Guide to House Building Costs in Los Angeles


Faisal Nadeem

Building a house in Los Angeles involves numerous factors that affect the overall cost. The location and size of the land play crucial roles, as building on sloped land or larger lots can be more expensive. Materials used in construction also impact costs, with premium options driving up the budget.

Labor costs in Los Angeles have increased in recent years, adding to the expense. At Pacific Green Homes, we help you prepare a budget considering all factors, from the foundation to the roof. Additional costs such as permits, inspections, and landscaping must also be factored in.

Understanding the process of new construction is essential. The average cost has been rising due to the city’s affluent neighborhoods and limited land availability. This makes building a custom home an expensive venture, but our expertise ensures that all specifications are met within your budget.

Considerations like raw material expenses and labor can significantly influence the total cost. Despite the high costs, affordable options are available if approached correctly. The difference between remodeling and new builds should also be understood, as each has unique cost implications.

In Los Angeles, with its booming population and expensive real estate markets, building a house requires a clear understanding of all involved costs. From preparing the land to handling additional expenses, trust Pacific Green Homes to navigate these complexities and deliver your dream home.

Average Cost To Build A Home In Los Angeles

Building a home in Los Angeles is a dream for many, but it can be costly. The cost per square foot for a single-family house ranges from $400 to $450, while custom and upscale residential homes can go higher. Planning and budgeting are crucial to manage expenses.

When planning your home, consider various factors like the size, location, and materials used. For instance, modern house plans or two story house plans might require different construction approaches. Don’t forget to account for permits, architects, and engineers’ fees. Additionally, if you’re dreaming of a barn house or a garage studio apartment, these unique designs may also impact your budget.

Building a house in US cities like Los Angeles involves significant labor and material costs. It’s essential to choose the right developers, contractors, and make informed decisions about quality finishes and landscaping. Homework and effort can ensure a good investment and return.

Assess the cost of the suitable vacant lot

Finding land in Los Angeles can be challenging due to the scarcity of vacant lots. Prices are at a premium and vary greatly based on size and location. The average price of a custom home in Los Angeles costs between $100 and $400 per square foot, totaling about $350,000 to $1.5 million.

Building costs can reach $440 per square foot, depending on the neighborhood, raw materials, and labor expenses. Constructing a house in Los Angeles is typically higher than in most US cities and states. Reports show that the standard single-family property in Los Angeles ranges from $400 to $480 per square foot in 2023.

For a mid-range custom property, the per square meter cost is valued at around $350 to $450. Meanwhile, the price for an upscale, customized, residential property is approximately $480 per square foot.

Cost of Construction


Building a house in Los Angeles starts with the foundation. This involves excavation and pouring concrete. The costs for this stage can vary, but expect between $4,000 to $12,000 depending on the complexity.


Next, the framing gives the structure its shape. Wood or steel is used by builders to create the rooms and walls. This stage costs between $1,500 and $6,500.

Exterior Finishing

The exterior finishing involves installing outside walls, the roof, windows, and doors. The costs for this part range from $40,000 to $60,000.

Systems Installation

Systems installation includes utilities like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Expect to spend between $30,000 and $50,000.

Interior Finishing

The interior finishing is where it starts to feel like a home. This includes flooring, fixtures, lighting, and painting. Costs can start at $8,500.

Material Costs

Material costs cover everything needed for building, like wood, concrete, steel, supplies, fixtures, and finishes. These can greatly affect your budget depending on the quality and type of materials used.

Labor Costs

Labor costs involve paying workers, plumbers, electricians, painters, landscapers, subcontractors, and other professionals like architects and engineers.

Permit Fees

Permit fees from local governments can range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Financing Costs

If financing is needed, additional costs like interest, taxes, and insurance from your lender will apply.

Land Costs

Land costs vary by location. In Los Angeles, it can be from $100 to $500 per square foot.

Construction Costs

Actual construction costs range from $400 to $600 per square foot, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Other Fees

Other costs include surveys, inspections, closing costs, and insurance.

Electrical Costs

Electrical costs for setting up safe systems can be $2 to $4 per square foot.

Plumbing Costs

Plumbing costs around $5 per square foot. For an average 2,300 square foot property, expect about $11,000+.

HVAC Costs

HVAC system installation costs vary. An average unit costs $7,400.

Roofing Costs

Roofing structures require diligence and care. Expect to pay between $6,000 and $8,000 for a sturdy, safe roof.

Equipment Rental

Equipment rental for your project includes machinery like excavators and bulldozers. Rates are about $2,500 to $3,000 per month or $250 per day.

Machine Rental

Machine rental also depends on the work required. If your location is rocky or on a slope, special equipment like backhoes might be needed. Costs can be $210 per day, $850 per week, or $2,500 per month.

Additional Cost Factors

The number of stories in a house has a big effect on the overall cost of construction. The work quality, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, matters. High-quality fixtures, countertops, and appliances like a refrigerator or stove increase the cost. Higher-end features like pools, sunrooms, and decks also add to the cost.

Permits & Fees

Building a house in Los Angeles involves several costs, with permit fees ranging from $3,000 to $8,000. Home builders need permits for compliance with safety codes and quality standards. The location of your project can affect these fees. Getting approval requires thorough documentation and sometimes professional assistance to navigate the process.

Building a house in Los Angeles: Is it worth it?

Building a house in Los Angeles can be expensive, but with proper financial planning and budgeting, it can be worth it. The cost of construction and aesthetic enhancements varies, so it’s essential to have a plan and control your budget. Working with companies like Pacific Green Homes can help manage costs and ensure quality.

A custom home offers better structure, safety, and decorative elements that fit your family’s needs. Consider the resale value and ROIs in different neighborhoods and locations. Always have a nest egg for emergencies. The residential market in Los Angeles shows growth, making it a promising investment. Ensure your foundation is solid and keep in mind the time, effort, and money required. Relocating to a bigger and better home can improve your quality of life.

Modern house plans
Two story house plans
Townhouse floor plans
Small cabin house plans
House plans with 2 master suites


How much does it cost to build a 2000 square foot home in LA?

Building a 2,000 square foot house in Los Angeles can cost around $800,000. To save money, consider using experienced builders who can manage the construction efficiently. The average cost per square foot is about $150, but choosing the right builders can help keep costs down.

Is it cheaper to build a house or buy a house in Los Angeles?

In the LA real estate market, the average price for homes for sale is about $900K. Building a new home from scratch in Los Angeles County can cost around $554K. This includes the price of land, labor, and other building costs. Considering the cost to build a house, it’s essential to weigh the price difference between buying and building in Los Angeles.

How long does it take to build a house in LA?

Building a house in LA usually takes 10 to 18 months. The process is influenced by several factors such as permitting processes, environmental considerations, and the different roles involved. Delays often occur due to lengthy permitting and approval processes. Additionally, specific environmental considerations must be addressed.

What is the most expensive part of building a house?

The foundation is usually the most expensive part of building a house. Creating a stable foundation on bedrock ensures the structure is secure, but it can make costs escalate due to the extra materials and labor needed.