Cost to Build a House in Chicago for 2024

The average cost to build a custom home in Chicago is about $130 per square foot. For a 2,000 square foot house, expect to spend around $260,000. However total prices range from $287,337 to $437,337 depending on factors like location, property type, materials, labor, and customizations. The full home build process averages 9-12 months.

Key Takeaways

  • It costs approximately $100 to $200 per square foot to build a house in Chicago.
  • For a 2,000 square foot house, expect to spend around $287,337.
  • Total costs range from $287,337 to $437,337 depending on specific factors.
  • Completing new home construction takes 9-12 months on average.

The Average Cost of Building a House in Chicago

In Chicago, to build a house it costs an average $143.66 per square foot too. This means a 2,000 square foot house, expect to spend around $287,337. Total prices range $250,000 – $450,000. These costs will vary depending on the exact location, property types, labour costs, material costs, etc.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Arizona

Below is a table estimate of total new build costs based on square footage:

Square FootageAverage Cost Ranges
500 sq ft$65,000 – $100,000
1000 sq ft$130,000 – $200,000
1500 sq ft$195,000 – $300,000
2000 sq ft$250,000 – $450,000
2500 sq ft$325,000 – $500,000
3000 sq ft$390,000 – $600,000
3500 sq ft$455,000 – $700,000
4000 sq ft$520,000 – $800,000
4500 sq ft$585,000 – $900,000
5000 sq ft$650,000 – $1,000,000

Costs by Chicago Area

AreaAverage Cost Per Square Foot
North Side (Lincoln Park, Lakeview)$150-200
West Side (Bucktown, Wicker Park)$150-200
South Side$100-150
Southwest Suburbs$130-180
Northwest Suburbs$150-220

House Building Expenses Across States in US

StateAverage Amount
New Jersey$376,900
New York$360,180
North Carolina$301,500
North Dakota$212,500

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Arkansas

Breakdown of Typical Building Costs

On a $325,000 new 2,500 sq ft home example, here is an approximate cost allocation across the major expense categories:

  • Land Purchase / Prep – $50,000
  • Permits & Fees – $15,000
  • Labor & Project Management – $100,000
  • Materials & Supplies – $110,000
  • Subcontractors – $30,000
  • Soft Costs & Financing – $20,000

This breakdown illustrates the significance of contractor labor, materials, land acquisition and regulatory costs that factor into new custom homes.

Now, let’s explore each of the major line items in more detail:

Land Acquisition & Preparation

  • Land Purchase – $20,000 to $200,000+
  • Demolition – $10,000 to $50,000
  • Grading & Site Prep – $15,000 to $30,000
  • Surveying & Engineering – $5,000 to $15,000
  • Tree/Vegetation Removal – $5,000 to $15,000
  • Sewer/Water Access – $5,000 to $15,000

Acquiring and preparing the property accounts for 10% to 25% of total costs. This includes establishing sewer/water access, grading, demolition of existing structures and more.

Inner-city lots tend to cost much more. But rural surrounding areas may require additional land clearing and infrastructure.

Permitting & Impact Fees

  • City/County Permit Fees – $7,000 to $12,000
  • Plan Reviews & Inspections – $2,000 to $5,000
  • Sewer/Water Tap Fees – $2,000 to $4,000
  • Consultant & Legal Fees – $1,000 to $3,000

The city permitting process involves extensive plan reviews, multiple inspections and sewer/water tap approvals. Legal and consultant fees may also apply. Overall around $10,000 to $15,000 gets budgeted.

Primary Construction Labor

  • General Contractor Fees – $15,000 to $35,000
  • Project Manager Salary – $7,000 to $15,000
  • Superintendent Fees – $5,000 to $10,000
  • Labourer Wages – $15,000 to $30,000

Experienced general contractors oversee the entire building process while taking 10%+ profit margins. Project managers coordinate schedules and orders. Superintendents closely manage the labourers completing framing, concrete, drywall and finish work.

Labour accounts for 25% to 35% of total new construction expenses. Shortages in recent years have led to higher wages as well.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a House Alaska

Building Materials & Supplies

  • Concrete & Masonry – $15,000 to $30,000
  • Framing Lumber & Hardware – $15,000 to $25,000
  • Windows & Exterior Doors – $15,000 to $35,000
  • Roofing System – $10,000 to $20,000
  • Siding Materials – $10,000 to $25,000
  • Drywall & Insulation – $10,000 to $15,000
  • Interior Finishes – $10,000 to $20,000
  • Cabinetry & Countertops – $10,000 to $50,000+

Building material prices fluctuate over time, but recently shortages have driven up expenses. Lumber, concrete, roofing and flooring each contribute significantly to costs. Finishes and kitchens/baths add further.

Major Subcontractors

  • Electricians – $10,000 to $25,000
  • Plumbers – $8,000 to $20,000
  • HVAC Installers – $5,000 to $15,000
  • Low Voltage Techs – $3,000 to $10,000

Licensed electricians and plumbers handle the essential systems like lighting, appliances, drainage and heating/cooling. Expect to pay bonus rates for certified specialists.

Soft Costs & Financing

  • Architect Fees – $12,000 to $25,000
  • Loan Interest – $12,000 to $24,000
  • Insurance Policies – $5,000 to $10,000
  • HOA Fees – $500 to $5,000
  • Property Taxes – $2,000 to $5,000

Soft costs include financing terms, design fees, legal services and taxes/insurance. New construction loans often run 6+ months of interest payments. These expenses add 5% to 10% typically.

