How Much Does It Cost To Build A House? A Step By Step Cost Breakdown

By: ROS Team

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Buying a house is a very special event. It’s not something that happens every day, so when it happens it’s definitely something to appreciate.

But there is one issue in buying a home. You may have dozens of wishlist items that you’d like to be included in your dream house, but there’s almost always a trade-off between these items when you end up buying the house. To be honest, the only way to get the exact replica of the home of your imagination is to build it. Only then will you get everything right: location, layout, and floorplan.

Everyone thinks of building a house but then stops short for one reason or another and ends up buying one instead. This is partially due to the lack of information. Most people just don’t know how much it cost to build a house.

verage cost to build a house

Let’s look at the average cost of building a house.

The Average Cost of Build a House

The cost to build a home is dependent on various factors such as square footage, region, labor wages, and chiefly on the material used in the construction. Based on these factors, the cost may vary between $150,000 and $500,000.

Is it Cheaper to Build a House?

Data from previous years reflects that buying a home is cheaper than building one. The average cost to buy a home is nearly $300,000 while the average cost to build a new home is near $450,000. It is a big difference but building a home has other attractive features that make it worth the investment.

cheaper to build a house

Here are Some of the Pros of Building a Home:

The most attractive feature of building a home is customization. You have the luxury of personalizing every inch of the home to fit whatever best suits your taste. You may give every corner, cabinet, wall, or flooring your touch. You do not have this luxury in a pre-built or resale home.

In competitive markets, you never know if you will get the home you like. Sometimes the home is sold even before you make a decision. This isn’t the case when you build a home. If you own the land on which you want to build you can build your dream house without anybody’s intervention.

The home you will build will include the latest technologies and meet the latest building codes. Additionally, you have an opportunity to use quality material in building a home which means a tension-free and low maintenance lifestyle for years to come.

The freshness of a new home is worth every penny alone.
Let us assume that you already own land and plan to build a new home.

government fee

Here is a breakdown of some of the typical expenses you may encounter when you build:

1- Permit and Government Fee

First of all, you will be required to get a building permit and inspection before starting the construction at the site. It costs approximately $3,000 to $4,000 to get the permit and an architect will charge around the same amount for designing the house layout.

Note: Hire the services of an experienced architect as they know how to make a cost-efficient design. In addition, you may have to pay a $2,000 government fee for public services such as roads, parks, etc.


2- Foundation

The first stage of practical work on the site includes laying the foundation. Heavy machinery is required for excavation and groundbreaking. It may cost more money if the surface is rough and rocky. A concrete foundation is laid after excavation. On average it costs nearly $20,000, but it will cost more money if you wish to include a basement.

3- Structure

This is where costs dramatically increase. The largest portion of your budget goes into erecting the structure, which will cost you around $40,000. Although the interior of the house costs nearly the same as building the structure, you have the luxury of controlling those expenses to an extent. Unfortunately, you don’t have such an option here. The best thing is you will start to see your house taking shape.


4- Finishing

The structure is placed and now it’s time to add the exterior finishing. This will ensure that the house is able to withstand all types of weather. It also includes the exterior doors, windows, and a garage. All in all, it will cost you around $30,000.

5- Utility Installation

Now utilities come into the equation. You will have to install an HVAC system, plumbing, and electricity all of which will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 for each service. Beware that it does not include the fixtures or hardware such as a sink, lights, etc. Those all fall in the interior finishing.

6- Interior Finishing

Most of the exterior work is already done and now you have to finish the inside. Now you’re faced with decisions like whether or not to go with granite countertops and hardwood flooring. Which color do you want to paint on the walls and how stylish should the glass panes be?

The best thing about interior finishing is that you can control how much you want to spend. On average, outfitting the interior runs around $60,000 but can fluctuate depending on your selections.

Interior Finishing

7- Final Touches

You are almost done with building your home and maybe getting ready to move in. However, before moving in, you’ll need to add a few last touches with outside landscaping, adding a driveway and possibly a deck, and a patio. Final touches can cost around $10,000.

Note: The prices quoted are estimates based on average home builds. The exact amount could be different given the unique circumstances, location, and personal choice.


Apart from the budget, building a house by yourself requires time and energy. You will be supposed to manage and supervise the whole process. So, when you decide to build a house, you will need to figure out if you can allocate that much time to the project.

Having said all that, nothing beats getting to live in your dream house. Every corner of the house would match your aesthetics and you are going to feel like you’re on top of the world.