Cost to Build a House in Rhode Island: Building Smart, Saving Big in 2024

In Rhode Island, building a new house on average costs approximately $170 per square foot. This means a 2,000 square foot home would total around $340,000. Overall expenses range from $300,000 to $500,000 depending on location, property, labor, materials and more. The timeline for constructing a custom residence spans 9-12 months.

Key Takeaways

  • Average cost to build is $170 per square foot
  • Prices range from $100 to $200 per square foot
  • A 2,000 sq ft home costs around $340,000
  • Total range is $300,000 to $500,000
  • Costs vary by location, property type, materials, labor, etc.
  • Building a full custom home takes 9-12 months

The Average Cost Building a Home in Rhode Island

The average cost of building a new house in Rhode Island is $169.09 per square foot. Constructing a 2,000 square foot home in the state would therefore cost approximately $338,180. However, total prices range from as low as $290,000 for a smaller home up to $488,180 for a larger custom build. Exact pricing varies depending on the location, property type, labor expenses, materials selected, and other factors.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in Texas: True Cost of Your Dream Home

Average Cost Based On Square Footage in Rhode Island

Square FootageAverage Cost Ranges
500 sq ft$85,000 – $100,000
1000 sq ft$170,000 – $200,000
1500 sq ft$255,000 – $300,000
2000 sq ft$340,000 – $400,000
2500 sq ft$425,000 – $500,000
3000 sq ft$510,000 – $600,000
3500 sq ft$595,000 – $700,000
4000 sq ft$680,000 – $800,000
4500 sq ft$765,000 – $900,000
5000 sq ft$850,000 – $1,000,000

Average Cost to Build a House in Rhode Island by City (Estimated per Square Foot)

CityAverage Cost per Square Foot
East Providence$168
North Kingstown$155
South Kingstown$153
Rural Areas$135-$150

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in Rhode Island by Number of Bedrooms

BedroomsTypical Square FootageAverage Cost Range
1800 – 1,200$136,000 – $204,000
21,200 – 1,600$204,000 – $272,000
31,600 – 2,000$272,000 – $340,000
42,000 – 2,400$340,000 – $408,000

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in Rhode Island by Number of Stories

StoriesEstimated Cost

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in Rhode Island by Style

StyleEstimated Cost Range
Ranch:$150,000 – $220,000
Cape Cod:$160,000 – $230,000
Colonial:$180,000 – $250,000
Modern:$190,000 – $270,000
Victorian:$200,000 – $280,000

The Average Cost to Build a House Across The US State

Rhode Island$338,180
North Dakota$212,500
New York$360,180
New Mexico$290,940
New Hampshire$299,900
North Carolina$301,500

Major Cost for Building a House in Rhode Island

The total cost to construct a new single-family home in Rhode Island typically ranges from $300,000 to $500,000. This takes into account both materials, labor, and land acquisition. Breaking the budget down into major categories provides better insight.


The type of property and location drives land costs. Expect to invest $100,000 to $250,000 on a suitable lot for building in desired Rhode Island cities or neighbourhoods. This significant chunk makes up 25-50% of the total budget.

Permits & Fees

Various permits and assessments also add up. Allocate $5,000 to $10,000 for the all needed legal permissions, surveys, plan reviews, tap fees, and more. Though minor compared to construction itself, proper permitting is essential.

Site Work

Prepping the lot for building requires clearing, excavation, grading, driveways, sediment control and more. Budget $15,000 to $30,000 for this important step. Well-executed site work sets the stage for the foundation and structure.

Construction Materials & Labor

The physical structure accounts for 50% or more of total spend. Expect to allocate $150,000 to $250,000 on just the foundation, framing, roofing, exterior finishing, interior finishing, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. Custom materials and finishes contribute significantly to costs.

Appliances & Wardrobes

Finally, outfitting the home adds another $10,000 to $20,000 including kitchen appliances, laundry, lighting fixtures, closet systems. Labor and material selections influence this portion as well.

