Custom Home Building Costs

Constructing your dream home is a goal many aspire to. Not only do you get to share it with your family and friends, you can live your best life in your perfect home. However, uncertainties over the cost required to build a custom home can hold many people back from starting. The following three factors play a part in determining custom build house costs.

Where You Build

When people hear about property values and lot prices, they may mistakenly think that location is the sole determining factor. The truth is that there is much more to deciding where to build than scenic views and uptown neighborhoods. While the price for rural land may be lower than that of an improved lot in town, if there is extra work necessary to prepare your lot for building, costs add up quickly.  

When you build on your lot around Austin, prices will be impacted by factors like:

  • Building permits
  • Impact fees
  • Lot improvements
  • Clearing trees and boulders
  • Surveying costs
  • Road construction
  • Foundation preparation and digging
  • Driveway access
  • … and more!

Although there are added costs for developing unimproved land, the joy of carving out your own haven in a remote location often makes it worth the price.  

What You Build

As you plan the house you want, you may not be aware what type of features come as standard and which will add significant costs to your project. The features you go for as well as the level of customization will affect your custom-built house cost.

Level of Customization

The more specialized your home design is, the more you can expect to pay for planning and building your home. This additional cost will partly come from engaging an architect to design the custom structures and rooms in your property. If the planning or building process necessitates a structural engineer, you can expect to pay even more.

House Style

The style of house you intend to build will also affect building costs. The difference may be minimal; for example, the cost to build a modern farmhouse versus the cost to build a farmhouse is negligible. Keep in mind that the more special design elements a certain style has, the higher the cost will be.
From most to least expensive, below is a list of house styles:

  • French
  • Traditional
  • Contemporary
  • Texas modern
  • Mediterranean
  • Spanish hacienda
  • Farmhouse
  • Modern farmhouse
  • Ranch

The cost of building in a certain style will also vary based on the size of the property. For instance, a small French country home may end up costing less than a Texas ranch house that is a few times bigger.


The greater the square footage of your home, the higher the cost. This is due to the price for additional building materials, labor costs and production time for a bigger project. 

Extra Features

When you customize your property, some elements will add significantly to your building costs. The following features will increase your final price:

  • Window walls
  • Outdoor kitchenette
  • Patio
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • In-law suite
  • Landscaped yard
  • Ranch buildings

Although you will have to pay more for these elements, they also add to your enjoyment your property’s resale value.  

How You Build

From foundation to roof, the materials you choose will play a part in determining the final price. To this end, you will not only have to consider fixtures and finishes , but also durability, and energy efficiency.


Though luxurious elements such as quartz countertops and a state-of-the-art kitchen can add to the final cost of building a home, they also ensure that your home is enjoyable and functional for your lifestyle.  


When choosing building materials, it’s important to consider durability and lasting power. One popular option is structural steel, which is not only more durable than wood framing but can stand strong in the worst storms Central Texas dishes out. As an added bonus, the steel frame home construction cost is often lower than that of traditional frames.  

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Today, an increasing number of homebuyers go for sustainable materials and building practices to reduce their environmental impact. Green building options may include:

  • Wind energy
  • Rainwater collection
  • Solar panel
  • Geothermal systems

On top of that, going for HVAC systems and appliances with Energy Star ratings can help you conserve energy and bring bills down. The insulation method and building materials you choose can also keep your home more energy efficient. The following options can also reduce allergens and noise in your home:

  • Icynene
  • Structural insulated panels (SIP)
  • Hebel blocks
  • Thermasteel
  • ICF walls

Though some options may add to the initial cost of your custom home, the long-term benefits you can reap continue to make them valuable options to consider, all things considered.  

Mangum Builders Brings Your Austin Custom Home Dreams to Life

At Mangum Builders, we work closely with our clients to plan and build custom homes in Austin and the surrounding areas. Contact us today if you would like to start on the journey towards building your dream home!  


Greg is here to help you create the home you have always wanted.

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Helpful Resources

Our team has created documents to help you plan your dream home and construction project!

Click on the following links below to download:

“As leaders in the field of home building, we get chosen for what we know, how long we have been building and for our integrity and enthusiasm in what we do. There are a lot of choices available to our customers and we respect their ideas, their values and their desires. Building the house is only part of what we do, we also build relationships.”

greg mangum