Cost to Build a House in North Dakota: Complete Guide for 2024

In North Dakota, the average cost to build a home is approximately $106 per square foot. So a 2,000 square foot home would cost about $212,000. Total costs range from $200,000 to $400,000 depending on factors such as location, property type, materials, labor, site work requirements and completion. The timeline for building a full custom home typically spans 9-12 months.

Key Takeaways

  • The cost per square foot to build in North Dakota averages $106.
  • Average per square foot construction costs range from $100-$200
  • For a 2,000 square foot home, expect to pay around $212,000.
  • Total costs range from $200,000 to $400,000+.
  • Location, property type, finishes, and other factors impact overall expense.
  • Labor, materials, equipment, permits and fees must be factored in.
  • Build times range from 9-12 months.

Cost Insights for Building a Home in North Dakota

The average cost to build a new house in North Dakota is $106.25 per square foot. This means a 2,000 square foot home will cost around $212,500. However, total costs range from $200,000 up to over $400,000 depending on several factors like location, property type, labor, materials, and custom finishes. Final pricing is variable but expect to pay at minimum $100 per foot for basic construction.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in New York: Total Calculation

Average Cost Based On Square Footage in North Dakota

Square FootageAverage Cost Ranges
500 sq ft$53,000 – $100,000
1000 sq ft$106,000 – $200,000
1500 sq ft$159,000 – $300,000
2000 sq ft$212,000 – $400,000
2500 sq ft$265,000 – $500,000
3000 sq ft$318,000 – $600,000
3500 sq ft$371,000 – $700,000
4000 sq ft$424,000 – $800,000
4500 sq ft$477,000 – $900,000
5000 sq ft$530,000 – $1,000,000

Cost Range by Region

Divide your search by region instead of individual cities. This might give you a broader, but still useful, understanding of costs. Here’s a rough estimate:

  • Eastern Region (Fargo, Grand Forks): $110-$130 per sq. ft.
  • Western Region (Bismarck, Minot): $100-$120 per sq. ft.
  • Rural Areas: $90-$110 per sq. ft.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in New Mexico: A Ultimate Guide

The Average Cost to Build a House Across The US State

StateAverage Amount
North Dakota$212,500
New York$360,180
New Mexico$290,940
New Hampshire$299,900
North Carolina$301,500

North Dakota Home Construction Costs

Constructing a single family home is complicated, with lots of detailed expenses that add up quickly. The following are the main cost components that factor into new home construction budgets in the state.

Land Acquisition

Before construction can begin, suitable land must be purchased. Empty lots in new subdivisions often sell for $30,000 to $100,000 depending on location and size. Acres of undeveloped rural land can cost $5,000 and up. Just the land itself represents a significant portion of your overall budget.

Permitting Fees

North Dakota handles permitting and oversight of new home construction at the local level rather than statewide. Permit fees average $1,250 but can exceed $2,000 for larger projects requiring extensive plan review. Common permits include:

  • Building permit
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits
  • Sewer connection fee
  • Water connection fee

You may also need permits for:

  • Driveway construction
  • Retaining walls
  • Any site grading/excavation work
  • Materials and Labor

The actual construction costs for a house include all labour expenses plus materials to frame the structure, complete the exterior/interior finishes, install features/systems like electrical wiring and HVAC, etc. This is often summarised as a base per square foot amount.

In North Dakota, base construction costs without finishes average $75-90 per square foot. High-end custom builds with expensive finishes and features can exceed $200 per square foot.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in New Hampshire: Complete Guide

Other Construction Costs

Beyond just the direct building expenses, additional costs include:

  • Architectural/engineering fees to design a customised home (10% or more of construction costs)
  • Site preparation – clearing vegetation, levelling, trenching for utilities ($15,000+)
  • Utility connections – electricity, gas, sewer, water ($5,000+)
  • Equipment costs – crane/operator rental, scaffolding, dumpsters, etc.
  • Inspection fees – building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical ($2,000+)
  • Builders risk insurance – 2%+ of construction value
  • Financing costs if using a construction loan
  • Contingency fund – 10%+ helps absorb unexpected overages

In total, these additional construction-related costs often reach $50,000 or more.

