Cost To Build A House Breakdown

It’s easy to say that building a house is expensive, but it’s another thing entirely to see the price breakdown in front of you. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how much a new house costs and what goes into that price tag, here’s your chance: we broke down the estimated cost of building a 1,800-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms by square foot using our own brand new home. The results may surprise you.

Cost To Build A House Breakdown

What is included in the cost to build a house?

The price of building a house will vary depending on the size and complexity of your home. However, there are some items that you can expect to see on any quote for custom-built homes:

  • Design and construction fees
  • Plumbing, electrical and heating materials
  • Materials needed for your exterior such as siding or roofing material (shingles)

Permits and zoning laws

The last step before construction on your new house can begin is getting all the necessary permits. Permits are required by most local governments, and they’re important for ensuring that you’re building in accordance with zoning laws and other regulatory guidelines. While some permits may be issued right away, others can take weeks or months to acquire—and they’ll cost you money each day they’re held up.

Permits can be expensive, too: in many areas of the country, it costs around $1 per square foot of total space for a permit fee alone (not counting any other expenses associated with obtaining one). If your house has an average size of 2,200 square feet (which would include 1 floor), then this means that your permit fees alone could cost more than $23k.


The cost of the land depends on its location. The price of a property is determined by its size and location, so you will have to pay more if you want to live in an exclusive neighborhood.

If you are looking for an affordable option, then buying land is your best bet. You can either buy it from a developer or private individual. The former offers much lower rates than buying directly from the latter because they already have planning permission for construction purposes and thus do not have to pay development charges like building permits and site preparation costs. In addition, their offering prices would include services such as designing plans for constructions & approvals from local authorities etc., which makes them quite attractive options for people who don’t wish to spend too much money on building houses but at the same time want quality homes built according to their requirements

Architectural fees

Architectural fees are a major cost of building a house. You pay these fees to the architect, who is in charge of designing your home. These costs can be expensive and vary depending on the square footage of your house. A smaller home will cost less than a large one, but it’s important to remember that all buildings require an architectural plan and design before construction begins. An architect usually provides site plans, renderings, models, construction drawings and specifications for both residential and commercial projects at no extra charge; however if some additional work is required then you may have to pay extra money.


When you’re ready to begin construction and you have your plans drawn up, the first step is to get your site ready. This involves clearing away any debris and removing any trees or plants that need to be removed. The cost of demolition varies depending on the size and scope of your project: if it is just one room, or if it’s an entire house on a lot with many rooms. There are also different types of demolition: some contractors will offer partial demolition (which means they only remove certain walls), while others will do full-scale tear downs—and still others specialize in industrial jobs like demolishing factories or warehouses.

When you hire a contractor for this part of your project, there are two things you should ask about before agreeing on terms: how much does their work cost? And what happens with all that building material from a demolished building? The answer will depend largely on where you live: some municipalities require builders to recycle material from demolished structures into other projects; others don’t care as long as no toxic materials are left behind after these projects are complete; still others prohibit recycling altogether for fear that hazardous chemicals could end up contaminating healthy soil surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Excavation and site prep

Excavation, site prep, and foundation work are the three most expensive parts of any home construction project. This is because they require heavy machinery like backhoes and excavators to do their job.

Excavation is the process of removing earth to make room for a building. It can be done by hand or with heavy machinery, but either way it’s not a very pleasant job: you have to work hard in difficult conditions with your back bent over.

Survey, permits, and fees

The first thing to consider is the survey and permits. It’s absolutely crucial that you get a survey of your property before you even think about building anything, and it can be an incredibly complex process that involves multiple parties and high fees. You also may need to pay for other permits depending on where you live, such as those required by fire marshals who oversee building safety codes in your area.

There are several types of surveys available:

  • A boundary line survey determines exact boundaries between properties. It’s most commonly used when selling or buying land, but it’s also required if there are any disputes about who owns what within a single property (for example, if one person believes their neighbor encroached on their land). This type of survey costs around $2/square foot ($4 per linear foot) for residential parcels under five acres in size; larger parcels will cost more (for example, up to $5 per square foot).


The foundation is the most important part of your home. It’s what supports your house and keeps it upright, so you want to make sure that your foundation is built correctly. The type of foundation you choose will depend on how much money you want to spend. There are three main types:

The cheapest option is a crawl space or slab-on-grade foundation, which can cost $10-$15 per square foot (psf). This type is ideal if you live in an area where flooding isn’t a big issue and don’t need extra protection against earthquakes. It’s also easier to install than other types, since it requires little digging into the ground and uses fewer materials like concrete or steel beams for support.

If flooding or earthquakes are common in your area and/or if there’s high water pressure from nearby rivers or lakes, then it might be worth paying more for either poured concrete footing posts or steel piers that go down 30 feet below ground level before reaching bedrock (which can withstand high pressures). This costs around $40-$45 psf depending on how deep your house needs to be buried underground.


