Cost To Build A Custom Home On Your Land: Everything You Need To Know

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The cost to build a custom home is one of the biggest factors when deciding whether to build a custom home or buy an existing home. There are a wide variety of factors that go into the cost of building a home and we’ll cover each of these items here along with a few lesser known or unexpected costs that you should know about and prepare for when building a home on your land. 

If you are looking to build a custom home in Boise, it’s important to take time to consider the costs to build and to get an understanding of what to expect when determining your budget to build a home on your land. As a custom home builder in Boise, we’ll focus on costs to build in the Boise area as this is where we have our expertise.

Factors that Go Into The Cost To Build A Custom Home On Your Land

The cost to build a custom home can vary wildly from as little as $139,000 for a 700 square foot living space to a multimillion dollar cost of a 7,000 square foot mansion with a five car garage. The options for a custom home are endless, which is why the cost associated is highly dependent. Understanding what goes into the cost to build a custom home, can help you better budget and prepare to build a house on your land. 

Cost Of The Land

The cost of land is the first cost associated with building a custom home. Depending on land prices where you live this can be a significant portion of the cost. For example, in an area like Sun Valley, Idaho half an acre of land can cost upwards of a million dollars; whereas, in Boise, it’s entirely possible that you find over an acre of land for under $300,000. Because of this range, the initial land and costs are important to factor into the cost of building a custom home.

Building Materials & Construction Cost

Building materials and construction costs are going to be the largest cost when it comes to building a custom home. This is why working with a homebuilder who understands your goals and can help you to understand the construction costs upfront can have a significant impact on how much it costs to build.

If you are looking for affordability when building in Boise, you’ll want to find an affordable custom home builder, like Pathway Builders, that can build a high quality home, while finding ways to save on the cost to build.

The home plan that you use, the size of your home build, and the style and design elements that you incorporate will all impact the cost of your home. It’s not a surprise to anyone that a 7,000 square foot home is going to cost more to build than a 700 square foot home, but it can actually be cheaper per square foot to build a larger home versus a smaller home.

Other material selections, like the type of siding you select, garage style and size, and your interior finishes can also greatly affect the total cost to build a custom home, so you want to be sure to talk about your customization options and how different home styles or materials can impact your costs with your home builder.

Building Permits & Impact Fees

In most municipalities, there are building permits required to build a home, which typically incur a fee. In addition, in Boise, there are also impact fees billed for any new home construction. You’ll want to be sure you are aware of what permits are required and the associated fees to build in your specific area.

When you work with Pathway Builders as your home builder in Boise, we will help you navigate any required building permits and the cost involved; however, not all home builders include permitting in their process, so be sure to ask.

If you want more information about the cost of building permits in Boise, you can find information on required residential construction permits on the city’s website

When building a home in Boise you’ll also be required to pay the associated impact fees. Impact fees include charges for the impact of any new development on the city’s services and resources including fire & police, local parks, and regional parks. For new home builds each of these impact fees is assessed and will be dependent on the area in which you are building and the size of your home.

To get an accurate estimate of what impact fees will cost for your custom home build, you can use the city of Boise’s impact fee calculator.

New Utilities Fees

Utilities are another cost that you will want to factor in when determining the cost to build a custom home in Boise. When building on your own land it’s necessary to consider this cost as you’ll need to pay to connect your land to local utilities services such as power, sewer, and water.

In Boise, you can use Idaho Power’s online service estimator to determine the cost for electrical hookups or submit a formal quote request. Things that can impact the cost to get connected include where the power is located, if you need a new or additional transformer, and if you need any additional trenching for power. 

For information on sewer connection, you can find more information on the city’s website. Your home builder in Boise should be able to help you determine estimates on the cost of utilities for your custom home build before you get started or connect you with the right resources to find out.

Another item to consider in the cost of building a custom home on your land is that your property may not be able to connect with local utilities. In some cases, it will be necessary to pay for a septic tank or your own well if your land is too far from existing utilities. The deeper the well you need, the more expensive this can be to add.

Similarly, the complexity of the septic system is a factor in the price. This can add to the cost of your new home’s utilities. This is another reason you’ll want to understand your utility connection needs and include the associated costs in determining the cost to build on your land.

Financing & Traditional Fees 

These costs are not much different from building a home versus buying a home. If you are working with a real estate agent, these fees include the agent’s fees. This also includes things like any fees for financing. In the case of building a home, this may include a construction loan in addition to a traditional mortgage or it may all be wrapped up into one loan. You should also expect to pay any other traditional closing costs such as home inspection fees, attorney fees, recording fees, and homeowner’s insurance, among others.

Unexpected Costs of Building A Custom Home On Your Land

The costs we covered thus far are costs that most people do consider when determining the cost to build a custom home on their land. However, there are other costs that are less often thought about when considering the cost to build a home. Understanding these lesser known costs and including them in your budget will help you to have a better understanding of your total costs and improve your overall homebuilding experience.

Land Preparation Costs

When building on your own land, chances are you’ll need to do some work to prepare for a house to be built. This prep work can include land clearing and excavation work necessary to make it possible to build on your land and in the location you want on your land.

As an example if your home is located in a flood plain that will require flood vents, or you may potentially need more dirt to raise the elevation. In some cases, this work may be minimal, but in others, this can add significant cost so it’s important to understand what needs to be done on your land and to include the cost of this work in your overall home building costs.


Another often overlooked cost of building a custom home is landscaping costs. This cost is typically separate from your building and construction costs, but a necessary addition to include when determining the cost to build a custom home. Landscaping costs can also vary dramatically depending on the type of landscaping you need, how large of a space you are landscaping, the maturity of any trees you plant, and other factors. As an example, the cost to plant a single tree can range from $100 for a sapling to $2,000 for a mature tree (source) with this wide range in cost and the variety of landscaping options, it would be worthwhile to talk with a landscaping company or two to get an idea of the budget you’ll need for the landscaping you want and understand if there are ways you can save on your landscaping costs. If you’ve budgeted for landscaping when building your new home, you’ll be much happier at the end of your project when not only do you have a beautiful new home, but you also have the landscaping you want to go along with it.

Unknown Issues

Lastly, it’s important to understand that no matter how well you have planned out the cost to build a custom home on your land, there are always unknown issues that can pop up during the build process. These unforeseeable items can unfortunately add to the cost of your build. Doing your research beforehand and working with an experienced, local home builder will help you to mitigate most of these types of issues, but there is always the potential for something unknown such as unexpected weather causing a construction delay or the availability of a specific building material to pop up.

Average Cost to Build a Custom Home in Boise

According to Houzeo, the average cost to build a home in Boise, excluding land and permits, is between $200,000 – $400,000. As we discussed here, the cost to build a house can vary greatly depending on land cost, size of the house, design selections, utility hookups, the builder you are working with, and more. AT Pathway Builders, we have a range of home plans available for any budget and each can be customized to your style and budget.

For a more accurate estimate of the cost to build a custom home on your land in Boise or southwestern Idaho, get in touch with us. Our team is available to help you better understand the cost to build your dream home on your land with a free consultation.  

All in all the cost to build a custom home on your land in Bosie or really in any location is dependent on a wide variety of factors. Taking time to consider and plan for all of the known homebuilding costs will make your homebuilding experience much smoother.

If you’ve budgeted appropriately and understand all of the costs involved upfront you’re much less likely to be caught off guard when it’s time to pay for something like your utility connections or hookups. Working with a builder who understands all of the necessary and potential costs and can provide you with accurate estimates is an invaluable addition to improving your experience and helping you determine the cost to build the home you want on your land.