Custom Home Building Costs

Building a beautiful home exactly the way you’ve dreamed is a goal to which many aspire. You get to share your dream house with your family and friends and live the best life in your perfect home. But questions about the cost to build a custom home can make it difficult to know where to start. The following three areas encompass the many factors that determine custom build house costs.

Where You Build

When people hear about property values and lot prices, they often think that location is the single determining factor. But there is much more to deciding where to build than lakeside views and trendy 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:

  • Municipal or county building permits
  • Impact fees
  • Surveying costs
  • Lot improvements like drainage systems and utility hookups
  • Clearing brush and boulders
  • Foundation digging and preparation
  • Driveway access and road construction

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 realize which features are standard and which will add significant costs to your project. The level of customization, style, size, and extra features will impact your custom-built house cost.

Level of Customization

The more specialized your home design, the more cost there will be to plan and build your home. Part of this additional cost will come from working with an architect to design the custom rooms or other buildings on your property. If the planning or building process requires a structural engineer, this will also add costs.

House Style

The type of house you build will also affect the cost of your home. The difference may be minimal; for example, the cost to build a modern farmhouse versus the cost to build a farmhouse is negligible. Usually, the more special design elements or ornamentation a house style has, the higher the cost will be. 

The following list of house styles is ranked from lowest cost to highest:

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

The actual cost of building in a certain style will of course depend on the type of building plan you choose. For instance, a small French country home may end up with a smaller budget than a sprawling Texas ranch house.


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

Extra Features

When you customize your property just the way you want it, some elements will likely add to your building costs. The following extra features increase your final price:

  • Window walls
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Patio
  • Outdoor kitchenette
  • In-law suite
  • Waterfront access
  • Landscaped courtyard or backyard
  • Ranch buildings

Though these elements add to the cost, they also add to your enjoyment of the space. When it comes time to sell, they may also add to your property’s value. 

How You Build

From your home’s foundation to its roof, the materials you build with will have an impact on the final price tag. And fixtures and finishes are not your only considerations; durability, sustainability, and energy efficiency are also factors to consider as you choose what will go into making your dream home a place you can enjoy for years.


Though quartz countertops, a top-of-the-line stove and hardwood floors add to the final cost to build a luxury house, they can also make it the long-lasting oasis that you have always wanted. These elements will also be part of what makes your property desirable to a future buyer. 


When choosing building materials for your home, it’s important to look for options that will give your home lasting power. One option to consider is structural steel, which not only outlasts wood framing but also stands strong in the worst storms Central Texas can dish out. As an added bonus, the steel frame home construction cost is often lower than that of traditional frames. 

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Many homebuyers choose to use sustainable building materials and practices to reduce their impact on the environment. Green building options may include:

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

Choosing HVAC systems and home appliances with an Energy Star rating can help your home conserve energy. Your choice of insulation and other building materials can also help keep your home 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 custom home construction cost initially, the long-term reduction of utility bills and added peace of mind making them a valuable option. 

Mangum Builders Brings Your Austin Custom Home Dreams to Life

At Mangum Builders we work with our clients to craft custom homes in Austin and the surrounding areas that fit within their budgets. Contact us today about starting on the path to 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