What Is the Average Cost to Build a House in TN?

A house is being built in Nashville, Tennessee.

Are you looking to build a new home in Tennessee? If so, you will need to know the construction costs of a custom home. You’ll also need to know the fees of each building permit and how long the building process takes. 

To find the average cost to build a house in Tennessee, you will need to consider labor costs and the cost estimates of building materials. Along with building permit fees, and material and labor costs, you will also need to consider the prices of real estate and land. 

So, what is the average cost to build a house in Tennessee? Keep reading to find out!

Land Costs in Tennessee

Currently, the state of Tennessee has $8 billion of land parcels available for sale, according to LandWatch. In total, you can pick from 323,895 acres of land in Tennessee to build a house on. You will find plenty of rural land and thousands of properties for sale in the state.

The state is known for farming specific products like soybeans and corn. Tennessee also produces broiler chickens and cattle material. Kiplinger also ranked Tennessee as one of the top 10 states to retire in.

Tennessee is also the 36th largest state with 42,146 square miles. The land costs in the state range from $4.75 million for 690 acres to $19,900 for 1.79 acres. You can get a wooded area of 50.8 acres for $425,000 or 15.78 acres of agricultural land for $130,497. 

Further, you can purchase a 317-acre farm for $819,900 in Linden, Tennessee. Work with realtors to find the best piece of land for your needs.

Tennessee also has plenty of beautiful wild animals in its rural areas, such as:

  • Bears
  • Turkeys
  • Whitetail deer
  • Red deer
  • Elk
  • Doves
  • Hogs
  • Ducks
  • Quail

Fishermen can also enjoy fishing in the state, as Tennessee has plenty of trout, pike, bass, catfish, and walleye. The state has 19,000 miles of streams and 29 major reservoirs. Essentially, the state has plenty of incredible lands to choose from and the average price of land is affordable.

Permit Costs to Build House in Tennessee

The permit costs you’re bound to spend to build a house in Tennessee depend on the cost of building the residence. Building permits for new construction will also include an extra fee of $100 for a plumbing and HVAC inspection. You will also need to spend an extra $100 in permit costs as another inspection fee when using slab besides Monolith Pour.

The standard building permit costs range from $100 to $1,750 depending on construction costs from $5,000 to more than $1,450,000. When construction costs rise above that, the permit costs also increase by an additional $50 fee for each extra $50,000 in construction fees.

The permit costs will also depend on the house plans and the cost per square foot of construction. The home construction permits will also depend on how high-end the building or single-family home will end up. 

High-quality new construction will cost more to build, which means the permits will have a higher price. Construction permits are important for meeting building codes as well. A new house built on the low end will likely cost less to construct, and the building permit costs will remain inexpensive.   

The lowest cost for your building permits will likely amount to $200 if you’re only spending around $5,000 or less to construct your property. You will spend $100 on the building permits along with an extra $100 for the plumbing/HVAC inspection. If you use a Monolith Pour slab, you won’t need any extra inspections.

Tennessee has cheaper construction permit costs than the national average, as the average price of building permits ranges between $500 to $1,000 for a 2,000 sq ft home in Seattle. However, these costs become even lower when building a home in a rural housing market.

A house built from the ground up in Nashville, Tennessee.

Building Costs to Build a House in Tennessee

Home building costs depend on a variety of factors, such as exterior finishes, interior finishes, the type of drywall used, and the labor costs of the general contractor and other construction workers. 

You will also need to account for landscaping fees, the price of building a kitchen and adding countertops, and the overall square footage of the house. If you’re looking to ensure the lowest possible total cost of building a home in Tennessee, you should choose to build the craftsman bungalow

The craftsman bungalow is the cheapest type of house that one can construct in Tennessee. The home has a lightweight structure and takes little time to build. You will find it’s an easy home to construct, and you’ll move in faster than if you chose brick or concrete for your home.

However, if you’re building your dream home in Nashville, Greenbrier, Memphis, or another Tennessee city, you can choose a more rustic cottage or a Spanish-Mediterranean luxury home. When building a cottage-style house, you’re bound to spend anywhere from $302,540 to $665,589.

Homeowners looking to build a new luxury house will spend around $665,589.54 to $968,130. For instance, you’re likely to spend at least $720,340 for a luxurious 2,000-square-foot home. Both colonial revival designs and Spanish-Mediterranean architectural styles tend to make up most of Tennessee luxury homes.  

Your home construction cost will also involve buying land in Tennessee. The average cost per acre of land in the state is about $14,400. However, if you’re buying rural land, the price can drop to only $3,800 per acre. 

You will also need to pay for the site work and site preparation including surveying and excavation. Site preparation usually costs $3.92 to $41.91 per square foot. When building your own home, you’ll need to account for professional contractor fees, which range from $11.82 to  $88.68 per square foot depending on the customization and quality.

In your construction budget, you will need to set aside 10 to 15 percent to cover foundation costs. For instance, in a house with a square footage of around 1,800, you will likely spend anywhere between $24,000 to $54,000.

You will also need to account for lightweight framing prices, which cost 10 to 20 percent of your construction budget. Framing costs anywhere from $13 to $39 per square foot. Exterior work includes constructing the roof, doors, walls, siding, and cladding, which generally amounts to $19 to $39 per square foot. 

You will also need to pay for installing major systems like plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. For a craftsman bungalow at around 1,800 square feet, installing these utilities will range from $24,137 to $54,309.

Paying for interior finishes and fixtures will cost anywhere from $60,344 to $126,723 for a craftsman bungalow below 1,900 square feet. The Memphis housing market also has labor costs anywhere from $45 to $261 per square foot.  These are the basic costs to consider when constructing a new home in Tennessee. 

Average Cost to Build a House in Tennessee

You will find that the average cost to build a house based on square footage is $130.97 per square foot. As such, the average cost to construct a 2,000-square-foot house in Tennessee is  $261,940. However, these costs tend to grow higher when considering building a home in a Tennessee city.

Building a home in Tennessee is generally cheaper than the more expensive home prices in states like New York, California, and New Jersey. California’s home prices are as high as $202.72 per square foot. However, the home prices in Tennessee are similar to comparable real estate costs in Georgia and Alabama.  

Furthermore, the average land cost in Tennessee is $14,400 per acre. Yet, the more expensive areas like Nashville have more expensive land costs. The prices of properties in Nashville are $193.24 per square foot. Yet, Nashville has a lower cost of living, so you’ll have to take that into account when creating a budget for construction.

If you want to build a house in a city for an affordable rate, choose Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis has the cheaper price per square foot of any city in the state. The average cost is $108.50 per square foot in Memphis. 

These average costs should help you create an effective budget to build a house in Tennessee. 


You’ll find the cost to build a house in Tennessee depends on the quality of the residence you’re trying to construct. Luxury homes are more pricey than those made with cheaper materials. It will also depend on land costs and the fees of your subcontractors. 

Yet, before you begin building a new home, you’ll first need to sell your original house. If you need to sell a house fast in Southaven, consider reaching out to cash home buyers in Tennessee

Who buys houses in any condition? Cash buyers will buy your place in its as-is condition. Further, we buy houses Memphis locals love, so call us today!

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