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How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost to build a house is roughly $296,000, according to Home Advisor.
  • The typical price range is $150,000-$442,000.
  • Expenses to consider include the foundation, framing, exterior finishes, interior finishes, and major systems installation.

By Stephen Sellner | Citizens Bank Staff

Some people search far and wide for a home that checks all the boxes on their must-have list. Or, at least, most of the boxes.

Others will take matters into their own hands and have the house of their dreams built specifically for them. They won’t try to make other houses “work for them”; they want a house built with themselves and their families in mind.

The benefits of building a house are obvious. But there’s one major question: How much does it cost to build a house?

The average cost to build a house is about $296,000, according to Home Advisor. Remember that this is a national average, not the amount that your friend, neighbor, or relative paid to build their house. Since it’s an average, there will be some people who pay more than $296,000 to build a house, and some people who will pay less. Someone who built their house in San Francisco, for example, will probably pay more than someone who built their house in Idaho.

Speaking of which, the typical price range for building a house in the U.S. is $150,000-$442,000. Again, context is helpful here — this is a typical price range. There still could be people who paid more or less than this price range, but the majority of people who build a house pay within this range.

Note: These estimates are just for building the house itself. They exclude the price of land.

What expenses make up the cost of building a house?

The best way to determine how much it’ll cost to build a house is to list out all the expenses/parts that go into a house. Once you know how much you’ll spend on each part of the house, you’ll be able to add it all together and get your expected cost!

Here’s a list of some expenses to factor in when estimating the cost to build a house:

  • Foundation: $4,000-$12,000
  • Framing: $1,500-$6,000
  • Exterior finishes: $40,000-$60,000
  • Interior finishes: Up to $85,000
  • Major systems installation: $30,000-$50,000

Source: Home Advisor

Obviously, the more you spend on each of these expenses, the higher the cost to build your house, and vice versa.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into each of the expenses of building a house:

  • Foundation
    • Is the foundation deep or shallow?
    • Which foundation type will you choose (concrete slab, pier & beam, crawl space, or basement)?
    • A building permit is required.
    • Structural engineers can inspect your foundation to help identify unexpected issues and expenses.
  • Framing
    • The more complex your home, the higher the cost.
    • Estimates are given per square foot, so the bigger your house, the more expensive the framing costs.
  • Exterior finishes
    • The more walls, windows, and doors you have, the more you’ll pay.
    • The type of exterior finish will also impact cost.
  • Interior finishes
    • Insulation, drywall, interior trim, painting, lighting, appliances, flooring, and plumbing fixtures impact the cost.
  • Major systems installation
    • This mostly includes plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
    • Size and type of system impact how much you’ll pay.

So, what do you think? Does building your own house still have the same allure that it used to?

Before you make any build-or-not decisions, it’s probably best to chat with a contractor to get a sense of how much it’d cost to build YOUR house. These national averages and ranges give you a ballpark cost estimate, but you’ll want to figure out what it’ll cost to get everything on your list, as well as a realistic timeline.

And if the answer is a yes? Go out and get your hard hat! It’s time to get to work.

Are you ready to build your own house?

A Citizens Bank Home Construction Loan can help turn your biggest purchase into one of your smartest with competitive rates and experts to help you along the way.

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