What’s the True Price Tag for Building a Home in West Virginia

Building a house in West Virginia can range in cost from $200,000 to $400,000 depending on the size, design, materials, and other factors. Generally, it costs around $150 per square foot to construct a home in West Virginia. So a 2,000 square foot house would cost roughly $300,000 to build. Constructing a custom house typically takes 9-12 months from start to finish.

Key Takeaways

  • Cost per square foot is $150 on average
  • The cost typically ranges from $100 to $200 per square foot. 
  • Total cost for a 2,000 sq ft home is $300,000
  • Overall range is $200,000 to $400,000
  • Location, property type, materials impact cost
  • Takes 9-12 months to build

Can I Build My Own House in West Virginia? 

Yes, you can build your own house in West Virginia. The state allows owner-builders to obtain construction permits and complete new single family residences through self contracting or by personally performing much of the labor. However, all work must meet the required building codes and pass inspections at various stages before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.

The Average Cost Building a Home in West Virginia

The average cost of building a house in West Virginia is $150.56 per square foot, so a 2,000 square foot house would cost $301,120 to construct. Total expenses range from $200,000 to over $400,000 depending on factors like location, property type, labor, and materials. Costs can vary dramatically but West Virginia remains an affordable option for building a high-quality custom home.

Also read: What’s the Real Price Tag for Building a Home in Vermont

Average Cost Based On Square Footage in West Virginia

Square FootageAverage Cost Ranges
500 sq ft$75,000 – $100,000
1000 sq ft$150,000 – $200,000
1500 sq ft$225,000 – $300,000
2000 sq ft$300,000 – $400,000
2500 sq ft$375,000 – $500,000
3000 sq ft$450,000 – $600,000
3500 sq ft$525,000 – $700,000
4000 sq ft$600,000 – $800,000
4500 sq ft$675,000 – $900,000
5000 sq ft$750,000 – $1,000,000

Average Cost to Build a House in West Virginia by City

City/CountyAverage Cost per Sq. Ft.
Berkeley County$130
Upshur County$160

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in West Virginia by Number of Bedrooms

Number of BedroomsEstimated Square FootageAverage Cost per Sq. Ft.Estimated Total Cost
1 Bedroom800 – 1,200$150$120,000 – $180,000
2 Bedrooms1,200 – 1,800$150$180,000 – $270,000
3 Bedrooms1,800 – 2,400$150$270,000 – $360,000
4 Bedrooms2,400 – 3,000$150$360,000 – $450,000
5 Bedrooms3,000+$150$450,000+

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in West Virginia by Number of Stories

StyleEstimated Total Cost

The Average Cost to Build a House Across The US State

West Virginia$301,120
South Dakota$204,420
South Carolina$301,840
Rhode Island$338,180
North Dakota$212,500
New York$360,180
New Mexico$290,940
New Hampshire$299,900
North Carolina$301,500

Also read: Cost to Build a House in Virginia: Complete Idea

Major Cost Components for Building a House

Now that we’ve covered the primary variables that influence overall new construction costs, let’s examine the major budget line items that account for what it takes to build a house.

Land Acquisition

Before structural development can begin, securing an appropriately zoned plot of land is the critical first step. Lot prices run the gamut based on location, size, terrain challenges and preparatory work required.

In rural territories, vacant acreage can start around $15,000 to $30,000 while centrally positioned lots in residential developments typically demand $75,000 to $200,000+.

Purchasing land outright results in the most equity gained long-term but also higher upfront costs and financing challenges. Alternatives like leased land certificates or renting can mitigate initial purchase expenses.

Building Materials

Once property is obtained, accumulating all the physical construction supplies represents the next largest cash outlay when budgeting for a new custom residence.

From the foundation forms and rebar steel…to structural lumber framing and sheathing…to roofing shingles and exterior finishes…to interior drywall, floors and trims…material availability and pricing fluctuates frequently.

