House design cost estimate [Expert Approved]



Last updated : Sept 12, 2022
Written by : Florencia Baggio
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House design cost estimate

What is the average cost to design a house?

Architect fees are 5% to 20% of construction costs for residential projects (custom homes, remodels, extensions) and 3% to 12% for commercial structures. The average cost to hire an architect is $5,000 to $60,000 to design house plans. Architects charge hourly rates of $100 to $250 to draw plans.

How much does it cost to build a 2500 sq ft house in California?

According to HomeAdvisor, most new homes in 2021 measured between 2,500 and 2,700 square feet. Homeowners spend between $250,000 to $500,000 for a 2,500 square foot house.

How much do architects charge to design a house?

The cost of developing a house here in Metro Manila presently varies from 15,000 to 20,000 per square meter of total floor space.

Can I design my own house without an architect?

Takeaway. In short, do you need an architect for a custom home? No. It is certainly not a bad idea to get your customization plans approved, but you can use a home designer or home builder to get the results you want for a lower cost.

Is it cheaper to build a 2 story house?

Two-story homes are more cost-efficient to build because they offer more space without adding more foundation or roof costs, so the cost per square foot is often less expensive.

Is it cheaper to buy a house or build it?

As a rule of thumb, it's cheaper to buy a house than to build one. Building a new home costs $34,000 more, on average, than purchasing an existing home. The median cost of new construction was $449,000 in May 2022.

What type of house is the cheapest to build?

Ranch Homes A home with a simple and concise layout is the cheapest type of house to build. Ranch homes are typically single-story structures with attached garages. They're easy to find construction plans for and highly customizable, so you can find a home that fits your needs and budget.

Is 1500 sq ft a small house?

What is this? A 1500 square feet house is not a very large house. Most houses in America are 2000 square feet and over. Although it is possible to live well with a small family in a 1500 square feet house, you should moderate your expectations as to how big such a home will feel.

How much does it cost to frame a 1500 square foot house?

The average cost to frame a house ranges from $7 – $16 per square foot1 or $11,200 – $48,0003 for homes between 1,600 and 3,000 square feet.

How much can you save building your own house?

If you performed all of the labor to build the average home of today, you would save about fifty percent off of the cost to build. And according to the latest cost to build survey from the National Association of Home Builders, the average home costs just under $300k to build.

How much does a 2000 square foot foundation cost?

An average home is about 2,000 square feet and a foundation can cost from $13,000 (including materials, labor and permitting) to more than $40,000 if it's a basement foundation. For a project on the low end, budget around $15,000 in case of cost overruns and around $45,000 for a project on the higher end.

How long does it take to build a house from start to finish?

On average, it takes seven months to build a house from start to finish, according to a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau report. But you may also need to include time for an architect to draw up plans (1–4 months).

Should I use an architect or builder?

A custom home builder is a professional who can execute a custom home or condo build from start to finish. Meanwhile, an architect is tasked with creating the blueprints of what the finished property should look like. The home builders then use these blueprints as a reference throughout the construction process.

What is the usual fee for an architect?

60000 – Rs. 900000. The architectural services should include Floor plan, schematic drawing, and exterior elevation, structural and working drawing, plumbing, electrical and drainage drawing along with project supervision. However, the 4%-6% is a standard architect fee in mid tier cities in India.

Do I need an architect to draw plans?

How to get planning permission without an architect? You don't need an architect to obtain planning permission. You can submit your plans yourself online via your local authority's website or in person. Having an architect submit your plans will not guarantee they are approved.

How do I start designing my house?

  1. Start simple. You don't need fancy software to begin making decisions about your custom home plan.
  2. Think about the future.
  3. Showcase and maximize the lot.
  4. Prioritize features.
  5. Consider function and flow.
  6. Reflect on light.

How do I design my own house plan?

  1. Determine your budget for designing a home.
  2. Think about house placement.
  3. Match your home to your lifestyle.
  4. Choose the style of your home.
  5. Write a brief for the architect.
  6. Create your floor plans.

Is it worth using an architect?

If you are in need of an architectural design and want to make sure your house is designed reflective of your personal desires, then hiring an architect will be worth your time and money. You'll get exactly what you want. Licensed architects follow their own specific design process.

Why are house plans so expensive?

Custom home plans are generally more expensive, since they require you to pay a designer for the time needed to create a unique set of blue prints. If you're looking for affordable house plans, it's best to buy a set that has already been created. Stock home plans aren't necessarily plain or boring.

What is a 1.5 story house?

A 1.5 story home is a 1 story home with a partial second floor added to allow for more space. A 1.5 story home can be a great way to “meet in the middle” and get the best of both worlds.


