How Much Does it Cost to Build a House? A Comprehensive Guide

how much does it cost to build a house

The process of building your dream home requires getting things right as you begin to plan for the construction. Even though the process might be tasking, it is worthwhile when you eventually finish it.

There are many salient questions you should ask yourself before you begin. These questions will effectively give you a sense of direction on how to go about the planning and construction.

In this article, we have made things easy for you by giving answers to all your likely questions — most especially, the cost of successfully building your home.

Whether you choose to build a simple and small bungalow, duplex, multifamily apartment, or 3-bedroom luxury home, below are the likely questions that will help you to get started.


1. Can I Afford It?

    The most important questions of all are “Can I afford it?” and “How much does it cost to build a house?”

    Start by calculating the construction costs of the building, the fence or wall surrounding the property, connecting water and electricity, and building permits. Make sure to include some extra money (about 10%) for unforeseen costs. has a very good article on calculating your construction costs and how to save money during construction.


    2. Do I Have the Time?

      Construction requires a lot of your time. You must select a plan, materials, colors, doors, sinks, tiles, fixtures, and other pieces of equipment that you will need.

      You must oversee payments to the contractors or laborers, get building permits, deal with your water department and electric company for them to make connections, and so much more.

      It sounds intimidating but it’s something you’ll learn naturally as long as you’re involved in the process. Just ensure that you have the time to deal with it all.

      Expect a realistic timeline of 8 months to 2 years of construction. And even longer, if you’re on a small budget or constructing your home gradually with your monthly income.


      3. Is the Location the Right One?

        So, you’ve bought a plot and you’re ready to start building. But is the plot in the right place? Once you get started with construction, there is usually no stopping. And you can no longer change your mind about the location.

        Ask yourself the following: Do I like the neighbors? Is it a noisy location? Is there access to water and power? Are the roads passable during the rainy season?


        4. Who Will Supply the Building Materials?

          In most cases, it is worth employing a contractor to undertake all the work. You go into an agreement with the contractor who then ensures that all materials are purchased as per drawings and agreements.

          The contractor will also ensure the safety of construction materials on the site. It is cheaper to purchase materials yourself but if you don’t have very good security, you will find materials disappearing from the building site without your knowledge. This could end up costing much more in the end.

          Unless you’re experienced or have done enough research, it is better to have several contractors make bids on the project. Then, you select the cheapest option.


          5. How Many Bricks Do I Need?

             cost to build a house calculator

            This is a very common but not very relevant question. If you’re using bricks (or concrete blocks) like 92% of buildings constructed in urban areas, then the cost of bricks will only amount to about 10% of the total construction cost.

            You can find a cost estimate calculator for each house plan from to give you a good indication of the total costs involved for each plan.

            Alternatively, you can get a Bill of Quantities prepared for your project to give you a more accurate cost estimate including a detailed list of all materials required.


            6. How Do I Select a Home Builder/Contractor?

              The first thing the contractor must have is experience. The more experienced the contractor the better and faster the construction. The contractor will also know how to minimize cost and, therefore, will charge you less.

              Secondly, ask the contractor to show you his portfolio. Talk to people the contractor has worked with and get feedback. This is your biggest investment, so make sure that you have the right person for it.

              Don’t select a contractor on face value; rather, make thorough research and base your selection on facts, references, and positive feedback(s). A contractor should also know your local building regulations so that you don’t get into trouble with the local government.

              Prepare a list of questions and meet with several contractors before making your final decision.


              7. Will the House be Properly Secured?

                When you are still deciding on what your dream home will look like, it is important to know that you will be able to live securely in it. If the neighborhood is not safe, make sure you have burglar bars and a secure perimeter wall or fence.

                Fewer doors and windows give you more security; so, select a plan that reflects this if you’re concerned about your safety. You can also ask yourself whether you can add steel grills to the doors in your selected plan if they will be needed.


                8. Do I Have the Right Plans?

                  how much does it cost to build a house yourself

                  Make sure that you have the right plans by talking to a professional. A plan should work with your plot and the surroundings, the local building codes, landscape, your taste and requirements, your budget, and much more. You can contact professionals at in case you need assistance with selecting the perfect plan for your dream home.


                  9. What Design Style Should I Go With?

                    This question is closely related to the issue of costs and security. The fancier a design is the more expensive it will be. For instance, if you want a design with large windows, the price will be higher than installing small windows.

                    Likewise, large windows are less secure. Keep in mind that all additional elements or decorations translate to additional costs. With most designs, it is quite possible to add decorations at a later stage once your budget allows you to do that.


                    10. How Many Roofing Sheets Do I Need for the House?

                      Just like bricks, you need to decide the type of roofing sheet you'll need for your building and do some calculations to get the right estimate.

                      Most building constructions use the pitch roof style for their roofing. There’s no generally accepted method for measuring the number of roofing sheets you'll need for a house because houses differ in size and structure.

                      But in a nutshell, the process of determining the sheets you need has to do with knowing the exact measurement of each aluminum sheet to be used. After that, you have to measure the length and width of each side of the building.

                      You will then proceed to add an allowance for the pitch or roof rise. To get the area of the roofing sheet, you have to multiply the length of each sheet by its breadth. Then, divide the total area of the building by the pitch to give you the total number of roofing sheets you need for the house.


                      11. How Much Do I Need to Get Started?

                        After you must have effectively answered the above questions and figured out all you need for your building process, the finance comes next. The cost of building a house often varies from one location or country to another.

                        how much does it cost to build a house

                        The size, square footage, and type of house you plan to build also go a long way in determining the overall cost of building your house. Also, the materials you use and the location of your building will determine how cheap or expensive your construction will be.

                        If you’re DIY-savvy, you can cut costs by doing some constructions (if not all) yourself, rather than hiring construction engineers and builders. However, you may need to obtain a license to enable you to implement that.

                        On average a 2 or 3-bedroom luxury apartment will cost about $150,000 to $500,000 or more. But if you’re on a budget and prefer a simple, tiny, but chic house, you can build one for $25,000 to $50,000.

                        In all, your budget has an integral role to play in your building process.

                        If you’re on a high budget, you can build your home in an urban area with enough luxury and infrastructure to enjoy. In contrast, it’s recommended to build your house in a rural area if you’re on a low budget. This is because you can spend less, especially when you want to purchase land for the construction process.


                        In Conclusion

                        Nothing beats the satisfaction and cost-effectiveness that comes with having your home. Planning to build a home essentially means that you are devoting your free time, resources, and patience towards the project for many weeks or months. You need to be well-prepared because the whole process is not for the faint-hearted.

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