Cost to Build a House in BC

Cost to Build a House in BC

Since building a home is so expensive up front, many people choose to purchase a home with a 10, 15, or 20 percent down payment since that’s all they can afford. And usually, even saving up for that much is pretty challenging for many homeowners. However, you end up paying significantly more for your home than if you could have bought it outright or built it from scratch yourself.

If you can opt to build a home outright, you absolutely should. You won’t have to worry about monthly mortgage payments, interest rates, or even more expensive rent payments every month. You’ll also make an incredibly investment for your future while building the home of your dreams, so what’s not to love?

If you’re thinking of building a home yourself (with the help of a reputable home builder, hopefully) then you probably want some information about how much a home might cost, where the costs come from, and what influences your total cost to build a house in BC. Let’s discuss!

Cost Per Square Footage

By far, the easiest way to estimate the cost of a home is by square footage. Your home builder will be able to give you a much more accurate number based on your design decisions, but we can work with averages and examples to give you a better idea of what a home might cost in BC.

The average single-family home costs roughly $200 or $300 per square foot to build. This cost accounts for both the labour and the materials, as well as your builder fees usually. A high-end home, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $700 per square foot, sometimes even more than $1000 per square foot. It all depends on the materials you use to finish your home since they range in price and some take more time or higher skill to install, which all costs extra. But what do these numbers actually mean? Let’s take a look at some examples.

For our estimate, we’ll use the average square feet of a single-family home in Canada which is roughly 1800 sq. ft. So, if you choose some average materials but don’t go all out, your cost per square footage might be $250. For an 1800 sq. ft. home, you’d be looking at about $450,000 to build your new home. Considering the average cost to buy a home in Victoria BC is just under $600,000, that’s a pretty reasonable price tag. If we go the opposite way and say you were interested in a luxury home of the same size, your cost per square foot might be $600, so your home would cost just under $1.1 million to build.

Your home could either be more affordable or more expensive than these estimates depending on the decisions you make regarding your materials, design, and functionality. For example, heated-floors and marble countertops cost more than regular carpets and a cheap laminate counter. Every decision you make will affect your total cost per square footage, so choose those upgrades wisely.

How Your Builder Affects Your Cost to Build a House in BC

A builder has significant influence over your budget – and rightly so. They know how to properly estimate costs and understand everything that goes into building a home. They should always be heavily involved in your budget estimations since they can help you set a realistic budget that will give you the home of your dreams at a reasonable price.

However, you must be careful if a builder offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, or is significantly lower than other bids you’ve considered. A shady builder will draw you in with a low offer but use low-quality materials and shoddy craftsmanship to cut a bigger profit. These tactics will cost you heavily in the long run, so make sure to do your homework on your builder. They should always be transparent regarding how your choices will affect your cost, as well as the longevity of your home based on your lifestyle. They should never pressure you into making a certain decision; they’re only there to guide you in the right direction using their industry knowledge.   

Factors That Influence the Cost to Build a House in BC

  • Building Site. The location you choose for your home will have a lot of say over the total cost of your build. The price of the location you choose for your home is not only based on size, but its topography, its nearness to city amenities and infrastructure, and whether or not it’s considered coveted land (forest view, beachfront property, etc.).
  • Land Quality. Most people overlook their land quality when choosing a location for their home. The soil quality, topography, and bearing capacity of your build site will affect your total cost since it can complicate or extend your home’s construction. For example, if you have to wait for someone to clear trees or rocks from the site before you can prepare it for construction, you might be looking at extra weeks to your schedule and several thousands to your overall costs.
  • Architecture. The style of your home will greatly impact your costs since certain styles and higher-end exterior materials are more complicated and require greater expertise, more time to finish, or both. For example, a roof type with an expensive finish and multiple gables will be more expensive than your average shingle roof. Now apply this logic to every other decision regarding your architecture. The materials you choose for your home will affect your labour and materials costs, as well as increase the amount of time it takes to finish, which always increases costs.
  • Interior Design. It isn’t only the structure of your home that should be considered and budgeted for. Everything from cabinetry to appliances to lighting fixtures will affect your budget. Higher-end furnishings can increase your total costs by tens of thousands of dollars, so you must make all of these decisions beforehand so you know you can afford everything you’ve chosen for your home.

Leave a Reply