How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

Worker shows house design plans

Worker shows house design plans | iStock.com/ALotOfPeople

In your white picket fence daydreams, what does the house beyond the fence look like? Maybe it’s a colonial-style home like the one you grew up in, or perhaps it’s a modern design with chrome and silver finishes in every room. It might have three bedrooms with an office to boot, or be a sprawling mega-mansion fit for Hollywood’s elite.

If you’re fortunate, you might be able to find the house you’re looking for in a property search, either online or with a realtor. In other cases, you might decide that building your dream home from scratch is the best move. Though it can be much more time-intensive than purchasing an existing home, you also have the chance to choose everything according to your tastes, from the number of bedrooms to the type of fixtures in the bathroom and on the cabinets.

According to Realtor.com, around 1 million homeowners were expected to build their own houses in 2016. The average size of a new home built in 2015 was 2,467 square feet, U.S. Census numbers report, though the cost per square foot varied depending on the source. Realtor.com found the average to be around $103 per square foot, while a separate study from HomeAdvisor reported the average cost at $150 per square foot. Overall, that range equals an average new home cost between $290,000 and $305,000.

Of course, that’s just the average, and building your own home is one of the most variable expenses there is. Every decision you make affects the bottom line you’ll pay, so it’s important to know just how much home prices can change. HomeAdvisor reports that the average range was from $178,010 to $466,493 among HomeAdvisor members, with outliers as low as $23,000 and as high as $826,000. What’s behind those cost variables? We did some digging to find out.

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