Framing is the part of your house that is constructed first. Framing is built to support the rest of the parts of your house, so it needs to be strong and sturdy. When framing begins, you will start with lumber and nails or screws, but then add other materials like insulation and drywall. The framing stage can be done by a contractor or by you as an experienced builder yourself—but either way, it’s important that you know what goes into your framing process so that you can properly budget for it in advance.

Insulation and air sealing

Insulation and air sealing are essential to keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient. Insulation can be added to the walls and floors of your home, while air sealing is used to prevent drafts that can cause moisture accumulation. This section covers how much it costs to insulate or air seal a house, as well as the benefits of doing so.

Benefits of Insulating Your Home

Insulation helps keep you warm in winter and cool in summer by trapping heat inside the space where it’s installed. This reduces your energy bill because less energy is needed for heating or cooling your home when you’re using less energy overall. It also means that if you have a big family, each person will benefit from insulation since there will be more heat generated than if there was no insulation at all. In addition:

  • Save money on heating bills – up to 50 percent savings
  • Reduce condensation risk by preventing moisture accumulation

Rough plumbing, electrical, and HVAC

Rough plumbing, rough electrical, and rough HVAC are all terms used to describe the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC that are needed to get water, power, and heat/air conditioning into your house.

Finish plumbing, electrical and HVAC

This is the final phase of building your house. You will not know how much it will cost until you get to this stage and hire a professional to do the work. The finish plumbing, electrical and HVAC is by far the most expensive part of building a house.


Roofing is one of the most expensive parts of building a house, so you’ll want to make sure that you don’t overspend on it. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money on roofing:

  • Shop around for a roofing contractor with good reviews and references. Ask friends or family members if they know anyone who has had their roof replaced recently, and ask them how they liked working with their contractor.
  • You may be able to save money by choosing less expensive materials or hiring someone local rather than going through an established company. For example, buying 100-year-old cedar shingles instead of new composite shingles can reduce costs significantly; in some cases, over half.

Siding, trim and soffits

Siding is a common exterior covering for a building, usually made of wood or vinyl. It can be used to cover an entire building or only parts of it. Siding usually overlaps the framing members (studs) of the structure so that there are no gaps between siding and studs. Trim is any decorative molding or other element attached to siding to cover joints and corners where two pieces meet. Soffits are the underside of an eave (the overhanging edge) at the top of a wall or frame building’s face; they protect against water leakage into your home from above.

Windows and doors

The windows and doors in your new home are a big part of the cost of building a house. While they may not be as important as the interior finishes, they still have a huge impact on how your home looks, feels, and works.

Cabinets, countertops, and flooring

Cabinets, countertops, and flooring are usually the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. Cabinets can be made from wood or metal, while countertops can be composed of different materials such as granite or marble.

It’s important to know what options are available in your area before you make any decisions about cabinet and countertop materials. You may have certain preferences for your kitchen design based on the rest of your home’s decor, but if those preferences aren’t realistic in terms of cost or availability in your community, it may be best to adjust them slightly so that they fit with what’s available locally at an affordable price point.

Interior paint and trim work

Interior paint and trim work can be a significant portion of your home build’s budget. The average cost to paint an entire house is $1,755, but this figure can easily go up depending on the size of your home and the quality of materials used. Trimwork (like molding) will also cost you extra money because it takes more time than other interior painting projects.

If you’re on a budget, you could save quite a bit by doing some or all of this work yourself — just know that it may take longer than expected. If you’d rather not spend hours upon hours slaving away for free at home, consider hiring a contractor who can do all or most of the labor for you in exchange for payment.

Landscaping, driveways, and fences

Landscaping and driveways can be expensive. You may want to hire a landscaper or do it yourself. You can save money by doing it yourself but you will invest a lot of time into this process as well.

Building a house is expensive but you can use this list to get a general idea of what to expect.

The cost to build a house can be difficult to estimate, but we’ve put together this list of the average breakdowns for a new home. We’ve listed some of the major costs and expenses you’ll encounter during construction and renovation projects. Depending on the size, style, location and quality of your home—and any additional services you choose—your final costs may vary slightly from these estimates.

  • Site Work: $6,000 – $20,000
  • Foundation / Basement: $10,000 – $30,000
  • Framing / Roofing / Trim & Doors: $8 – $25 per square foot (standard stick framing)
  • Windows & Doors: $5 – 10 per square foot (windows are expensive — they should be energy efficient)

There are many other costs not included in this list that must also be considered when building a new home or updating an existing one. These include appliances ($3-$5k), kitchen cabinets ($2k-$3k), flooring/carpeting ($1k-$2k), fixtures like sinks and toilets ($500+)…the list goes on. You can use this list as an estimate for what your project might cost; just keep in mind there will likely be additional expenses that come up along the way.

In conclusion,

The cost to build a house can be overwhelming, but the good news is that there are many options available for financing your project. With careful planning, you can save money on your home construction and enjoy more of your hard-earned cash for other things in life.

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