How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Searching for a new home can be a fun and exciting process. But if you can’t find a house that you love within your budget, you might start to wonder if it’s worth building the home of your dreams instead.

Designing a home that’s perfect for you can be an exciting prospect. But just how much does it cost to build a house? And can it actually be cheaper to build a house than to buy an existing one?

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost to build a house is determined by a range of factors, including square footage, customizations and location.
  • The average cost to build a home in 2022 is $150 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor.
  • Labor costs account for roughly 30% to 50% of the overall cost to build a home.
  • Land, permits, plumbing and electrical installations, and interior and exterior finishes are just a few factors that might contribute to the cost.

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Average Cost to Build a House

According to September 2022 figures, HomeAdvisor estimates the national average cost to build a home is around $280,000. 

Of course, the price can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the home’s:

  • Square footage
  • Features
  • Materials
  • Location

Given these and other factors, HomeAdvisor estimates that the typical range for building a new house falls between about $112,00 and $451,000.

Average Building Cost per Square Foot

It goes without saying that the size of your desired home will be one of the biggest factors in determining the overall cost to build it. HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost to build a house is about $150 per square foot.

Given that estimate, here’s a breakdown of how much you might expect to pay on average to build a house, depending on its size:

  • 800-1,000 square feet: $80,000-$120,000
  • 1,000-1,500 square feet: $100,000-$300,000
  • 1,500-2,000 square feet: $150,000-$400,000
  • 2,000-2,500 square feet: $200,000-$500,000
  • 2,500-3,000 square feet: $250,000-$600,000
  • 3,000-4,000 square feet: $300,000-$800,000
  • 4,000-5,000 square feet: $400,000-$1,000,000
An architect and a construction worker look at plans.

Homebuilding Cost Breakdown

The sections below break down the major construction costs associated with building a house. These estimates might be helpful to be used as a general guideline. But it’s important to keep in mind that they may fluctuate based on factors such as market demand, cost of labor, cost of materials and more.

Labor costs, which are included in each category below, are the highest costs associated with building a home. They could account for approximately 30%-50% of the total price.


The cost of land could vary greatly depending on the size of your lot, its location and how much work needs to be done before building can begin. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of land could be as low as $3,000 or as high as $150,000 when all these variables are taken into consideration. The median lot price in 2020 was $53,000.

Pre-Construction Fees

Pre-construction costs can include everything from permit fees to the price of construction plans. You may also need to pay for preliminary inspections of water and sewer systems. But it’s important to remember that the cost for plans will vary widely depending on how customized your home is. HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost in 2022 of a building permit alone is around $1,200 to $2,000.


Foundation costs include everything from excavating the site to pouring the concrete to building retaining walls. 


Once the foundation is finished, it’s time to start building the frame of your new home. Framing costs can include the labor and materials used to construct not only the walls of the house but also the roof, trusses and sheathing. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of framing falls between $20,000 and $50,000.

Exterior Finishes

The exterior finishes of your home can include wall finishing, shingles and roofing, as well as windows and exterior doors. The total cost may be driven higher or lower depending on how many entrances you have to your home and whether you have any extensive masonry work involved in your design. HomeAdvisor estimates that exterior finishes could cost between $40,000 and $60,000.

Major Home Systems

Installing major systems in your home can be a costly part of building your own house. As with most items, the size of your house will play a significant role in determining how much these systems will cost, in addition to the type of system you choose. 

Plumbing; electrical; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit installations are all included in this category. And if you opt to install solar panels on your home, that cost can be included here as well. The total costs for major systems could be between $30,000 and $75,000, according to HomeAdvisor.

Interior Finishes

Interior finishes are typically one of the largest costs associated with building your own home. According to HomeAdvisor, that could range from $50,000 to $175,000.

Interior finishes can include interior drywall, insulation, cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, flooring, appliances and interior doors. They also include painting, which HomeAdvisor estimates could alone cost anywhere between $4,000 and $11,000.

Outdoor Features

This category includes additions like driveways, patios, decks and landscaping. Each outdoor feature can cost thousands of dollars. Any additional outdoor features, such as pools, need to be factored into a budget too.

A person sits on the shoulders of their partner to install a light bulb in their new home.

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House?

One way to compare the cost of a new build against an older home is to look at the price per square foot. That can give you a good place to start, at least.

But designing a brand new home with top-of-the-line custom finishes could quickly overtake the cost of buying a similarly sized home that’s older and boasts fewer state-of-the-art updates.

On the other hand, older homes might require more upkeep and maintenance than would brand-new homes, despite the initial lower purchase price. And unless you love every single interior finish, you may spend time updating an older home to fit your specifications. 

Homebuilding Costs in a Nutshell

Whether someone is buying a new home or an existing one, there’s at least one thing that’s always true: A good credit score can help prospective homebuyers qualify for better mortgage terms and interest rates. It can also help to know what questions to ask when you’re buying a house.

If you’re considering buying a home, you can check on your credit with CreditWise from Capital One. With CreditWise, you can keep tabs on your VantageScore® 3.0 credit score and TransUnion® credit report. CreditWise is free and available whether you’re a Capital One customer or not. And using it won’t hurt your credit score.

You can also learn how to get free copies of your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus by visiting

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