How Much Does It Cost to Build a House for Your Family?

EcoThrive Builders knows exactly how much does it cost to build a house and can help you optimize costs by offering your integrated planning and general contractor services to build your dream home.

The time has come – you are looking for a reliable custom home builder to make your dream come true. But do you know for sure how much does it cost to build a house in Texas? If you are determined that no house on the market meets your requirements and preferences, you should start planning your house building project carefully.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Austin, TX

First of all, you need to know that the cost per square foot to build a house in Texas does not include only the actual building phase. Before that, there are other things you need to acquire, starting with the land. Thus, the average cost to frame a house is influenced by the area where you want to live. Land prices vary a lot, and so do the building permits (whose costs are directly influenced by the location of your land).

The Main Elements that Influence the Cost to Build a House in Texas

Now that you have a general idea of what is involved in the actual house cost, it is time to go into detail. Before we discuss each element individually, we would like to help you envision your budget by detailing the percentage of each item in the total cost to build a house in Texas.


Thus, once you’ve purchased the land, your budget will be spent as follows:

  • 10% - 25% on administrative activities/design/permits
  • 30% - 50% on building materials
  • 30% - 60% on labor

With these clarifications made, let us start analyzing the main elements of the cost to build a townhouse.


Before you start talking to a general contractor and home designer about the cost to build a house in Texas, you need to own a plot of land to build on. In Texas, homes usually stand on a half-acre lot, so this is the average size you should be looking at.


There are two types of lands for sale to build a house:

  • Finished or subdivided lots
  • Raw or unplatted land

Subdivided lots are areas of land already broken down into individual lots by the owner. They usually have the main facilities – gas, water, electricity, sewage – and access roads already built. In some cases, subdivided lots may have restrictions attached to them. For instance, if they are managed by a Home Owners Association (HOA) you may need to subject your house plans to their approval before you start building.


Raw land has not been developed in any way. You are the first person to break into it when you build a house. While this gives you the freedom to build a custom home to your exact preferences, you will also have to add more to your house cost, because you have to install all the basic utilities at your expense.


For these reasons, the cost per square foot to frame a house if you don’t already own the land can vary a lot. Thus, in Austin, TX, for instance, a plot of land for a house can cost anywhere between $180,000 and $3.6 million, while in other cities in Texas the prices can be as much as ten times lower.


You cannot build anything on land unless you get a special permit from the local authorities. No reputable contractor will start building your home unless you have all the necessary permits. The costs to obtain them vary between $1,200 and $2,000 - a small fraction of the total house cost.


You can apply for a building permit after you have the blueprints of the house plan prepared by a licensed architect.

Building Materials

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Austin, TX

This is where your decisions start influencing the answer to the question: how much does it cost to build a house? You may go for budget friendly materials or premium products. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your house should last you a lifetime – or even more, if you plan to pass it on to your children
  • You should never compromise safety and comfort – you should consider a smaller home, but built with top-rated materials if your budget does not allow more
  • Paying more for energy-efficient and green building materials will create a home with lower living costs, especially in terms of gas and electricity bills

The cost to build a custom home must include everything you need so you can move in with your family. This involves furnishing, decorations, and appliances. Budget your house cost carefully as some items may not really be necessary right now – such as a fully modeled basement to serve as an entertainment area. However, other elements, such as the fireplace and the kitchen cabinets must be included in the initial house building budget.


Creating a house plan is highly specialized work that should be done by an architect and a civil engineer. This plan goes beyond how you want your house to look. It must include:

  • Technical details on the tolerances of the foundation
  • Every element in the house, from doors and windows to the staircase
  • Calculations for the size of the foundation pit (the excavated area)
  • Main structural elements that give your house its solidity and strength 

Hiring an independent home designer can add 5% to 15% to the total cost to build a custom home.

We Help You Build Your Dream Home and Keep House Costs Under Control

EcoThrive Builders is an experienced and fully licensed design and build contractor ready to make your dream come true. When you hire us, we strive to keep the cost to build a modern house under control by integrating the main aspects of erecting a house: planning and building.


We are based in Austin, TX, but we also build homes in and around:

  • Leander
  • Cedar Park
  • West Lake Hills
  • Georgetown
  • Lakeway
  • Lago Vista

Give us a call and let us manage your house cost: 515-765-5999!