Cost To Build A House In California Per Square Foot

If you are looking to build a house in California, one of the most important things to do is to get an accurate estimate of building costs. The cost of building a house depends on many factors including location and the size of the home you want to build. The cost per square foot will vary depending on these factors, so it’s important that you know how much it will cost before deciding where to purchase land or how big your home will be.

The average cost of building a house in California is $124 per square foot according to Statista. This figure includes all costs associated with construction including materials and labor as well as permits and fees for doing business in California. It does not include additional expenses such as taxes on property or mortgage interest rates which may vary based on your credit score and other factors; however, these can be estimated by visiting local banks or financial institutions in your area before making an offer on any property they have listed for sale.

California has some of the highest real estate prices in the country due largely due to its proximity to major cities like Los Angeles and San Jose; however, there are still affordable areas within these cities where homes built over 100 years ago still retain value today despite being surrounded by newer developments nearby.

If you are planning to build a new home in California and want to know how much it will cost, the average cost per square foot can help you get started by providing an estimate of how much it will cost for each component of your project. This will give you an idea of what your budget should be while also allowing room for flexibility and negotiation with builders or contractors.

Cost To Build A House In California Per Square Foot

The average cost per square foot to build a house in California is $200, and the average cost for a home with partial basement is $200 per square foot.

In 2021 the average cost per square foot to build a house in California is $200.

It’s important to note that the cost per square foot is based on the number of square feet in your house. For example, if you have a 1,500-square-foot house and want to know what it will cost for labor and materials to build this home, simply take $200 and divide it by 1,500. This gives us $120/square foot ($200 / 1500). This means that a typical California home costs $120 per square foot for labor and materials.

A few factors can change this number:

  • Number of stories – The more stories your home has, the more expensive it will be (and vice versa). The reason for this is because there are generally more details involved with constructing a taller structure than with lower ones—details like staircases and support beams add significant costs to any project they appear in. However, there are some exceptions: on larger lots where builders can spread out their work over larger areas without encroaching into neighbors’ property lines or causing safety concerns due to increased vehicular traffic near homes; when affordable housing laws mandate certain standards such as accessibility features that must be met regardless of whether or not they make sense economically; etc., then building up may actually save money overall compared with building out horizontally.*

The average cost to build a home in California with a partial basement is $200 per square foot.

The average cost to build a home in California with a partial basement is $200 per square foot.

For example, if you’re building a 1,500-square-foot home with no basement then the total cost would be $300,000 ($200/square foot x 1,500 sq ft).

If you add on another 500 square feet for your garage and patio area then it will cost approximately $250 more or about $25 per square foot ($200 +$25/sq ft x 100 sq ft). So if your project costs $400k including land purchase then this totals out at about $160 per square foot ($300k +$160k/$400k).

The average cost to build a home in California with a full basement is around $200 per square foot.

As you can see, the average cost per square foot to build a home in California with a partial basement is around $200. However, if you have a full basement (or even better, just prefer not to have one), your costs will be much lower. The average cost to build a home in California with a full basement is around $200 per square foot.

In either case, these figures represent the total average cost of building your house—not just materials but also labor and other factors like permits and inspections. Keep in mind that there are many variables that could affect this number: whether or not you want custom features like hardwood floors or granite countertops; if it’s wintertime and heating costs more than cooling during those months; whether or not you choose higher quality items for higher insulation values and longer life spans—all of these things can change what you pay for construction costs by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The average cost to build an apartment building in California is $160 per square foot.

What are the factors that affect the cost of building an apartment building?

  • Size of your building. This is the main factor that affects how much it costs to build a house in California per square foot, but there are others too.
  • Location: The cost to build an apartment building will depend on where you live and where you’re going to put it. For example, if you want to build in San Francisco and rent out studio apartments starting at $1,500 per month (on average), then $160/sqft might sound like a great deal. However, if you’re trying to rent out beach houses for only $500/month then that same price would seem very high.

Custom homes can be built between $150 and $400 per square foot depending on the home style and finish levels that you select.