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House design cost estimate


Comment by Carey Dell

next up in the short course the cost of architecture and its role as a creative boundary for the work by necessity this discussion will be in oversimplification a conceptual approach because architecture is unique complicated and specific now I'll show you how I use a basic framework to inform the design process for our case study project up until this point I've only mentioned developing a project budget once this was right before we began the schematic design phase I mentioned how we directly linked the budget for our project in our case our residents to the overall square footage of the home now I want to spend some time on this because although it's not discussed in our training as Architects in school it's part of the reality of making architecture in the real world and it's one of the most basic and obvious concerns for both architects and clients now when we talk about the cost of Architecture we typically break it out into one of two categories there are soft costs and hard costs soft costs are the indirect cost of construction things like design fees consultant fees for services like structural civil engineers lighting designers energy auditors and landscape architects there's also permitting fees insurance and financing costs special certifications like lead and oftentimes legal fees now hard costs are essentially everything else related to the real cost of construction the bricks and mortar that make up the physical building the full cost of a project includes both hard and soft costs as well as any land acquisition costs soft cost can be defined by soliciting proposals from the agents involved architects will have a standard fee schedule either a fixed fee calculated as a percentage of the cost of construction an hourly fee model or some hybrid some mix between both hourly in the beginning perhaps and then fixed once the scope is determined typical full-service design fees will range between five and twenty percent of the construction cost as a general guideline smaller projects will fall on the higher end of the percentage range and larger projects on the lower end hard costs will account for the majority of a building's cost and the ones the design the architecture will have a considerable impact on now before I even begin a design I evaluate the clients hard cost budget to determine whether it's reasonable given their desired scope of work now naturally in the beginning of a project we know very little about the building so it's not possible to do a detailed material take off of the building components we don't even know what they are yet instead we start by developing a detailed accounting of the spaces this is sort of a wish list what architects call the program from this list we can assigning room sizes for each space knowing the overall size of the building will help us make sure the size needs correlates with the clients target budget but we have to get a little more granular than that if we want a useful budget figure to work with to do that we assign a multiple or factor to each space in the program as you'd expect a living room with tall ceilings will cost more than one without tall ceilings there's more finishes more labor potentially more engineering and structural costs and likewise a deck or a covered porch area won't be as costly to construct as finished interior space with fewer no walls no insulation no heat by factoring the square footage of the program spaces that are different than typical conditions interior spaces with an 8 foot tall flat ceiling we can more accurately develop an estimated budget for us to use as a decision-making tool as an example let's take a living room that's 20 feet by 20 feet or 400 square feet our baseline space is a flat 8 foot tall ceiling spaces like these receive a factor of exactly 1 so the factored square footage and the actual square footage are equal now this is the case for most of the spaces in our case study residential project let's say one of our proposals included a vaulted ceiling in the living room for this square footage we'll apply a factor of 1.5 which effectively increases the factored square footage total for this space for the living room example rather than 400 square feet the vaulted ceiling would total 600 square feet in our programming worksheet we get that by taking 400 and multiplying it by a factor of 1.5 the spaces that I factor in the programming worksheet are as follows first garages decks and terraces are all factored at point five screen porches or covered porches are factored at 0.75 and then there's any spaces with ceilings higher than the standard 8 feet are all factored at 1.5 now you're probably wondering why don't we factor every space differently after all hallway space and kitchen space they aren't truly equal in terms of cost to construct but under this model they're treated as such and while it's true kitchen space might be you 500 dollars per square foot and the hallway space perhaps 100 dollars per square foot there's also a whole lot less kitchen space than there is hallway space it doesn't make sense to do this kind of detailed tweaking because it presumes a level of precision that this kind of early estimate inherently lacks in general with this method these inconsistencies will average out assuming you take care to apply the factors I mentioned now why does all this matter well this is the key remember the budget estimate early on is linked directly to square footage once I total all the square footage for the project I multiply that total by a cost to construct per square foot now this number is always a range and this is for two reasons first because before you even have a design arrange is a realistic means of portraying the variability of the potential costs involved second because no two contractors will look at the design the drawings and specifications the same way even when given the exact same information equally building techniques vary from contractor to contractor as do sub contracts and labor rates now imagine for a moment that the client hires the most meticulous local contractor to build their home if you assumed and designed the size of the home around three hundred dollars per square foot benchmark sizing it to meet their budget during the schematic design phase if the chosen contractor is used to constructing things at six hundred dollars per square foot the building is now one hundred percent over the clients budget it's important to have these discussions early on to correlate quality expectations now if we assume that the average local custom building cost here is between three and four hundred dollars per square foot and then apply it to the factor building square footage we'll have an estimated budget range to work with now hopefully you can fully appreciate the value of our factoring exercise with this model the cost to construct a living space within eight foot ceiling would be one hundred and twenty thousand dollars at three hundred dollars per square foot and to construct me vaulted space the cost would increase by sixty thousand dollars now will the space actually cost sixty thousand dollars more


Thanks for your comment Carey Dell, have a nice day.
- Florencia Baggio, Staff Member


