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Building your dream home is an opportunity to meet your exact design and usability requirements. But building a home from scratch can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to finding a suitable plot of land and the construction costs. If you’re thinking about building a house in Los Angeles, you’ll want to look at the various factors that come into play when it comes to building your own home.

Homeowners across the country report the average cost of building a new house is $282,189 which would mean that a 2000 sq foot home would cost about $150 per sq foot. This can obviously vary greatly with all the additional cost variables involved. Here’re what you should know about building your own home before breaking ground.

Cost Estimates of Building a Home in Los Angeles

The cost of single-family or detached homes will vary based on the construction of the building, lot size, construction material, and the location. For detached homes that are often standalone structures, the cost of construction can’t be compared to duplex or townhomes. Let’s have a look at the average costs of building custom, prefabricated, and development homes.

Custom Homes

While building a custom home in Los Angeles allows you to meet your specific functionality and aesthetic needs, the construction and decor options associated with custom home building can be costly in terms of money and time invested. Hiring the services of a residential architect and team of designers and custom home builders in Los Angeles can make the cost go even higher. The average cost of a custom home is between $350,00 and $1.5 million.

Due to the wide range of options available when it comes to building a custom house, estimating costs can be hard. Generally, the costs range between $100 to $400 per square foot. Materials and building location will also determine the overall cost of building a house in Los Angeles. If you’re considering building a custom home, contact our team to ensure you’re getting the best craftsmanship at the best price.

Prefabricated and Modular Homes

If you’re considering going for prefabricated homes, you’ll not enjoy the design options provided with custom home building. However, prefab homes cost around 10 to 20% less than custom homes. When it comes to prefab homes, you have to choose between panel building and modular building options. Talk to your home designer or prefab home builder to discuss the options available based on your needs.

Modular homes provide additional design options than homes built using panels. Panels are cheaper than modules when it comes to transporting them on site. However, most people are combining both modular and panel construction to achieve designs that are not available in both type of constructions when it comes to building a house in Los Angeles. Prefab and modular homes range from $50,000 to $300,000.

Developers or Custom Home Builders

You can also opt for residential developers or custom home builders. Housing developments come with a high degree of customization but are usually limited to specific locations and floorplans. Normally, development homes are usually part of pre-planned community developments. Pricing often ranges depending on the target market. Housing developments are often more affordable than custom homes, with up to 15% savings in construction costs. Development homes cost between $50,000 and $1.5 million.

Material and Machine Costs

The materials you’ll use for home construction will determine the overall cost of construction. The size and type of home will also determine the cost of the materials. The exact location you’re building a house in Los Angeles may also affect the cost of materials. Architects and custom home builders in Los Angeles should be able to give you an accurate estimate of the cost of materials based on the design of your home.

Also, keep in mind machine costs based on what your builders own and what will need to be hired. Building on hilly or rocky areas will need specialized machinery, which increases costs. Most builders use backhoes which come equipped with the necessary attachments needed to work on your construction project. The average cost of hiring a backhoe ranges from $70 to $90 per hour.

Labor Costs Involved

When it comes to labor costs, a number of factors come into play such as your Los Ageles general contractor and the complexity and size of your home construction project. Large custom build homes will cost you more in labor costs than smaller modular homes. You have to factor in the costs of hiring the different professionals needed to carry out your project including architects, designers, engineers, and surveyors into your budget. At Joel & Co. Construction, we offer design and structural engineering services in addition to residential construction services, which can help you save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

The labor costs associated with every stage of building a house in Los Angeles may also vary. Below is an average of what you should expect:

  • Foundation (Excavation, pouring, and backfilling) – $4,000 – $12,000
  • Framing, trusses, and other metal work – $1,500 – $6,500
  • Exterior finishing including walls, roofing, windows, and doors – $40,000 – $60,000
  • Major home system installations like plumbing, HVAC, and electrical – $30,000 – $50,000
  • Interior finishing like drywall, painting, insulation, lighting, appliances, and flooring – upwards of $85,000

Other final details need to be considered, including preparation for moving in, actual moving costs, and additions like landscaping, patios, decks, driveways, walkways, and cleanup.

Additional Factors that Can Affect the Overall Home Building Cost

There are numerous factors that can affect the final cost of building a house in Los Angeles. Here’s a list of additional factors that you should keep in mind:

  • Land and excavation – Preparing the land for home construction can be a significant cost. In most developments, the land is already prepared for construction works. If you’re planning to buy your plot, you’ll have to hire a building pro to clear it and do excavation work.
  • House size and shape – A bigger house in terms of square footage will cost you more. The more corners your home also has, the more money you’ll have to pay.
  • Number of stories – Additional stories will need additional design and build work, meaning increased building costs.
  • Type of roof – If you’re opting for specialty roofs, expect to pay more for installation and upkeep than the normal asphalt roofs. Durability is key when selecting a roof for your home.
  • Finishes/fixtures – The quality of fixtures you decide to install will also affect the overall cost. High-end options like marble floors and granite countertops are costly. Go for materials that meet your budgetary needs and aesthetic appeal.
  • Home design features – Do you want an outdoor kitchen, pool, or a large deck? Additional home design features will cost you more money but can greatly increase the value of your home.
  • Home appliances – Major appliances like washers and refrigerators can add significant costs to your budget unless you already you own such appliances.

Simple Checklist for Building a House in Los Angeles

    • Create an inclusive budget while factoring in the above points
    • Purchase a suitable plot of land within a good location
    • Choose the best and the most affordable construction method for your home
    • Develop the right building plans and designs with your building pro
    • Obtain the right building permits and inspections
    • Purchase home construction insurance
    • Begin your home construction project
    • Book a final inspection of your home
    • Complete landscaping and other small additions

Why You Should Work with Custom Home Builders

Building a home is no easy fit. It requires a lot of planning, research and, of course, the right building pros to guide you from the pre-construction stage to design & build and project completion. While building a house from scratch can be expensive, more homeowners are considering custom home design & build options. Owning a home that is unique is something to be proud of as a homeowner.

At Joel & Co. Construction, we help you address complex questions associated with building a house in Los Angeles, whether you’re breaking ground in Beverly Hills or Encino. With over 20 years of experience in custom home building, we provide you with creative home building ideas within your budget and strive to create a livable space that is not only aesthetically appealing but also functional based on your lifestyle needs. Partner with the leading custom home builders in Los Angeles and break ground in 2018. Contact us!


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