This detailed cost breakdown highlights where the money goes when building a single family house. While you budget approximately $130 per square foot, hundreds of line items make up the total.

New Home Building Timeframe

Beyond the major costs, another vital consideration is the project duration. From initial planning to receiving the certificate of occupancy, expect the entire custom home construction process to take 9-12 months.

Here is an overview of the typical phases and timeframes:

  • Planning & Design: 2-3 months
  • Permitting & Approvals: 2-3 months
  • Site Prep & Foundation: 1-2 months
  • Framing & Structural: 2-3 months
  • Exterior Finishes: 1-2 month
  • Interior Finishes: 1-2 months

Delays from weather, material shortages, contractor availability and plan changes commonly push projects longer. So it’s wise to budget extra time buffers when possible.

Key Factors That Impact Chicago Home Building Costs

Let’s summarize a few of the most influential elements covered above that sway final pricing:

  • Location & Lot – Downtown & lakefront areas cost more
  • House Size – Cost per sq ft decreases for larger homes
  • Customization – More personalization means bigger budgets
  • Materials – Upgrades & shortages lead to higher expenses
  • Permits – City fees, approvals & regulations add $10k+

Carefully weighing these factors will help narrow your estimated price range when budgeting a new custom home build in Chicago.

Ways to Reduce Costs

  • Choose more affordable locations outside the city center
  • Opt for smaller home sizes closer to 1,500 sq ft
  • Use stock house plans rather than custom designs
  • Stick to standard building materials and finishes
  • Get multiple contractor bids for comparison
  • Complete some non-structural work yourself
  • Use elevated modular foundations rather than basement concrete
  • Install energy-efficient windows, appliances & lighting
  • Take advantage of rebates and incentives where possible
  • Get permits and approvals done quickly to avoid delays
  • Add buffer time for potential weather setbacks

Financing Your Chicago Home Build

Construction loans help provide necessary capital to fund new home projects. Work with specialized construction lenders and leverage optimal financing mixes to keep the budget on track. Below are top funding options for Chicago home builds:

Construction Loans

Specialised short-term loans issued specifically to finance major home improvement or construction projects. Features include:

  • Only pay interest on disbursed funds
  • Flexible draw schedules
  • Built-in contingencies
  • One-time close before/during construction
  • Typically transition to permanent mortgages

Bridge Loans

Shorter-term financing option to bridge the gap between buying land and securing long term financing upon project completion. Features include:

  • 3 – 12 months terms
  • Fund land purchase and upfront construction costs
  • Higher rates and fees than traditional loans

Home Equity Loans

Leverage available equity in the current home to cash-fund construction project on new property/secondary residence. Features include:

  • Use home assets to qualify, not income docs
  • Lower rates than construction loans
  • Fixed payments for set duration

Cash Savings

Ideal financing option but rarely feasible for the entire project cost. Maximize cash savings to offset loan amounts needed.

For the optimal Chicago construction loan package, explore specialized lenders offering loan products and terms tailored specifically to meet new build funding needs in your area.

Benefits of Building Your Own Home in Chicago

  • Customize design to your exact preferences
  • Choose higher-end finishes and features
  • Greater control over construction quality
  • Ability to incorporate smart home technology
  • Added energy efficiency through new materials/construction
  • Craft home layout for optimal use of space
  • Boost resale value with unique property
  • Ability to choose ideal neighborhood/location
  • Qualify for tax deductions on mortgage interest/property taxes
  • Forge connection to community as homebuilder
  • Opportunity to build equity via real estate investment
  • Showcase your style through architectural design

The Bottom Line

Building a fully custom home in Chicago costs around $130 per square foot on average. So for a 2,000 square foot house, plan around $260,000 total. But with the range of influencing factors, finalise numbers closer to the 12-month construction start date for accuracy. Pad estimates with an extra 15-20% as well to hedge against surprise expenses.

While spending significant time on planning and coordination, appreciate the personalization perks unique builds provide. And soon enough, you’ll have a cozy, tailored sanctuary to call home for years ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost to build a house from scratch in Chicago?

It costs around $143 per square foot on average to build a custom home in Chicago. For a 2,000 square foot house, expect costs around $287,337.

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house in Illinois?

With rising home prices, building can be cheaper than buying an equivalent house these days in many Illinois markets. Calculate all costs from land acquisition to materials and labor.

How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Chicago?

Tiny homes under 600 square feet range from $30,000 to $60,000 to build in the Chicago area. Saves come from less materials needed and simpler design.

How much does the average house cost in Chicago?

The median home price in Chicago ranges $250,000 to 600,000+. Prices range from $200,000 on the lower end to $400,000-plus for higher end homes in affluent city neighbourhoods.

What salary is needed to live comfortably in Chicago?

It’s recommended to earn at least $60,000 as an individual or $100,000 for a family to live comfortably in Chicago, based on meeting basic needs plus discretionary spending.

Jean Folger

Jean Folger brings over 15 years of expertise as a financial writer, specializing in areas such as real estate, investment, active trading, retirement planning, and expatriate living. She is also the co-founder of PowerZone Trading, a firm established in 2004 that offers programming, consulting, and strategy development services to active traders and investors.

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