Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Building a Custom Home

Building a Custom Home Cost


How Much Does Building a Custom Home Cost?

 
low costLow: As low as $100 per square footaverage costAverage: $200-$400 per square foot
post E-mail post Post  

Having a house built to specifications means you get exactly the features you've always dreamed of owning, such as inlaid hardwood or tile floors, custom cabinetry, granite or marble countertops, an oversized Jacuzzi tub, an indoor lap pool or more. However, a custom home also requires your active participation and decision-making during each phase of the project, plus patience and money.

Typical costs:

  • Residential construction costs vary considerably nationwide, but as a general rule custom-built homes are about twice as much as production homes in the same area, plus the price of the lot or acreage. (The price of land is almost never included in cost estimates for custom homes.) On average, a custom-built home with top-of-the-line materials is $200-$400 or more a square foot, or $700,000-$1.4 million for a 3,500 square foot house. However, building a modest custom home in a low-cost area might drop costs as low as $100 a square foot, or $350,000 for 3,500 square feet. These price ranges usually include standard site preparation (foundation, utilities, etc.) but do not include the cost of the land, design plans, or loan fees (which can run $1,500-$7,000 or more).
  • A great deal depends on location plus the complexity of the project and the quality of the materials chosen. It's possible to custom-build an 800-square-foot dome house for $1 million or a 12,000-square-foot rural ranch house for $400,000. However, the $400,000 custom-built house is the exception rather than the rule. Typically, a landowner choosing to build a custom-designed home wants high-quality features which nudge the total costs toward $1 million.
  • Architects charge anywhere from 2-15 percent of the total construction costs to custom-design a home; one advantage is that their services should include overseeing the building process to be sure everything is done properly.
  • Thousands of custom home plans are available for $500-$2,000 or more, depending on style and complexity. But before building it's wise to pay an architect $50-$150 an hour to review the plans to be sure they fit your site and meet local building codes.
  • Check with the local planning department. Building permits vary widely by region but can add several thousand or tens of thousands of dollars to the building costs.
Related articles: Home Addition, Architect

What should be included:
  • From buying the land to moving into the finished product, having a home custom-built is an extremely complex process. The Arizona Home Builders Network lists factors that can influence a custom home's cost per square foot; B4UBuild.com[1] describes the various phases of the home building process, from research and pre-construction work to interior and exterior finishes and landscaping; and the National Association of Home Builders[2] explains what a custom builder does compared to a production home builder.
  • Financing and cash flow can be an important issue. Typically architects and builders require a deposit with additional payments scheduled as each phase of the project is completed.
Additional costs:
  • An itemized bid sheet listing everything from site preparation to debris removal is $15 from HomeAdditionsPlus[3] .
  • The DVD-ROM "Your Custom Home"[4] lists for $19.99 and includes design guides, a cost estimator, a home construction encyclopedia, and the ability to order from more than 6,200 home plans.
  • Making changes to the design or materials used after construction has begun adds to the total cost; the exact amount will depend on the nature and scope of the changes.
Shopping for building a custom home:
  • Read as much as possible about the custom home-building process; books are available through your local library, at bookstores or through Amazon[5] . Talk to other people who had their home custom-built, asking about any problems they encountered.
  • Contractor referrals are available through your local home building association[6] .
  • Get several estimates, making clear what is (and isn't) included in each quote. View other projects designed or built by the architect or contractor, and talk to people who have used their services to see how smooth the process was. Before hiring a designer or builder, ask about their training and the length and type of their experience. Be sure the contractor is properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[7] . Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[8] .
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Building a Custom Home
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Square Feet:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.b4ubuild.com/resources/index.shtml
  2.  www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?sectionID=182&genericContentID=3911
  3.  www.homeadditionplus.com/New%20Home%20Construction%20Bid%20Sheet.htm
  4.  www.amazon.com/Valusoft-10429-Your-Custom-DVD-Rom/dp/B0007U9BT4
  5.  www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/104-2967680-0286341?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-k...
  6.  www.nahb.org/local_association_search_form.aspx
  7.  www.contractors-license.org/
  8.  search.bbb.org/
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does Painting a House Cost? How Much Does a Fence Cost? How Much Does a Furnace Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Brazillian Knot
Paid: 275.00
I tried brazillian knot for the first time and it hurt soooo bad!!!! Never Again!!! I had to cut them out right away. I kept them in for 2 days and then that was it, I could not take it... [more]
-annejevas2
Hair Extensions Cost
Sleep Study
Paid: 6400.00
Wow what a rip off will never go to that hospital again. I will go shopping for my next procedure... [more]
-
Sleep Apnea Treatment Cost
Cost of a deck
Paid: 5000.00
I was wondering if I paid to much for my 10X25 rectangle deck with treated wood? It has 3 stairs about 3 feet in width and 25 feet of railings... [more]
-LB
Deck Cost
Rabbit costs
Paid: 10.00
The dwarf cross, Sunday(male, neutered) was a CL freebie. Womans cat brought 2 approx 3-4 wk old babies, dont know where mother was. He was soooo tiny, dehydrated, & a bit cold... [more]
-shawnna Stone
Rabbit Cost
MRI FH Outpatient/CT FH Outpatient
Paid: 319.80
MRI Amount billed by hospital $9025.82!!!!!January 2014CT FH- outpatient - billed $5146... [more]
-Janie D
MRI Cost
Is my pricing high?
Paid: 1400.00
Just saw the dentist today. Informed I am in need of two extractions and two bone graphs. My insurance does not cover bone grafts... [more]
-
Dental Bone Graft Cost