Calculate House building Cost
as of 2016, Anywhere in the United States. Use our Free Calculator and get reliable estimates of the cost to build a house
Use of The Calculator
As a Contractor
You may use this calculator to check your own estimate, and the relative proportions of Labor, Equipment and Materials. You are not expected to build your estimate based on the output, despite the effort made to ensure its accuracy. Actually every crew has its unique productivity in different conditions, and Suppliers may offer different prices for large orders. Therefore the output is intended for use as reference only.
As a Homeowner
You may use the output as a guide for accepting or rejecting a proposal from a Contractor. A grossly low bid should be rejected, being unrealistic, unless the bidder provides a reasonable explanation. Same applies for highly rated bids.
Where Did We Get These Figures From?
We made a thorough investigation in the web, and collected data from the published cost studies.
In addition to that we consulted a number of new homeowners, and real estate developers nationwide, and accessed several estimating databases.
What Factors Did We Consider?
The cost to build a house varies with time and location.
The average cost per square foot in the 4th quarter 2010, was $99 per square foot in Norfolk, Virginia,
and was $123 per square foot in Queens, NY.
In the 4th quarter 2015, it became $114 per square foot in Norfolk, Virginia,
and became $138 per square foot in Queens, NY.
Also, the bigger the area a house is of, the smaller the cost per square foot may result in.
A better quality finishing may account for additional cost as well
The above is reflected respectively in the calculations.
House Cost Proportions
Proportions of the cost with respect to the total expenditure shall be shown diagrammatically below the calculator, upon making an estimate for at a specific location.
The calculations assume a single story house with three bedrooms and one bathroom plus a garage. The specifications include a conventional floor, stucco exterior, wallboard interior, shingle roof, single fireplace, forced air heat, PVC water supply and drain lines, range with double oven, disposer, dishwasher and 900 SF of concrete flat work.
Generally the direct job costs will be either Labor, Equipment or material costs. It is obvious that at some cities, labor wages can be higher than those in other cities. Same applies to Material prices, and Equipment rents. In addition to the direct costs there shall be indirect costs related to insurance and payroll tax, preparation of plans and specifications, permits and utilities, and final cleanup. These indirect costs have been estimated as 7.3% of the direct costs. Moreover, the contractor overheads and profit will constitute part of the final cost to the homeowner. This has been considered as 12.5% of the direct cost. The output by the above calculator includes all, and you do not need to make any adjustments. The figure is to the best of our knowledge at the time we carried out this research and collected the data for each location.
In our research we found that the difference in Labor wages between cities have a direct influence on the comparative house prices. While the difference in Material Prices does have the same influence.
- The highest total price exists in Boston, Massachusetts and next to it is in New York. At these location we found the highest labor wages, compared to other cities.
- The Lowest total price is in Puerto Rico, and next to it is in Socorro, New Mexico. Also the lowest labor wages are found in those locations.
- The Lowest Material prices are found in Creston, Iowa and the highest ones are found in US Territory Guam
- The contribution of labor costs to the total, ranges between 24% to 51% while the contribution of the Material costs to the total, ranges between 47% to 74%.
- The average house building expenses are higher at some states by more than 20% of the average in all states, namely in Alaska and Hawaii
- The average house building expenses at Puerto Rico are lower by 21% than the average allover USA
- The high prices of building materials in Alaska, Hawaii, US Territories and Virgin Islands, when compared with those at other regions of the country, is believed, to have resulted from transportation expenses. Apart from those regions, the difference in house building Materials value is within 3% of the average
- Also in Alaska and Hawaii, the equipment contribution to the building expenses goes up to 6% above the average, and in US Territories and Virgin Islands it goes down to 5% below the average
- The contributions of the different items to the total cost associated with building a house are shown in the table below as percentages of the total.
Data presented in the table were published in 2016 National Construction Estimator
|2||Flat work (drive & walk)||2.4%|
|4||Foundation, slab, piers||3.7%|
|5||Brick hearth & veneer||0.7%|
|10||Rough carpentry labor||8.9%|
|11||Finish carpentry labor||1.7%|
|14||Insulation (R19 ceiling)||2.3%|
|17||Shower & tub enclosure||0.5%|
|21||Heating and ducting||2.9%|
|22||Plumbing & sewer connections||7.3%|
|25||Alum. windows, door ||1.2%|
|28||Resilient flooring ||2.0%|
|31||Lighting fixtures ||1.2%|
|32||Insurance, tax ||4.8%|
|33||Plans and specs||0.4%|
|34||Permits & utilities||1.7%|
|36||Overhead & profit||12.5%|
Construction Cash Flow Forecasting
: An online tool that provides a Cash Flow Forecast for construction projects.
: An article explaining the techniques used for estimating construction costs
2016 National Construction Estimator
: This book lists estimated construction costs to general contractors who perform the work with their own crews, as of mid-2016. Overhead & profit are not included. Inside the back cover of this book you’ll find a software download certificate. To access the download, follow the instructions printed there. The download includes an easy to-use estimating program with all the cost estimates in this book.