  • If you are building a custom home, the cost of construction can vary greatly depending on the style and finish levels selected. For example, a 2,000-square-foot house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms could range from $300,000 – $500,000 depending on your choice of finishes, etc.
  • The average cost to build a new home in California is about $150 per square foot for a standard tract home (without any custom features). However, if you’re looking for something more unique or upscale like a Mediterranean-style villa or Tuscan estate with marble floors throughout the house then expect to pay upwards of $400 per square foot.

The cost of building a 2,000 sq ft custom home can range from $300,000 – $500,000 depending on your choice of finishes, etc.

Now that we’ve established how much it costs to build a home in California, let’s take a look at the other factors that play into the price tag. The cost of building a home depends on several factors including:

  • The size of the home
  • The quality of materials used in construction
  • The location where you plan to build your custom home (e.g., remote location vs suburban area)


The cost of land can vary greatly depending on your location, zoning and lot size. For example, a large lot with a view in California’s Napa Valley could cost upwards of $100,000 per acre. Land prices are typically based on size and location. If you plan to build your dream home in an affluent community, it may cost you more than expected because land prices tend to be higher where homes are more expensive.


Once you’ve decided where to build your home and how big it should be, it’s time to find a plan. You can do this by contacting architects or designers directly, or through sites like Houzz that host thousands of design ideas from professionals all over the world.

The cost of having a plan drawn up will vary depending on the designer and what kind of services they offer as part of their fee. A basic foundation plan might cost $1,000; a full-on custom home design can run well over $10,000. Some architects offer package deals where they draw up multiple plans at once—it’s usually cheaper if you get multiple plans done at once rather than one at a time (unless you want a whole new set every time). Plan approval fees are also different depending on which county you live in: some counties require approval before submitting plans for approval while others don’t require any sort of pre-approval period/fee

Permits and Fees

In addition to the cost of materials and labor, permits and fees must be obtained for any home construction project. The cost of these vary based on the type of project, but are usually relatively small. Permits can be obtained at your local building department or city hall.

Excavation and Site Preparation

Excavation and site preparation is the first step in building a home. This includes the removal of existing soil and earth to create an even surface for your home’s foundation. As you can imagine, this process can be very expensive. The amount you pay will depend on many factors like:

  • How much dirt needs to be removed (how deep is your lot?)
  • Whether or not there are rocks, roots or other obstructions in the way (which will require additional labor to remove)


A foundation is one of the most expensive parts of a house. A foundation can be made of concrete, steel, or wood. Foundations are poured on site in some cases, while prefabricated foundations are also available that can reduce costs by as much as 50%.

The cost will depend on the size and type of foundation chosen for your home. Most contractors prefer to use precast concrete molds with small openings because they give better control over pouring costs and quality assurance.

Framing and Overall Structure

Framing is the skeleton of your house and it’s done by carpenters. In this stage, they build the walls and roof as well as the floor joists and subfloor.

It should be noted that some framing details will differ depending on what part of California you’re in, but generally speaking, most framing costs about $4-$7 per square foot for independent contractors (depending on materials).

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are some of the biggest expenses in building a house. Windows are more expensive than doors, but they provide better energy efficiency and security.

In California, the average cost for windows is $325 per square foot and for doors is $230 per square foot (with an average size of 8 feet by 8 feet). If you live in a colder climate and want to keep your heating bills down by insulating your home better, you might want to consider installing double-pane windows for about $500 per square foot.

Roofing Materials

Roofing materials are usually the most expensive part of a new home. Asphalt shingles are the most common, and they’re also one of the least expensive; in fact, their average cost per square foot is $1.92. However, you can save significantly by choosing metal roofs instead—they’re up to 40% cheaper than asphalt shingles.


Siding is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and it’s also an essential part of your exterior design. Depending on the type of siding material you choose, ranging from vinyl to cedar shingles, this can be one of the most expensive items to install on your home.

Siding costs vary depending on whether you choose wood or vinyl siding for your home. The average cost for wood clapboard siding is $8 per square foot (roughly $20 per square meter) while vinyl siding costs about $5 per square foot (about $13 per square meter). That said, there are a lot of factors that come into play when determining how much new siding will set you back—and some might surprise you.

