Building Your Dream Home: How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

October 18th, 2021
Costs and Taxes

There is something intrinsically satisfying to building your house from the ground up. And it’s not just that you can build it to your preferences. When you build it, you feel like it’s truly yours. But, there are always temporal and financial aspects to consider – how much does it cost to build a house and how long will it take?

In this article, we’ll provide you with the average cost to build a house, crunch the numbers for each stage of construction, and explain how we got to them. You can skip to the section ‘The Average Cost to Build a House’ if you are willing to take us at our word and are only interested in the final price.

But we would strongly recommend understanding how those numbers were reached because these are all assessments. The body of the article will explain why you are paying what you are paying and it can help you adjust the price for your specific situation. First, let’s start with a few caveats.

A Few Caveats to Start With

First off, the price to build a house can vary drastically based on the region, the materials, the square footage, the labor costs, and a lot of other factors. This article will provide the cost to build an average single-family home. So, take all of that into consideration when calculating how much it would cost to build your house.

Building Your Dream Home

The Methodology Used to Determine the Cost to Build a House

To give you the most precise numbers and make everything as practical as possible, two primary sources were used – the latest data from the Census Bureau and the National Association of Home Builders.

The Census Bureau has the most recent statistics on the average selling price for newly built homes, while the newest NAHB statistics for the average selling price are from 2019, but they have the most detailed breakdown of what goes into the price.

So, we will use the average selling price of both and calculate the cost to build a house based on the NAHB breakdown. Because the numbers from these organizations aren’t an exact match, we’ll provide the average range. To simplify, the costs based on Census Bureau data will be colored yellow and NAHB blue.

The Cost to Build a Homea

Total construction costs make up around 61% of the sale price. The rest of the price can be broken down into finished lot costs (18.5%), financing costs (1.7%), overhead and general expenses (4.9%), marketing costs (1.0%), the sales commission (3.7%), and builder profits (9.1%).

Presumably, you are building a house to live in and not to sell, so we can discount some of the shares of the sale price. To determine how much it cost to build a house, you add construction costs, lot costs, overhead and general expenses, and builder profits, which rounds up to 94%. (93.6% to be precise).

The average sale price of a new house according to the Census Bureau is $ 390 900, while according to the NAHB it is $ 485 128. To make the math simpler, we’ll round down to $390 000 and $ 485 000. So, how much does it cost to build a house? On average, between $366 000 and $ 456 000.

We should also note that even if you are building to sell, you can avoid much of the costs associated with the sales process by selling on your own. Conversely, your profits could be much lower if you don’t know how to navigate the intricacies of the capital gains tax related to the sale of a home.

Each Stage of Construction in Percentages

As the construction costs make up the bulk of house building costs ($237 000296 000), it’s good to know how much each stage costs in percentages. This can help you plan better and make prudent fiscal decisions when deciding on how you want to build your house.

Site Work

Site work includes acquiring building permits and the associated fees, impact, water, and sewage fees, then the cost of architecture and engineering, and other miscellaneous costs. This totals to around 6.0% of the construction costs, or $14 00018 000.

Foundations

Building foundations adds up to around 12% of the construction costs. It includes excavation, placing the foundations, pouring concrete, building the retaining walls and backfill, with other miscellaneous costs. In total, you will need to pay around $28 00035 000 to finish building the foundations.

Framing

Framing includes framing the roof, the trusses, and sheeting, and some additional costs. Framing totals to around 17% or $40 00050 000. At 17%, framing is the second most expensive stage of construction.

Exterior Finishes

The cost of exterior finishes usually includes roofing, finishes on the walls, and windows and doors. It is approximately 14% or $33 00041 000. Once again, these are only averages and the costs will vary based on how much work is being done.

System Rough-Ins

System rough-ins include bringing in plumbing, electrical, and HVAC lines. However, this stage does not include connecting the lines, just bringing them in. It totals to around 15% of the total construction costs, or $35 00044 000.

Interior Finishes

The cost of interior finished is the most expensive construction stage and makes up a full quarter of the costs. At 25%, you will pay $59 00074 000. This stage includes insulation, drywall, interior trims, flooring, painting, installing lighting and cabinets, etc. It is the most comprehensive stage of building a house.

Finalizing Construction

About 11% more goes into the final steps. This can include building outdoor structures like patios and decks, landscaping, finishing the driveway, cleaning up, and other miscellaneous costs. In total, you will pay around $26 00033 000. You can probably take care of some of these things personally, so if you are looking to cut costs, this stage should be your first stop.

How Long Does it Take to Build a House?

On average, it takes about 7 months to build your own home from the ground up, per the Census Bureau. However, a lot of factors can affect the length of time needed, so you should always negotiate with your contractors and try to set clear time-frames. And be ready to be a bit flexible with the schedule, as that’s simply how it works in practice.

The Average Cost to Build a House

The Average Cost to Build a House

In summary, the average cost to build a single-family house is $366 900456 000. But always remember that this is just the average and likely doesn’t apply to your situation. On the other hand, it can be a good foundation that will help you calculate and make plans.

We Can Help You Get the Money to Build Your Dream Home

We understand that building a house costs a lot and the prices are intimidating. But SleeveUp Homes can help. We will buy your current house for the best price possible to help you get the money to build your dream home.

You shouldn’t only be asking – how much does it cost to build a house? Instead, ask – can I get the money? If you sell to us, you won’t only have enough money but will be left with a good chunk in your wallet after construction is finished. Once you make your decision, contact us to request a cash offer and see how we can fit into your plans.