Search thousands of topics on

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 > House Framing

House Framing Cost

How Much Does House Framing Cost?

average costLabor: $2-$12+ Per Square Foothigh costMaterials: $3-$12+ Per Square Foot
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)

Whether building a new house or constructing an addition to an existing home, once the foundation and utilities are in place the next step is framing -- erecting the basic skeleton of the structure, creating its essential support and shape. The frame of a house carries the weight load of the roof down to the foundation so the entire structure is supported, and provides a weather-tight barrier against the elements.

Typical costs:

  • Framing projects are typically bid by the square foot and the complexity of the project (steep roofs, vaulted ceilings or "cut up" roofs that are not standard rectangles all cost more). Framing carpenters are usually subcontractors who work for a general contractor on a specific building project; most framing contractors provide labor only, with the general contractor (or the owner-builder) buying the materials separately. In some areas a framing project includes only basic framing while elsewhere it's standard for framers to install roof shingles, doors, windows and house wrap. Some framers charge for each square foot under the roof; others charge only for living spaces; and still others others have different rates for living spaces compared to a garage or covered porch.
  • Framing labor can cost $2-$12 or a more a square foot, or $3,500-$36,000 for a 1,600- to 3,000-square-foot home, depending on location and what's included. An average house framing labor rate nationwide is about $6-$8 a square foot, or $10,000-$25,000 for 1,600-3,000 square feet. For example, at[1] a homeowner reports paying $12,000 for framing labor for a 1,600-square-foot home plus basement and two-car garage, or about $7.50 a square foot. At[2] a Tennessee homeowner reports a bid of $5.50 a square foot for 2,900 square feet of living space and $2.25 a square foot for 850 square feet of garage and porch, or about $17,900, including installing roof shingles, doors and windows; and a Seattle area resident received bids of $25,000-$64,000 for framing labor for 4,100 square feet plus a 950-square-foot garage and 325-square-foot porch ($6-$11.90 a square foot).
  • Some new homes might use steel framing, but most residential construction is done with wood framing. Framing materials typically cost more than labor. It can cost $3-$12 or more a square foot based on the current price of lumber (or steel) and the size and design of the structure. For example, at[3] a Pacific Northwest resident reports on two projects: a 5,600-square-foot, two-story home with a three-car garage and 9'-10' tall ceilings at $42,000 for lumber (about $7.50 a square foot) and $27,500 for labor ($4.91 a square foot), or $69,500 total framing costs ($12.41 a square foot); and a 3,500-square-foot single-story home with vaulted ceilings and bonus room over a three-car garage at $30,000 for lumber (about $8.53 a square foot) and $18,000 for labor (about $5.15 a square foot) or $48,000 total (about $13.72 a square foot).
Related articles: Building a Custom Home, Home Addition, House Foundation, House Wrap

What should be included:
  • Wall sections are typically constructed on the ground or floor surface, then raised into place. Precision is important; in a poorly framed finished house the drywall may not be flat, the floors could squeak and the doors might not close properly. illustrates and defines basic framing terms[4] . A framing company posts a video of the framing process[5] . This Old House lists framing tips[6] and explains roof framing basics[7] .
  • An average 1,800-square-foot house typically takes two to three weeks to frame, according to[8] .
Shopping for house framing:
  • The American Forest and Paper Association explains Conventional Wood Frame Construction[9] .
  • An owner-builder buying framing materials should take a set of plans to at least three lumber yards for a list of the individual quantities and costs. This Old House discusses modern framing materials[10] and how to read the grade stamp[11] found on framing lumber.
  • A general contractor will be familiar with local framing subcontractors; owner-builders can ask other subcontractors on the project for recommendations. Verify that the framing contractor is properly bonded, insured and licensed[12] ; check references; and search for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[13] .
  • Most framing contractors require a deposit (10%-50% of the total cost). Final payment should be contingent on the framing being done according to the plans, plus holding back 10% until the framing passes any required inspections. The written labor contract should list all costs including the rate for work not covered by the original bid (referred to as a change order); a start and completion date; any penalties to the framing contractor if work isn't completed on time; and any materials or equipment rentals included in the contract.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (3)
CostHelper News

7 Fireplace and Wood Stove Safety Steps To Do This Week
Gathering around a wood stove or fireplace on a cold winter night can be wonderful experience, but it's crucial to not take basic safety for granted. || Posted November 12 2013

The 4-1-1 on Flu Shots
There are 13 different CDC-approved flu shots available this year. Do you know which one is right for you?To be fair, one is actually an inhaled spray, not a shot, but it is one of the choices. It's restricted to people between the ages of 2 and 49. || Posted November 4 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
new construction
Amount: $45,000.00
Posted by: a user in west Bloomfield, MI.Posted: May 16th, 2015 02:05PM
Square Feet: 5000Material: 45000
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Custom home framing
Amount: $20,000.00
Posted by: Robert Northrup in La PIne, OR.Posted: January 26th, 2015 10:01AM
Square Feet: 1900Material: Wood
I was the general and my wife with architect designed the home. 3 bed 2 1/2 bath home with attached garage. Vaulted living room, hardwood and tile except for bedrooms. Contracted framing, roofing, drywall, electrical and insulation. Our family did the balance of the completion. We owned the lot with utilities in. The total cost was $135,000. Appraisal when converting from construction loan to conventional loan in 2012 was $279,000. We paid $18,500.00 for lot in 1991.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
House Framing
Amount: $17,864.00
Posted by: a user in Kansas city, KS.Posted: November 22nd, 2014 08:11AM
Square Feet: 7.00Material: 2x6 exterior walls, 2x4 interior
I am acting as my own GC on my home. I did a bid with 3 framers. The highest was 7.00 a sq ft. The other two were around 6.50. I went with the more expensive because after checking on there past work the more expensive was alot better in speed and quality.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


Comment On Your Experience With House Framing
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Square Feet: Material: 
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:
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does Garden Service Cost? How Much Does a Kitchen Remodeling Cost? How Much Does a Propane Tank Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on


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
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
Asbestos Removal Cost
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
Body Piercings Cost
Paid: 3009.00
Single family home... [more]
Ductwork Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost