The average cost to build a house in the Keystone State is $302,200 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 Pennsylvania depends on the location, hourly labor rate, material costs, and the style of home you choose.
Can I Build My Own House in Pennsylvania?
Yes, you can build your own house in Pennsylvania. Apply for the residential home building permit at your local authorities by filling out the forms and paying the permit fee – head to pa.gov for more information.
Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a House in Pennsylvania?
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 HowMuchly, home building costs in Pennsylvania are between $260,000 to $560,000 for a 2,000 sq. ft home. This cost varies depending on the size, type, and location of the property. Whereas, the median home value in the State of Independence is $265,800 (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 anywhere between 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 Pennsylvania?
As per Forbes Home, it costs about $302,200 to build a house in Pennsylvania. 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 Type||Construction Cost (Per Square Foot)|
|Modular||$60 to $100|
|Premium||$200 to $400|
|Standard||$80 to $180|
|Luxury||$340 to $530|
Home Building Costs Breakdown in Pennsylvania
The home building costs can be broken down into two categories:
Hard Costs to Build a House in Pennsylvania
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:
|Flooring||$3 to $12 per sq. ft.|
|Drywall||$1 to $3 per sq. ft.|
|Lumber||$3 to $10 per sq. ft.|
|Siding||$2 to $10 per sq. ft.|
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. For instance, in a hot real estate housing market like Philadelphia, home builders and labor costs are more than in other areas.
Below are the average hourly rates of home building professionals in Pennsylvania:
|Flooring Installers||$25 to $60|
|Roofers||$25 to $70|
|Painters||$20 to $60|
|Brick Masons||$25 to $70|
|Landscapers||$20 to $60|
|General Contractors||$20 to $100|
|Plumbers||$25 to $100|
|Carpenters||$24 to $50|
|HVAC Technicians||$27 to $80|
|Architects||$80 to $200|
|Structural Engineers||$40 to $80|
|Electricians||$25 to $80|
If you hire an architect to design your home in its entirety, they usually charge anywhere between 11-13% of the total construction cost in Pennsylvania.
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 Pennsylvania for various roofing materials:
|Roofing Material||Avg Cost Per 100 Sq. Ft.|
|Asphalt Shingle Roof||$209.42|
|Wood Shake Roof||$605.81|
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 Pennsylvania.
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 Pennsylvania
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
Pennsylvania is among the 10 most expensive states to buy land. Land costs in the Keystone State are $31,923 per acre, just $11,000 less than the national average. Land costs also depend on the size of the house you wish to build and the location.
2. PA Permit Cost
In Pennsylvania, a building permit is required to construct a new house. State laws charge differently for commercial and residential building permits. The cost of a permit in Pennsylvania varies per county and is usually charged in accordance with the total valuation of the project.
In Abington, permits for new constructions for residential purposes are charged $360 for 1000 sq. ft after which $180 is charged for every 1000 sq. ft. This, however, does not include permits like electrical, gas supply, etc.
Refer to your local county’s website or office for more information on building permits.
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.
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.
Home Building Costs Near You in PA
|County/City||Home Building Costs Near You in PA|
|Philadelphia||How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Philadelphia, PA|
|Pittsburgh||How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Pittsburgh, PA|
Should You Build Your Own House in Pennsylvania?
We recommend building a new house only if you have a lot and have about three to six months in hand. Because you can buy a new house for much cheaper and quicker than building a custom home.
If you have a blueprint of your dream home in your mind and have all the required resources, build your own home. Hire a reputed contractor and you are good to go.
An experienced real estate contractor can arrange for all the resources needed in the construction. We recommend you do the necessary research before building your own house in Pennsylvania.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does it cost to build a 2,000 square foot home in Pennsylvania?
It costs about $100 to $280 per square foot to build a house in Pennsylvania. So, you would have to spend $200,000 to $560,000 to build a 2,000-square-foot home in Pennsylvania. 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 Pennsylvania?
It costs $100 to $280 per square foot to build a house in Pennsylvania. However, home-building costs depend on the property type. For instance, a sophisticated luxurious home can cost up to $340 to $530 per sq ft.
3. How much does it cost to frame a house in Pennsylvania?
It costs about $2 - $12 per square foot to frame a house in Pennsylvania.
4. How much does a foundation cost in Pennsylvania?
A foundation costs $6 to 10 per square foot in Pennsylvania depending on the thickness of the reinforced slab.
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