What is the Cost to Frame a House in 2021
New homes are built every day. For some, it is the only way to get their dream home or a home in their dream neighborhood. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to frame a house is between $7 and $16 per square foot. That works out to a little under one-fifth of the total cost of the build.
On the lower end of the range are rough-out framing projects for simple projects like a garage addition. And on the higher end of the range are framing projects for custom-builds. Some high-end contractors specializing in boutique builds go as high as $16 per square foot.
Costs for House Framing
The price for framing a house includes materials and labor. Most construction crews of 3-4 laborers can frame a house in one week. Larger houses and two-story houses may take longer. The cost of labor is typically between $4 and $10 per square foot. Materials run between $3 and $6 per square foot. Demand and urban builds tend to increase the cost of labor.
What Framing a House Includes
The costs for framing a house include building the stick frames that will become the home's walls. These frames include rough-out holes for doors and windows, and they are built from a series of 2x4 boards. Framing does not include the other components of building walls like drywall, insulation, or Tyvek.
These additional services can be added with the same contractor for an additional charge. For example, exterior sheathing costs may range between $2 - $8 per square foot.
New Construction Cost Breakdown for a New Home
The average new home build is about 2,000 square feet. The total building cost of a typical, single-level, 2,000 square foot house is $310,000. The framing alone is between $15,000 and $30,000. Exterior sheathing and wrap can be added to the framing job for an additional $5,000 - $15,000. And, if you are building a two-story home, expect to pay an additional $3 per square foot when building the second story.
Framing Costs by Build Type
If you are looking to add or change your existing space's layout by adding walls, the framing costs can vary by the type of project.
Basement Framing Prices
Many homeowners start with an unfinished basement and later choose to use the space to grow into it. Dividing up space will require framing some walls. Since these walls are not load-bearing and require minimal planning, the cost to frame basement walls should be minimal. You should expect to pay around $4 per square foot.
Garage Framing Prices
If you are building an attached or detached garage, the cost of framing will be on the lower end. These structures are simple to build and should run between $4 and $5 per square foot.
Interior Walls in Existing Structures
If you are adding new walls inside an existing home, the price for framing gets a little higher. There is more planning and less workable space, which contributes to the costs. You can expect to pay between $7 and $12 per square foot for interior re-framing.
Roof Framing Costs
When it comes to putting a roof on your structure, you have a few options. The first is to frame it with sticks (2x4 lumber) the same way the rest of the structure is built. Alternatively, you can save costs and avoid framing the roof altogether by using pre-built trusses.
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The Price of Roof Trusses
A trussed roof is built from a series of A-frame trusses assembled off-site and transported to the building site. Each A-frame truss includes a series of rafters, joists, and jacks. Most residential building trusses are made primarily from wood with metal hardware. Roof trusses cost between $35 and $150 per piece.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Framing
Simple structures are always easier and less expensive to frame. However, more complexity in your building project will drive the labor and material costs up. In addition, there can be a lot of variation between the initial quote and the total amount of scrap in any building project, so make sure your contracts contain clear language covering all of the costs associated with the project.
Size and Complexity
Complex projects cost more — not just in framing but in any aspect of construction. For example, intersecting walls require more studs which increases material costs and labor costs. On the other hand, straight squares are fairly simple to build. However, architectural details like slopes and valleys are significantly more difficult, which means more time and higher labor costs.
Residential Framing Costs Vs. Commercial Framing Costs
While residential framing costs range between $7 - $16 per square foot, commercial framing is more expensive. The average commercial framing job ranges from $12 to $40 per square foot. In addition, most commercial buildings use steel rather than wood, attributing to the cost differences.
Another place where the costs start to balloon is with changes. Once the framing project has begun, any changes will impact the progress of the project and the price of the project. Even minor changes like adding a door or window can significantly change the final bill price.
How to Estimate a Framing Job
Most contractors work with a formula. They will start by reviewing the building plans. Then, based on the project's complexity, the contractor will choose a price level based on a "per square foot" price. The contractor then uses a formula to provide an estimate based on current material and labor prices.
The Takeaway on Framing Costs
The biggest factors affecting the cost of a framing job are materials and complexity. Simple structures like garages and interior walls to finish an existing basement tend to cost less than new constructions. The cost of framing typically only involves building the wall or roof frames. You will also need insulation, utilities, sheetrock, exterior sheathing, and wrap to finish the job. To get an accurate quote on a framing job, ensure that your contractor has all of the information on building plans and materials and try to avoid making any changes once construction begins.
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