Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports 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 Post   Comments (9)

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 Post   Comments (9)
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


And the Best Bacon Is...
This little piggy went to market.After that, Consumer Reports bought samples and tasted to determine which little piggy offered the best bacon.Top honors go to Costco, it turns out. || Posted October 5 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
CURIOUS
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: JONATHAN ANDREWS in LANCASTER, CA.Posted: November 14th, 2017 04:11AM
Square Feet: 12,000 TO 16,000+
LOOKING FOR SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF BUILDING A CUSTOM MADE HOME (3 STORY) IN THE LAS VEGAS NEVADA AREA
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Features expected in $165 schedule home in phx AZ
Amount: $450,000.00 total
Posted by: ron hastings in Gilbert, AZ.Posted: October 1st, 2016 12:10PM
Square Feet: 2,600
Just trying to get a idea of whatfeaturesone would expect to get. Such as wall height, closet type, energy efficiency leval, photovoltaic system installed solar water install, grade of windows and foors. LOT NOT INCLUDED HOME ONLY
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Per sq ft Daytona Beach custom build Moore's
Amount: $240,000.00 total
Posted by: melea b moore in Daytona beach, NY.Posted: July 1st, 2016 09:07AM
Square Feet: 1734
Estimated 138 per sq ft at KB Homes. Energy efficient homes
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
new home
Amount: $450,000.00 total
Posted by: Glenn MCleod in loganville, GA.Posted: June 7th, 2016 06:06PM
Square Feet: 4300 plus basement
plans already drawn
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Custom Home Pricing
Amount: $525,000.00 total
Posted by: Stranded1 in Orlando/Central Florida, FL.Posted: April 25th, 2016 08:04AM
Square Feet: 3,500
Don't be under-educated by thinking you can build a custom home for $75.00 pr. sq. ft. Pricing varies greatly by region so always speak with a builder or designer in your area up front. Actual costs in the Orlando Area currently can run between $150.00 pr. sq. ft. to in excess of $400.00 depending on your finishes and all pricing is based on total area not just a/c or heated area. The $150.00 range will get you into your home with a mid finish level throughout the home but realistically the $200.00 top $225.00 range is where you want to be at. This usually gives you nice custom finishes everywhere that really counts. (i.e. kitchens and bathrooms).
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
House build
Amount: $200,000.00 total
Posted by: Edward Diuga in Goodyear, AZ.Posted: October 13th, 2015 12:10PM
Square Feet: 2500
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
house
Amount: $450,000.00 total
Posted by: Hitesh Shah in Powell, TN.Posted: February 6th, 2015 04:02PM
Square Feet: 6000
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Jacksonville, Florida cost per square foot 2015
Amount: $425,000.00 total
Posted by: Kevin Davis in JACKSONVILLE, FL.Posted: January 15th, 2015 07:01PM
Square Feet: 5500 heated/cool
Can a modest custom home be build for this amount?
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
custom home
Amount: $215,000.00 total
Posted by: adela Rodriguez in desoto, TX.Posted: July 3rd, 2014 10:07AM
Square Feet: 3000
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

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
Replace leaking supply line40' w/copper from meter to house
Paid: 2150.00
Water supply line leaking, need dig trench, 40' Type L copper pipe. 1st plumber quote $6500. Did some research, 2nd quote is $2150. Depth by city code 16 - 18", both licensed, guarantee 1 year... [more]
-Meeept2000
Replacing Copper Pipes Cost
About to start babysitting
Paid: 6.00
I’m about to start babysitting for their first time ever (for pay) and I was wondering if my pay was too high or too low. Tha family has two boys, a ten year old and an eight year old... [more]
-
Baby Sitter Cost
cost of ear drops
Paid: 67.00
I was prescribed antibiotic drops for an ear infection. Went to pick up at Walgreen's and declined due to price of $219. I asked the medical facility to send prescription to Costco. Picked it up there for $67... [more]
-jeffo
Ear Infection Cost
Be aware
Paid: 0.00
Be aware that many of the listed locksmiths are a call service and many of them are in another state. Some even try to pass as other businesses. Academy lock is a thief and abuses they employed too. There are many... [more]
-Martin Y.
Locksmith Cost
Deep cleaning
Paid: 9999.00
As a dental hygienist with 22 years experience, I can tell you “DEEP CLEANING” is not a SCAM! 1st and foremost remember your insurance coverage is to assist with treatment payments... [more]
-Tasha Nicole
Teeth Cleaning Cost
04 Nissan Sentra
Paid: 120.00
I had one key for the car I just bought a few months back, well... While I was closing the front door to my house my key was caught and severely bent, I tried to gently tap it back straight but needless to say it snapped in half... [more]
-Mz Sentra
Key Copy Cost