Comment by Ling

hi guys michael with open book build here so today i want to share with you a quick way to determine the rough cost to build a new home as an owner builder in your local area now this isn't a hard fast exact cost to build but instead it's a rule of thumb method for determining an estimated cost before putting too much money and effort into the project you don't want to buy a house plan or a lot and find out that you don't have the resources to build a house as our owner builder students know the best way to get accurate costs is to bid the project out but that takes a lot of time and effort so this is a quick method to get an initial idea of your costs so let's work through an example to show you how this works so the first thing you want to do is find a local new home community that has similar new homes for sale like the one you want to build now this community should be owned by a single builder that's selling the home and lot together as a finished product this is a must as we'll be using a rule of thumb number for builder markup and lot cost as a percentage of sales price so we need to stick with a single builder community that sells the lot and house combination in a complete package next we need to find actual homes for sale that we can use as our data the process i'm going to describe here is if you're using a computer mobile will also work but the instructions are a little different with that so let's go to realtor.com enter your city and state and go ahead and hit search next go to property type and select single family home then go to listing status and select new construction now locate the home that best fits what you're looking to build and is in the community we just talked about make sure this home fits your needs as closely as possible with the foundation type either basement slab or other one versus two-story design two versus three-car garage and so on if this home comes close to what you are looking to build write down the sales price and square footage now hit the back button in the upper right hand corner of the screen click on new construction that you had previously selected and instead select recently sold scroll down through the houses that have recently sold and see if any of them are in the same community if you find one like the one you just found that is listed for sale compare the sold price to the price you just wrote down is the price higher or lower why are we comparing the closing price versus the listing prices of the same new home in some cases builders offer a base house that's stripped down and then you add in the finishes and features that you want this can add tens of thousands of dollars to the final price of the house so by comparing the listing prices to actual closing prices we can see how much of a difference there is and how much people are upgrading i would tend to use the higher of the two numbers for this estimate now write down the dollar amount and square footage of the higher priced option now in this case the cost to build is higher on the new listing versus the close price why because construction material pricing especially lumber has gone up like crazy over the last three to four months and in a typical scenario where costs aren't going up so fast i would expect the closed sales price to be higher because people add options to the base house price so for my example here the recent home sold that is like the one i want to build was 551 000 and the listing price for the same house currently for sale is 563 900. so i'm going with the 563 900 with a square footage of 1776 square feet again the higher dollar amount of the two so we know the lot cost for this type of builder is approximately twenty percent of the final sales price so twenty percent of the five hundred and sixty three thousand nine hundred would be a hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred and eighty and the current builder markup for this type of builder is roughly thirty percent so the builder's overall cost would be in the neighborhood of four hundred and thirty three thousand eight hundred now subtract off the lot cost of 112 780 and we're left with the labor material cost to build this home of three hundred twenty one thousand twenty dollars that's our rough cost estimate meaning if you were to try and build this exact house on your lot with the same setbacks and driveway it would cost you roughly three hundred twenty one thousand dollars now if we divide this by the square footage of seventeen seventy six we get an approximately 181 dollars per square foot to build a similar new ranch home with a two-car garage basement and similar finishes in west lake ohio so now we can take the square footage of our dream house plan and multiply it by our foot to get our rough cost to build in west lake ohio then we add in the lot price and this is the total estimated cost of our investment again this is an initial estimate that is making a lot of assumptions now some of you might be saying to yourself there's no way an owner builder can build one house and achieve the same cost as the builder i would agree to you to some extent but i want you to consider just a few ideas first the owner builder can look for closeouts on products one example would be remnant granite or quartz countertops these take time to select based on the material available and the size and the shape of your countertops but they can save you up to 50 percent or more another big idea for savings on products would be light fixtures we selected closeout or deep sail item light fixtures for the open book build prototype home and easily saved forty to fifty percent builders just don't have the time to deal with this type of bargain shopping and if they did they probably wouldn't pass the savings on to the customer anyway also remember that builders typically have manufacturer agreements that won't let them choose just any product that might be on closeout or on sale at the time another way owner builders say big is to utilize any connections they have in the business most people have a friend that can help or a relative maybe an electrician or a carpenter or plumber or maybe a person who works for a lumber supplier these connections can lead to big savings for the owner builder being an owner builder is a time-consuming job there's no doubt about it you need to manage the job site on a daily basis pay bills and schedule trades people and material deliveries and so on but for those that have the extra time in addition to managing it to do some of the physical labor themselves as well like painting or cleanup there are some really big savings to be had the other thing to consider is that builders have overhead costs that owner builders just don't have most new home builder budgets include line items for marketing and advertising and site supervision now these can add up to significant dollar amounts now take for example the sales function most builders include a budget for paying real estate sales people that represent the buyers now this can be two percent or more of the sales price then add in the one to one and a half percent the builder pays their own sal


Thanks Ling your participation is very much appreciated
- Florencia Baggio


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