The roof over your head is the biggest investment you will ever make, and certainly one of the most expensive. Experts estimate that the cost of building a new home from start to finish runs the gamut, with most home buyers spending between $177,402 and $462,038. That is quite a range, but it gets even more dramatic.
On the low end, some do-it-yourselfers managed to build a house for as little as $23,000, although it is highly likely that the resulting structure was small and extremely basic. On the high end of the cost spectrum, some homeowners reported spending more than $800,000 on their dream home, a price tag most people would not be able to afford.
If you want to get a handle on what it will cost to build a home of your own, it is helpful to break down those costs by category. Building a home is not a single project-rather it is a series of interlocking and interrelated projects. From buying a suitable piece of land purchasing the materials to frame it out to hiring qualified professionals to do the plumbing and electrical work to furnishing the interior and completing the landscaping, there are plenty of things to consider. Here are how the costs breakdown.
Average Price of Land
At its heart, the price of real estate is deeply local, and nowhere is that more apparent than the cost of an acre of land. In some parts of the west and in many rural areas, home builders can purchase land for as little as $3,000 an acre, making the initial land purchase a negligible part of the building process
On the other end of the cost spectrum is the state of New Jersey, where a single acre of land could set home builders back more than $190,000. If you do not happen to live in one of those extremely high costs or extremely low-cost parts of the country, the price of an acre of land will probably be closer to the national average of about $12,000.
What to Expect When Buying Materials
No matter what kind of home you plan to build, you will need quality lumber to protect the property from the elements and keep you safe when those summer thunderstorm and winter blizzards come along. Buying the best materials you can afford should be a given when building a home -after all, you will be living in the results of your project for many decades to come.
It is best to talk about the cost of building materials in terms of square footage since the size of the home will obviously have a strong impact on your final price tag. Since the price, quality and local availability of certain building materials vary from place to place, it is a good idea to look at average costs and go from there. As your project moves forward, you can nail down more specific costs for your area, but averages for the country run between $3 and $12 per square foot. That means a basic cost between $6,000 and $24,000 for the framing materials you will need to get the walls up.
The Cost of Hiring Custom Home Builders
No matter how handy you are, chances are you do not possess all the skills needed to build a home from start to finish. You may be a great carpenter, but what about the electrical work, the plumbing, or driving the heavy equipment to dig the basement or lay the foundation?
At some point in the process, you will need to hire a professional, and that means taking a hard look at the costs involved. Again, it is best to look at the costs involved in hiring a professional in terms of square footage. While those costs also vary from location to location, the national average runs between $2 and $12 per square foot. That is a wide range to be sure, and part of that is due to the relative skills involved and ready availability and/or rarity of those skills. If you are building a high-end home in a high-cost area, the price of labor Will probably be closer to the$12 per square foot estimate. If you live in a rural area where the cost of living is relatively low, you may end up closer to the $2 per square foot figure.