Cost To Build A House In South Carolina

Building a new home in South Carolina can be an exciting yet challenging process, especially when it comes to estimating the overall cost. Construction costs in the state have risen sharply in recent years, driven by lumber prices as well as labor and material shortages. However, it’s still possible to build an attractive, high-quality home at a reasonable price if you plan carefully.

The total cost to build a custom home in South Carolina ranges from $100 to $300 per square foot, with the average coming in around $150/sq ft according to most builders. This means a 2,500 square foot house will cost approximately $375,000 to construct. However, many factors influence the final price tag, including location, lot type, house size, materials and amenities. With strategic design choices and diligent budget oversight, you can build your dream home without breaking the bank.

Land Acquisition Costs

Land costs can widely vary across South Carolina depending on the location and amenities. In urban areas near cities like Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, land prices tend to be higher while rural areas away from major metro areas have lower land prices.

Some average per acre prices by region:

  • Charleston area – $100,000 to over $1 million along the coast
  • Columbia area – $20,000 to $100,000
  • Greenville/Spartanburg area – $30,000 to $150,000
  • Myrtle Beach area – $50,000 to $500,000
  • Rural/Small Town SC – $5,000 to $30,000

Land along the coastline or near golf courses and other amenities will be at the highest end of the price range. Inland rural areas will be toward the lower end. Those looking to build a budget-friendly home may opt for locations farther from urban centers to take advantage of lower land prices. However, this should be balanced with potential added costs for infrastructure and transportation.

Selecting the location is one of the first key steps that will factor into the overall cost to build a house in South Carolina. Reviewing price per acre in different counties and towns can help make an informed decision.

Permitting & Impact Fees

Local governments require builders to obtain various permits and pay impact fees before beginning construction on a new home. These fees help cover the costs of inspecting the work and expanding infrastructure to accommodate growth.

Typical permitting costs for a new single-family home in South Carolina include:

  • Building permit: $1,000 to $2,000 on average, depending on the home’s size and location. This covers plan review, inspections, and certificate of occupancy.
  • Impact fees: $2,000 to $5,000 on average. These fees fund roads, parks, schools, fire protection, and other public services. Impact fees are highest in rapidly growing areas.
  • Water and sewer tap fees: $500 to $2,000 on average to connect to public utilities. Some areas may also charge electricity, gas, or fire tap fees.
  • Erosion control permit: $75 to $300 to implement runoff prevention measures during construction.
  • Floodplain development permit: $50 to $500 if building in a mapped flood zone.

Permit costs are generally lowest in rural areas and small towns. Subdivisions or planned communities may include some permitting costs in the purchase price of the lot. Builders should account for 4-8% of total construction costs going to permitting and fees.

Utility Connection Fees

Connecting utilities like water, sewer, electricity and gas to a new home build can add thousands to the total cost. Here are some average utility connection fees to expect when building a house in South Carolina:

  • Water – Most areas charge a one-time water connection fee that runs $1,000-$2,000 to hook up to the municipal water supply. There may also be an ongoing water service charge.
  • Sewer – Expect a sewer tap fee of $1,500-$3,000 to connect to the local sewage system. Some counties charge per bathroom or bedroom instead of a flat fee.
  • Electricity – Power companies normally charge around $500-$1,000 for a residential electric hookup and meter. Fees may vary based on the amps needed for your home.
  • Gas – If using natural gas, plan for a gas line installation fee of $500-$2,000 depending on location and distribution infrastructure. Propane setup would be an additional cost.
  • Cable/Phone – Optional services like cable TV, internet and home phone would each have a one-time setup fee ($50-$150) and a recurring monthly bill. Installation may be waived with bundled deals.
  • Permits – All utility work will require plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits from the local municipality. These typically add a few hundred dollars in fees.

Connecting utilities is a necessary but often overlooked step when budgeting a new home build. Being aware of the approximate costs involved can help avoid budget surprises down the road.

House Design & Materials

The architectural style and building materials you choose will significantly impact the cost to build a house in South Carolina. Some of the most popular home styles in the state include:

  • Colonial Revival – This classic style features a symmetrical facade, dormer windows, and a front door with decorative crowning. Brick, wood siding, and painted trim are typical exterior materials.
  • Farmhouse – Characterized by wide front porches, wood or metal roofs, dormers, and white siding, often with black window shutters. Farmhouse styles range from traditional to modern.
  • Southern Coastal – Designed to suit the warm coastal climate, these homes have large porches, metal roofs, and plenty of windows. Exteriors showcase natural materials like cypress wood, cedar shakes, and stone.
  • Craftsman – Known for simplicity, craftsmanship, and functionality. Identifying features are low-pitched gabled roofs, exposed rafters, natural materials, and square columns.

Some of the most commonly used exterior building materials in South Carolina include:

  • Brick – A classic, durable option seen on many Colonial and Craftsman homes. Brick costs around $6-12 per square foot.
  • Fiber Cement Siding – Mimics the look of wood but doesn’t require painting and is dent, fire, and insect resistant. Runs $3-7 per square foot.
  • Vinyl Siding – Lower maintenance and cost than real wood. Vinyl is fade, crack, and peel resistant. Starts around $2 per square foot.
  • Stucco – A cement-based plaster often used on Spanish style homes. Stucco costs approximately $6-9 per square foot.
  • Wood or Cedar Shingles – Give a natural, rustic look. Wood shingles run $6-10 per square foot.

