How Much Does It Cost To Build A House?

This Page's Content Was Last Updated: October 24, 2023
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What You Should Know

  • The average cost to build a production single-family home ranges from as low as $135 per square foot in Halifax to as high as $250 per square foot in Vancouver.
  • An average single-family home in Toronto would cost around $577,000 to build, while it would cost around $475,000 in Vancouver. This difference is mostly due to the larger average size of houses in Ontario than British Columbia.
  • Production homes are built by builders that own the land and use cookie cutter house designs.
  • Custom-built homes are much more expensive than production homes. Custom homes can cost double or triple the price of a production home.
  • You can finance construction costs by getting a construction loan, which usually covers up to 75% of the cost of construction.
  • Construction loans disburse funds at certain milestones.
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A custom-built home lets you personalize your dream home right down to its foundations, but building a new home is not always cheaper than buying an existing home. If you’d like to take control and spell out every single detail about your future home, then building allows you to do so, but with added costs. Purchasing the land, having designs drawn, getting permits, and obtaining a construction loan can all add costs even before construction begins.

How Much Does Building a House Cost?

Costs can vary depending on your location, as expenses such as materials and labour can be cheaper or more expensive in certain areas. Land prices can also significantly impact your total cost of construction.

Average Home Building Costs in Canada (Per Square Foot)

Home Type Production Single-Family Home (Unfinished Basement)Single-FamilyCustom-Built
St. John's$130-$165$320-$670
Source: Altus Group 2023 Canadian Cost Guide

According to Altus Group, a single-family home with an unfinished basement from a production builder can cost between $185 to $315 per square foot in Vancouver, to as little as $105 to $165 per square foot in Halifax. Production builders limit you to a set range of house plans, which will restrict your design choices. In exchange for this, building a home with a production builder is much cheaper than building from scratch with a custom home builder.

A custom-built home is significantly more expensive than a regular single-family home, costing from $485 to $1,225 per square foot in Vancouver, to $275 to $555 per square foot in Halifax.

Based on data for the beginning of 2023, building a new home in Canada’s metro areas would be cheapest in Halifax. Vancouver and Toronto are the most expensive metro areas to build a new home in Canada.

What Is the Average Size of a Home in Canada?

You can use these costs per square foot to estimate how much a home would cost. For example, the average size of a single-detached home in Ontario is 1,520 square feet, 1,430 square feet in British Columbia, and 1,150 square feet in Nova Scotia. You can use a square footage calculator to easily estimate the size of your home.

Recently built homes, considered to be homes built after 2000, are larger than older homes. Homes built after 2000 are on average double the size of homes built in 1960.

In 2016, the average size of a newly built single home in Ontario was 2,380 square feet, 1900 square feet in British Columbia, and 1,530 square feet in Nova Scotia. This means that building a new single-family home in Toronto with a production builder would cost between $488k to $666k. If you would like to have full control over the design of your home, a custom-built home will cost between $1,226k and $2,689k in Toronto.

Newly-Built Home Costs

CityAverage Home SizeCost of Single-Family HomeCost of Custom-Built Home
Toronto2,380$487,900 - $666,400$1,225,700 - $2,689,400
Vancouver1,900$351,500 - $598,500$921,500 - $2,327,500
Halifax1,530$160,650- $252,450$420,750 - $849,150

How Much Does Land Cost in Canada?

One of the first steps in constructing a new home is finding a place to build it. You can work with a real estate agent to find land to purchase, or you could search for vacant land listings online.

Land prices in urban areas are significantly more expensive than rural areas. Land in the GTA can range from $50 to $200 per square foot, while it costs less than $50 per square foot in Calgary or Edmonton.

Living in the countryside means that land will be cheaper, but there can be higher costs associated with rural living, such as utilities and living expenses. The average price per acre of farmland in Canada was $4,285 in 2022. Ontario had the most expensive farmland, at $17,143 per acre. Within provinces, land in urban areas is more expensive. For example, farmland surrounding the GTA costs on average $25,600 per acre, while farmland in Northern Ontario costs $4,400 per acre.

Average Value per Acre of Farmland in Canada

LocationPrice as of 2022
Nova Scotia$2,816
New Brunswick$3,100
Prince Edward Island$5,520
Newfoundland and Labrador$6,298
British Columbia$8,485

Most Expensive Farmland Regions in Canada (Average Per Acre)

RegionProvinceValue as of 2022
OkanaganBritish Columbia$34,000
South CoastBritish Columbia$139,000
Vancouver IslandBritish Columbia$63,800
KootenayBritish Columbia$22,400
South WesternOntario$28,900
Central WestOntario$25,600
Source: 2022 FCC Farmland Values Report
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Construction Costs

After purchasing a plot of land to build on, you would need to find a way to finance construction costs. Construction loans are a way for you to borrow money to build a home. Money is disbursed from your construction loan lender at certain checkpoints in the home’s construction process. You may also use funds from a construction loan to purchase the land to build your home.

While construction loans can cover most of the total construction cost, it will not cover all costs. Most construction loans will only cover up to 75% of the total construction cost.

According to HomeGuide, installing HVAC for a new home can cost from $13,000 to $17,000, and includes the central air conditioner unit, furnace, and ductwork. Plumbing can cost around $4.50 per square foot, or around $8,000 for a new home. According to Advantage Electric, wiring a new house in Canada costs at least $13,000.

ICF estimates that a foundation with a basement would cost from $22 to $26 per square foot, or $40,000 to $48,000. Depending on the size of the house, the construction costs will be increasing because more materials are needed. For example, a larger foundation will require more concrete. Your calculations for how much concrete you need in this case can be much larger than with a smaller foundation, which means you will need to buy more concrete. According to Fortress Roofing a shingle roof can cost from $2.75 to $5.75 per square foot, or $5,500 - $11,500 for a 2000-square-foot roof. Eaves can cost $1,000, wall sidings can cost $8,000 to $20,000, exterior doors about $700 each, windows at $55 per square foot or $1,000 per window, possible skylights costing $3,300 each, patios from $4 per square foot for patio stones or $8 per square foot for wood decking for an average of $2,500, and driveways about $3,050.

Hardwood flooring can cost $7 per square foot, marble tile can cost $15 per square foot, or carpet can cost $4 per square foot. It is also important to remember about finishing costs. Before proceeding with the construction plan, you may need to account for paint, drawers and appliances. Finally, investment in a residential solar energy system is worth considering as it permits you to say goodbye to the monthly hydro bill.

Example Construction Costs

Construction TypeAverage Price
HVAC$13,000 - $17,000
Electrical System$13,000
Foundation$40,000 - $48,000
Wall Sidings$8,000 - $20,000
Exterior Doors$700 each
Windows$1,000 each
Skylights$3,300 each
Flooring$4 - $15 per square foot

Building Plan Costs

An architect would cost around 6% to 12% of the home's price. If you only want an architect to review an existing home plan, it may cost from $1,000 to $3,000. You may purchase stock house plans for $750 to $1,500, or hire a drafter to create a home blueprint for $1,000 to $3,000.

The calculators and content on this page are provided for general information purposes only. WOWA does not guarantee the accuracy of information shown and is not responsible for any consequences of the use of the calculator.