How Much Does It Cost To Build A House In Colorado?

Cost to Build a House in Colorado

Colorado is one of the premier vacation destinations in the United States. As people visit, many are deciding that Colorado is the place to live as well. Colorado is rapidly becoming a favored relocation area for many families. Learn about building in Colorado and how much your new home may cost in this article.

The average cost to build a house in Colorado is $230 per square foot, and an 800 square foot home costs $220,000 in Colorado. Homeowners in Colorado can build a one-bedroom house for $194,529, and it costs $75,000 to prepare the site. Expect to spend $1 per square foot for framing, $6 per square foot for concrete, and $82 per square foot for trim.

Estimating building costs for residential structures is always tricky. Many variables can affect the bottom line, not the least of which is the area’s popularity. Trends in interior and exterior finishes and amenities can add significantly to the overall cost of your new home in Colorado.

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Location and Land Costs

The cost of the land on which you want to build your new home represents a significant portion of the cost. Colorado offers some of the most attractive areas for relocation in the nation. What many don’t realize is that almost half of Colorado lies in the Great Plains and is a huge agricultural area.

These seemingly disparate geographies affect the cost of land. Mountain property surrounded by public lands is a much different product than land in the eastern portions of the state that is mostly flat and treeless. So, location is a big part of determining the cost of your land purchase.

Upper Range of Land Cost Lower Range of Land Cost
Raw Land $670,000 per acre $3,500 per acre
Rural Development $245,000 per acre $39,900 per acre
Suburban Development $346,000 per lot $4,900 per lot

It is easy to see the disparate in the upper and lower costs of land in these categories. These disparities are driven by location more than any other variable. Find out what is the better state to live in between Colorado and California.

Buying Raw Land

Many people dream of an isolated home on a plot of land to create their dream lifestyle. This dream is wonderful but comes with some additional costs in the building process. These costs all add to the overall total to build your dream home. In general, these costs fall into several categories.

  • Access and Site Preparation –Typically, site preparation costs are shown as a percentage of the overall project costs and run between three and eight percent. In Colorado, this usually averages between $8,800 and $70,000.
  • Electricity – In general, extending rural electrical service to a new residential project will cost between $10,000 and $30.000.
  • Water and Sewer –A typical septic system for a three-bedroom residential structure in South Caroline ranges between $4,500 and $6,500, while residential, domestic water well can cost between $12,000 to $24,000.

Rural Developments – The Best of Both Worlds?

Purchasing a developed lot in rural Colorado has numerous advantages. Colorado offers a wide array of developed rural lots, from mountainous tree-covered developments to mini-ranchettes on the plains.

Land costs in rural developments are typically higher than purchasing raw land. These higher costs represent the work done by the developer to prepare the land for building and occupancy. Overall, you can expect to pay between $39,900 and $245,000 per acre for a ready-to-build lot in a rural development in Colorado.

Suburban Developments – The Typical Residential Building Location

If urban or suburban living is your choice, Colorado is ripe with opportunities in most urbanized areas. Residential, ready-to-build lots are abundant and available for almost any price range.

In Colorado, land costs in suburban developments typically average between $4,900 per lot and $346,000 per lot. From smaller communities to the urban metroplex of Denver, residential development is booming in Colorado.

Coming Up Out of the Ground – Task Costs on a Residential Build

Watching a new building project, especially your family home, can be a life-altering event. The excitement and anticipation infect your whole life. Unfortunately, there are stresses associated with these times as well. Understanding where the money is going and how it is spent can reduce some of this stress.

