How Much Does it Cost to Build a House?

ResidentialCalendarDecember 7, 2018

Do you want to build a house? Can you see that dream house in your mind? Do you want to know how much it would cost to make that dream house a reality?

In this article, we’ll try to help you better understand the different costs that go into building a house.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A House

The fact is that it’s impossible to tell you how much it will cost to build a house. There are townhomes that cost less than $150,000, and there are mansions that cost hundreds of millions.

Your building cost will vary based on what type of home you end up building.

Since we can’t easily answer the question, “How much does it cost to build a house,” with a straight number, we’ll list out the different costs you need to take into consideration instead. That way, at least you will be better prepared to do the calculations on your own.


Before you can even think of buying a house, you need a parcel of land to build it on. Where that land is will significantly affect how much it will cost to build a house. The size and shape of your land will also affect the size and shape of your house. 

Even the zoning of the surrounding area will determine what you can and can’t do with your land to some extent. You might be required to set your home a certain distance away from the road, which will control the length of your driveway. And the further back your house has to sit on your property, the more limited you’ll be on how big you can build.

There are plenty of factors like these to take into consideration when you build. Each of them will affect how much it costs to build your house.

And let’s not forget about the local homeowners association. If there’s an HOA, they’ll certainly be able to influence what type of home you do or don’t build right down to the landscaping and siding color.

If you want to buy a plot of land, take all of this into consideration. Obviously, the location of your land will have a large impact on costs as well, but these other factors will also alter the final price tag on your home.

Just make sure you do your research before signing the loan paperwork.

Permits, inspections, and fees

Zoning laws aren’t the only kind of rules and regulations that you’ll have to take into consideration when building your new home. Most states and cities require a variety of permits and inspections before you can build. Permits give you written permission to build different parts of your home. Inspections assure that those builds meet a certain quality or safety standard so no one’s life or property is at risk because of a bad build.

There are also miscellaneous fees that you will likely have to pay. These fees will vary depending on where your land is.

The best way to know which permits, inspections, and fees, you will or won’t need to pay is by hiring a reputable architect or contractor. You may pay the contractor more for his or her reputation, but you’ll pay less than if you’re fined for missing a permit that you needed.

Size and stories

It’ll surprise nobody that bigger houses cost more than smaller houses when everything else is the same. Larger homes take longer to build than smaller ones. The longer your house takes to build, the more labor you’ll have to pay for.

But there’s so much more to it than that.

The more square feet you have, the more carpet, tile, and hardwood you’ll need. Also, a larger kitchen is going to require more cabinets and counters. The more house you build, the more materials you will need to build it. And none of this is even taking things like basic maintenance into account.

In the US, so many people dream of having a large, custom home, but the reality is that isn’t what everyone can necessarily afford. Make sure to balance your wants and needs as you calculate out your specific construction costs.

Interior design

Once the home is built, it’s time to decorate it and create a functional living space inside. There are a lot of choices involved in that process. Do you want carpet, linoleum, or hardwood? Do you want to paint or do you want to put up wallpaper? What quality of paint or wallpaper do you want to use? What type of appliances do you want in your home? What kind of water heater do you plan on using?

Every interior design-related problem has solutions that vary in quality. Your job as the homeowner is to maximize the quality of your home without maxing out your budget. That means you’ll have to figure out where you’re willing to compromise quality for price and where you aren’t. Each of these decisions will affect the end cost of your house.

Just remember, you can also update your interior later. Upgrades are a great way to add value to a home. So learn to be ok with the fact that you might not be able to afford something today because you might be able to afford it later.


Your house’s curb appeal will further affect the price of your house. Flowers, rocks, grass, fish ponds, and trees all come with associated costs, and some will cost a lot more than others. Not only will it cost money to buy these things, but it will cost money to maintain them.

Trees have to be watered regularly. If they send up shoots in the spring then you’ll have to deal with those as well. Invading grass species are a regular problem for homeowners with beautiful green lawns. Make sure you know how to take care of whatever you pay for so it doesn’t end up becoming a wasted expense after you have already written the check.

The good news is that increasing your home’s curb appeal can also increase its value.


You may think that you’re done worrying about prices once the final strip of sod has been laid, but you would be wrong. Homes require maintenance and that costs time and money. After the first year or so of construction, you’ll have to re-caulk a large portion of your home thanks to settling.

You’ll also want to check your appliances and perform basic maintenance on your house.

These costs should all be factored in before you start building. You’ll want to make sure that you have the funds to build the house, but also to maintain it after it has been built. If you can’t do both maybe you need to rethink your build.

Vivint Solar Can Help You Save Money On Your Next House

One final, note about the cost of building a house. Not only will you have the cost of maintenance to deal with, but you will also have to pay your mortgage and utilities as well. Although it might cost a bit more upfront, a solar energy system like the one we provide at Vivint Solar can help you save money on your electricity bill in the long-run.

Contact one of our solar energy representatives today and see if clean solar energy will help make your home build less expensive in the long-run!

How to Go Solar

Vivint Solar makes renewable energy a simple and affordable alternative. We take care of everything from solar system design, to paperwork and permitting, to installation and maintenance.

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