How Much It Costs to Build a Home

Alan Erickson
3 min readNov 22, 2022

The average cost to build a home, according to Home Guide, is roughly between $100 — $155 per square foot, depending on the region, level of development in an area, and an individual’s choice of design and finishes. But these costs do not include the cost of land or building extras like garages, basements, or decks. For a full cost estimate, those building a home should consider various things.

Before embarking on a home construction project, one must buy land. Land prices will vary depending on the plot’s location, size, and condition. For instance, the cost of undeveloped land in rural areas may be cheaper than finished lots in urban areas with essential utilities like electricity and water.

Upon purchasing a plot, one must consider the costs of developing a house plan and acquiring all the necessary permits. On average, drafting a house plan will cost around $5000, but this price may vary depending on the complexities of the project. A good tip for homeowners is to work with an architect and a home builder to develop a realistic and cost-effective plan.

When beginning construction, the acquired piece of land will often need breaking ground, excavation, site leveling, and other preparations. Consequently, one needs to hire expert operators and rent heavy machinery to clear and level the land. According to Forbes Home, these costs may range between $1,400 — $3,200.

Following excavation, one should calculate the cost of laying foundations, which typically consumes much of the construction’s budget. Homes with normal slab foundations will cost less compared to those with basements in the foundation. The price ranges from a simple slab foundation to homes with spacious and finished basements is $4,500 to $80,000.

After site work and preparation, the next consideration is house framing, which may include roofing, wall, and floor construction. To calculate the overall framing cost, one should consider the framing systems, material (metal stud or lumber), and labor. Framing system prices can begin from $20,000, but the total cost can go up to $41,000, according to Ramsey Solutions. Other exterior costs include driveways, landscaping, and siding.

When budgeting for a home, one must also include utility installation costs. Average cost estimates for major systems are electricity ($14,000), HVAC ($14,000), plumbing ($15,000). These estimates, however, do not include interior finishes; instead, they only include exterior and background works like piping and duct setup, among other things.

With the exterior work complete, one should budget for interior works, including flooring, painting, insulation, and installing cabinets and countertops in various rooms around the home. The second category is installing fixtures in multiple rooms, and because the quality and material of the items may differ, the total cost may vary significantly. Moreover, interior home building cost estimates will include furnishing it with hardscaping elements like a fireplace. Such prices must, therefore, not be overlooked.

While this guide gives individuals a rough idea of what to budget for, various factors, such as the quality of materials chosen, the professionals one works with, and how much one is willing to spend, will impact the overall cost. Thorough research is thus necessary for one to build a house of their choice.



Alan Erickson

A custom home builder in Austin, Texas, Alan Erickson has more than 30 years of experience in the construction sector.