Allow roughly $60,000 to $120,000 materials budget for a 2,000 sq ft home as a prudent starting point.

Skipping on quality to save money almost always results in paying more down the road in repairs or replacements. Work with reputable local building suppliers that warrant their products.

Construction Labor

Skilled trade work represents the backbone for realizing architectural visions properly and efficiently. However, between specialty sub-contracting crews and a general contractor overseeing the big picture master schedule, labor can account for 30% to 40% of the total build cost.

With shortages of qualified trades people currently in West Virginia and nationally, it is essential to onboard reputable builders early in the process and expect to pay premium wages. Trying to complete too much work as a DIY homeowner often ends disastrously due to lack of experience.

Typical contractor fees range from $70,000 to $150,000+ which covers planning, permitting, construction management and affiliated trades coordination. Be sure all details like hourly wages, materials markups and sequencing expectations are clearly documented within a contract.

Permitting & Inspections

Before earthwork and vertical building commence, properties must pass various review phases to ensure compliance with state and local zoning laws related to safe construction standards, environmental regulations, utility connections and similar codes.

Permitting and subsequent mandatory inspections commonly add $5,000 to $10,000 depending on jurisdiction complexity and number of submittals/site visits required to obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy. Having an experienced contractor navigate legal processes helps expedite approval.

Financing Costs

Very few homeowners possess the cash reserves or liquid assets to complete a home build without leveraging financing options. The cost to borrow money for construction must be incorporated into the master budget.

Banks structure custom home loans differently than mortgages on existing houses. Expect to pay interest rates around 0.5% to 1% higher for construction loans plus origination fees equal to 1% to 3% of the total borrowing amount.

If cash flow is tight, paying points to buy down interest rates temporarily or make advance interest payments from personal funds helps lessen long-run costs. Read all Terms & Conditions cautiously before signing loan agreements.

Factors That Influence Cost to Build a House

Some of the most important factors that influence the specific per square foot pricing in different parts of West Virginia include:

  • Location – Real estate and construction rates vary significantly across urban, suburban and rural zones
  • Property type – Per square foot costs differ for single-family homes versus townhomes, condos or accessory dwellings
  • Materials used – Upscale building materials inflate per square foot expenses compared to standard options
  • Labor costs – Pricing and availability of specialized trade skills and contractors affects overall budget

Keeping these key variables in mind will provide greater context when evaluating average pricing for your new construction plans.

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

Ways to Reduce Costs

Here are some ways to reduce costs when building a house in West Virginia:

  • Use pre-designed plans rather than custom designs
  • Opt for basic finishes and features rather than luxury items
  • Build in rural locations with lower property prices
  • Use local subcontractors rather than a general contractor
  • Act as project manager to save on contracting fees
  • Obtain permits directly rather than hiring consultants
  • Consider manufactured or modular construction
  • Use standardized measurements to reduce waste
  • Take advantage of DIY opportunities and sweat equity
  • Build a smaller home with an efficient layout
  • Use tax incentives and rebates for energy efficiency
  • Buy materials in bulk and look for sales and closeouts
  • Have construction done in off-peak seasons

Carefully balancing quality and costs during design, material selection, and construction can lead to significant savings when building a house in West Virginia.

The Building Process

Here is a overview of the process:

  1. Choose land and finalize architectural plans
  2. File permits, surveys, & environmental approvals
  3. Clear land, install utilities, excavate foundation
  4. Pour concrete foundation & begin framing
  5. Complete rough mechanicals & insulation
  6. Install exterior finishes like siding & roofing
  7. Wrap up interior finishes & fixtures
  8. Inspections & certificate of occupancy

A steady workflow keeps projects on track and within budget. Be prepared for a lengthy process requiring frequent site visits and hundreds of small decisions along the way like fixtures, finishes, allowance items, and more.

