Updated On

April 5, 2023

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    Tennessee is known for being the third best state for retirees due to its low cost of living and low tax burden. Also dubbed as “The Volunteer State”, Tennessee has a rich cultural history, great schools, and job opportunities, making it enticing to millennials starting a family as well. With a booming job market, magnificent views, and year-long festivals, it’s no surprise that more people are drawn to this humble state. 

    • Just like most states in the U.S., the craftsman bungalow is the cheapest type of home you can build in Tennessee.
    • The average price per acre of land in Tennessee is around $14,400. In rural areas, prices per acre could go as low as $3,800.00. 
    • To get an idea of how much home addition and renovation projects will cost, you should first look at the scope of work needed to construct your home.

    The Average Cost to Build a House in Tennessee 

    Cheapest Type of House to Build per Square Foot

    Just like most states in the U.S., the craftsman bungalow is the cheapest type of home you can build in Tennessee. Its lightweight structure makes it fast and easy to build, allowing you to move in earlier than homes built with brick or concrete.

    Home Construction Costs per Square Foot

    Total Home Construction Cost Range: $130.97 – $523.88 per square foot 

    The cost per square foot of building a house in Tennessee would take you anywhere from $ 130.97 for a single-story craftsman-style home to $523.88 for high-end luxury homes.

    Craftsman Bungalow: $130.97 – $163.71 per square foot

    Most homes in Tennessee span approximately 1,848 square feet, pegging your construction anywhere between $242,032 to $302,540.  

    Mid-Range Home Cost Range: $163.71 – $360.17 per square foot

    Rustic, Cottage-Style homes are common in Tennessee. The budget you will need in building this type of home would start at $302,540 and could go as high as $665,589 depending on the actual finishes. 

    High-end or Luxury Home Cost Range: $360.17 – $523.88 per square foot

    Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and colonial revival architectural styles comprise a bulk of luxury homes in Tennessee. With heavy ornamentation coupled with expensive finishes and fittings, building a luxury home in Tennessee would cost you between $665,589.54 to $968,130.

    Construction Cost per Square Foot in Various Cities in Tennessee

    Construction costs in most cities in Tennessee is generally cheaper than the average cost per square foot, ranging between $106 to $114 per square foot.

    A list of several cities and respective costs like this:

    StateCost per square foot
    Pigeon Forge$110.00$165.00$440.00
    Johnson City$106.00$159.00$424.00

    What Constitutes Full Cost to Build a House in Tennessee?

    Land Price In Tennessee

    The average price per acre of land in Tennessee is around $14,400. In rural areas, prices per acre could go as low as $3,800.00. 

    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 $3.92 per square foot and at most $41.91 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: $3.92 – $41.91 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 1,843 square foot home, professional fees cost a minimum of $21,784. High-end projects with a lot of custom work are different—professional fees for a high-end luxury home will cost double what low-end to middle average projects would cost, somewhere around 18 to 32 percent of the total project cost. The minimum asking price for professionals in this classification is $30,000 and $50,000.

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

    Building Permit Costs

    Building permits are generally cheap in Tennessee but it all boils down to building cost. A permit for a 2,000 square meter home in Seattle would range between $500 to $1,000, and could go way cheaper in rural areas.

    Building Permit approximately: $500-1,000

    Scope of Works


    Foundation costs usually occupy 10-15% of your total construction budget. For a house with a floor area of 1,843 square feet, consider spending anywhere between $24,137 to $54,309.

    Foundation works approximately: $24,137 – $54,309 for a 1,843 square foot craftsman bungalow


    Lightweight framing costs start at 10-20% of the total project cost, giving you a price per square foot of $13 to $39. 

    Framing works approximately: $24,137 – $72,413 for a 1,843 square foot craftsman bungalow

    Exterior Work/ Enclosures

    Exterior works and enclosures typically refer to a structure’s building envelope. This includes the roof, walls, doors, openings, siding, and cladding. For a 1,843 square foot home, the cost per square foot would come about at around $19 to $39, with a total cost ranging from $36,206 to $72,413.

    Exterior works approximately: $36,206 – $72,413  for a 1,843 square foot craftsman bungalow


    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: $24,137 – $54,309 for a 1,843 square foot craftsman bungalow

    Interior Finishes and Fixtures

    Consider allocating 25-35 percent of your budget to interior renovations. Combining all rough works, such as foundation, framing, and external construction is another way to estimate the cost of your interior finishes. The cost will roughly represent how long it will take you to complete your job.

    The average price of a low-cost finish is $32 per square meter. It is frequently devoid of any design elements and consists just of the ground, walls, and ceiling. Consider a budget of $68 per square foot or more if you want to design great kitchens, beautiful trim, and superb cabinets.

    Interior finishes approximately: $60,344 – $126,723 for a 1,843 square foot craftsman bungalow

    Labor costs 

    The labor cost typically accounts for 35 to 50% of overall project expenses, with the precise number varying based on the type of work performed. Rough or pre-finishing work counts for about 35 to 40% of the total cost while finishing works counts for 40-50%.

    Labor cost approximately: $45 – $261 per square foot; all dependent on the type of house and scope of works

    Home Addition Costs In Tennessee

    To get an idea of how much home addition and renovation projects will cost, you should first look at the scope of work needed to construct your home. You’ll also need to identify if there will be the need for additional foundation and framing works. The cost for home addition projects is pretty much the same based on a per square foot price, with a total amount usually smaller than building a new home since most home addition projects work within a smaller floor area.

    Hidden Costs

    With most projects there are usually some costs involved that don’t come top of mind when you start them. We outlined a few of the most common hidden costs when building a home and gave an approximate estimation of how much they may add up to.

    Homeowners’ Association Fees

    Consider the homeowners’ association fees necessary for your home. If you are building a house in a planned development with strict regulations, you will usually have to submit plans for approval. Prices vary, so it would be best to contact your HOA for actual figures.

    Landscaping Costs

    Most landscaping contractors charge at a rate of around 10% of your total construction cost. In Washington, if you’re building within the $240,000 to $300,000 range, you could allocate anywhere between $24,000 to $30,000 on landscaping. 

    Landscaping costs approximately: $24,000 to $30,000 on landscaping

    Driveway Costs

    The cost for a plain concrete driveway installation in Tennessee ranges from $3.22 to $6.31 per square foot. An upgrade to concrete would be concrete pavements, which cost $8.33 to $10.67.

    Driveway cost approximately: $3.22 – $10.67 per square foot

    Perimeter Fence

    Depending on the type of fence you wish to install, it could go as low as $15 and as high as $60 per linear foot. Perimeter fence options ranging from wood, vinyl, wrought iron, chain-link, and concrete. 

    Perimeter Fence approximately: $15 – $60 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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