So how much does it cost to build a custom home? This is one of the most common questions we get so I figured it was finally time to write a post about it.
Below is a list of costs for budgetary purposes only and is for the Ottawa area. Please remember that every homeowner, home design and building site is different (hence the word “custom”) so there will be many factors at play for every project.
Another variation of this question is “How much per square foot does it cost to build a custom home?”
There’s no way to answer this question with an exact number nor is there a way to give you a per square foot number. The reason is because what goes into the square footage will vary from project to project. Here are some examples of things that will drastically change the price without changing the total square footage of a home.
One lot could have perfect native soil and another lot could have 3′ of rock that needs to be blasted or chipped away. Or, in the case of my home, we had 6′ of peat moss that had to be removed and replaced with blasted rock and an engineered pad.
You could have a 2,000 square foot box with a gable roof or you could have a 2,000 square foot architectural dream design with overhangs, large windows, a flat roof and a 2 car garage.
Bathrooms & Kitchens
Your 2,000 square foot custom home could have an Ikea kitchen with laminate tops and 1.5 bathrooms or it could have a $100,000 kitchen with 3.5 bathrooms.
You could have vinyl siding on the exterior, high end wood siding or masonry veneer. These all vary significantly in price.
Windows & Doors
You could spend $20,000 on cheap double glazed vinyl windows or you could go for Passive House Certified triple glazed windows with wood frames and aluminum cladding which could run you over $100,000. It’s not one or the other however this shows the significant price range.
Do you want cheap vinyl flooring and carpet or do you want reclaimed hardwood floors and porcelain tile? Carpet stairs or hardwood stairs? Wood railing or glass railing? Finished basement or unfinished basement?
These are just some of the factors that will affect pricing of your custom home. I’m not saying you have to go to one extreme or the other, my point is that you can build a 2,000 square foot custom home on the perfect site with cheap finishes, 1.5 bathrooms and an Ikea kitchen OR you could building a 2,000 square foot custom home with reclaimed high end projects, quality windows, a garage, 3.5 bathrooms and Passive House Certification. Both have the same square footage but they will be in completely different price ranges.
The Custom Home Budget
Now that I’ve laid the ground work and hopefully clarified where some of the costs may go, here are some numbers to keep in mind when planning your custom home project:
I hope this has helped you get closer to building your dream home and I hope this has not scared you away. My goal here is to help educate and inform you of what is realistic for your custom home. We are not in the business of “low balling” projects just to get a contract signed only later to hit you with surprise increases. These relationships are important to us and they are long term. We’re not just selling you a $100 product here, we’re working WITH YOU in order to design and build YOUR DREAM HOME that you and your family can create lasting memories in.
Lastly, I need to thank Chris Straka of Vert Design Incorporated for helping with some of the numbers in this post.