Timeline to Build a House in West Virginia

Here is a concise timeline for building a house in West Virginia in a bullet point list format:

  • Purchase land: 1-2 months
  • Design & planning: 1-3 months
  • Permitting & approvals: 1-3 months
  • Site preparation: 1-2 months
  • Foundation & framing: 1-2 months
  • Roofing, windows, exterior finishes: 1-2 months
  • HVAC, plumbing, electric: 1-2 months
  • Insulation, drywall, flooring: 1-2 months
  • Paint, fixtures, finishes: 1-2 months
  • Inspections & certificate of occupancy: 1 month
  • Landscaping & final details: 1-2 months

The total timeline ranges from 9-12 months on average. Costs accrue during the entire process from purchasing land to final landscaping and clean up. Careful planning and budgeting of both time and expenses is essential.

Financing Your Build

With the high price tag involved, most buyers utilize financing options to build a house in West Virginia:

Construction Loans

Secured to fund the building phase, these are then converted to a traditional mortgage after completion. Construction loans have flexible draw schedules and usually take 12 months to pay back.

203(k) Rehab Mortgage

For remodeling homes to make livable, this government-backed mortgage covers purchase plus renovation costs up to $35,000. With a contractor bid, larger projects are possible too. Low down payments aid affordability.

USDA and VA Loans

For properties in rural areas, USDA guaranteed loans require no money down and offer fixed low rates. Similarly, VA loans help veterans and military families buy with 0% down. Both make home building less cost prohibitive.

Cash-Out Mortgage Refinancing

If you have sufficient equity built up in an existing property, banks may approve withdrawing funds through a refinance loan. The cash raised can then fund construction on a different site. This avoids juggling multiple consumer loans but depends on current home values supporting higher mortgages.

Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

For more incremental funding needs supplementing personal savings, Home Equity Lines of Credit leverage the net worth tied up in properties you fully own. Interest rates follow prime indicators making HELOCs a flexible financial tool. Just be cautious borrowing to the maximum limits.

Weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully with a financial advisor. The best funding solution aligns affordably with the scale and timeline of your planned construction roadmap.

Benefits of Building Your Own Home in West Virginia

Here are some of the main benefits of building your own home in West Virginia:

  • Customize the design and layout to suit your needs
  • Select high-quality finishes and materials within your budget
  • Potentially reduce costs with sweat equity and DIY opportunities
  • Know the home is built to latest codes and standards
  • Choose ideal location not limited by existing inventory
  • Flexibility in timeline compared to resale homes
  • Create equity and increase net worth as you build
  • Opportunity to incorporate smart home technology
  • Qualify for tax incentives, rebates for new construction
  • Personalize details like floor plans, color schemes, etc.
  • Construct outbuildings, amenities you want like garage, pool
  • No compromising on features to accommodate previous owners’ tastes
  • Pride and self-satisfaction of managing your own project

Building a custom home allows you to tailor every aspect to your needs and preferences.

Contractor Build vs DIY Construction

Facing the myriad complexities associated with building a residence, most people make the smart choice to hire a general contractor rather than take on the job as a DIY project.

Professional home builders have extensive experience managing heavy equipment operation, rough and finish carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC installation plus coordinating dozens of vital construction sequences flawlessly.

The learning curve trying to attain expertise across so many trades is impossibly steep for a first-timer. Additionally, the efficiency benefits of having an organized crew with specialized tools translating designs properly into reality is immeasurable.

While permits, materials and some basic sweat equity might save 10% to 20% off costs, the trade-off for quality, speed and code compliance is not worth owner-acting as the general contractor. Focus efforts instead on designing within budget then collaborating smoothly with contractors.

In rare exceptions where specialized skills or ample time exist to lead targeted portions of the construction process, subcontracting specialized work like turnkey kit home assembly might strike the right balance between expense and quality. Seek professional guidance before attempting extensive do-it-yourself build projects.

Working With West Virginian Homebuilders

Identifying qualified, experienced homebuilders with extensive portfolios constructing locally zoned properties proves essential to navigating cost barriers and optimizing budget. The right homebuilder intimately understands pricing influences in your specific area while bringing established relationships with zoning boards, vendors, laborers to streamline approval, purchasing and construction procedures.

