On average, the per sqft building cost of a home is $100 to $155. That means the cost to build a 2500 square foot house is $250,000 to $387,500. However, there are quite a few other costs you should be aware of – which we will be talking about in the rest of this article.
The above figures include ONLY the cost for building the actual house. This means you’ll also need to make sure to set aside enough money for things like the land, foundation, and many other costs you may not have thought about! Let’s take a look at some of those costs.
Land Costs Vary Greatly Depending On Location
While in a cheap rural area like Arkansas can net you acres and acres of land for next to nothing – that’s not the case for most other places. This is particularly true if you’re planning to “save money” by building a house in a hot, hot market like Nashville. A standard lot here will tack at least $65,000 on to your building costs before you even get off the ground and areas on the West Coast could be even more expensive.
Prep Work Can Cost A Substantial Sum
After you’ve got the land, you also need to prepare it for building. As previously stated, the square foot cost is only for the house itself. That means you need to get everything else ready to go and paid for before the builder even shows up.
All houses need a foundation, which will run you $8,000 to $30,000, depending on whether you’re willing to go bare bones, or if you want a pricier full basement.
If you’re planning to do some good ‘ol country living, expect to pay $7,500+ for a well and $3,900+ for a septic system right off the bat. However, even if you are building in the city, the cost for hooking up to existing services can be substantial. Expect to pay at least $1,500 for this, but it could be a lot more.
Similarly, my dreams of a long, winding gravel driveway back into the woods were quickly dashed when I realized exactly how expensive it would be to add it to our rather modest budget for building.
Here are a few ballpark figures for your prep work
- Clearing Your Land ($1,500 to $5,000 an acre)
- Drilling A Well ($7,500+)
- Septic Tank Installation ($3,900+)
- Gravel Driveway ($1,500 to $6,000)
- Paved Driveway ($5,000)
- Foundation ($8,000 to $15,000)
- Basement ($10,000 to $30,000)
So, is building your own home worth it? It most certainly can be, especially with housing inventories at historic lows. However, it’s important to know what you are willing to sacrifice in your budget to get the job done, because things add up quick if you don’t plan ahead.
It’s also a good idea to have a good bit of cash over your budget for when things go wrong. Perhaps an unexpected bill came up, or some of the materials have gone up in price unexpectedly. Set aside a good bit of your budget for these circumstances to avoid delays and frustration.
Bob learned about farming from his grand dad. So, the decision to leave the city and start homesteading was not a difficult transition. He now lives with his wife and two kids on their 30 acre property in Ohio.