Job or Task Percentage of Overall Project Cost South Caroline Average Low Costs Colorado Average High Costs
Dirt Work and Site Work Preparation 3 to 8 percent  $8,775.00  $75,000.00
Foundation and Concrete 10 to 15 percent  $29,250.00  $140,625.00
Framing 10 to 20 percent  $29,250.00  $187,500.00
Dry in (Exterior, windows, doors, and Roof) 15 to 20 percent  $43,875.00  $187,500.00
Mechanical Systems (plumbing, sewer, HVAC, Electrical) 10 to 15 percent  $29,250.00  $140,625.00
Interior Finish (drywall, paint, flooring, trim) 25 to 35 percent  $73,125.00  $328,125.00

You can almost guarantee that your home will cost more than the basic minimums shown above. Upgrading flooring, wall finishes, countertops and other amenities will push your new home toward the higher end of the range.

How Big and How Much

How much house do you need?  Established families usually have different needs now and in the future than young growing families. Empty-nesters have entirely different requirements. Sizing your home to your needs and expectations helps keep the budget in check and estimate costs. Typically, in Colorado, square footage costs are in the following ranges.

Total Square Footage of Home Lower Range of Cost Upper Range of Cost
800  $120,000.00  $320,000.00
900  $135,000.00  $360,000.00
1,000  $150,000.00  $400,000.00
1,200  $180,000.00  $480,000.00
1,500  $225,000.00  $600,000.00
1,600  $240,000.00  $640,000.00
1,800  $270,000.00  $720,000.00
2,000  $300,000.00  $800,000.00
2,500  $375,000.00  $1,000,000.00
2,700  $405,000.00  $1,080,000.00
3,000  $450,000.00  $1,200,000.00
4,000  $600,000.00  $1,600,000.00
5,000  $750,000.00  $2,000,000.00

These are costs represent the average costs in Colorado and variations depending on location, style, and construction materials. Each builder can give you a better estimate of basic building costs in your area.

Adding Bedrooms – What Does it Cost to Add Sleeping Space?

On average, it costs roughly the same to build functional areas in new homes. These areas include spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens, living areas, and entertainment areas. The largest variable found in most homes is the number of bedrooms included in the construction. In general, the cost of bedrooms across Colorado follows these figures.

Number of Bedrooms Lower Range of Costs Upper Range of Costs
One  $194,529.00  $518,744.00
Two  $245,553.00  $654,808.00
Three  $296,577.00  $790,872.00
Four  $347,601.00  $926,936.00
Five  $398,625.00  $1,063,000.00

Other factors than just bedroom count affect the cost of your new home project. Total square footage, finish and trim decisions, flooring selections, and added amenities such as ensuite, bathroom spa additions, etc., can add significantly to the cost.

Personnel Costs of Building a Home in Colorado

Expect labor costs to be a serious entry in the budget expense categories. Nationally, labor is the single biggest cost contributor to any construction project. Depending on the skill level of the job description, the costs can vary widely on every job site.

Architect or Engineer

will require a set of plans drawn by a certified architect or engineer before permits will be issued. In general, architects and engineers in Colorado work on a percentage fee basis. You can expect to pay up to 12% of the total estimated cost of your new home as an engineering fee. These fees can range between $35,100 and $121,500 per project.

Builder or Construction Manager

We always recommend hiring a home builder or construction manager for your project. A builder already has subcontractors and employees who are known and trusted. Construction managers may charge by the hour or a percentage of the project costs. In general, the costs and fees associated with hiring a builder or manager will add between $43,875 and $140,625 to your project.

Cost Estimate for Professional Tasks

Each trade or craft that works on your home building project will bill you or your builder separately. These costs may be on a bid basis or an hourly basis, depending on the way your contractor and sub-contractors work. We found that these hourly and bid rates apply to Colorado.