Let’s start with some obvious ones: location and size matter when it comes to allocating funds for this project. The average price of installing 1/2″ thick extruded polystyrene foam insulation ranges from just under $3 per pound in rural areas like Central California down south near San Diego County where building codes require thicker insulation due higher temperatures year round

Plumbing Fixture

Plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs, are a significant part of the cost to build a house. They’re also important to consider. The more plumbing fixtures you want to install in your new home, the higher your overall bill will be.

Plumbing fixtures come in all shapes and sizes with varying prices attached to them. For example: A standard toilet costs around $300 while an average sink costs around $400-$500 depending on its size (and whether it has features like an integrated soap dispenser). It’s best not only to know how much each fixture costs but also how many of each fixture you’ll need for your project so that you can plan accordingly before breaking ground on any construction work or hiring contractors who specialize in remodeling services like these ones here at [Company Name].

HVAC Installation and Materials

HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) systems are an important part of building a home. HVAC can be an expensive system to install and maintain, but it is necessary for comfort and energy efficiency. The average cost of HVAC installation varies depending on the size, complexity, type of home being built or renovated, as well as location.

In 2014 the median cost for replacing an older HVAC system was $3100 per ton (a ton is 12000 BTU’s), according to the U.S Department of Energy’s Residential Renewable Energy Guidebook 2015 (page 17). This includes labor costs for installing ductwork throughout your home and includes supplies such as refrigerant gas needed during installation process. If you’re planning on purchasing pre-fabricated ductwork kits instead then expect prices start as low $200 per linear foot installed – this still may require some customization depending on where your home sits in terms of square footage/rooms etcetera so factor those costs into equation too.

Electrical Wiring and Lighting Fixtures

Electrical wiring and lighting fixtures are the next major cost to consider. This can vary considerably depending on your specific needs, but you should expect to pay at least $15 per square foot for this part of construction. The amount you’ll need to spend depends largely on the size of the home and its features: a larger house will require more wiring than a smaller one, as well as bigger fixtures in each room.

The type of home also matters when considering electrical costs: an older structure might not have modern HVAC or plumbing systems installed yet; these are both factors that affect how much electricity is necessary for heating/cooling purposes (which could be an additional expense). Finally, location is important because different states have different energy availability rates—for example, California has some very high rates while Florida has low ones—which could affect what type of furnace would be best suited for your needs down south.

Insulation and Drywall Installation or Other Wall Finishes

The cost of insulation and drywall installation is one of the most significant factors in determining a house’s overall square footage, but it also is one of the easiest construction costs to control. You’ll have more flexibility when deciding how much to spend on this part of your home’s construction than any other part.

In order to get an accurate estimate, you should first identify what type of insulation you want to use. Owens Corning estimates that it costs between $1 per square foot and $2 per square foot to install fiberglass batts between studs—the most common type of insulation used in residential homes today—but prices can vary widely depending on where you live, how much product is available at local stores and other factors related directly or indirectly with market demand for certain types of products.

For example: if you live near an oceanfront community where there are lots more people than usual who need help building their houses due to rising sea levels caused by climate change (and therefore demand for products like fiberglass batt material increases), then expect those prices above mentioned may be higher than normal depending on availability from nearby suppliers/manufacturers etcetera…

Interior Trim, Cabinets, and Flooring Materials

In addition to the cost of labor, other interior building materials can add up quickly. The following will vary based on your personal preferences, but you should expect the following costs for each square foot:

  • Trim and cabinetry materials – $1 per square foot
  • Flooring materials (including tile and wood) – $0-$10 per square foot
  • Countertops – $10-$20 per square foot
  • Appliances – $5000-$15000 depending on quality and type
  • Miscellaneous costs (i.e., paint, sinks, and faucets)

Countertops, Appliances, and Miscellaneous Costs

In addition to the cost per square foot, you should also consider the following costs:

  • Appliances, countertops, and flooring – These items are not included in your home’s square footage but can add up quickly. If you have a custom home built for you or if you plan on putting in these upgrades yourself, they will be more expensive than average.
  • HVAC system – The heating and cooling system is another one of those big ticket items that may not be included in the cost per square foot. An HVAC system can cost anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 installed in California depending on its size and complexity (i.e., radiant heat).

In conclusion,

While the cost of building a home depends on many factors, it’s clear that California is no longer an affordable place to build a house. As your family grows or you move up in life, it is important to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate all of your needs as well as keep up with current trends in home design.

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