Contractor Profit Margins

Most homeowners hire a general contractor to manage home building. The contractor applies a profit margin to their actual costs before quoting you a price. Common contractor profit margins range from 10-20% in North Dakota, adding $25,000+ to budgets for a $200,000 build.

Total Cost to Build a House in North Dakota

Combining all the above expense categories, a 2,000 square foot single family home would have an estimated price tag of around $212,000 on average:

  • Land – $50,000
  • Permits – $2,000
  • Base Construction – $190,000 ($95 per sq ft)
  • Additional Costs – $50,000
  • Contractor Margin – $20,000 (10%)

As shown above, a major North Dakota construction project like this has many variables, allowing for a broad range in total home building costs.

Factors That Impact Building Cost in North Dakota


Location plays a big role in overall building expenses. Construction costs tend to be higher in midsize metro areas like Fargo compared to more rural locations. Land value also varies greatly depending on location.

Property Type

The type of home, such as a single story ranch, two-story colonial, etc. impacts the total cost. More complex home styles take more time, labor, and materials which all add to the bottom line.

Land Preparation

Preparing the lot for construction with grading, utilities, water/sewer lines and more has costs attached. Difficult lots require more machinery.

Dimension and Layout

The home’s dimensions and layout complexity also increase prices for larger square footage and multi-level homes.


Using higher-end finishes like granite countertops, hardwood flooring and high-end appliances increases building costs over standard grade materials.


Labor shortages lead to higher wages to secure qualified crews. North Dakota’s oil economy makes construction labor competitive.

Let’s look at what goes into new house construction costs in North Dakota in more detail.

Tips for Reducing Costs

Here are some smart ways to lower the total cost to build a new home in North Dakota:

  • Opt for a simple rectangular shape and roofline to reduce materials/labour
  • Build a single level home instead of multi-level
  • Choose smaller square footage around 1,500 – 2,500 SF
  • Purchase land just outside higher cost metro suburbs
  • Use standardised floorplans vs. 100% custom designs
  • Select basic finishes: carpet, linoleum floors, laminate counters
  • Get quotes from 3 builders and use competitive bidding
  • Complete landscaping yourself later on

Carefully balancing square footage, quality finishes, and energy efficient upgrades when value engineering the home’s design is crucial to controlling overall house construction budgets.

How Long Does It Take to Build a House in North Dakota?

Here are the key points on how long it takes to build a house in North Dakota: A typical custom home building timeline is 9-12 months from start to finish.

  • Planning & design takes 1-3 months
  • Permits & site work takes 1-2 months
  • The foundation stage takes 1-2 months
  • Framing the structure takes 2-3 months
  • Exterior finishing takes 1-2 months
  • Interior work like drywall and finishes takes 2-3 months
  • Landscaping & final details takes 1-2 months

So in summary, most new single family homes in North Dakota take around 9-12 months to complete, sometimes longer if delays occur especially during the colder building seasons. Proper planning is key to finishing construction efficiently.

House Building Financing Options for North Dakota?

Here are the key house building financing options in North Dakota:

  • Conventional loans – Get a standard mortgage loan for 70-80% of home value.
  • USDA loans – Special 0% down payment loans from the US Dept of Agriculture for rural areas.
  • VA loans – Zero down loans for veterans.
  • FHA loans – 3.5% down payment government-backed loans. Popular option.
  • Construction loans – Short-term loans to finance building costs converted to mortgages.
  • Personal loans – Finance smaller projects with credit union/bank personal loans.
  • Home equity loans – Leverage existing home equity for new construction.
  • 401K/IRA loans – Use retirement savings then repay yourself.
  • HELOC loans – Revolving home equity lines of credit are flexible.
  • Cash – Self-finance building if you have sufficient savings.

So in summary, FHA and conventional loans are common but multiple options exist including special programs for rural building.