  • Electrician rates – Union electricians typically charge between $65 and $125 per hour in Colorado.
  • Roofing contractor – Several factors determine the hourly rate roofers charge. Different roofing materials and the style of your roof contribute to these charges. Statewide, the average roof in Colorado costs between $6,100 to $11,500.
  • Framers – Framers typically charge by the square foot. However, this can differ based on the complexity of the framing and the number of stories in the plan. You can expect basic framing costs for a single-story residential structure to run between $21.90 and $25.58 per square foot.
  • Drywall, Trim, and Finish – Finishing the interior of your home is a big job and requires several different skills. Lumping finish costs together shows a net cost between $6 and $13 per square foot.
  • Plumbers and HVAC – Part of finishing your home’s interior is installing plumbing fixtures, kitchen fixtures, and the HVAC system. Overall, you can expect to pay $45 – $225 per hour.
  • Administrative and permits – Your local government will expect their fees as well. These local fees and permit costs can add between $300 to $4,500 to your project in Colorado.

Upgrade Costs – Adding Amenities to Your New Home

A new home is a blank canvass on which each family puts its unique stamp. Your families, interests, activities, and lifestyle contribute to what amenities you want to add beyond the basics. Some of the more common additions that families make to the basic home plan include the following.

Framing

Wood has been the traditional method of framing homes in the United States. Wood has many advantages. It is renewable and easily obtainable. Wood construction is well known and understood. However, new materials are fast gaining recognition and acceptance in the residential building trades. Metal framing is perhaps the best known.

The downside of using metal framing materials is the cost. Typically, metal framing costs about $1 per square foot more than traditional wood framing. There may be additional costs for framing with metal, but many contractors claim metal framing is faster than wood.

Concrete

The typical home in Colorado sits on a concrete slab foundation. In addition, sidewalks, patios, and driveways add additional concrete work to the project. Concrete work in Colorado typically runs $5.63 – $6.42 per square foot.

Drywall and Trim Work

A finished home build project includes the trim, wall, and other finishes inside your home. Most decisions about the quality, style, and types of finishes for your home occur before construction begins. Most people opt for upgraded finishes in their homes for personal as well as resale reasons.

Adding appeal and livability to your home is often a function of your decisions about the finishes. In general, you may see additional costs from $15 to $150 per square foot for some of these services and products.

Upgraded Kitchens and Appliances

Almost no one considering a custom-built home will put basic builder-grade appliances in their new home. Most families building a custom home want the best in kitchen appliances and fixtures they can afford. The kitchen is a focal point of any home and where you want to make your mark.

If you specify your appliance and finishes, such as countertops, cabinets, and flooring for your kitchen, you can expect additional costs. Nationally, these types of additions can cost between $30 and $85 per square foot.

Adding Visual Appeal – Exterior Upgrades

Upgraded exterior finishes, higher grade windows and doors, and specialized roofing material can bring several benefits to your new home.

  • You may not be thinking of resale now, but eventually, it will enter the picture. Planning now for greater curb appeal for your home often translates to increased resale value in the future.
  • Exterior finish options can positively affect your home, making your home more energy-efficient.
  • Zoning restrictions and homeowner’s association rules can dictate to some extent your roofing decisions. However, many newer roofing options can lower your insurance premiums. Many of these new products are more fire-resistant, weather-resistant and have a longer life expectancy than older materials.
  • Consider choosing from the many new windows and door products to add elegance and solidity to your new home. Anything that adds a green component to your home will be money well spent, although you may not see the apparent benefits for some years.

The downside to these types of exterior upgrades is the additional costs involved. The benefits of these specialty products come with some exceptional prices that can add appreciably to your home’s costs. You may recoup the cost in time, but you must pay for them first.

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Building Your New Home in Colorado

Colorado offers some of the most stunning and inspiring landscapes in the nation. From towering mountains, gentle and verdant mountain valleys to miles of productive farmland, you can find almost any location to suit your family’s needs and desires.

Such a wide range of geographic possibilities brings a diversity of building styles, costs, and challenges. The information provided in this article represents these different opportunities. It is up to you to take this information and translate it into your dreams, desires, and plans for your new Colorado home. Find out if Loveland, Colorado is a good place to live.

Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners and home improvement enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and gardening tips with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance, cleaning your carpet, or even putting up a fence, we've got you covered.

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