The average cost to build a house in the United States is $449,000, 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 depends on the location, hourly labor rate, material costs, and the style of home you choose.
Can I Build My Own House?
Yes, you can build your own house in the USA after getting your required permits. Permits are usually charged in accordance with either the total valuation of your home or the total area. Rarely will the permit be a flat fee.
Permits vary from county to county and not just state, refer to your local county’s website or office for more information on building permits.
Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a House?
As per a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the US, Census Bureau, it is cheaper to buy a home than to build your own home by $34,000 on average.
The average price to build a house in the US is $449,000 and the average cost to buy a new house is $414,200. The overall cost to build a new house does include the land cost, excavations, permits, and other kindred costs.
However, that does not include a crucial factor, and that’s time. Building a home 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 the USA?
As per the aforementioned study by NAHB, the cost to build a home is $449,000 including land costs. Builder grade constructions costs around $150 per square foot on average.
|National Average Cost||$248,000*|
|Average Range||$178,000 to $416,000*|
As this is an average figure, it can go up or down depending on several factors like type, size, labor demand, material costs, etc.
Home Building Costs Breakdown
The home building costs can be broken down into two categories:
Hard Costs to Build a House
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||$2 to $20 per sq. ft.|
|Drywall||$12 to $20 per panel|
|Lumber||$10 to $12 per square foot|
|Siding||$1 to $14 per square foot|
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 from those, the labor costs vary based on the location too.
Below are the average hourly rates of professionals for building a single-family house in the USA:
|Flooring Installers||$25 – $100|
|Roofers||$25 – $50|
|Painters||$25 – $100|
|Concrete Workers||$23 – $100|
|Landscapers||$45 – $75|
|Interior Designers||$75 – $450|
|Plumbers||$75 – $130|
|Carpenters||$75 – $125|
|HVAC||$50 – $70|
|Structural Engineers||$100 – $500|
|Electricians||$40 – $120|
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 the USA for various roofing materials
|Roofing Material||Avg Cost Per 100 Sq. Ft.|
|Asphalt Shingle Roof||$219.55|
|Wood Shake Roof||$635.13|
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.
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.
As per Homeadvisor, 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
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
New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland are the top 5 most expensive states to buy land in. On the other hand, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota, and Montana are the cheapest state to buy land in.
As per landsearch, the average price per acre in the United States is $22,447. The national average for land costs is $43,494. Land costs depend on the size of the house you wish to build and the location.
You can buy undeveloped land to save land costs but you might have to incur other expenses like leveling, filling, etc. to make the land ready for construction.
2. 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.
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 the entire cost of building a home. 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.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a House Near You?
Should You Build Your Own House?
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does it cost to build a 2,000 square foot home in USA?
It costs about $100 to $155 per square foot to build a house in USA. So, you would have to spend around $200,000 to $310,000 to build a 2,000-square-foot. These costs will vary depending on the exact location, property types, labor costs, material costs, etc.
2. How much does it cost to frame a house?
The average cost to frame a house is $7-$16 per square foot.
3. How much does a foundation cost?
A foundation costs $6 to 12 per square foot in USA depending on the thickness of the reinforced slab.
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