What Costs the Most When Building a House?

Various factors determine the overall costs of building a house. However, most builders create budget estimates based on the cost of building materials, hiring workers, and the project’s timeline. Nevertheless, understanding the cost breakdowns will give you better insights into your project’s financial implications. Here are the top expenses for building a house. 


Many experts say framing is the most expensive process in homebuilding. Although predicting the exact framing costs could be tricky, general guidelines exist to help you to understand what drives the prices. Consider the following guidelines. 

  • Larger houses are more expensive to frame than smaller units. 
  • Stick framing costs relatively less than timber framing. 
  • Lumber prices and labor costs also play a significant role in the overall framing costs. 

The Foundation 

The cost of building a foundation mainly depends on the home’s location and foundation type. Using local materials and laborers could reduce the total construction costs. Slab foundations are usually the most cost-effective and easiest to build. However, perimeter’s foundation and full basemen’s foundation are expensive since they require more materials and extra labor. 


Plumbing installation requires skills, knowledge, and experience that only professionals possess. That could sometimes hike the costs. The other elements that impact the total plumbing costs include the number of stories, excavation works, and materials. 

  • Houses with two or more stories attract higher costs. 
  • Tough excavation works that require special skills and heavy machinery can be costly. 
  • The size and type of pipes and fittings vary. 


The roofing costs depend on the type and material of the roof. Builders use various kinds of shingles with different cost implications. However, many builders use readily available and low-cost asphalt shingles. Other materials such as wood shake, tile, slate, and metal have unique advantages, but they cost more. 

Building a home comes with different expenditures beyond the ones discussed above. However, framing is usually the most cost-intensive process that you should emphasize when making budget estimates.