construction.

The overall project cost varies depending on each professional’s hourly rates. It may further depend on the property type, detailing, materials, and workforce. Apart, the labor costs vary based on the location.

Below are the average hourly rates of home building professionals in Chicago:

ProfessionalsHourly Rate*
Flooring Installers$28 to $100
Roofers$26 to $80
Painters$20 to $70
Brick Masons$29 to $80
Landscapers$20 to $70
General Contractors$18 to $90
Plumbers$30 to $95
Carpenters$27 to $40
HVAC Technicians$30 to $80
Structural Engineers$34 to $105
Electricians$27 to $60
*Hourly rates are sourced from indeed and may exclude material/equipment cost

If you hire an architect to design your home in its entirety, they usually charge anywhere between 11-12% of the total construction cost in Chicago.

3. Electrical Cost

On average it costs $3 to $5 per sq. ft. to wire a new home. The amount you spend on electrical work varies depending on the property size, type of wiring, wire material, etc.

Electrical work while building a new house consists of roughing the wires, earthing, installing outlets, switches, and panels, and setting up fixtures and lights. It can further include setting up ethernet cables and other wirings.

4. Roof Installation Cost

Roofing costs depend on the choice of roofing material, the slope of the roof, and the size of your house. Below is the table showing roofing costs per square foot in Chicago for various roofing materials:

Roofing MaterialAvg Cost Per 100 Sq. Ft.
Asphalt Shingle Roof$234.78 
Tile Roof$1,090.05 
Wood Shake Roof$679.19  
Slate Roof$1,411.48 
Source: ProMatcher

5. Plumbing Cost

Plumbing costs include installing plumbing fixtures such as toilets, faucets, wash basins, bathtubs, etc. Homeowners spend around $4.50 per sq. ft. in installing plumbing fixtures in new construction or $4,080 on average (national average).

You require a plumber to fix the pipes and lay the sewage lines. Apart, you need to install new machinery like washing machines, dryers, and geysers while custom building a home in Chicago.


Homeowners pay $1,500 to $12,500 for installing a new HVAC system. This cost depends on several factors such as the size of the cooling area, the type of system, the brand, the addition of zones, etc. All these additional factors can increase the installation cost by $2,000 or more.

Soft Costs to Build a House in Chicago

Soft cost in home construction comprises costs that do contribute to the building process directly. They include costs like permit costs, design costs, etc.

1. Land Cost

The average cost per acre in Illinois is $23,492, however, they might not be an accurate representation of the land costs in a hot real market city like Chicago. Land costs depend on the size of the house you wish to build and the location.

2. Chicago Permit Cost

The minimum fee for residential construction with a maximum of 4 stories and a maximum of 3 dwelling units is $2,150. This fee will increase with increased specifications of your construction, therefore it is advisable to visit the local permit office and/or the official website.

3. Home Interior Costs

To build your dream home you would purchase the desired furniture, wall prints, rugs, carpets, artifacts, etc. You may also hire an interior designer for designing the interiors of your house.

An interior designer can help you maximize space utilization. An interior designer charges $50 to $200 on average, depending on their experience and location.

House Building Financing Options

If you have the funds to finance your dream house, you are welcome to skip this section. If not, then do not lose hope. Prepare a budget and get an estimate of how much money you need, then apply for one of the following home loans:

Home Construction Loan

There are two home loans specifically designed for home-building purposes. These include:

  • Construction-to-Permanent Loan: This loan covers both land purchasing as well home building costs. Once the construction is complete and you move into the house, the loan is converted to a traditional mortgage of 15 to 30 years.
  • Construction-only Loan: It is meant only for financing the home building, and does not cover the land purchase. After your home is ready, the entire loan amount is due. You either cover the amount by paying cash or taking out a mortgage.

Personal Loan

A personal loan will not cover your entire home-building cost. Take out a personal loan to finance a specific part of the construction. Say, you forgot to account for landscaping while budgeting your home-building finances. In such a case, a personal loan can come to your rescue.

Home Equity Loan

This applies to homeowners who already have a home and want to finance the construction of a new one. Depending on how much equity you own in your existing home, you can finance the entire construction of your new home or a part of it.

Should You Build Your Own House?

If you own land in a location you want to live in, we highly recommend building a house yourself or hiring a General Contractor to build you one. Budget 9 to 12 months for planning and construction of your new home.

If you don’t own your own land in a desirable area, we recommend you house-hunt for turnkey homes and move in quickly.

Skip the hassle of building a house, and check out FSBO properties on Make offers, negotiate directly with homeowners, and move into your new home within a month.

Eager to Know How Houzeo Works?

We’ve got you covered. Check out the following video to understand how Houzeo works and why it is one of the best For Sale By Owner websites in the U.S.

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

Start Your MLS Listing NOW!

» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does it cost to build a 2,000 square foot home in Chicago?

It costs about $100 to $200 per square foot to build a house in Chicago. You will have to spend $206,000 to $350,000 to build a 2,000-square-foot home in Chicago. These costs will vary depending on the exact location, property types, labor costs, material costs, etc.

2. How much does it cost to build a house per square foot in Chicago?

It costs $100 to $200 per square foot to build a house in Chicago. However, home-building costs depend on the property type. For instance, a luxury-grade home can cost up to $400 to $500 per sq ft.

3. How much does it cost to frame a house in Chicago?

It costs about $2 to $12 per square foot to frame a house in Chicago.

4. How much does a foundation cost in Chicago?

A foundation costs $6 to 12 per square foot in Chicago depending on the thickness of the reinforced slab.

Resources for Selling Your Owner-Built Home

  • List on MLS: Discover ways to list your owner-built homes on the MLS.
  • Free MLS Listing: Read to know if there are ways to list on the MLS for free.
  • Flat Fee MLS Listing: Check out how Houzeo’s FFM packages will save you thousands in commissions.
  • Cash Buyers for Homes: Sell your house fast for cash with America’s best cash home-buying companies in 2023.
  • Flat Fee Realtor: Skip the listing commission and pay a flat fee to successfully sell your home with Flat Fee Realtors.

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