What Are The Most Expensive Parts Of New House Construction?

Building a new construction home in New Jersey can be an expensive investment. There are many costs involved when building a house. Budgeting is important, and be confusing if not planned appropriately.

If building a new home is your goal, you must understand the stages of construction along with their potential costs. Comprehending where you are putting your money is vital so that you can manage your finances and have a true picture of the cost of your investment.

Factors such as the location you want to build in, the size of the building, the type of materials you want to use, and the workers affect the cost of building. They determine how expensive the total project will be. However, when building, the price of the various parts of the construction will be different from each other. Painting the walls is not the same cost as installing the plumbing. There are specific parts that are considered expensive than the others. This article looks at some of the most expensive aspects of building a house.


Framing is one of the most expensive stages when it comes to building. When building a home, the framing process can be more expensive than the rest construction process. The cost of framing depends on the type of materials you will use.

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.

A rough-out framing project for a simple garage addition will cost much less than the framing for a custom luxury home build. Some high-end contractors specializing in boutique builds that go as high as $16 per square foot.

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. 

Framing is the backbone of a home and requires a large amount of high quality materials to complete. The size will vary depending on how big you want your house to be. The bigger the house, the more expensive the framing process. Carpentry skills are required to complete a timber framing job which leads to needing to hire skilled labor and material shortages can increase the cost.

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 2×4 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 home construction new jersey

The Foundation

Assuming you already have a plot of land where the new construction home in New Jersey will be built, the first thing to do is to lay the foundation.

On average, the cost to install a new foundation for a standard 1,200 square foot home ranges from around $4,500 all the way up to approximately $40,000, with the national average being about $10,000. For a 2,400 square foot home, prices range from $12,000 to $80,000, with an average cost of around $27,000.

Home advisor says an average concrete foundation costs $5,200 to $30,000. Depending on the size and whether you install a deep or shallow foundation.

A shallow design reaches only about three feet into the soil. Concrete pads extend below the high frost line, transferring load from the walls to the earth. Some post and pier, slab-on-grade and concrete runners fall in this category.

You’ll use a deep foundation in areas with poor soil quality or with deep frost lines. You may also use it on hillsides, floodplains and near lakes. Deep types, like basements and piles, cost more than shallow varieties. They require more materials, excavation and labor.

A foundation has to be a strong base for any house. If not done correctly, problems will arise with the rest of the building and they won’t be easy to fix because the root cause will be under the building, in the first step!

There are different types of foundations one can incorporate in their building including a concrete slab, monolithic, stem wall, pier and beam foundation, crawl space and full basement. Depending on the type of foundation you choose, the cost varies too. For instance, the cost of a slab foundation is cheaper because the construction process is the most simple of all foundation options. Perimeter foundations and full basement foundations need a lot of materials and labor making them more expensive.

These are very rough numbers but should give you a baseline for your home. The final cost estimate will depend on your home’s square footage, foundation type, and some other environmental factors. 

Some ways to avoid extra costs during the foundation phase of construction is to make sure your contractor does a soil text before foundation construction begins as some soil properties can have a significant effect on structural integrity. Also, make sure that a structural engineer inspects both before and after the foundation is set. They can point out potential issues based on your soil and climate. Also, be sure that your contractor is considering drainage.


Plumbing is a costly but important part of any new home construction in New Jersey. Obviously, homeowners in 2021 need to access running water indoors. Plumbing requires specialized tools and training and if not done well, can cause expensive problems that can affect the building later. It’s important that your contractor use a professional plumber during your new home construction job.

plumbing in a new house in new jersey

Rough-in plumbing for new construction costs $8,000 to $12,000, or about or about $4.50 per square foot for an average 2,000 square foot home with 2 or 3 bathrooms. Installing new plumbing depends on the type of materials used, the number of bathrooms and plumbing fixtures, how far apart the bathrooms are, and how many stories the house has.

It’s plain to see that the size of the house will affect the cost of building it. The bigger the house, the more plumbing will be done, including materials and labor – this raises the cost the cost.

