Updated On

April 5, 2023

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    When it comes to home construction, the first thing future homeowners like you should consider is the cost. Not only is it necessary to know how much you will need to spend on your dream house project, but it will also help you stick to your budget.

    Another reason is that the price of building a house varies in every state.

    Take Kentucky for example. Its average cost is significantly lower compared to when you build a house in, say, New York or San Francisco. And that is due to a number of factors, including the cost of living.

    To help you understand things better, here’s a quick guide on how much building a house in Kentucky costs. 

    • The median cost of a house in Kentucky ranges between $80 to $140 per square foot.
    • The estimated cost for a customized structure in Kentucky and other states is between $200 to $550 per square foot.
    • The land price and the house amenities are the main cost factors when building a home in Kentucky.

    The Average Cost of Building a House in Kentucky

    The average cost of building a house in Kentucky varies depending on different aspects. From the size of the house to the degree of finishing, all these things will steadily modify and accordingly determine the total spending of new home construction.

    To put it plainly, the estimated price of a house depends heavily on the owner’s preferences.

    But for those who need a general figure, the median cost of a house in Kentucky ranges between $80 to $140 per square foot. Quite cheap if you base and compare it on the national price range of building a house in the US, which is between $100 to $200 per square foot. Or $120,000 to 450,000.

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    But do take note that the listed estimate is for the construction of a simple and basic type of structure only. And if you wish to build a luxurious house, then prepare to spend around $500 per square foot.

    Average Cost Per City

    The average cost of building a house differs in every city of Kentucky as well. Due to varying factors like cost-of-living, some cities are way cheaper than others, particularly in major cities. 

    Having said that, below is the median price for each city in Kentucky.

    CityAverage Cost (per sq. ft.)
    Louisville$87 to $130
    Lexington$91 to $136
    Bowling Green$90 to $133
    Covington$91 to $135

    Note: All prices are based on the information given by ProMatcher.

    Average Cost for Custom Built Houses

    If you are looking for a custom-built house, then expect that the amount you will spend is significantly different compared to a basic structure. In general, the estimated cost for a customized structure in Kentucky and other states is between $200 to $550 per square foot. And factors such as the land price, style, design, as well as the degree of both interior and exterior finishes will largely determine the overall price. 

    Apart from that, you will have to hire an architect too to visualize your preferred structure. And it will cost about 8% to 15%—roughly $15,000 to $80,000—of the construction price. You will also need a professional home designer to handle the aesthetics of your house, which will eat about 10% to 17%—roughly $30,000 to $50,000—of the total construction cost. 

    All in all, custom-built houses are a lot pricier compared to standard ones.

    Home Building Cost Breakdown

    There are several aspects that could affect the average price of new house construction. Starting from the land price down to house amenities, all of these would constitute the full cost of building a house in Kentucky. 

    Land Prepping and Site Work

    Unlike when you purchase pre-built structures, building a house from scratch entails land prepping and site works. These are inevitable yet important as they will also occupy a large slice in the overall construction costs.

    That said, below are the three site and land prepping work you should prepare for when building a house in Kentucky.

    • Demolition. Demolition applies only to land with existing buildings. If you bought a property with the said condition, then prepare to spend between $3,000 to $25,000. The price will largely be determined by different aspects like the land’s location, the size of the house, as well as the presence of toxins like asbestos in the old house materials. 
    • Land clearing. If the land sells fast through redevelopment projects, expect that it is cleared and ready for building construction already. However, if you directly bought the land alone, then expect to do some land clearing activities.

      That said, land clearing often costs $1,500 to $5,000. This includes works like soil test ($800 to $1,200) and land excavation/grading ($1,500 to $5,300). You will have to hire a land surveyor too, which often charges clients between $400 to $700 labor fee. 
    • Building permits. Lastly, you will need to obtain a building permit. Such a requirement however is not free and is usually priced between $1,200 to 2,000. But do take note that the said estimate may vary depending on the area and its law concerning building permits.


    The estimated cost of laying and building a foundation for a standard house structure largely depends on the size. For a 2,000 square feet house, for instance, the average amount you will spend is about $26, 760. The said quote entails excavation, concrete, foundation, backfill, and retaining walls already. 

    However, do take note that it is only for a structure without a basement. And if you are planning to add a basement, then be prepared for a higher cost estimate. But in general, building a foundation for a house with a basement will cost you an additional $10 to $100 per square foot—roughly between $10,000 to $30,000—depending on the size.


    On average, the total amount you will spend on the material will consume almost 50% of the overall house construction cost—or roughly $50 per square foot. Still, it would largely depend on different factors including the quality, type, and quantity of the materials.

    Sidings, for example, are available in several types of material. There’s vinyl, hardwood, stone, aluminium siding. If your budget calls for something cheap, then a standard vinyl siding could do the job, as it costs $2 to $5 per square foot only.

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    However, if you want something luxurious, then take a stone siding instead, which costs $35 to $50 per square foot.

    MaterialAverage Price
    Concrete$1,000 to $10,000
    Lumber$25,000 to $65,000
    Flooring$1 to $5 per square foot
    Drywall$10 per sheet
    Roofing$1,000 to $3,000
    Siding$2 to $15 per square foot
    Insulation$0.10 to $1 per square foot

    Exterior and Interior Finishes

    House finishes will also occupy a good slice in the overall construction cost. And the total spending will, of course, depend on the owner’s preference. It is good to take note that the cost for interior finishing is separate from the exterior finishing.

    That said, below is an estimated price—as well as what the things to expect—for each finishing type. 

    • Exterior finishing cost. Exterior finishing serves as the face of your house. And because of that, homeowners are obligated to spend as much money as they would on the interior.

      Having said that, the average amount one will spend on exterior finishing can run between $40,000 to $60,000; or even more. These entails roofing ($5,000 to $11,500), exterior walls (1,800 to 4,400), doors, and windows (3,000 to 9,300). The overall amount is dependent too on several factors such as the number of building openings, the quality of material, and the type of exterior finishing. 
    • Interior finishing cost. As for interior finishing, the average price will run around $50,000 to $175,000. The amount may increase too, depending on the quality and quantity of the materials that will be used. 

      That said, an average and modest interior already includes lighting fixture ($2,000 to 12,000), flooring (10,000 to 35,000), appliance ($3,000 to 15,000), countertop (2,000 to 4,000), kitchen cabinets (2,000 to 30,000), door installation ($5,000 to $20,000), drywall installation ($5,000 to $30,000), and wall interior painting ($4,000 to $11,000). 

    Installation of Major Systems

    Installation of major systems like insulation, electrical, and plumbing are a few more factors to consider the overall cost too. And in Kentucky, the materials and labor fee for such installations can get you between $30,000 to $75,000; or even more. 

    That being said, here’s a rough estimate for each system:

    • HVAC system: $1,500 to $13,000
    • Electrical and wiring: $20,000 to $30,000
    • Plumbing system: $7,000 to $15,000


    The amount you will spend on labor is heavily dependent on (a) the city you are planning to build your house, (b) the size of the house, and (c) the style and design. But in general, labor fees take up almost 30% to 60% of the overall construction cost.

    That being said, below is the average labor fee for each work in Kentucky:

    • Framer rate: $7 to $16 per square foot
    • Construction manager: $3,000 to $50,000
    • Roofing rate: $5,000 to $10,000
    • Electrician: $50 to $100 per hour
    • Plumber: $45 to $200 per hour
    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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