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What is the cost to build a new home?

October 25, 2019

Our latest video is all about the cost to build a new home. This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get. The reality is, the cost to build a home depends on a lot of factors. Unfortunately, a lot of people who never built a house like to throw numbers around. Which makes it imperative that you talk to knowledgeable people.


You have hard costs, things like materials, and labor, and site costs. The location can play a big roll in the cost to build. Different areas have different code restrictions, and there can be extra costs involved with site preparation. A flat, dry, level house lot might have a lot less costs involved with development than a house lot in the mountains or near the ocean.

Plan Modifications Effect Building Cost

If you get an estimate from a builder based on the stock house plan, but then make modifications to that plan. The estimate will be out of sync with the finished home. It is always best to hold off on getting building estimates until the floor plan has been finalized.

It can be a bit of the chicken and the egg. You can’t know the cost of building until the house plan is finalized. But, you might not be able to afford to build the house plan if it is modified too much. We can help in this area. We can “ballpark” a “general” cost per square foot. Which should help to keep you within budget while getting the modifications you want.

Beyond the basic square foot cost to build. The finishes, tile, paint, cabinets and even plumbing fixtures can drive costs up. So, remember that there is more involved in estimating the cost than just the basic structure of a home.

There are always hidden Costs

Building a home is a big process. For most people they have to learn as they go. Things will crop up and disrupt the build budget and the build schedule. There is a line in the Tom Hanks movie “The Money Pit” where he is renovating an old home. When ever he asked a tradesman how long it will be to finish the house, he was always told, “two weeks”. This goes on for months.

It is funny because it is true. When building a new home, if everything went according to plan, with no issues. You “could” build a home within 4 months. However life doesn’t work like that. I’ve seen home building projects that get delayed weeks just because of weather.

The key is to gather as much information as you can. Have realistic expectations and above all, be flexible and try to view bumps in the road as opportunities rather than road blocks. And remember that we are here to offer our hard earned expertise.

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