Interior finishes like flooring, countertops, cabinets, and fixtures will add another 15-30% onto the cost of the home’s structure. Choosing higher end finishes can significantly increase the budget.

Labor Costs

The labor costs to build a house in South Carolina can vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the home. The labor typically represents 20-30% of the total construction budget.

The average hourly rate for basic construction labor like framing carpenters in South Carolina is around $35-50 per hour. Skilled trades like electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians will range from $45-75 per hour depending on experience level. The project manager or lead contractor will usually charge $50-100 per hour to oversee the home building process.

It’s important to account for labor costs increasing over the lifespan of a construction project that takes 6-12 months to complete. Many contractors will build 5-10% annual price increases into their contracts.

The more custom details and finish work a home requires, the more specialized labor will be needed. This specialty labor can demand hourly rates ranging from $75-150 per hour. Complex homes over 5,000 sq ft with high-end details and finishes can end up with total labor costs exceeding 30% of the build budget.

Getting multiple bids from licensed, reputable contractors and checking their references is key to ensuring you get fair market pricing. Paying a premium for a highly experienced project manager is also recommended for smooth execution and avoiding budget overages. Tracking labor hours against tasks and milestones can help keep labor costs on target.

Foundation & Framing

Laying the foundation and framing the structure of a new home represents a significant portion of the total build cost. This includes excavating and pouring the concrete foundation, framing the floors, walls and roof, plus all labor and materials.

In South Carolina, most single family homes are built on a poured concrete slab foundation, which costs around $5-8 per square foot. More complex foundations like crawlspaces or basements add $5-15 per square foot.

Framing labor averages $10-15 per square foot, using standard lumber and engineered wood products for wall, floor and roof framing. Framing materials like lumber, plywood, insulation and fasteners cost $5-8 per square foot. Total framing costs range from $15-23 per square foot on average.

Factors like custom designs, multi-story construction, and choice of framing materials can increase costs. Using sustainable framing materials like ICF blocks or structural insulated panels (SIPs) improves energy efficiency but adds $2-5 per square foot.

Overall, foundation and framing combined represent 15-25% of the total cost to build a house in South Carolina. Careful design and materials choices in the framing stage impact energy efficiency and long-term durability.

Roofing, Siding & Windows

The roofing, siding, and windows are major components that contribute to the exterior look and function of a home. Here are typical costs for these features when building a house in South Carolina:


  • Asphalt shingle roof: $6,000 – $12,000
  • Metal roof: $10,000 – $20,000
  • Tile roof: $15,000 – $25,000

Asphalt shingle is the most common and budget-friendly roofing material. Metal and tile roofs have a higher upfront cost but last longer.


  • Vinyl siding: $5,000 – $8,000
  • Fiber cement siding: $9,000 – $12,000
  • Wood siding: $8,000 – $15,000
  • Brick veneer: $15,000 – $25,000

Vinyl is typically the most affordable siding option. Fiber cement and wood sidings have a more classic look. Brick veneer is on the higher end but provides great durability.


  • Vinyl windows: $5,000 – $8,000
  • Wood windows: $8,000 – $12,000
  • Fiberglass windows: $7,000 – $10,000

Vinyl windows offer the best value, while wood windows have a more timeless look. Fiberglass windows provide a middle ground combining vinyl’s affordability and wood’s aesthetics.

When selecting roofing, siding, and windows, one must balance upfront costs with long-term durability, aesthetics, and energy efficiency. Consulting local builders can help narrow options for South Carolina’s climate.

Interior Finishes

The interior finishes of a home often make up 20-30% of the total build cost. This includes elements like flooring, paint, cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and more.

On average, flooring costs $3-5 per square foot for carpet, $4-8 for tile, $6-12 for hardwood. Luxury vinyl and stone floors can range from $10-25 per square foot installed.

Painting the interior costs around $0.75-1.50 per square foot. More expensive paints or special finishes add more.

Kitchen cabinets average $5,000-15,000 installed for semi-custom wood styles. Bathroom vanities are $1,500-4,000.

Granite countertops cost $40-100 per square foot installed. More affordable laminate options are $20-50 per square foot. Backsplashes run $10-25 per square foot for tile.

Interior doors are around $100-300 each. Closet shelving units cost approximately $500-2,000 installed.

Bathroom fixtures like toilets, faucets, and lights range from $75-500 each. Expect to spend $1,000-4,000 on the complete bath hardware.

Lighting fixtures vary widely, but allow $50-300 per fixture.

Total & Financing

The total cost to build a new single-family home in South Carolina ranges from $100 to $300 per square foot. This means a modest 2,000 square foot house would cost around $200,000 to $600,000 to construct. The wide range accounts for differences in materials, finishes, custom designs, and geographic location.

On the low end, building a basic starter home with standard finishes in a rural area may cost around $100,000 to $150,000. On the high end, a large custom home with premium materials and details in a coastal resort community could cost $500,000 and above.

The median price for a newly constructed home in South Carolina is approximately $250 to $350 per square foot. This equates to $500,000 to $700,000 for a 2,000 square foot home. Factors like lot premiums, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and rising material costs have driven new construction prices higher in recent years.

Most buyers will need to finance the majority of costs through a construction loan or mortgage. Putting 20% down is ideal, but 10% may be possible. Interest rates and monthly payments will vary based on credit, income, debt levels, and the type of home loan. Working with a lender early in the process is important to get pre-approved and understand budget limitations.

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