How Much Does It Cost To Build A House In Rhode Island?

With so many variations in prices, it’s tough to determine how much does it cost to build a house in Rhode Island. However, it’s always possible to get a rough estimation of the overall cost.

Building a house in Rhode Island can cost anywhere between $120 and $221 or more per square foot. This cost is only an estimation of building the house and does not include the cost of land.

To understand the cost better, make sure to read the entire post.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A House In Rhode Island

How much you need to spend to build a house in Rhode Island certainly depends on what precisely you want from the house. The more you customize, the higher the cost will be. It’s as simple as that.

The table below will tell you about the cost per square foot, depending on what type of house you’re building.

Type Of HouseCost
Value-conscious houses$120 to $170 per square foot
Mid-range houses$171 to $220 per square foot
High-end houses$221 or more

It’s better not to stay fixated on these rates because it’s possible to build a house by spending more or less than these rates. These are to give you a rough estimation and help you get started with your budget.

If you want to know how the cost is divided among different sectors, take a look at the table below. The information is taken from National Cost Guide and can help you understand the average expenditure of building a house.

Wall and framing exterior13.9%
Floor structure12.1%
Electrical system10.1%
Kitchen detail8%
Interior wall and ceiling8%
Floor finish5.2%
Interior detail4.9%
Bath detail3.9%
Special features3.1%

Breaking Down Costs Of Building A House In Rhode Island

There are basically two types of costs that you need to consider before building a house. One of them is hard costs and another one is soft costs. Let’s take an elaborate look at those costs.

Hard Costs

Any cost that is generated towards the physical construction of the building is considered a hard cost. This includes all major expenditures. For instance, framing, roofing, ventilation, site work, exterior and interior finishes, etc. The table below provides an estimation of how each of these can cost.

Foundation$5,000 to $100,000
VentilationAround $8,000
Framing$20,000 to $50,000
Exterior finishes$40,000 to $50,000
Interior finishes$70,000 to $80,000
Site work$1,000 to $4,000
HVAC installation$4,000 to $12,000
Plumbing$7,000 to $15,000
Wiring $10,000

Soft Costs

Anything that’s not calculated under hard costs can be considered soft costs. There can be different types of soft costs. The most important is the cost of land. Then comes the permit fees you have to pay.

The last cost to consider is design fees. Designing your building by an architect will require some part of the budget. Let’s have a detailed look at these costs.


The cost of land can vary, depending on the location and how well the land is in shape. However, there is a certain range for buying land in Providence. You can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $95 per square foot for land in Rhode Island.

The table below will help you determine the prices of different lands.  

Land SizeAverage Range Of Cost
2,000 square feet$20,000 to $1,90,000
4,000 square feet$40,000 to $3,80,000
6,000 square feet$60,000 to $5,70,000

Permit And Relevant Fees

The next expenditure you will have to make is taking a permit from the authority for constructing a house. This is one of the most significant soft costs that need to be included when estimating the budget for your house.

The permit fee may vary depending on the area. So, it’s better to get the information from the authority. This way, you will be able to calculate the exact figure.

Design Fees

The design fees will be determined by the architect or the firm you hire to design your building. If I am being specific about Rhode Island, you can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $25 per square foot.

However, not all firms will charge you using the same calculation. Some may charge you by the hour. Besides, if you hire someone more famous, the cost will increase.

  • Interesting Fact: Around one-third of the families that live in Rhode Island reported that they spend more than thirty percent of their income on their housing needs.

Related: Cost To Build A House In Minnesota?

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Building A House In Rhode Island

As I have mentioned before, a lot of things can change the budget you need to allocate for constructing your house. To help you along the way, let’s talk about a few variables that can affect the total cost.


The location of your land is one thing to determine the cost. If you’re buying new land, that’s an entirely different cost to consider under the soft costs. In case the land is in good shape, it will need less work before building the house, decreasing the cost.

On the contrary, if the land needs some intense preparation, you can expect to spend some extra money on your land.


The next thing is your service provider. The money you need to allocate for labor largely affects the cost of building your house. And this rate fluctuates a lot, depending on the market.

If there is a shortage of labor, you will have to pay more than usual per square foot to get the job done. The rate also fluctuates depending on the season.


The type of material you choose also determines the entire cost of building your house. If you go with standard materials that are usually required for a house, the cost will be average. Some people go for high-end materials that end up adding to the cost.


If your house needs to be built on a pre-planned design, the cost will usually be low. On the contrary, the more customization you add to the design, the higher it will cost. For instance, if you want a chandelier for your living room, it will cost you some extra bucks to install it in the room.

Steps To Help You Construct A House

Building a home is a very personal step and everyone does it in their own way. However, a structure will help you get an idea of what you need to do. Then, you can create your own timeline and carry on with whatever you feel comfortable with.

Plan Ahead

The best way to keep the entire construction procedure tidy is to plan ahead. If you plan the entire project, you can get everything done more smoothly. Even if there is a deviation from the plan, you can adjust it according to the structure to rectify any mistakes.

The same goes for determining a budget. You have to go through every possible expense and set the budget accordingly. If you are tight on budget, make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to keep the expenditure to a minimum.

However, it’s also recommended that you don’t try to save money on things that are an absolute necessity for longevity.


If you don’t have land yet, the next step would be to buy land for your house. As you know that building a house is not something temporary, take your time while selecting the land. Make sure that you are getting the proper price range by comparing different sites.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on preparing the land, make sure that you’re choosing land that doesn’t need much work.

Get Permit

It’s important that you familiarize yourself with the procedure of building a house. You will need to get some permits and paperwork done for constructing a house. If the service provider will get the necessary permit, you may not have to do that yourself.

Hire An Architect

When selecting an architect for your home, you have to think about two aspects. The first thing to consider is the price. Compare your options before settling on a deal. Match your budget with the firm you’re hiring.

The next thing to take care of is the expertise of the architect. If you can, go for someone who is familiar with the area where your property is located at.

Site Preparation

No matter how well the land is, you must do some prep work before you can start constructing your house. Determine the cost of land preparation by talking to the local contractor. See if you can negotiate the cost with them.

Foundation And Frame

The most expensive part of the construction procedure is the foundation and framing. So, make sure that it’s getting enough attention and that there aren’t any loopholes that can emerge later. Pay attention to the materials and prices because this is the base of your house.

Major Systems

You will also have to think about better insulation and HVAC system for your house. These things facilitate your life, save you from future expenses, and make your house long-lasting. So, never try to save money on these things.

In addition, do not attempt to install these by yourself. Always ask the service providers to finish these systems.

How To Save Money On Building A House In Rhode Island?

If you are tight on budget and want to make sure that you’re saving money, consider the following things before you plan the house.

  • Ranch-style homes cost less to build compared to others.
  • Avoid luxurious features that can increase the cost.
  • Install better insulation and HVAC system to avoid long-term costs.
  • If you’re planning to construct a building of more than one story, it will cost you more.
  • Building a larger house does not save you money on additional expenses.
  • Avoid complex roof structures.
  • Plan your house ahead and estimate all possible costs beforehand.
  • Do not attempt to do anything on your own unless you have a proper permit to do that.
  • Choose standard building materials and avoid premium ones to save money on materials. However, make sure not to choose anything less than standard materials, which can damage the integrity of the house.

Final Words

This article can only give you an idea about how much does it cost to build a house in Rhode Island. The actual cost will fluctuate a lot when you get to work. The best way to save money on constructing a house is to plan ahead.

The more prepared you are, the better cost management you will be able to do. Also, take your time to explore different alternatives before getting the best option and price at the same time.

Leave a Comment