How Much to Build
There's something exciting about building your own house—it's no wonder that more than 1, 000, 000 new residences are projected to go up this year. Still, if this thought has crossed your mind, you have also probably wondered: How much does it cost to build a house, anyway?
According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, the median price of constructing a single-family home in 2015 was $289, 415, or $103 per square foot. And according to the U.S. Census, the median size of a newly built single-family house in 2015 was 2, 467 square feet. That price can vary widely based on where you live, though. (Want a more targeted estimate? Go to realtor.com®/local to find out the price per square foot in your area.)
So why does building a home cost so much? Let's break down the costs, shall we?
The main costs to build a house
There are a few main costs involved in the construction of a home, says Andy Stauffer, owner and president of Stauffer and Sons Construction. Sure, each home is different, but here are the biggies:
- The shell of the house, which includes walls, windows, doors, and roofing, can account for a third of the home’s total cost, or $95, 474.
- Mechanical—think plumbing and heating—runs around 13%, or $37, 843.
- Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to build, especially when the average cost for finishes like cabinets and countertops alone is $16, 056. So if you're looking to save money, ask yourself whether you really need that third full bathroom, or will two plus a half-bath do?
- Architect and engineer drawings will run about $4, 583.