Cost to Build a House in Tennessee: Complete Information for 2024

In Tennessee, the average cost to build a house is around $131 per square foot. For a 2,000-square-foot home, this amounts to an approximate total of $262,000. However, these costs can vary based on several factors, including the specific location, the type of property, and the costs of labour and materials. The typical construction time for a house is about 9 to 12 months.

Key Takeaways

  • Average cost to build a house in Tennessee $131 per square foot
  • Total costs range from $200,000 to $350,000
  • Most houses fall in the range of $125 to $150 per square foot.
  • Size, design, finishes, efficiency impact costs significantly.
  • New home timeline is 9 to 12 months.

What is The Average Cost of Building a House in Tennessee

On average, it costs about $131 per square foot to build a house in Tennessee. However, this figure is just a starting point. The total cost of building a home in Tennessee can range from $200,000 to $350,000, with the state average standing at approximately $262,000. This cost is influenced by various factors, including the size of the house, the quality of materials, and the complexity of the design.

Square Footage Cost Analysis

The cost to build a house in Tennessee varies with the size of the property. Here’s a breakdown of average costs by square footage:

Home SizeAverage Price Range
500 sq. ft.$65,500 – $75,000
1,000 sq. ft.$131,000 – $150,000
1,500 sq. ft.$196,000 – $225,000
2,000 sq. ft.$262,000 – $300,000
2,500 sq. ft.$327,500 – $327,500
3,000 sq. ft.$393,000 – $450,000
3,500 sq. ft.$458,500 – $525,000
4,000 sq. ft.$524,000 – $600,000
4,500 sq. ft.$589,500 – $675,000
5,000 sq. ft.$655,000 – $750,000

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Illinois

Average Cost to Build a House in Tennessee by Cities

CitysAverage Building Costs per Sq. Ft.

Price to Build a House by State

New Hampshire$299,900
New Jersey$376,900
New Mexico$290,940
New York$360,180
North Carolina$301,500
North Dakota$212,500
Rhode Island$338,180
South Carolina$301,840
South Dakota$204,420

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in Michigan

In-Depth Expense Analysis

  • Material Cost: Approximately $147,500, accounting for about 50% of the overall construction prices. Costs per square foot for various materials are:
    • Flooring: $5 to $8
    • Drywall: $1 to $2
    • Siding: $2 to $7
    • Lumber: $650 to $1,100 per board ft.
  • Contractor Charges: 10% to 20% of the total construction value. This includes hiring professionals like electricians, architects, plumbers, and HVAC installers.
  • Electrical Costs: Between $7,500 and $12,500, with costs per square foot ranging from $3 to $6.
  • Roof Installation Costs: Ranging from $2,800 to $32,200, depending on the material, roof slope, and house size.
  • Plumbing Costs: Around $12,000, which includes the installation of plumbing fixtures and appliances.
  • HVAC Installation Costs: Between $1,500 and $12,500, varying based on the cooling area, system type, and brand.
  • Soft Costs: These include land costs (average $25,700 per acre), permit costs (around $5,000), and interior design costs (budget at least $20,000 for a 2,500 sq. ft. home).

Factors Affecting Cost

  • Location: Urban vs. rural settings can significantly impact costs due to differences in land prices and local labour rates.
  • Design Complexity: Custom designs and unique architectural features typically increase construction costs.
  • Material Quality: High-end materials like marble or hardwood are more expensive than standard options.
  • Labour Market: The availability and demand for skilled labour in the area can affect labour costs.
  • Size of the House: Larger homes require more materials and labour, leading to higher costs.
  • Permits and Regulations: The cost and complexity of obtaining building permits vary by region and can impact the overall budget.
  • Site Preparation Needs: Costs can rise if the land requires significant preparation, such as clearing trees or levelling.
  • Seasonal Factors: Weather and seasonal variations can affect construction timelines and costs.
  • Market Dynamics: Fluctuations in the cost of materials and labour due to economic conditions can impact the budget.
  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: Incorporating green technologies or materials can have higher upfront costs but may offer long-term savings.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Build a House in New Jersey

How to Save Money on Building a House

  • Simplify Design: Opt for a less complex architectural design.
  • Economical Materials: Choose affordable, durable building materials.
  • Efficient Planning: Minimize waste with careful planning and design.
  • Competitive Bidding: Get multiple quotes from contractors.
  • DIY Tasks: Undertake manageable tasks yourself.
  • Bulk Purchases: Buy materials in bulk for discounts.
  • Recycled Materials: Use reclaimed or recycled materials where possible.
  • Energy Efficiency: Incorporate energy-saving features for long-term savings.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Extras: Cut back on luxury finishes and features.
  • Negotiate with Suppliers: Seek better deals on materials and services.
  • Phase Construction: Build in stages to spread out costs.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the project to avoid cost overruns.

