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Understanding Costs to Build a House in the Carolinas

When you’re considering a move to the Carolinas, one question you may ask is “how much does it cost to build a house?” This will vary based on several considerations. This article helps you gauge the cost to build a house, particularly in South Carolina or North Carolina.

When calculating your cost to build a home you’re going to be paying for:

  • The bones of the house — walls, windows, doors, roofing
  • Interior finishes — cabinets, flooring, countertops, tiles
  • Mechanical — HVAC, electrical, plumbing
  • Architect/Engineer drawings and builder/contractors — “The ratio of labor cost to material costs is about $1.28 in labor for every $1 in materials.”

The cost to build a home to suit your needs is also going to depend on location, design, finishes, and grounds.


Saussy Burbank builds around Raleigh, so let’s use that as our example. There is going to be a difference in how much you pay to build a house in historic Oakwood, among the original Victorian homes of Raleigh, and in the newer northwest Raleigh neighborhood of Brier Creek. Or you might choose to go with Durham or Chapel Hill. The market value has been growing consistently in the Triangle area thanks to an ever-growing economy supported by a thriving job market, unmatchable hospitals and research centers, and nationally ranked schools and universities.

Generally, the further out of the city center you build, the lower your cost to build a home. However, if you need to work in that city center, you’re going to have to figure in the cost of your commute.

In some areas of the Carolinas, you’ll also need to factor whether or not you’re in a FEMA flood zone. Being in a Coastal area can make it more expensive. In the Charleston area, for instance, building on Kiawah is more expensive than in Summerville because there are different requirements for site preparation. Downtown Charleston is also expensive because space is more at a premium.


When weighing how much does it cost to build a home, keep in mind that your design preferences will make a difference too. A two-story “box” home is the simplest to build, while a modern style home can be more costly. Once you add additional structural features — such as screened or wraparound porches — your building cost will be affected.

The size will matter as well. After all, if you add bedrooms or floors, you’re going to need more work done to support the electrical, bathrooms, and HVAC throughout a larger space. Nevertheless, it’s not that a big house by itself will cost more. A small home is still going to need a kitchen and bathroom, just as a bigger one would, so you could have a higher cost per square foot in a smaller build.

Learn about the latest trends in bathrooms. Read our blog!


Every choice you make in building a house can impact the cost to build your home. Are you going to have brick, stone, or cedar accents? How about extra windows in your master bedroom to allow for more light? Fans of HGTV today may even be looking to incorporate some shiplap. Custom structural and design options can quickly add to the base price of a home.


All the considerations up to know have dealt with the house specifically. However, you’re also going to need a plot of land to put that home on. You may need to pay for excavation and foundation work, depending on the site conditions. If you’re tearing down a previous build, you’ll also have to pay for that too.

Landscaping the property is also going to take up a chunk of your budget. There will be initial outlay to give your property a lawn, driveway, garage, and any garden features.

How Much Does a House Cost You?

When looking at the average cost of building a house, you’re likely to ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. Especially when there are existing single-family homes already on the market wherever you are looking. The advantages of a new home build include moving into a home where everything is new and having had a hand in selecting the layout, design, and finishes.

Consider also that the home cost represents paying for what you want and need. If you want extra space for entertaining, you can get it built the way you want. Or if having an environmentally friendly smart home is a priority, you can have that put in from the outset. Meanwhile, you don’t have to pay a premium for someone else’s basketball court or sunken bar area that already come with the pre-built house. You’ll have a house built to your specifications and standards, and one that’s less likely to need repairs in the short-term.

Of course, how much it costs to build a house is going to be impacted as well by your choice of builder, and we hope you partner with Saussy Burbank. We provide top quality work and recognize the importance of your selecting us to build your dream home. Our expert builders are at work in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Charleston. Reach out to us today!

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