How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home in Richmond, VA?


Building your own house gives you full control of nearly every aspect of the place you’ll get to call home. It means you can build a home that is specific to you with a design that speaks to your tastes. While beginning the venture is extremely exciting and very rewarding, it’s important to understand what the average costs of home builds in Richmond, VA are.

In this article, we go over the average costs of building a home, the factors that contribute to cost, types of building expenses and more .

Average Costs of Home Building in Virginia

As a common rule of thumb, there is not really a “generic” pricing that can be placed on cost per foot. Because there are so many influencing factors that can uptick your budget, it can be difficult to say with certainty how much building a home will be.

However, recent studies have shown that turnkey costs are typically around the low $100s per square foot of building.

This can fluctuate with more personalized additions including porches, garages, driveways, pools and any other features you may want outside of your immediate structure.

Consider Virginia’s Market Demand

A good tip when determining what your overall building cost will be is to first consider the market demand in your location. A quality structure you build is likely to reflect the same price of an existing house that is similar in size and style. You can’t expect a significant difference in price between the home you want to build and an existing home that is the same size, in the same location and with a similar shape/style.

In the Virginia area, the average cost of building a new home reflects the average price of the homes in the neighborhood you plan to live in. Here are a few estimates for the average sales price of certain areas in Central Virginia:

  • New construction homes in Chesterfield have an average of over $750,000
  • New construction homes in Midlothian have an average of over $900,000
  • New construction homes in Glen Allen have an average of over $825,000
  • New construction homes in Moseley have an average of over $725,000

Of course, these estimations should be taken with a grain of salt as there are several contributing factors that can alter this projection.

A Cost Breakdown

As another rule of thumb, the larger the home in square footage, the higher the average range of cost. Because there is no universal pricing to building your own home in Virginia, it’s important to know what to expect when you begin your home construction.

From a thirty-thousand-foot view, your project-cost will include pricing associated with:

  • Land
  • Site work
  • Floor plans
  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Exterior finishes
  • Major systems
  • Interior finishes

As labor and material costs make up the bulk of the expenses associated with home building, they also depend heavily on supply and demand in the Virginia area.

Common Home Building Expenses in Richmond, Virginia

How much you decide to pay for your home depends on your specific taste, where in Virginia you build and demand for labor, materials and other associated costs. Typically speaking, it’s wise to consider budgeting in a 15% contingency fund for any unexpected upgrades or costs that may develop during construction.

Types of expenses to accommodate for within your home building budget include:

  • Off-site living accommodations
  • Water and sewer inspections
  • House plans
  • Construction project management fees
  • Building permits
  • Excavation
  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Exterior siding
  • Roofing
  • Exterior windows and doors
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Painting
  • Trim and interior doors
  • Flooring
  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Driveways
  • Landscaping
  • Cleanup

Pre-construction Costs

While the above list can help give you a better gauge on what to expect when you go through the home building process, we’ve detailed more expenses that come with the process.

Even before you begin building, there are a number of costs to expect. The cost of purchasing land can vary greatly depending on where the land is bought. Rural versus urban costs can differ substantially. And, of course, the size of the plot you buy affects the pricing as well as whether or not there are utilities already at the site or if they need to be brought in.

The cost of prepping your site depends on if the land has already been prepped for building. If you have purchased your own lot, you may need to go through the excavation process, soil testing and overall land surveying.

Generally, these costs make up 10%-15% of your total home building costs.

Here are examples of pre-construction expenses:

  • House plans and design
  • Land acquisition
  • Site clearing and preparation
  • Demolition
  • Building Permits

Materials & Labor Costs

The next considerations for your estimated building cost are the prices of both the material and labor that come with home building projects.

As with all the projections for building homes in the Virginia area, the provided examples’ costs will vary depending on a multitude of factors. The construction and labor costs associated with your home building are relative to both the size, shape and location of your home. Each of these factors can influence the overall price in your total building costs.

Generally speaking, materials costs make up 50% of your total home building costs while labor costs make up 30% – 60%.

Exterior Materials

Exterior building materials refer to anything that helps lay the foundations and bare bones of your newly constructed home. The exterior finish of your home will contribute to the overall aesthetic and feel of your property so it’s important to properly budget for what you know you’ll need. It is typical for there to be larger ranges between the low-end cost and high-end cost of your purchased material based on quality, quantity and preference.

We’ve listed below the more common exterior building materials and finishes for your home.

  • Foundation: slab, concrete, basement
  • Framing
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Driveway
  • Landscaping

Interior Materials

Much as your exterior building materials do, the interior materials of your home add a bit of personal customization to your house. From necessary systems to the furniture that matches your personal style and aesthetic, your interior materials can make up a decent chunk of your building costs.

Similar to the exterior building materials used, the fluctuation in cost depends greatly on the type of quality material used, the amount of material needed, the size of your home and the type of labor services available within the Virginia area.

Here are a few interior materials you can anticipate adding to your total home building costs.

  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Windows
  • Interior Doors
  • Exterior Doors
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Trim
  • Flooring
  • Paint (depending on local labor or if you decide to go D-I-Y)
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Light Fixtures
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Laundry Appliances
  • Furniture

Factors That Affect Home Pricing in Richmond, VA

As previously mentioned, there is no universal price when it comes to home building costs. However, there are baseline expectations you can have when you begin the process of building your home.

Simply put, your home building cost will consider:

  • Size – more square footage means more cost
  • Number of stories – more stories mean more construction and design
  • Shape – more corners and unusual shapes means more costs to building materials
  • Design features – more features (such as unattached structures like pools, garages, outdoor kitchens, sheds, etc.) will impact construction and upkeep costs.

Finding Your Signature Home Builder

As with every project, it’s important to ensure you have the proper guidance and direction when beginning your home building experience. With Covenant Building & Design, you can rest assured you will have an experienced hand guiding you through the home building process.

With the personalization of our signature plans and fixed-price contracts, the cost of your home will be as transparent as possible, without any hidden fees.

Looking to start your home project? Get in touch with us today to begin your build!

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