Timeline for Completion

Here is a brief overview of typical timelines when building a new home in Tennessee:

  • Planning & Design: 2-3 months
  • Lot Preparation: 4-8 weeks
  • Framing & Structural: 2-3 months
  • Interior Finishing: 2-3 months
  • Exterior Detailing: 1-2 months
  • Total Timeline: 9-12 months start to finish

The key phases include upfront planning, structural work, system finishes, and exterior details. With coordinated scheduling and favorable conditions, most new single-family homes in Tennessee take 9-12 months total to complete. Builders can provide estimates tailored to your specific plans.

House Building Financing Options

  • Construction Loans: Specialized loans that cover building costs, converting to a mortgage upon completion.
  • Owner-Builder Loans: For those managing the build themselves, requiring detailed plans and construction experience.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit: Utilize existing property equity to fund construction.
  • Government-Backed Loans: Programs like FHA offer construction loans with lower down payments.
  • Personal Savings: Directly finance the project, avoiding loan interest.
  • Land Loans: Separate financing for land purchase, often combined with construction loans.
  • Bridge Loans: Short-term financing to cover construction before securing long-term funding.
  • Investor Financing: Seek funds from private investors, particularly for larger projects.
  • Crowdfunding: Raise small amounts from a large number of people, typically online.
  • Vendor Financing: Negotiate with suppliers for deferred payment options or discounts.

Buying vs. Building Which is The Better

Choosing between buying and building a house hinges on personal preferences, budget, and time constraints. Building a house offers unparalleled customization, allowing you to tailor every aspect to your specific needs and tastes. This option ensures the use of modern materials and technologies, potentially leading to greater energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs in the long run. However, building is typically more expensive and time-consuming, with the final cost often exceeding initial estimates due to unforeseen expenses and delays.

Buying an existing home, in contrast, is generally more straightforward and time-efficient. It provides the convenience of moving into a ready-made home, often situated in established neighborhoods with immediate access to amenities. Purchasing an existing property can be less costly upfront compared to building, with the added advantage of predictable pricing. However, it may involve compromises on design and layout, and potentially higher long-term costs due to maintenance and energy inefficiencies in older constructions. The decision ultimately depends on weighing the immediate convenience and cost-effectiveness of buying against the long-term benefits and personalization offered by building.


Building a new home in Tennessee allows you to create a completely customised living space. While costs are rising, strategic planning and smart design choices can help keep your budget on track. Focus on optimising square footage, materials and layout to build your dream home for an affordable price. With realistic expectations and some compromises, you can make homebuilding in Tennessee a rewarding journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

For a 2,000-square-foot home, this amounts to an approximate total of $262,000. In major cities like Nashville or Memphis, costs will fall on the higher end.

What is the cheapest way to build a house in Tennessee?

The most affordable construction approach is to build a smaller, simple layout using basic finishes and limited splurges. Opt for a rectangular shape, attached garage, and cost-efficient siding, flooring and fixtures to reduce the overall budget.

Can I build my own house in Tennessee?

Yes, you can act as an owner-builder to construct your own home in Tennessee. However, this requires extensive knowledge and commitment. Most people opt to work with a licensed general contractor for comfort, speed and code compliance.

How much does it cost to build a house in Nashville TN?

For new home construction in Nashville, expect to pay $125-$150 per square foot. This equates to around $500,000 for a typical 2,500 square foot house. High demand and limited lots keep costs elevated in the city.

Is housing expensive in Tennessee?

Relative to the United States as a whole, housing in Tennessee remains affordable. However, prices have risen quickly in booming areas like Nashville and Knoxville. On average, Tennessee features cost 15-20% below national benchmarks for new construction.

What is the average housing cost in Tennessee?

The median listing price for homes in Tennessee is $349,900 as of January 2024, with average new construction running around $262,000. Prices vary widely based on specific city and housing type. Metro areas carry the highest real estate values.

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