What You May Not Know About the Cost to Build a House

What You May Not Know About the Cost to Build a HouseMany home buyers dream of having a brand-new, never-been-lived-in home. New construction can be personalized and customized to your exact specifications and it won’t come with repairs or updates that need to be made. Everything will already be completed. Which, of course, is the lure of new construction.

Building a new home can come with some obvious benefits. It will be move-in ready, customized to your needs, and everything will be brand-new from the appliances to the fixtures. However, don’t be blinded by the thought of a new and shiny home. There are hidden costs to building homes that many homebuyers don’t think about before beginning a project. Some of these hidden costs may be included in the price a contractor gives you, while others are hidden because they come up as the project progresses.

Foundation & Structure
A foundation is the base structure upon which your entire house will be built. It’s more important than any other decision you make in terms of a new build. What many homeowners may not know is that your geographical location could dictate the specific type of foundation you’ll need for your project. Some are costlier than others, but in the end, it’s still a crucial piece of your build.

The average homeowner spends between $2,000 and $5,000 on foundations or basement structures. Of course, there are cost options that are cheaper and ones that are much more expensive. If you cut corners, it could affect the stability of the home later. But it’s also not necessary to go overboard. A good contractor will provide you with the options available to you, and you can even ask what they would choose for their own home. No matter your choice, just remember that proper installation and draining will make a world of difference when it comes to the life of your foundation.

Electric & Plumbing
Wiring and plumbing are costs that you won’t see once drywall goes up. Because of this, many homeowners forget the costs that come along with these intricate and valued necessities. The average cost to put electrical into a 1,200 square-foot home is approximately $10,400. The positive of new construction is that you don’t have to lay new wiring and open walls to run the new wires. For a new build, the structure will be open so professionals will be able to come in and complete their work with much less hassle. However, you will still need a service panel, which can be expensive, since the standard 200 amp panel can cost anywhere between $800 to $3,000.

Plumbing is very similar to electrical in terms of construction because it depends on the amount of labor, materials, and the square footage of the property. But plumbing takes it a step further since the piping needs to run to all the areas of the house where water is needed such as your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc. The average cost for new plumbing can run you anywhere from less than $1,000 to $4,000.

The more bathrooms you have the higher cost you could run into for plumbing. Another hidden cost is where you place these rooms in relation to one another. If additional piping needs to be added so your laundry room can be located where you want it, that will be an extra cost.
And don’t forget to include excavation in your initial budget. If you need to connect your home to city, sewer, or well lines, you will need to dig up a bit of your property to get those lines connected.

Permits & Utility Costs
In order to build your new property, it’s likely the region you build in will have some sort of zoning and construction laws that will require you to get a permit. In fact, every step of your project might require a permit, and without those permits, an inspector could come to your property and legally force you to take down all the work you completed because you either didn’t have permits or things weren’t up to code. So above all, don’t forget the permits.

While we discussed the hidden cost of plumbing and electricity, don’t think that just because you have all the wiring installed and the plumbing lines running that everything is complete. You will need to have an electric company come to your home to connect it to the phone lines for electricity. If you prefer to have oil or gas, you will need to pay for a company to come out and dig a gas or oil line to connect you to the main lines. These are all costs that you won’t see, but that are vital to building your new house.


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