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How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Michigan?

One of the most important aspects of house construction planning is costing. Can you afford the house you’ve been dreaming about and saving up for? “How much does it cost to build a house in Michigan?” isn’t just a simple question answered by a set of numbers. 

Source: zillow.com

To get a clearer picture, this guide will answer questions like: 

  • How much would you save in labor costs if you do it yourself? 
  • Can you alternate certain materials to save money? 
  • What hidden costs should you prepare for? 
  • How can you get financing for Michigan home construction? 

The Average Cost to Build a House in Michigan

The average cost to build a home in Michigan ranges from $90 to $150 (or about $225,000 – $265,000 for a 2000-square foot house), inclusive of labor costs. This doesn’t include finishing and landscaping. 

According to Zonda, this is the current average cost to build a house in several cities in Michigan: 

CITYCOST
Detroit$153 per square foot
Grand Rapids city$166 per square foot
Warren city$116 per square foot
Sterling Heights$114.33 per square foot
Ann Arbor city$120 per square foot
Lansing city$125 per square foot
Flint$105 per square foot

Generally, the cheapest type of house to build in Michigan is a ranch-style home, which could range between $200,000 and $600,000 for a 1,700-square feet house. The average price most people pay is around $350,000.

What Constitutes Full Cost to Build a House in Michigan?

Before hunting for a Michigan builder, you have to be totally aware of all the possible costs that would add up throughout the project and what the builder includes on its quoted price. 

Many people only separate the land price with the construction budget and then call it a day, when in reality, there are a LOT of other expenses to consider. These considerations include: 

  • Land.
  • Materials. Prices for the foundation, roofing and framing are considered “hard costs” or brick-and-mortar costs. Materials for finishes, fixtures, and built-in appliances can be harder to quote since they are subjective to personal taste and preference. 
  • Labor costs. The fees you pay the builders, engineers, architects, plumbers, electricians and other professionals who will be working on your home.
  • Major systems. Electricity, HVAC, plumbing, sewage, and so on.
  • Permits and soft costs
  • Hidden costs.

Let’s talk about them in more detail below, starting with your parcel of land.

Land Price In Michigan

The land is the first thing most homeowners look for since this could initially dictate how much money you’re going to allocate for the actual construction. 

The average value of Michigan land is $23,765 per acre, but this amount would still depend on the location of your chosen property. 

Just like in other states, certain cities would have pricier real estate. In Michigan, those cities include Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham, which offers the most expensive parcels of land compared to the rest of the state of Michigan. 

Cost of Construction Materials in Michigan

Each part of the house construction represents its own chunk of expense. Some big-ticket costs include:

  • Foundation. The cost of concrete foundation installation in Michigan ranges from $4 to $7 per square foot. The standard 4-inch reinforced slab on grade is about $5.75 per square foot.
  • Framing: Framing a house (installing the stick frames that would turn into your walls) is another big expense. Framing materials run between $3 and $6 per square foot. Specific framing projects have different pricing, such as basement framing ($4/sq ft), garage framing ($5/sq ft), or interior walls for existing structures ($7 to $12/sq ft). 
  • Roof: According to HomeAdvisor, new roof installations in Michigan range between $6,550 and $11,900. Metal roofing and asphalt shingles are the cheapest roofing materials (running from $5,000 to $12,000), while slate roofing could go as high as $18,000 to $45,000 or more.

The cost of fixtures, finishing, appliances and landscaping will vary significantly based on the homeowners’ preference. Bigger and branded built-in appliances, for example, can quickly add up if you decide to go with a set of smart kitchen appliances. 

If your house is in the middle of nowhere and you’re far from the main road, you would have to shoulder the cost of cement or concrete you’ll need to connect your property to the road.

Construction Labor Costs in Michigan

The cost to hire construction workers and professionals is dictated by your location. In Michigan, the average hourly pay for a construction laborer is $16 to $18. If you’re not going to hire a team but look for laborers yourself, you might need to hire a project manager for $50 to $75 an hour to oversee the construction on your behalf. 

A Michigan-based architect could cost you anywhere between $50 and $150 per hour, while engineers charge in the range of $100 to $200 per hour. 

Major Systems

A house won’t be complete without important systems like utilities (electricity and water), sewage, drainage, HVAC systems, paving, grading, life safety systems, and so on. An average two-storey, 4 to 5 bedroom house requires around at least $200,000 for installations of these major systems.

Michigan city officials estimate connecting to the city’s water system can cost between $8,000 and $13,450, depending on the size of the lot and home’s location. Meanwhile, pipe installation costs $450 to $1000 per fixture (toilet, sink, bathtub, outdoor faucet, etc.).