Ask for comprehensive price breakdowns quantifying material selections. Reputable West Virginian contractors provide clear cost expectations and welcome transparency throughout the estimation, budgeting and building processes. Clarify terms upfront and get all agreements regarding pricing, payment scheduling etc in writing before finalizing the contract. This mutual understanding sets clear expectations so all parties can manage cost benchmarks as the project evolves.

Building vs. Buying a House: Key Differences

Here is a comparison of key differences between building vs. buying a house in West Virginia in a list format:

Building a House

  • Design and customize the layout and features
  • Higher upfront costs but equity as you build
  • New construction often higher quality
  • Personalize aesthetics like colors and materials
  • Often better energy efficiency
  • Longer overall timeline
  • Site selection flexibility
  • Permitting, contracting, and coordination complexity

Buying a House

  • Limited to existing inventory on market
  • No financing available until complete
  • Unexpected renovation costs possible
  • Compromise on layout, aesthetics, features
  • Often older, less energy efficient
  • Faster to move in
  • Less complexity but inspection important
  • May inherit furnishings and equipment

The choice between building or buying depends on priorities like customization, budget, time frame, and effort. Both avenues have pros and cons in West Virginia’s housing market.

Is it Cheaper to Buy or Build in West Virginia

Yes, it is generally cheaper to buy an existing home rather than build in West Virginia when all costs are factored in. While construction costs may be lower, building requires purchasing land, paying contractors, obtaining permits and inspections, financing costs during the lengthy construction period, and often lack of sweat equity which leads to a higher overall expense in most cases.

Cost to Build a House If You Already Own The Land

If you already own the land to build on, the cost to construct a new single-family house in West Virginia typically ranges from $100 to $200 per square foot. Given the average cost per square foot of $150, building a 2,000 sq ft home on land you already own would cost around $300,000. However, prices can vary considerably based on factors like location, chosen materials and finishes, timeline, permitting complexity, contractor vs DIY labor, and more even when the land purchase is not part of the equation. Careful planning is key.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost to build a house per square foot in Virginia?

It typically costs around $100-$200 per square foot to build a custom single family house in Virginia, with higher prices in metro areas. The statewide average is about $155 per square foot.

How much does it cost to build a 1500 sq ft house in West Virginia?

With an average per square foot cost of $150 in West Virginia, a 1,500 square foot home would cost around $225,000 to build.

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

A 2,000 square foot home would cost approximately $300,000 to construct based on the $150 per square foot average cost in West Virginia.

How much does it cost to build a 3000 sq ft house in West Virginia?

Using the typical $150 per square foot pricing, a 3,000 square foot house would cost about $450,000 to build in West Virginia.

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

It is usually cheaper to buy an existing home rather than build a new one in Virginia when accounting for purchasing land, permits, construction costs and financing over the lengthy building timeline.

How much does the average house cost in West Virginia?

The median listing price for homes in West Virginia is $179,900, while building a typical 2,000 sq ft house would cost around $300,000.

What is the cheapest state to build a house in?

Some of the most affordable states to build a house based on construction costs and real estate include West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio.

Is it cheaper to buy a house or build a house in the US?

It is generally cheaper to buy an existing home rather than building new across most of the US, except in some rural areas or for basic starter homes where construction costs may be lower.

What is the cheapest type of house to build?

Manufactured, modular and mobile homes are usually the cheapest types of houses to build per square foot compared to site built traditional stick frame construction.

The Bottom Line

Building a 2,000 square foot house in West Virginia ranges from $200,000 to $400,000 with a typical per square foot cost of $150. The total expense depends heavily on the location within West Virginia, property type and size, materials used, labor costs, and additional fees for permits, site preparation, and more. With careful planning and budgeting, constructing an affordable yet high-quality home is very feasible in most areas of West Virginia.


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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