How Much Does It Cost To Build a 1200 Square Feet House?

It’s super hard to find an already built 1200 square feet house that is roomy and airy. We, usually, when the ready-made options are disappointing opt for building our home from scratch. 1200 square feet is not a small house for a small to medium-sized family to live happily, all you need is a thoughtful design to build a house of your dreams.


Buying a ready-made 1200 square feet house is “obviously” more economical but building one would not make you go into bankruptcy plus you will be able to customize it to perfection! If you have been waiting and saving for years then building a house should be your go-to option. Buying a house is cheaper but do not get saddened as you can smartly save money from constructing your house as well. In this article, we would be giving our readers a rough idea of how much does building a 1200 square feet house costs?


Before we break down all the costs associated with constructing a 1200 square feet house, allow us to enlighten you how much the total cost would be? 


How much would the total cost be?

Now that you are building your “own” home, you have control over everything. You can spend lavishly or choose to pay wisely. The average 1200 square feet house with all the necessities would cost somewhere around $195,600 and the luxurious one would make you debit your bank account with more or less $3,000,000. 


Note: This estimate does not include land and registry cost.


Now that you have got an idea how much the total cost would be, let’s break down the total cost for better understanding. But first, you need to know you would be paying for 

  • Land
  • Registration cost
  • Site preparation cost
  • Material cost
  • Labor cost

There would be several other minor costs as well but the above-mentioned costs are usually taken into account while piling up the total cost. Now let’s discuss these costs separately.



To kick start the construction process, you need to have 1200 square feet of land first. We all know land prices vary widely, a 1200 square feet plot located by the roadside would be more expensive than the plot located at the back or in a remote area of the same city. Like all countries in the world, the USA does have some cities where building a home is a dream of everyone.


Buying a piece of land in Manhattan, Belaire, Beverly Hills, or San Francisco would be expensive whereas, building a home in Birmingham, Louisville, Colorado, and Las Vegas would be economical. In big cities, you would get one square foot of land for about $1,773 whereas, in affordable areas, you would be required to pay somewhere around $699. So, if you are thinking of building a home in Manhattan or any other highly rated area, the 1200 feet land cost would go up to $2,127,600. Whereas, a 1200 square feet plot in affordable areas would be more or less $838,800.


Registration cost

The land cost does not include registration. Now you have to pay a sum of money to get the piece of land, you have just bought, registered. The property registration fee or registration fee is usually 7% or 10% of the total land cost. So, if you have bought the 1200 square feet space for $2,217,600 the registry fee would be between $155,232 to $221,760 whereas, in the other case, it would be around $58,718 to 83,880.

Cost To Build a 1200 Square Feet House

Site preparation cost

As soon as the land registry is done, you can kick start the mission with site preparation. Site preparation is a tiring process that involves cleaning, soil testing, leveling, stabilization, and building a foundation. 


It’s hard to tell how much would cleaning cost be as it highly depends on the situation, soil test would cost more or less $10($12, 000 for 1200 square feet roughly) per test, leveling would be $1200 or more, stabilization 19.59 to 43.20 per square feet(51,840 for 1200 square feet maximum), and building a concrete foundation can go up to $12 per square feet(around $14,400 for 1200 square feet). 


Material and labor cost

Material and labor are the two major costs associated with the construction of a house. To build a little heaven for your family, you would be needing wood, steel, mesh wire, glass, sand, metal, cement, concrete, cement, bricks, and blocks. 


On average, the material and labor cost would be 75% of the total cost. As the material and labor rate varies from city to city and state to state, it’s hard to break them down further. So, the material and labor cost can be expected more or less $146,700 for urban areas and $2,250,000 for big cities. Remember! It’s a rough estimate, you can be required to pay more or less, so be prepared for that already. Do not forget to keep a few thousand dollars aside for unforeseen events. 


Electricity, plumbing, painting, and finishing 

The house you have to build would not be complete without electricity, plumbing, painting, and finishing touch. According to the experts, electricity, plumbing, painting, and finishing costs are roughly about 10% of the total cost. As we are supposed to give figures, the electricity, plumbing, painting, and finishing would add around $19,560 to $300,000 to the total cost. 


For a lot of new homeowners, the story ends here but for some, a few areas still require attention. So, be willing to spend around $1,000 to $5,000 at this stage. 


In brief, it’s more economical to buy a ready-made home than to build it from scratch. It’s, however, quite hard to find a ready-made 1200 square feet home that sits well to your needs. It would be costly to build a home in a big city ae compared to urban areas. As per the rough estimate, constructing a home in a big city would cost more or less $1,000,000 whereas, in urban areas, you might not be required to spend more than $195,600.

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Talon Juper is Civil Engineer. He has written many research papers about construction techniques, structural design, geotechnical engineering, transportation, and environmental issues.

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