Source: zillow.com

Not all homes need these, but if you’re installing a French Drain (exterior drain) in Michigan, it costs about $18 to $21 per linear foot. Dry well installation ranges between $2,000 and $3000 for standard concrete drywell. Soil analysis, permits, and other considerations could still add to these prices.  

In Michigan, the cost to install a central AC could range between $4000 and $16,000 with most homeowners paying an average of $7,000. A new gas furnace or new ductwork costs extra (up to $9,000 more).

Permits and Soft Costs

Permits are included in a builder’s soft costs or expenses that are not considered direct construction costs. 

Building a house in Michigan requires several types of permits, including:

  • Building permit ($1000 to $2000)
  • Electrical permit ($10 to $500)
  • Mechanical permit ($50 to $100)
  • Plumbing permit ($50 to $500)
  • HVAC permit ($250 to $400)

The prices vary completely per house project mainly because the standard fees (registration and inspection fees) are just the tip of the iceberg. Every addition to your house would have a corresponding fee. For example, in mechanical permits, extras could include permits for a fireplace ($65), gas range ($20), water heater ($50), pool heater ($20) and so on. 

There are also project-specific permits such as permits for garage conversion, adding a fence, changing the roof, adding a deck or shed, basement construction, demolition, and more. 

Home Addition Costs

If your Michigan house is already built, but you plan to add extra living spaces (another room, a man cave, a separate guest house) a pool, another driveway, garages/sheds, decks, porches and pergolas, you’ll be paying for two things:

  • Permits: The permits you’ll need will be based on the complexity of your home add-on. For example, if you plan to add a shed to your property that has lights and a water source, you’ll need to get a permit for foundation, electricity, and plumbing, and be ready to pay permit fees of up to $2,000. Building a pergola (an outdoor garden structure) doesn’t require complicated installations, so you might just be required to pay around $120 or less. 
  • Construction: A 10-by-10 deck would cost you an average of $2,000, materials included. Building a standard-size pool could go as high as $40,000. You can add a basement to an existing house for $20,000 to $150,000. 

Hidden Costs

Ancillary costs vary by project and refer to any expense incurred by the construction manager in the course of providing his services. These costs involve transactions like getting a permit for your garage but are not directly related to the construction of the garage. It would still cost money (such as processing fees), and these will be billed to you collectively as “ancillary charges.” 

Here’s a list of other possible hidden costs in building a house in Michigan:

  • Testing and analysis: Soil testing, contour testing, site preparation, demolition and other prep work needed before the actual construction are important. Architects and engineers perform these as requirements to be given Michigan permits or to ensure the stability of the foundation. 
  • Temporary site requirements: Builders need a portable toilet, temporary fencing, scaffolding, and other materials that will eventually be removed after construction but are required mostly throughout the project. 
  • Design modifications: The changes you ask your architect or engineer for after you’ve agreed with the final house plan will cost you. I assure you. It doesn’t matter how small you think these change requests are, but as long as the professionals spend time on these modifications and construction materials would need to be added into the budget, you’d still have to pay for these “last-minute” expenses.

Note that hidden costs are not exclusive to Michigan home construction costs. These are present for every project around the country, but if you wish to have this stated in your contract (some builders already indicate this), these charges wouldn’t be considered as “hidden cost” anymore. Sometimes, it takes asking the right questions to avoid paying for expenses you didn’t know will bite your budget in the long run.

Financing for Michigan Home Construction

Financing your dream home in Michigan is possible with home construction loans such as:

  • One-time-close construction loans (see VA, USDA, FHA loans). With this kind of loan, you are approved only once and you receive a fixed-rate mortgage that lets you lock in the interest rate before construction begins. 
  • Two-time-close construction loans (refers to 2 different loans with 2 closings or “construction-to-permanent loans”). The first loan is a construction loan, which you’ll need to repay when construction ends by refinancing it into a permanent mortgage.
  • Renovation construction loans. Not applicable to new house construction.

Both types of loans require you to have a credit score of 680 or higher and that you’ll be able to pay the downpayment of 20% to 30%. 

The cost of building a house in Michigan may have crushed your dreams, but if you’re able to find a suitable home construction loan, it could pay for the land, plans, permits, labor, materials, and closing costs. 

Some loans even include contingency reserves (so you wouldn’t have to worry about finding extra funding if the project goes overboard the estimated cost) or interest reserves (so you could skip paying interest until the construction is completed).

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