The total cost for rough-in plumbing and installing fixtures is about $12,000 to $20,000. The term “rough-in plumbing” means that all the pipes are installed and connected to each other and the water main, but no sinks, faucets, or toilets have been installed. Once you’ve chosen the faucets and fixtures, that adds to your estimate.

The size and the types of pipes needed as well as plumbing fittings such as toilets, sinks, and bathroom showers can be expensive, and the costs vary depending on the types and brand. Installing new fixtures, like bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers, or toilets will cost between $450 and $1,800 per fixture or about $4,000 for all.

The rough-in costs for commercial plumbing a new construction is very different than the costs of residential plumbing. This typically ranges from $4 to $6 per square foot. The fixture cost can be considerably higher because of the heavy-duty nature of commercial fixtures. They need to be able to stand up to heavy public usage. The difference between commercial and residential plumbing is scale and complexity.

In new home construction, a plumber may install 2–3 toilets and sinks, while in new commercial construction, that plumber could install 25–50 or more.

Exterior Finishing

This part involves the outside of the building. Once you are done with the inside, the next step is to address the outside of the house and finish the exterior walls of the structure.

The exterior finishing includes the outside walls of the home, which are rather important and also quite expensive. The walls will require a lot of material as they will support the structure of the home and keep out bad weather.

Once the foundation has been laid, and the framing is constructed, creating the look for the exterior of the home is completed through the installation of the walls, siding, windows, doors, and the roof. In most cases the final cost for exterior finishes will total around $35,000 and include, along with the exterior walls, any openings for the windows, the garage, and doorways. This category also includes the roof, which eats up a sizable amount of the budget, as well.

Installing garage doors, finishing the outside walls with plywood, siding and trim, installing gutters and soffits, applying stucco and building a deck adds up cost-wise and needs many materials. Also, with the exterior, there is landscaping which adds to the cost of the project. Creating beautiful scenery for your home will require many tasks, like leveling the garden, installing the driveway and adding new grass.

Interior Finishing

It is one of the most expensive parts when building. Interior finishes can vary the most in materials prices but can also be the difference in a home looking like it was constructed on a budget or built with luxury as a priority. Interior finishes include cabinets, tiles, doors, door handles, mirrors, lighting, hardware, painting, and many other details.

One of the custom home costs with plenty of variables, interior finishes tends to be a very expensive part of building your new home. According to an article from DaveRamsey.com, this is actually the most expensive step in building a house.

On the average $428K home, expect to spend about $68-71K on interior finishes. The combined cost for interior finishes typically is twice the cost for exterior finishes. The interior finishing covers everything to make the interior of the home beautiful as well as useable and can include:

interior finishes new jersey new construction home
  • Mirrors
  • Drywall Installation
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Doors
  • Trims
  • Painting
  • Insulation
  • Appliances
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Fireplace

This is one area of custom home costs where you do have some control, however. Upgrading the interior finishes will certainly cost more, but it may also give you something you specifically want in your custom home.

When building, it is imperative to use professionals for every part of the job. Professional custom home contractors with a good reputation are most likely to do an excellent job at a fair price. It’s unwise to hire someone who may cut corners or not understand the appropriate inspection/approval process just to save a few dollars on the project. If a contractor is unqualified to do new home construction, it may cost you more to fix their mistakes in the long run as well as take far more time than it should due to delays that could have been avoided.

Above are some of the parts considered expensive when it comes to building. The process of building is one difficult task and requires all of your attention. It requires you to sit down, plan, and not rush into it. While planning, remember to budget. It aids in understanding all the costs needed to build a house.

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  • Michelle Garofalo

    Michelle Garofalo is the guiding force behind MSC Enterprises, LLC, a prominent custom home builder and real estate developer in Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey. With over 25 years in real estate development, her expertise extends from a successful career in the solar industry, where she managed over 75MW of projects. Co-founding Infiniti Energy, Michelle now oversees day-to-day operations and leads business development, ensuring a seamless journey for clients. Her meticulous approach and commitment to excellence are reflected in MSC's residential and commercial properties, known for their quality, durability, and energy efficiency.

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