How Much Does it Cost to Build a House? Average Home Building Costs

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Are you thinking about building a new house? Want to know just how much does it cost to build a house? If you are, there are some associated costs with any new home build you should know about.  In addition, with so many hidden fees and unforeseen problems, how do you make sure you have enough money budgeted to build a new home? In this article, you will learn not only about the costs to build a house but about some other critical elements that are just as important.


Average Cost to Build a 1500-2500 sq ft House Estimator


  • Average Entry Level New Home Cost - Expect to pay from $110-$130 costs per square foot. A 2,000 square foot new construction home will cost $240,000 on average.
  • Average Mid Level New Home Cost - Cost is between $140-$160 cost per square foot. Expect to pay $300,000 on average for a 2,000 square foot new construction home.
  • Average High-End New Home Cost - Prices can be from $160-$300 per square foot. A 2,000 square foot high-end home will cost $360,000 or more to build new. Pricing excludes lot and custom upgrades. 


Average Cost Per Square Foot Region
$165 Northeast
$120 South
$145 Midwest
$185 West


Exterior finishes like a stone facade and brick on the outside will add to the price. Custom high-end finishes such as brazilian cherry or a plank walnut, more crown molding, coffered ceilings, and copper gutters also add to the final price. Depending on whether you use a home builder or not, it pays to research all material costs.


These are fixed costs when building a new home. Things that you simply can't adjust. These are costs for building materials and labor. Square feet prices are just prices going up and in many areas labor is in short supply. If you're building yourself and material shopping yourself, you can save 30 or 40 cents per stud. That pales in comparison to the amount of money you can save on your choices on countertops and plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures. 


Most of what has been spent prior to the drywall is a fixed cost. There is very very little that you can do to reduce the costs of the building material in the bones of your house. It's going to take a certain amount of concrete, a certain amount of lumber and a certain amount of labor to build a new house. Those things add up.


how much does it cost to build a house Average cost of building a house

Average Costs Single-Family Homes Building Costs Are Ever-Changing and Local

Way back in my contractor years, I worked with national builders like Pulte, Mungo, Remark and even some high-end custom home builders in Hinsdale, Illinois and in the Carolinas. I can remember pricing per square foot for a new home ranged from $50 -$75 to build out a new home. Now those costs vary in many cases more than doubled to $100 to $120 per square foot now. With the national average at $150 per square foot. This is for very basic home and nothing fancy.


Also, keep in mind these prices may not represent your local area but are more like an average from the southeast and Midwest areas. Please consult with a local Realtor who can not only connect you with a local home builder but help you in a lot purchase find as well. I have made a local Realtor list below by city and state that I can recommend. An experienced local Realtor doesn't cost you money but rather guides you in the right direction by saving you time, money and headaches. It pays to get with a local Realtor. Especially for your most valued asset in line.


As far as home prices on the basic if you choose vinyl siding and vinyl floors, the carpet you can pay $110 a square foot for the basic new home build. If you go with hardwood floors, tile, solid surface countertop, custom cabinets and some kind of upgraded exterior finish like a fiber cement hardiplank, expect to pay $135 per square foot. Here is a general breakdown per foot.



Three Main Elements to Consider in New Home Construction Costs

The question of how much does it cost to build a house really boils down to three main areas. Design, Cost, and Marketability. Design is actually the most important to consider in my opinion when trying to figure out the costs of building a new home. It is so closely related and if you get it wrong you will be stuck with a poorly designed house. Regardless if you are building a house for yourself or not, these three areas have got to be part of your calculation. Don't just look at the line items to build a house like an accountant.  You need to see the whole picture when building a house.


  1. Building cost determined by house design and house square feet
  2. Construction cost tied to the type of materials used.
  3. Price to build in relation to marketability and location


Average Cost To Build a House Starting Points

house build new house design cost

1. What Kind of House Design?


One of the rules of thumb, when you start this, is to get very clear in your mind one undeniable truth about building something. You will never recover if you commit yourself to bad design. Bad design means is if you put your house in the wrong spot. If the location is wrong. If the location on your lot is wrong. If the orientation relative to the solar exposure or your driveway location is off. The orientation of the windows in your house is wrong, then either you're not going to get a view or you're going to get a view that you hate.  I can't stress enough about bad design. It brings the average cost way down come time to sell. If you get the design wrong, it will always be wrong.


  • Cost of building a ranch versus 2 stories designed home
  • Cost of building custom roof design
  • Price to build a custom exterior facade ( brick vs. siding )
  • Construction cost of architectural style vs. four square 
  • Building a house with a walkout basement or sloped lot



Comments (402)

Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

Wow this is really a complete list. Unfortunately in my area, Kauai, Hawaii we are now probably 30% more or higher then the west coast. 

Feb 18, 2020 03:05 PM