Working With Contractors in North Dakota

Here is a brief overview of working with contractors to build a house in North Dakota:

Getting Bids

  • Get bids from 3-5 general contractors for the project
  • Verify they are licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Ask about their experience building locally

Comparing Bids

  • Compare bottom line costs as well as materials and inclusions
  • Get a detailed breakdown of what’s included
  • Assess timelines/schedules

Choosing a Contractor

  • Verify references from their last few projects
  • Ensure a solid working relationship and communication fit
  • Get everything in a detailed written contract


  • Typical deposit is 10-25% at contract signing
  • Create an invoice/draw schedule for phases
  • Don’t overpay upfront or make final payment until satisfied

Change Orders

  • Understand change order fees if you alter plans mid-project
  • Approve changes with signed change orders before additional costs incurred


  • Complete inspections at end of each phase before paying invoices
  • Do a final walkthrough inspection before final payment
  • Ensure permit inspections are completed at proper intervals

Following these tips will lead to a smooth home building partnership with a qualified North Dakota contractor.

Benefits of Building Your Own Home in North Dakota

Here are the key benefits of building your own home in North Dakota:

  • Customise the design and layout to suit your needs
  • Select high-quality finishes and features within your budget
  • Possible to achieve passive house efficiency standards
  • Generally cheaper per square foot than existing homes
  • Opportunity to incorporate smart home technology
  • Create universal design elements for lifetime use
  • Exact location of your choice
  • Can serve as equity source for future loans/investing
  • Pride and comfort that comes with living in your dream home
  • Learn new skills working with architects and contractors
  • Good resale value and investment in most markets

In summary, building a custom home lets you achieve your ideal living space, efficiency, features, and design while increasing personal equity. Despite high upfront costs, new construction remains a smart long-term investment in North Dakota.

Building vs. Buying a House: Key Differences 

Here is a comparison of building vs buying a house in North Dakota in a simple table format:

FactorBuilding a HouseBuying a House
More expensive upfrontYesNo
Cheaper per square footNoYes
Time to completion9-12 monthsFaster
Appreciation potentialHigherLocation dependent
Planning complexityHigherLower

Is It Cheaper to Build a House in North Dakota

Yes, building a new home in North Dakota is often cheaper than many other states. Average per square foot cost is around $106. Low property values combined with affordable land, labor, utilities and materials create a relatively inexpensive state for new custom home construction overall.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that building a new 2,000 square foot single family home in North Dakota averages about $107 per square foot, putting the total cost around $214,000. However overall custom home construction ranges from $200,000 on the low end up to $600,000 on the high side when factoring location, property, labor, materials and finish selections. The complete build timeline spans 9-12 months working with a general contractor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the cheapest state to build a house in?

Some of the most affordable states to build a house in are Arkansas, Michigan, Indiana and North Dakota. Each offers relatively low land acquisition, construction labor, materials and utility costs.

How much does it cost to build a 1500 sq ft house in North Dakota?

To build a 1,500 square foot home in North Dakota, total costs generally range from $159,000 to $300,000, with the average being around $195,000.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 sq ft house in North Dakota?

A 2,000 square foot home will on average run about $212,000 to build in North Dakota based on standard building costs of $106 per square foot. Total expenses will typically fall anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000.

How much does it cost to build a 3000 sq ft house in North Dakota?

For a larger 3,000 square foot house in North Dakota, projected building costs range from $318,000 on the low end to $600,000 on the high-end custom home market. The average cost would land at about $318,000 assuming $106 per square foot.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 sq ft house in South Dakota?

To construct a 2,000 square foot home in South Dakota averages around $204,000 on the low end and up to $400,000 on the high side depending on custom finishes, location and property specifics. Figure most budgets land near $102 per square foot.

Can I build a new house in North Dakota?

Yes, it is absolutely feasible to build a new custom home in North Dakota in most areas. There is accessible land plus builders and contractors to facilitate new single family house construction.

Is North Dakota expensive to live in?

Overall North Dakota offers an affordable cost of living compared to most states, especially regarding real estate values, property taxes, insurance, food costs and other common expenses. So it is cheaper to live in ND than the majority of the country.

What is the average cost to purchase a home in North Dakota?

The median home purchase price in North Dakota is around $230,000, quite affordable compared to national averages. In areas like Minot or Williston expect closer to $300,000+ for existing single family houses.

Is land in North Dakota expensive?

There is very reasonably priced land for sale throughout most regions of North Dakota from $3,000 per acre up to around $20,000 per acre for more desirable parcels in metro zones. Land availability and values are lower than surrounding states.

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