How much would it cost to build a home? Do you have a certain house plan in mind?
We want to help you stay on budget. That’s why we offer Cost to Build Reports that take into account your chosen plan, location, upgrade levels, and more. We’ll help you calculate the cost of building a house. And if you want to make changes to lower your cost to build, our house plan modification service can help with that. Below are our most frequently asked Cost to Build questions.
First, you'll need to select a house plan you want a Cost to Build Report for. Browse our house plans and find one (or more) that you're interested in. Once you do, just click the blue Calculate Cost to Build button that sits on the right side of the house plan's page (example of a House Plan #56-149). You'll be asked a few quick questions about your building preferences and location, and then you can check out online. It's easy! You can also call us to place your order over the phone and ask any related questions you may have: 1-800-528-8070.
Cost-to-Build Reports are typically emailed within 2 business days of the order being placed.
We calculate the cost of building a house based on what you tell us. Our numbers are not based on national averages, and our reports are not "canned". Each estimate is made to order for the house plan, construction quality, and postal code you choose.
Compiled from real world market information supplied by industry professionals, the construction cost data used in ePlans.com Cost-to-Build Reports is currently produced for over 430 geographic and economic markets throughout the USA and Canada. Xactware, which is the construction cost estimating industry leader, compiles and provides this data using a team of construction analysts with over 175 years of combined experience in the construction industry.
Calculated costs include factors for all materials, labor, and equipment needed to construct the home according to national building codes plus any known adjustments required for seismic, wind, frost and snow-load conditions. The cost for permit fees, general contractor overhead and profit, and any applicable sales tax for your area are also factored into the total.
The assumption is that you are building the home on a relatively flat or gently sloping lot and calculated costs reflect that. Additional costs will need to be added to account for lots that slope greater than 15 degrees. In addition, certain assumptions are made about the quality and quantity of specific building materials that are common for the type, style, and size of the plan chosen. Custom additions or changes may not be reflected in this value if they fall outside of the standard practices for this type of construction.
Costs are based upon finishes and features outlined in the plan you have chosen, and the actual building of the home may increase or decrease these costs. We recommend a contingency amount of 10-15% be added to address these possibilities.
The construction materials, labor, and overhead data in our reports are very comprehensive and include the items below. However, it is very important to understand that the quality of construction you choose can make the resultant report vary significantly. It is essential to check out the assumptions we make for the level of quality you choose when preparing your report.
Foundations: Concrete that is used for the footings, foundation walls, basement floor slab (if required), garage floor slab, as well as any concrete columns that may be required for post/pier foundations types.
Heating/AC: Includes furnace, central air conditioning unit, and all metal ductwork needed to provide hot and cold air for the entire home. The number of furnaces and air conditioning units is determined by the total square footage of the home.
Rough Framing: Wood framing used to build the structure of the home. This includes all walls, floor joists, and roof trusses. It also includes any plywood sheeting used on the top of roof trusses and floor joists, as well as outside of the exterior walls. Also includes any insulation in the walls and ceiling.
Floor Covering: Includes any material used to cover any floor in the home. It also includes any needed sub-flooring material and carpet pads. A standard ratio of 80% carpet and 20% Vinyl Tile, unless the plan indicates some other material, such as stone or hardwood flooring should be used.
Exterior Finish: The finish material that is added to the outside of the exterior walls of the home. This can include any combination of brick, stone, stucco or siding.
Appliances: The electrical appliances typically supplied by the builder when a home is built. This usually includes a range, dishwasher and garbage disposal. If additional appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, and trash compactors are chosen in the system, these will be included as well. (They are not usually selected.)
Windows: Windows for the home, including any specialty, accent or transom windows, as well as mirrors that are normally installed in the bathrooms. The material for the window frame varies depending on the size and quality of the home, from aluminum to high-grade wood horizontal sliding windows. Currently, the system does not use high energy, or insulation windows in the calculations.
Interior Finish: Anything that covers the wooden structure of the walls and ceilings, and brings the interior of the home to a finished state. This includes all sheetrock, drywall finishes and paint. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are also included in this section. 100% paint finish is selected for all walls and ceilings.
Roofing: The material that is installed on top of the plywood sheeting above the roof trusses. This is usually some form of shingles, but could be metal panels, copper and gravel style roofs.
Electrical: All electrical options for the home. This includes rough wiring that is installed prior to any finish, all outlet and lighting fixtures and the main connections from the available power source to the home.
Plumbing: All plumbing options for the home. This includes all rough plumbing installed prior to any finish, plumbing fixtures for the bathroom, kitchen, and utility rooms, a water heater typical for the home, and the main connection of the water and sewer lines.
Special Features: These options are selected by default depending on the size and quality of the home. They include the following: Water Softener, Central Vacuum System, Fire and/or Burglar Alarms Systems, Intercom Systems, Programmable Lighting, Home Management Systems, Fire Sprinkler Systems and Solar Panels, swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains, and home theater systems that would be included in this category.
This estimated cost breakdown includes Permit fees, Overhead and Profit, and other misc. fees.
Permit cost is an amount added to Cost-to-Build's total estimate to cover building permits typically assessed by local governments for residential construction. A flat fee of $500 is added by default. Permit costs can be lower or higher than this depending on your local government's assessment.
Fees are added to cover the cost of any work associated with local home design compliance and structural engineering. We add 3% to the total estimate for this. These fees can be lower or higher than this depending on the specific issue.
Overhead expenses are those costs incurred by the builder or general contractor to operate their business, but are not attributable to any one specific job. We add 10% to cover contractor overhead. Overhead costs can vary significantly from contractor to contractor. Some examples of overhead costs are general and administrative expenses, office rent, utilities, office supplies, salaries for office personnel, depreciation on office equipment, licenses, and advertising.
Profit is formally defined as the excess of the selling price of goods over cost. Profit is typically added to the cost of a construction-related job to allow the home builder performing the work to grow their company through reinvestment. We add 10% to cover contractor profit. Profit can vary significantly from contractor to contractor.