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

Factors That Influence Cost To Build in Rhode Island

Here are some key factors influencing building costs in Rhode Island:

  • Location: Coastal areas and Providence will be pricier than rural inland locations.
  • Size and Complexity: Bigger houses with intricate designs cost more.
  • Materials: High-end finishes, appliances, and custom elements significantly inflate costs.
  • Labor: Rates vary by contractor and experience. Get multiple quotes!
  • Permits and Regulations: Stringent codes and permitting processes can add time and expense.
  • Unexpected Issues: Factor in a contingency for unforeseen problems like foundation work or material delays.
  • Land Cost: Excluded from most estimates, purchasing land adds significantly to the overall budget.

Tips For Reducing Costs

Below are some smart ways to cut costs when constructing a new single family residence in Rhode Island:

  • Opt for production or semi-custom home that maximizes standardization
  • Build in rural or suburban location with lower property values
  • Minimize customizations and stick to mid-grade finishes
  • Supply your own materials and subcontract labor to save markup
  • Act as project manager yourself to avoid GC fees
  • Use modular construction rather than traditional stick-built

Following these tips prudently could yield 10%+ net savings off total expenditure. However, some reduction avenues like self-supplying require significant effort and expertise. Assessing where it makes sense to scale down versus upgrade is crucial in balancing costs versus benefits.

Timeline To Build a House in Rhode Island

While constructing a home seems like a huge undertaking, the typical custom home timeline spans 9-12 months from start to finish.

Here is the high-level sequence of a custom build:

  • Planning & Design: Finalize blueprints, start permitting – ~6-8 weeks
  • Site Work: Mobilize equipment, clear land, excavate and pour foundations – ~8-10 weeks
  • Framing: Structure goes up including roofing and windows – ~6 weeks
  • MEP Systems: Electrical, plumbing and HVAC rough-ins – ~4 weeks
  • Exterior Finishing: Siding, stonework, driveway and walkways – ~4 weeks
  • Interior Finishing: Drywall, paint, trimwork, fixtures and appliances – ~8-12 weeks
  • Inspections & Turnover: Punchlist, final approvals and owner move-in – ~4 weeks

Most projects are completed in under a year, but could stretch longer depending on weather delays, permit issues or material shortages. Proper planning is key for maintaining schedule and budget.

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

Financing Your Rhode Island Home Build

Coming up with enough capital to cover the considerable upfront expenses associated with building a new house requires careful financial planning. Be prepared to pay for grading, utility connections, permitting costs, materials purchases, subcontractor payments and more throughout each phase.

Here are some of the most common ways to pay for construction:

  • Personal Savings & Investments
  • Home Equity Loans
  • 401K/Retirement Account Loans
  • Family Gifts or Inheritances
  • Business Investment Earnings
  • Hard Money or Private Loans
  • Cash-Out mortgage Refinancing
  • Construction Loans

Construction loans represent one of the most popular and practical financing options. With a construction loan, you only pay interest on what’s been financed so far rather than borrowing the full amount upfront before builders need funding.

Typical terms span 6-12 months with interest rates ranging from 5-8% on average. You don’t begin making full mortgage payments until the home is move-in ready. When shopping lenders, ask about draw schedules, rate locks, contingency plans and more.

Benefits of Building Your Own Home in Rhode Island

  • Customization – You can fully customize the layout, design features, finishes and technology to fit your family’s lifestyle. This freedom doesn’t exist when buying an existing house.
  • Cost Savings – Constructing homes using modular or panelized methods is often cheaper long-term than buying a comparable sized resale.
  • Equity & Value – You’ll lock in the home’s value from day one while controlling the quality of materials and workmanship.
  • Efficiency & Sustainability – Incorporate the latest energy-efficient and eco-friendly products to minimize lifetime costs.
  • Pride of Ownership – Enjoy tremendous satisfaction and memories from intimately planning your dream refuge.
  • Appreciation Potential – Carefully constructed homes hold value and appreciate well as the neighborhood develops over time.

