How Much Does It Cost to Build a House? The Average Prices

Did you know that more than 912,000 single-family homes were built in the United States in 2020? If you are looking for a new house, building your next house is a good option.

When you build a house, it is brand new, you get to customize all the features, and you get to avoid the process of buying a house. While there are many benefits to building a house, many people worry about the cost.

How much does it cost to build a house? Keep reading to learn all about house building prices so that you can decide if building a house is right for you.

Cost of Land

If you want to buy a house, one of the first costs you will encounter is the cost of land. The cost of your land will depend on where you live, how much land you get, and the type of community the land is in.

While some people spend less than $10,000 on land, other people will spend more than $100,000. Before buying land, make sure you research the value of homes in the area to make sure you get a good deal.

It is a good idea to choose land that is flat and treeless. If you don’t, you will have to pay to clear the land.

Also, check to see if the land already has a sewer system. If it does not, that will be a large additional cost.

Building Permits and Plans

Once you find the perfect piece of land, you need to consider the cost of building permits. Before you can buy a house, you have to get building permits from your local government.

On average, you can expect building permit fees to cost between $50 and $2,000. While that is the average, it could cost more or less depending on where you live.

When building your house, keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for your building permits to get approval. Once you get a building permit, you will need to pay an architect for building plans.

Whether you would prefer industrial or farmhouse building plans, paying for plans is the best way to ensure you get your dream home.

Material Costs

One of the biggest expenses when it comes to building a house is the material costs.

When it comes to material costs, you should expect to spend around half of your budget on them. The most expensive materials include siding, wood, and concrete.

Because this is an estimate, the best way to determine your actual material costs is to talk to a contractor. Here are some of the biggest material costs you will encounter:

House Foundation

The first step to building your house is the foundation. You can expect your foundation to cost around 11.7% of your total budget, depending on the size, type, and where you live.

If you want a basement, you will pay more than you would for a simple concrete slab. If you live in an area that has a risk of flooding, you may have to pay more for your foundation.


Another one of the biggest expenses when building your house is framing. Framing is the structural part of a house that determines the size and shape of the house.

While most houses have wood framing, you also can have a steel or concrete house. The average cost of wood framing for a house is between $6 to $8 per square foot.

Lumbar prices are always changing, so it is a good idea to check the prices before building your house.

House Finishes

One of the best benefits of custom homes is that you get to choose your finishings, but that can come at a cost.

When building your house, some people have a large budget for finishes, while others try to stick to a tight budget.

Estimating how much you will spend on finishes is hard because there are a ton of different finishes you have to pay for, and it will depend on your preferences and budget.

When determining your exterior finishes, you will have to think about the cost of siding, roofing, windows, driveway, doors, and fencing. While some people will have basic exterior finishes, others will want to make a statement.

When doing interior finishes, you will have to pay for paint, appliances, cabinets, flooring, and molding. If you hire someone to help you with interior finishes, you also will have to think about the cost of labor.

Labor Costs

While material costs will account for around half of your budget, you can expect labor costs to make up the other half. Unless you build the house yourself, you will need to hire laborers to do the work for you.

You will need to hire an architect to design house plans, contractors to build the house, and someone to clear the land.

If you buy a large, custom house, you may end up spending more on labor than someone that buys a small basic house.

Keep in mind that you also will need to pay to set up your utilities. You will need to pay for plumbing, sewer, electricity, and HVAC. These expenses can add up.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House? Now You Know

Building a house allows you to customize your finishes, get the house of your dreams, and be the first person to live in your house. How much does it cost to build a house? Keep these common costs in mind when planning.

Did you enjoy reading this article on custom home prices? If so, check out the blog for more interesting tips.