Updated On

April 10, 2023

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    Why Illinois? There Are a number of reasons why Illinoians have that sunny disposition. The state’s size and diversity make it easy to find an affordable city, as well as a mega-metropolis with all the luxuries that come with it. Whether you’re a talented artist or economic growth is what you seek, the Prairie State has something for everyone.

    When it comes to the architecture and construction of a house, there are a billion details that need to be taken care of. And like the saying goes, “The devil is in the details”. For example, there are tons of home construction regulations involved, materials and costs that need to be considered and most importantly, designing and planning that can take weeks of time. As a result, it is not uncommon for people to decide on building a custom home as compared to settling for an existing one. So, how much does it cost to build a house in Illinois?

    • Low-cost and affordable homes in Illinois are typically of Saltbox-style architecture.
    • It could go as low as $102 and as high as $162 per square foot for basic construction.
    • The labor cost usually represents anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of total project costs.

    The Average Cost to Build a House in Illinois

    Cheapest Type of House to Build per Square Foot

    Saltbox homes are one of the most affordable home styles to construct in Illinois. Because of its lightweight structure, it can be constructed fast and efficiently, allowing you to move in sooner than a brick or concrete home.

    Home Construction Costs per Square Foot

    Total Home Construction Cost Range: $132.72 – $530.88 per square foot 

    The cost per square foot of building a house in Illinois would take you anywhere from $132.72for Saltbox-style homes to $530.88 for high-end colonial revival homes.

    Saltbox Homes: $132.72 – $165.90 per square foot

    Low-cost and affordable homes in Illinois are typically of Saltbox-style architecture. Built through a wooden skeletal framework and enclosed in lightweight materials. It’s usually characterized by a gable-type roof, with two storeys.Most homes in Connecticut boast an average floor area of 1,550 square feet, pegging your construction anywhere between $216,599 to $270,748.  

    Mid-Range Home Cost Range: $165.90 – $364.98 per square foot

    The cost for a 1,632 square foot mid-range home ranges between $270,748 to $595,647.

    High-end or Luxury Home Cost Range: $364.98- $530.88 per square foot

    Grand colonial-style homes are typical in upscale neighborhoods in Illinois. All these are fitted and finished with expensive materials and fixtures, high-end homes in Illinois would cost you roughly $595,647 to $866,396.

    Construction Cost per Square Foot in Various Cities in Illinois

    The construction cost per square foot in Illinois is expensive compared to the state average. It could go as low as $102 and as high as $162 per square foot for basic construction. Mid-range to high-end finishes play between $408 to $648 per square foot, depending on the location.

    A list of several cities and respective costs like this:

    StateCost per square foot

    What Constitutes Full Cost to Build a House in Illinois?

    Land Price In Illinois

    The truth is, real estate in Chicago, Illinois is expensive. A 1,000 square foot lot could cost as low as $200,000 and as high as $1,000,000, depending on the location. 

    Averaged per acre, land in the excellent category was $10,870 compared to $10,435 in 2019; good was $8,446 compared to $8,335 in 2019; average was $6,409 compared to 6,502; fair was 5,353 compared to $5,090; and recreation land was 3,689 compared to 3,904.

    Pre-construction Expenses

    Site Works

    Site preparation involves a number of jobs and tasks, including but not limited to surveying, grading, and excavation. The cost of site preparation is typically independent of construction costs. Site preparation typically adds 3-8% to the total project cost, depending on the scale and nature of the project. For example, building a home atop a boulder will cost more than building on flat land. With that said, prepare to spend at least $3.98 per square foot and at most $15.92 per square foot. The cost for site works will depend on the type of construction, the number of storeys, and existing site conditions. 

    Site works approximately: $3.98 – $15.92 per square foot

    Professional Fees

    Professional fees usually cost between 8 to 15 percent of a home’s total project cost. Asking prices can range from $11.82 to $88.68 per square foot. For a 1,632 square foot home, professional fees cost a minimum of $19,257. 