Building vs. Buying a House: Key Differences

Here are some key differences between building vs. buying a house:

Building a House

  • Fully customise layouts, finishes, features
  • New construction quality and efficiency
  • Extended project timeline (9-12 months)
  • More complex coordination with builders
  • Higher upfront costs but equity from day one
  • Site considerations and permitting process
  • Potential appreciation as neighborhood develops

Buying a House

  • Move in faster (30-90 day closings)
  • Benefit from someone else’s upgrades
  • Competitive markets and bidding wars
  • Inherit problems from previous owners
  • Limited inventory matching your wants
  • Pay for depreciation that’s already occurred
  • Renovate slowly over time to personalise

Is Building a House in Rhode Island Right for You?

If you’ve ever dreamed of fully customising a forever home tailored to your family’s lifestyle, building new construction in Rhode Island brings this vision to life. You retain quality control over layouts, designs, finishes – creating a home that truly reflects your tastes.

But the extended commitment of time and coordination required gives some buyers pause. Make sure you’re prepared for a 9-12 month process that requires active decision-making participation in collaboration with your contractors and architect.

Is It Cheaper to Build a House in Rhode Island

Yes, it’s often cheaper to build a new home in Rhode Island than buy an equivalent existing house when you factor in long-term costs and equity. Custom modular or panelized construction allows you to maximise square footage and quality finishes for 20-30% less overall compared to comparable resales. You’ll gain more control over efficiency, layouts and maintenance costs as well. However, be sure to weigh higher upfront investment against total savings over your ownership tenure.


Building a new house in Rhode Island on average costs $170 per square foot. This means constructing a 2,000 square foot home would run about $340,000. However, total pricing ranges from $300,000 on the low-end for smaller homes up to $500,000+ for larger luxury custom residences. Exact costs vary based on the location, property details, materials selected, labor, and other factors. The typical timeline to build a full custom home is 9-12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the average cost to build a house in Rhode Island?

It costs about $169 per square foot to build a house in Rhode Island. So, you would have to spend $338,000 to build a 2,000-square-foot home in Rhode Island. Total cost ranges from $288,000 to $488,180. These costs will vary depending on location, property type, labor expenses, material costs, etc.

How much does it cost to build a 1500 square foot house in Rhode Island?

Based on an average cost of $170 per square foot, a 1,500 square foot house in Rhode Island would cost around $255,000. Total cost ranges from $300,000 to $500,000. These costs will vary depending on location, property type, labor expenses, material costs, etc.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 square foot house in Rhode Island?

At $170 per square foot, building a 2,000 square foot home will cost an average of $340,000. Total cost ranges from $300,000 to $500,000. These costs will vary depending on location, property type, labor expenses, material costs, etc.

How much does it cost to build a 3000 square foot house in Rhode Island?

With the average $170 per sq ft factor, constructing a large 3,000 square foot custom house in Rhode Island will have an estimated price of $510,000. Total cost ranges from $300,000 to $500,000. These costs will vary depending on location, property type, labor expenses, material costs, etc.

Can I Build My Own House in Rhode Island?

Yes, it is possible for someone to build their own house in Rhode Island as a general contractor oversees the construction process. However, this requires extensive knowledge of architectural design, obtaining permits, adhering to building codes, and project management. Most parts of physical construction would need to be outsourced to the necessary subcontractors for foundation work, framing, roofing, HVAC, electric, and plumbing. An experienced contractor or construction manager is still advisable for a major DIY build.

What is the cheapest state to build a house in?

Some of the most affordable states to build a house include Michigan, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio.

What is the most expensive part of building a house?

The structure/base building works, including the foundation, framing lumber, roofing, windows and exterior finishes is generally the largest single expense, accounting for up to 20% of total cost.


Razib is a skilled writer with 5 years of experience specializing in technology, finance, automotive and real estate. A BBA graduate from 2014, Razib's passion for these industries shines through in his informative and engaging content. His ability to break down complex topics and stay current on the latest trends makes him a valuable resource for readers seeking to understand these dynamic fields.

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