Estimating Construction Costs: What Homeowners Should Expect

House design concept

Building your own home is an exciting project. It involves much more than constructing a house with four walls—it’s a place you can customize, decorate, and call home for you and your family.

When you review the costs associated with building a house, it’s essential to include all aspects of construction industry costs, from construction materials, tools, labor costs, inspection fees and more.

Designing a Floor Plan for Your Property

When you design your dream house, you’ll need a floor plan. You may have a solid plan ready or need to hire an architect or technologist for this purpose. If you hire a professional, it’s essential to budget between $2,500 and $5,000 based on the size and style of your home.

The Cost of Preparation

Once you choose the land to build your new home, you must begin preparations before construction. Many elements and characteristics of a property can impact how easy it is to build, including the quality of soil, trees, land leveling, and drainage.

You’ll need to find the cost of preparing the land, whether it needs to be leveled or graded, if you need to replace an existing driveway, remove trees, or plan for landscaping.

While the expenses associated with clearing the property for building vary significantly, you’ll want to set aside around an average cost of $5,000 in the budget to accommodate preparing your property for your new house.

You might want to review potential property locations before you buy to find out if there are any additional preparation costs you will need to factor in for a more accurate cost estimate.

House design concept

Does Your Property Have Access to Gas or Electricity?

If you’re constructing a new home in an urban or well-developed region, you’ll likely have no issues hooking up the necessary connections you’ll need for utilities. If the land has no access to accommodate utilities, you can expect to pay additional project costs.

Local wastewater treatment is another important factor to consider where you build, as the cost of a septic tank can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $15,000 or more.

Once you have your septic tank installed, regular maintenance is another expense you’ll need to budget for, in addition to how the construction of your home will accommodate it.

In rural regions, you may need access to a public well and additional equipment, based on the nature of your project, which should be discussed with your construction team prior to building.

Geographic Location

Where you purchase land can significantly impact how much you pay in property costs and construction fees. Certain regions are more expensive based on demand, climate, and other factors.

If you’re open to moving to save a lot on construction costs, this can drastically reduce the final price of your new home. You may also find a significant variance in price within local areas based on their proximity to large cities or developed areas. 

Interior Finishes and Amenities

While the floor plan, design, property, and location all affect how much you’ll spend, the interior of your new house requires the same consideration. Are you looking to add a layer of luxury to your kitchen and bathroom countertops with marble, or are you looking towards faux wood or laminate panels?

If you’re concerned about meeting a budget, you can choose a more affordable option and upgrade to a more high-end finish in the future.

Exterior Doors, Walls, and Roofing

The type of roofing, exterior finishes, walls, and doors are important to consider when designing your new home. Are you adding an enclosed garage with an automatic door or a driveway instead? The type of exterior will depend on your budget, preferences, and advice from your construction team experts.

Your building professionals can determine which type of roofing is a good fit for your home, considering the region, climate, and insulation. You may also want to compare prices based on the more durable and cost-effective materials there are available.

Appliances, Lighting Fixtures, Plumbing, and Other Interior Components

Along with interior finishes, you’ll want to discuss where to install lighting, plumbing systems, toilets, and major appliances, including your dishwasher, washer, dryer, and other large items.

Many people underestimate this category in terms of expense. The overall price of constructing a home’s frame, foundation, and exterior is often the main focus of the cost estimation process.

It’s important to consider where you want to install smart technology in your home, as this will impact the price, eco-friendly quality, and access to tech-savvy options that make the functionality of your home much more accessible.

For example, you may consider installing a security system, appliances with smart technology, and a home design that allows for future upgrades as needed. Remember that all these upgrades will add to your construction project estimate.

The Framing and Foundation

The cost of construction materials like lumber, concrete, and other raw materials is essential for the basics and most accurate estimates. You can expect the price of building a foundation, framing, and retaining walls to be directly related to supply and demand.

Sometimes, the cost of ready-mix concrete and lumber can fluctuate greatly, resulting in peak building costs or low, reasonable prices.

Will the Cost of Building a Home Change?

If you started planning to build a home a year ago, the estimates could quickly change, even for a short period. Therefore, assessing and comparing recent pricing before you build is essential. Construction service companies consider the cost of raw supplies and materials based on the industry, which you’ll want to follow closely if you plan on building in the near future. 


There are many factors to consider when you build your dream home and are in the middle of cost estimating, from choosing the right location, property type, and region to all the interior finishes, project design, and technology enhancements you desire.

Dan’s Construction Service can provide expert advice, cost estimators, industry knowledge, and professionals to build the ultimate house for you and your family. 

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