How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Ontario

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For five years I have been selling new houses, and in that time have learned a few things about home construction in Ontario.

The first thing I learned is that you will have to learn how to draft a home blueprint when you build your house.

Since you’ll be the one handling most of the construction process, you are expected to understand the principles of designing your own home.

There are many local companies that offer drafting services for a fee, but if money is an issue, obtaining the necessary knowledge on drafting won’t be a problem as long as you read this article carefully!

If you want to learn How much it costs to build a house in Ontario, keep reading.

How to Build Your Own House

Make a Budget

If you want to build a house, you need to know how much it’s going to cost.

Start out by making some guesses about the materials and their costs for each part of your project.

You will have to research this online and at home improvement stores, because there are many choices of materials from which to choose.

Make sure you know what you want and how much it will cost before you start building.

Break down the list into individual tasks, assigning them an estimated cost.

Multiply this cost by two or three times to be safe, as unexpected expenses are bound to come up when building a home.

Find Land

The first step to building your own house is finding land. Your budget will help determine the best location, but in most cases, it’s wise to choose an area with good schools, a low crime rate and a strong sense of community.

Remember that the house you build needs to be close to services, like water and electricity.

You can buy a lot or buy land that has a house on it and tear down the existing structure.

The latter is a cost-effective way to get into an expensive neighbourhood if you’re planning to build a bigger house than most homes in the area.

Make the Plans

If you’re building a unique or custom house, you’ll probably need to buy plans from an architect.

For example, you could draw up the plans yourself. Many people do this, and it can be a fun and rewarding process.

However, because it’s such an important project with so much riding on it, it’s also a good idea to hire a professional architect or engineer to consult on your plans before you lift a hammer.

That may sound like an unnecessary expense, but if you’re building your own house, you’re probably cutting costs at every turn.

Depending on the complexity of your project and where you are in the country, architectural services usually run somewhere between $1,200 and $6,000.

Breaking Down the House Building Cost in Ontario

The price of a new home in Ontario varies by city, by neighbourhood and by the homebuilder.

Homebuyers can expect to pay anywhere between $210 and $450 per square foot for the cost of building a house in Ontario.

The final price depends on the size and finishes you select, as well as the construction methods used by your builder.

Purchasing of Land

The first thing you need to do is to buy a piece of land.

The size of the land will depend on the type of house you intend to build, you should find a location that has easy access to social amenities such as hospitals, schools and road networks.

The cost of buying land will vary depending on the location, in Ontario, the cost ranges from $50,000 to $500,000.

The value of the land will be determined by factors such as availability of water and electricity, condition of soil and distance from the town center or city.

In general, a plot of land may cost $3,000 – $150,000.

Building Permits And Regulations

Building permits give homeowners the ability to check that a new build complies with the Ontario Building Code, which is in place to protect people.

The Ontario Building Code provides guidelines for all new buildings, though not all construction projects require permits.

You must obtain a building permit before you can start construction on your new home.

The cost for this permit ranges from about $1,000 to over $4,000 and depends on the size of your house and where you live.

In addition to obtaining a building permit, you may also be required to pass inspections at various stages of construction.

Some of the permits you may need, and their average price range, include:

  • Building permit: $432 – $2,211
  • Basement permit: $1,200 – $2,000
  • Electrical permit: $10 – $500
  • HVAC permit: $250 – $400
  • Plumbing permit: $50 – $500

Contractor and Labor Costs

In Ontario, there are two types of contractors. These are specialized and general contractors.

A specialized contractor is an expert in a specific substrate while a general contractor oversees multiple trades on the site.

You should have both on your project to ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget.

Also, ensure that you hire professionals who have experience in residential projects because they understand zoning requirements, city building codes and other relevant restrictions.

A general contractor charges around 10% – 20% of the construction’s total cost, sometimes called “cost-plus.” Some will agree to an hourly rate of $40 – $150 per hour, though.

Prepping and Building The Foundation

The foundation is the first thing your home is built on, so it needs to be perfect.

The cost of the foundation will depend on its size and the type of foundation you have.

There are several types of foundations that you can choose from when building your house in Ontario.

Each has a different cost and timing for construction.

Foundation costs range from $4 to $16 per square foot depending on the type of foundation you choose.

Framing the Home

Framing is one of the most expensive parts of building a house, but without it, you wouldn’t have a structure to build on.

The frame acts as the bones of your home for you to build around.

It supports all the finished features, including your windows, roof, doors, walls, and even garage (if you want one).

The overall cost includes both the labour and materials.

Usually, you can depend on the framing to cost $20,000 – $50,000.

Major Systems: Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

Major Systems: Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

It’s not uncommon to forget about major systems like plumbing and HVAC when planning a new home build.

What you don’t want to do is neglect the budget for these systems until the end of your construction project.

It may be too late at that point as major changes to your plans could cost a lot.

Make sure your builder has experience with the land you’re building on, and if there are any issues with the topography, such as grade sloping or a drainage problem, it should be discussed before construction begins.

These kinds of challenges can be overcome with proper planning, but if they’re ignored, they can prove costly and time-consuming.

Installation costs around $20,000 – $75,000 overall, but the type and size of the systems may change that.

Exterior Home Finishing Costs

Exterior finishes are the materials that cover the structure of your home and protect it from the elements.

One of the most important decisions you will make when building your new home is what type of exterior finish to choose.

There are many factors to consider, including durability, maintenance, energy efficiency, aesthetics and resale value.

Exterior work helps complete the look of your property and generally costs $30,000 – $60,000.

Interior Finishes

As with the building shell, interior finishes vary greatly in quality and price.

The difference between one material and another can be significant.

Factors to consider when choosing products include durability, maintenance and how much you enjoy the style.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to save money without compromising quality or style.

You may have to wait for a sale or do some shopping around, but your patience will pay off in the end.

You can estimate interior finishes to cost $30,000 – $175,000 but only based on averages.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a House in Ontario


Location is probably the most important factor when it comes to determining the cost of building a home.

Obviously, land costs are going to be higher in more desirable areas such as large cities or oceanside communities.

In fact, some areas may not allow construction at all due to environmental concerns or simply because there is no more available land.

Materials used

One of the biggest factors in the cost of building a house is the materials used.

This includes everything from the foundation to the framing.

Different materials have different price points and this will greatly affect how much you end up paying for each part of your home.

The material being used for your roofing is another major factor as well.

Design aspects

The design of your home will also affect how much it costs to build it.

For example, if you are opting for an energy-efficient home or green energy options, then you can expect to pay more upfront than if you were going with something more standard or conventional options.

Finishes and fixtures

When it comes to finishes, there are many options that all come with different price points.

From flooring to appliances, all of these things will add up and determine what your final cost looks like at the end of construction.

Size matters

The larger your project, the more expensive it will be. Since most houses are built with rectangular or square floor plans, each additional square foot will drive up the cost.

Last Word

In Ontario, the average cost of building a house is $150,000 to $400,000.

This price range is ideal for most people looking to build a single-family home that is not too extravagant.

That said, the price can go above and beyond if specific circumstances are present.

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