Cost to build house


Recycles dryer sheets
Apr 4, 2004
Like some of you out there, we are looking to build our retirement home. Just made an offer on a lot (2 acres) in Sedona and if the offer's accepted will break ground on a new house sometime this winter or spring.

Sedona's not the cheapest place around, but weather and locale suit us well.

We've been quoted prices per square foot that are literally all over the place. From bare-bones $45/square foot (which I doubt) all the way up to $200 for a higher-end structure and amenities.

In the southwest/western states, what's realistic? I know it all depends on what you want, but anyone have a ballpark figure? Done this before?

We're looking at southwestern style with a pitched roof (tile roof), about 1800 square feet, 9-foot ceilings, nice kitchen with granite countertops but mid-line cabinets, gas cooktop, range (like Kenmore, for example), single story, hardwood floors, some carpet. Not real fancy but nice enough.

About ten years ago we had a small house built in the San Juan Islands that with small lot and house (only 1100 square feet) cost $155,000. Building costs have escalated so I know that's probably not realistic.

All ideas welcome. Thanks.
Under $100 a sq ft is hard to do. We talked about this a year or so ago. Some folks are fiddling with old materials like adobe and more modern materials to get the cost near to $100/sq.

The two houses I've most recently lived in ran about $120/sq to in 1989 and one in 1997...both pretty nice houses in northern california.
I could probably replace my fish camp - on pilings, basically square, minimal wiring/insulation, external plumbing, etc for $50/sq. ft or under. Go 7 miles up the road - approved subdivision - 300k and up houses - then TH's 100/sq ft might be at the low end.
My daughter built a nice brick 2000 sq. ft home in Celina,
Texas (just north of Dallas) for about $135k.


Traveler, based on your general description I would guesstimate you would be looking at at least $120/sq. ft. There are a lot of variables in cost, including single story vs. two story, local building codes, union labor, etc.

We built a "similarly equipped" 2400 sq. ft. house in the Hill Country of central Texas in 1998 around $100/ft. (plus well and septic). With increased construction costs, it would probably run in the neighborhood of $120/ft to build the same house today.
Not too long ago my neighbor, who is a contractor, told me that $110 per square foot was a pretty good number to use in the Phoenix area.
I still use $100 per SF for all my "back of the envelope"
calculations. Out in the boondocks where we live and
where I kick "real estate tires" it seems more than adequate.

John Galt
From bare-bones $45/square foot (which I doubt) all the way up to $200 for a higher-end structure and amenities.

That range looks about right to me.

$60/sqft will get you a basic modular home (nothing wrong with modular -- a lot of the cost savings comes from constructing the home in a controlled environment).

$100/sqft will get you a basic stick-built house with perfectly good trim and details.

$200/sqft will get you an architect-designed house with high-end details and material.

Of course, you can go much higher if you get craftsmen involved and use exotic materials. Or if something goes wrong.
This link may be helpful. It does take into account where you plan to build.


Good Luck! Sedona is beautiful. Have SIL in Cottonwood and we love the drive along 89 from Sedona to Flag.

Thanks Judy. I immediately used the online calculator and came up with a figure approaching $160K in Sedona. My sister (who's been involved in building/refurbishing residential structures for the past few years) urged me to add another 30% to the estimate. We'll see. We're (my boyfriend and I) head back to Sedona in early December to resume our search for an affordable lot. :p
Yikes, I can't imagine anything in Sedona for 160K! Of course, I don't know what sg footage you're using. But a sweet deal if you can do it. As I think more about this, with land price added on that may be correct.

Driving SW on 89 takes you into Prescott Valley/Chino Valley. Different landscape but less expensive.

We usually get up that way in December to have a family Christmas. We also try to get to an elevation where there is some snow so we can have our DAY of winter. :D

Hmmm - in the 70's Prescott and Slidell, LA were back and forth, neck and neck, leading the nation in new building permits.

One engineer I worked with - took the $5000 cash to move into a new house - zero down of course.
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