The Top 5 Expenses When It Comes to the Cost of Building a House

The Top 5 Expenses When It Comes to the Cost of Building a HouseTo build the house of your dreams, it helps to understand the cost breakdown. The key to staying within your budget (while still having everything you want) lies in making wise decisions when it comes to the following top five expenses.

  1. Framing

Framing is the most expensive part of building a house. While exact framing costs can sometimes be tricky to predict, there are general guidelines that can help you understand what will drive costs up.

  • Size. The bigger the house, the more expensive it will be to frame.
  • Type. Stick framing is the most common and least expensive (approximately $100 to $200 per square foot). Timber framing is a special type of framing that uses carpentry techniques rather than nails to hold the frame in place. It costs approximately $100 to $200 a square foot.
  • Materials and labors. The price of lumber plays a big role in the total cost. The cost of labor plays less of one, but it still needs to be taken into account.

In order to obtain an honest, accurate, and detailed cost estimate, it’s important that you choose a trained and trusted professional.

  1. The foundation

There are two key determinants for foundation price:

  • The location of the home. Local material costs influence foundation price, as does the skills of local laborers. In some locations, contractors stick to building one type of foundation—becoming highly skilled and competent in the foundation they build, but not with others. Home builders may see a price increase when they choose a foundation that their local contractor doesn’t typically build.
  • The type of foundation. A slab foundation is the simplest and cheapest type of foundation. Perimeter foundations and full basement foundations require more materials and labor and are more expensive.


The foundation is what your entire house will be built on. Finding someone you trust to build your foundation is important for cost savings and peace of mind.

  1. Plumbing
    One of the more complex jobs when building a house is installing the plumbing. Because plumbing installation requires a specific skill set and knowledge, the job is oftentimes bid out, which can raise costs. Other important factors that influence total plumbing cost include the following:
  • Number of stories. Two-story houses cost more.
  • Excavation work. Heavy machinery and special skills are needed for excavation work. Plumbing installation that requires lots of tough excavating can be expensive.
  • Materials. The size and type of pipes and fittings can vary.

When choosing a plumber, architects and contractors generally can steer you in the right direction, as they know which plumbing companies do the best work at a fair price.

  1. Roofing

The size of the roof and type of material used determine roofing cost. Many different types of shingles (each varying in cost) can be used to roof a home. The most common type of shingles are asphalt ones. Because they are light and easy to install, they are also the cheapest. More expensive shingle options include:

  • Wood shake
  • Tile
  • Slate
  • Metal

Each has their own advantages. When choosing a shingle type, it’s important that you know exactly what you are choosing and why you are choosing it. This is something that’s best discussed with a professional roofer.

  1. Flooring

The size of the house and type of material play a significant role in flooring costs. The most common types of flooring include the following:

  • Carpeting
  • Hardwood
  • Tile
  • Bamboo
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl and linoleum

Each has their own pros, cons, and price. Because many factors (children, pets, local weather) influence flooring decisions, it’s important to have a discussion with a flooring expert when making your decision. It should be noted that in some cases the costs associated with flooring installation can tremendously increase the total flooring cost.

This information can help guide you as you make important building decisions. Remember to stay patient and always use recommended professionals you trust. Their expert skills and knowledge help build dream homes with ease.


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