How much money do you need to build a house in USA – 2020?

How much money do you need to build a house in USA – 2020?

Building your own place to live is a dream for so many of us. Everyone would love to have his or her own home to reside rather than being on rent. However, there are fixed and variable costs that occur when building a house. The prices depend on what materials you use and which size the house is. How much does it cost a build a house then? Well, it depends on so many factors. In the USA, you can either hire a contractor or build the house by yourself. It depends on your personal preference.

Building a house

How much does it cost to build a house? – Things to remember before you start!

Alright, you want to build a house, and that is awesome. But three little pigs wanted to build a house too, and two of them failed. You have many things to keep in mind when you decide on building a house. Just like in the story, you have to think before you start carefully. The word ‘Budget’ screams loud in this topic. Important is an understatement to use on the budget. Budgeting is everything. You have to make a budget about each and every category of the house and furniture. Below are the main areas in which you should have a clear budget:


  • Site work
  • Foundation
  • Exterior finishes
  • Interior finishes
  • Framing
  • Plumbing and Electrical
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Cleaning up


All the factors above cost you money, and a budget is clear guidance to see where you stand. On top of the ones above, you have customized costs, such as the kinds of materials, porches, pools, and interior decorating. These are variable costs that vary from one person to another, depending on the type of house they intend to build.

Other external factors that affect your house building budget

  • The worksite:

The land itself attributes a lot to the costs of building a house. First, you have to see if the property you are building on is flat and leveled or sloped. And then comes the hidden boulders under the land, and you need to clear them before building the house. For these, there may be hidden costs that add up to level the ground properly.


  • Location:

Your budget can vary drastically depending on your location. The building costs differ from region to region. If your land is in a city, the prices are most likely to increase rather than a property in a suburb or a rural area.


  • Government permit:

There are extra costs for getting a government permit. The regulations regarding construction change now and then and you must stay up to date with the permit regulations.


  • The number of stories:

Generally, the cost will be more if you plan on building a two-story house rather than a single-story. Additional stairs, flooring, roofing, and foundation materials come to the scene.


  • Materials:

Starting from the brick to the chandelier, the materials, and quality you plan on using have a massive impact on the housing budget.


  • Trade person:

You have to hire professionals for each section of the house, such as electrician, plumber, roofer, and so on, play a massive part in determining your cost. Each professional charges differently according to their experience and expertise.

how much does it cost to build a house yourself

How much does it cost to build a house yourself? 

Whether you hire a professional contractor or decide to build it by yourself, you need to understand that the fixed costs remain the same. And even if you wish to build a house yourself, you will still need some assistance in specific areas such as electrical and plumbing. Building a house by yourself can take a longer time, but you can surely save on labor charges and additional costs because you will be doing most of the work.

Let us see how to choose a contractor!

Choosing the right contractor for your housing project determines how your house is going to look like overall. The entire budget also can shift depending on the contractor you choose. There are two types of builders as custom-built and production homes. Therefore, it depends on which one you go for. Their prices vary according to the contractor’s specialization. It is vital that you get quotations from more than one contractor to see if they offer the best value for money.

Essential questions to ask your intended contractor before enlisting them

Finding a proper contractor is not easy. Once you think you have found the right contractor, either the price will be too high, or they will be holding an expired license. Therefore, it is always safe to ensure you know ALL the details about the contractor before you enlist them.

You should always make sure to ask the questions below from the contractor you are intending to enlist because if something goes wrong, you should be able to be on the clear books with them to solve matters. Here are some of the critical questions you should have answers to before enlisting a contractor.


  • Do you have a valid license for contracting?
  • Is your insurance valid?
  • How do you describe your building process, and why?
  • Can you design a layout that suits my land?
  • How often do you provide updates on the construction process?
  • Are your housing plans flexible?
  • Can I see some of the past projects you have completed?
  • Can I have some references?


If you get satisfactory answers to all the concerns above, you are good to go ahead with the contractor. Building a house is no joke. You need to know ‘everything’ under the carpet because you would not want any surprise expenses along the way.


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The average cost of building a house

For site work, you will need about $5,000 to $6,500 to get permits, inspections, and so on. And the government will charge you about $2,000 as their regulatory fee. And we should not forget the architect who is designing your house. This will cost you between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on the size of the house plan. Foundation holds one of the most substantial numbers on the budget. The builder decides the amount you should spend on it because the materials you use for the foundation choose the quality of the house.


Let’s talk about framing. Brace yourself because it is one of the most critical aspects of building any kind of house, and let me tell you, the cost is high! Framing gives shape to the house.


Building the skeleton of the house takes a lot of time and money. And here, we are talking about an average of $30,000. Exterior and interior finishes, including major fixtures, will sum up to $50,000. But then again, they all depend on the kind of house you build.

Interior finishes include furniture, fittings, fixtures, lights, lamps, and almost everything inside the house. This cost is variable according to the type of fittings and furniture you are purchasing. And finally comes the cleaning up part. It does not matter how well you build the house if cleaning is not done. A lot of cleaning companies charge a ton load of money to clean a new house. But you can save some bucks by cleaning whatever you can, yourself, and leave the rest for a cleaning company to do.

Is it cheaper to build a house or buy a house? 

Well, it is a question that needs a lot of balancing. Of course, the selling price of a house is higher than the cost that went to building it. But if you compare the amount of time, energy, consultation, inspection, hassle, and everything tiring, buying a house seems feasible. Yet, it depends on personal preference because if you buy a house, you cannot design it the way you want. After all, it is already finished. But if you plan and build your own house, you can twist and turn the plan according to your desire and make the house of your dreams. Therefore, the decision is truly up to the person whether to build or buy a house. How much does it cost to build a house? Well, that depends on you!

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