    Professional fees approximately: $11.82 – $88.68 per square foot

    Building Permit Costs

    Building permit fees start at approximately $500 for a $300,000 home. 

    Building Permit approximately: $500 and above

    Scope of Works


    Foundation costs usually occupy 10-15% of your total construction budget. For a house with a floor area of 1,632 square feet, consider spending anywhere between $21,659 to $48,734.

    Foundation works approximately: $21,659 – $48,734 for a 1,632 square foot saltbox 


    Lightweight framing costs start at 10-20% of the total project cost, giving you a price per square foot of $13 to $39. These estimates are all based on a 1,632 square foot craftsman bungalow. Luxury and high-end projects would cost five times the average pricing. 

    Framing works approximately:  $21,659 – $64,979 for a 1,632 square foot saltbox 

    Exterior Work/ Enclosures

    Exterior work refers to the building envelope, cladding, and glazing. For glass-clad facades, the cost for these glass enclosures would also fall under this category. For a saltbox-style home built of wood, a budget of $19.90 to $39.81 per square foot is a reasonable budget. 

    Exterior works approximately: $32,489 – 64,979 for a 1,632 square foot saltbox 


    Installing the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems of your home can include essential elements like power, lights, water, heat, and more complex ones like sewer lines and ventilation systems. Utility costs can range from 10-15% of your final project cost.

    Utilities approximately: $21,659 – $48,734 for a 1,632 square foot saltbox

    Interior Finishes and Fixtures

    Consider a budget of 25-35% for interior works. Another way to estimate the cost for your interior finishes is to combine all rough works: foundation, framing, and exterior works. The price will approximately reflect how much you will be spending finishing your project. 

    Low-cost finishes usually start at $33 per square foot. It usually does not include any design element and is limited to flooring, walls, and ceiling alone. If you wish to build lovely kitchens, beautiful trim, and exquisite cabinetry, consider a budget of $69 and above per square foot. 

    Interior finishes approximately: $54,149 – $113,714 for a 1,632 square foot craftsman bungalow

    Labor costs 

    The labor cost usually represents anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of total project costs, with the exact percentage depending on the type of work involved. Rough or pre-finishing works run generally around 35 to 40 percent of the final price. Finishing jobs are closer to 41 to 50 percent of the total. 

    Labor cost approximately: $46 – $99.00  per square foot; all dependent on the type of house and scope of works

    Home Addition Costs In Illinois

    To estimate the cost of a home addition or renovation project, start by determining the scope of work required to build your home. You must also determine whether extra foundation and framing work will be required. Because most house addition projects work within a smaller floor area, the cost per square foot is roughly the same, with a total cost that is usually less than building a new home.

    Hidden Costs

    Homeowners’ Association Fees

    Take into account the homeowner’s association fees that are required for your home. You will almost always have to submit plans for approval if you are building a house in a planned development with rigorous requirements. Prices vary, so it’s best to ask your HOA for specific statistics.

    Landscaping Costs

    A reasonable budget for an average landscaping job for your home, encompassing all yards and sides, is 10% of the construction cost. If you’re working with a $216,599 building budget for a 1,632 square meter home, it’s feasible to spend roughly $20,000 on landscaping.

    Landscaping costs approximately: $20,000 lump sum

    Driveway Costs

    The cost for a plain concrete driveway installation in Illinois ranges from $3.54 to $6.99 per square foot. An upgrade to concrete would be concrete pavements, which cost $9.20 to $17.78.

    Driveway cost approximately: $3.54 – $17.78 per square foot

    Perimeter Fence

    Depending on the type of fence you wish to install, it could go as low as $11 and as high as $27 per linear foot. Perimeter fence options ranging from wood, vinyl, wrought iron, chain-link, and concrete. 

    Perimeter Fence approximately: $11 – $27 per linear foot.

    Editorial Contributors
    Alora Bopray

    Alora Bopray

    Staff Writer

    Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

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    Roxanne Downer


    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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