Cost to Build

An accurate construction budget is essential to a successful home-building project. We offer the building-cost calculator below to give a very rough estimate of what your building costs might be for a given square footage. You will have to speak to local contractors to get a more accurate estimate. We have not included the cost of land or any local sales taxes in these calculations.

Factors that affect cost to build


The presence of steep slopes, forest, bedrock, or water (rivers, creeks, lakes, the ocean) all drive up the cost of construction.

Number of stories

Above 1,500 square feet, it’s cheaper to build a two-story house.


Metal roofs, elaborate siding, and large driveways all increase construction costs.


Custom cabinetry, elaborate doors, and plumbing and lighting fixtures can all affect price.

Cost to Build Calculator

Our cost to build figures

Our prices are based on semi-rural Washington State in late 2022 to early 2023. These estimates are meant as a starting point to help you choose a planset that you can afford to build. Currently, we are calculating building costs manually based on square footage. However, we will soon enable the real-time estimation
functionality in our design software, which will give even more accurate and current pricing.

Building Cost FAQ

How accurate is your cost-to-build calculator?

Our cost-to-build calculator is generally +/- 10 percent accurate. Consult local contractors for a more accurate estimate for your area.

What costs are included in the cost-to-build calculation?

Our calculator includes all hard costs, such as materials and labor, as well as site work. We also include the cost of a PV system an appropriately sized to meet the net-zero goal. Not included are land costs, permitting, engineering, utility connection, or design.

Where does the data for your cost-to-build estimates come from?

The data comes from our TC Legend Homes construction business. That business builds five houses a year on average in northwest Washington state. TC Legend is a lean company with streamlined processes. Your local contractor may be less efficient.

Does a net-zero home cost more to build?

Yes. A net-zero house has to include solar panels to generate energy.

Can I get the house I want for my budget?

We design specifically for your budget, your goals, and your site.

View more FAQs »

The simplest path to a net-zero home.