NORTH Idaho Real Estate Pro


Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale - Least & Most Expensive Home Plans to Construct - Questions and Answers

 Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale.

It is not unusual to have the question "How much does it cost to build a home" directed at me.   I wish there was a simple answer.   However, it is far from simple.

Let's start with the type Floor Plan your home will have.   

2-Story with bonus over garage - Tim Jank and Associates - Custom Home Builders - IdahoDo you want a Rancher (one-level home), Rancher with a Basement (one-level home with basement), Rancher with a daylight walk-out basement (1-or more walls are not in earth), Rancher with a Bonus room above the garage, Rancher with a bonus room above garage and a basement or daylight basement?

Do you want a 2-story home ( a home with the square footage equally distributed on each of the 2-levels) a 2-story with a Basement, 2-story with a daylight walk-out, 2-story with a bonus room above garage, 2-story with bonus room above the garage and a basement?

Do you want a Multi-Level home, a tri-level, four-level home (homes where the Living room dining room, kitchen and a ½ bath are on the main level and then you go ½ flight of stairs to bedrooms and baths and down ½ flight of stairs under the upper level to a ½ submerged basement (your windows start at ground level and go up 2-1/2+ft.) with a family room additional bedrooms & baths?   A four level would take you down below the main level of the home to a fully submerged basement for additional space.

Tim Jank and Associates - Custom Home Builders - Rancher w/Bonus RmDo you want a Split-Entry home?  A split entry is where you enter the Entry of the home on the main-level and then have to go up or down a full flight of stairs to go to the living areas.  Upstairs are usually a Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, bath and bedroom(s).  Down stairs are usually a family room laundry room, bath and additional bedroom(s).  The down stairs is ½ submerged into the ground (windows start at ground level and go up about 2-1/2+ft).


There are even more styles than these, but I think you get the idea of the many different Floor Plan Styles.

Let's say you want to build a home that has a total of 2,000 sq. ft. and you want the Floor Plan that will give you that amount of square footage for the LEAST amount of money.

Two Story - Tim Jank and Associates - Custom Home Builders


Here are the Floor Plans in the order of Least to Most expensive to build 2000 sq. ft.

1. Split-Entry

2. Multi- Level

3. Rancher with Basement

4. 2-Story

5.  Rancher

The least expensive floor plan to give you the 2000 sq. ft. you want would be Split Entry. 

But, let's say you don't like the idea of having to go up and down flights of stairs to get into the house or to go between levels.  Then you would opt to pay a little more for your 2000 sq. ft. by going to the Multi-level with allows you to enter the home without having to use stairs.  Once you are inside the main-level of the home the flights of stairs to the different levels are shorter flights or ½ flights.

Rancher with Daylight Walk-out BasementNow you have decided that even ½ flights of stairs are more than you want to deal with on a daily basis getting to and from the living areas. That would take you to another price level up to Rancher with a Basement (1000 sq. ft. on the main level and 1000 sq. ft. in the basement).  Most of your daily living needs would be on the main level.  Living room, dining room, kitchen, bath, your bedroom.   The basement would have your Family room, hobby room, guest room, bath room and possibly a laundry room unless you want it upstairs. (Add more money for a daylight walk-out basement).

So, you don't like basements, walk-out or otherwise.  Then you would go up another price level to the Two-Story home (I think we all know what that is)

After all that... you have now decided that you don't like stairs at all... nada... zip... Well, you have just found the most expensive way to get 2000 sq. ft.  It is called "The Rancher" One-Level home.  All 2000 sq. ft.  are spread out on the same level.  No stairs. 


Once you have decided which floor-plan best suits your needs for that 2000 sq. ft. home, you have to decide what amenities or upgrades to the home are the most important to you.  I.e., Granite, stone, tile, kitchen, baths, fireplace(s), lighting, moldings, floorings, siding, roofing, flatwork (patios, pathways).

To give you an example:  A full kitchen appliance package could be done for $2,000 or it can be done for $50,000.   A full lighting package could be done for $400 or $40,000. It all depends on your specific needs and wants. (these are generalized prices not exact).


The lot (Land) you choose to build on will dictate the type of floor plan you will be able to build.  The width, depth, slope, steepness, levelness, shape, etc... of the lot (Land) has much to do with what you can build.  Different types of lots have different ADDED costs to build.   Do you need retaining walls, a longer driveway, additional engineering, etc? 
**That great buy you got on your lot (land) may have had allot to do with your unseen "ADDED COSTS" to build.**

Are you starting to see the "DIFFICULT to ANSWER" Part?

If I had to generalize, using a 2000 sq. ft. Rancher (the per sq. ft. costs are relative to our area in Kootenai County, Idaho.  Your per sq. ft. costs may or will differ):

  •  An entry level (simple design, inexpensive grade materials, no bells or whistles!) 2000 sq. ft. "RANCHER" with a 2-car garage could be built for as little as $75+/- per sq. ft.
  •  A moderately priced "Rancher" with some higher end amenities and building materials (siding, roof, stone, etc) and higher kitchen, bath, flooring, counters, lighting allowance) could be $100+/- per sq. ft.
  •  A very nice "Rancher"  with a 3-Car garage and really good blend of higher end building materials, amenities, and style could be $150+/- per sq. ft. (See 2nd Photo "Rancher w/Bonus Rm")
  • If you are the type of person that has to "HAVE IT ALL" you could be looking upwards to the $200-$300+ per sq. ft.

I have barely touched on the things that determine your "COSTS to BUILD." This has been a generalization.  Your specific needs and/or type of land you are building on will reduce or increase the "Costs to Build"

The State, City, Town, and or distances to where building materials are available will also make a difference in "Cost to Build."  Accessibility to your property can be another issue.   Always refer to your contractor for actual costs in your geographic location.   Everthing I have used is a generalization...

So, as you can see, the "Cost to Build" is very relative!


If you are looking to have a custom home built here in the Kootenai County, Bonner County, Shoshone County, Benewah County areas, please give me a call.  I can refer you to a local Custom Home Builder.

Please contact me with any of your Real Estate / Relocation / Referral needs




Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro - Your Free Local MLS Property Search Link
208-661-2282 or Toll Free 800-829-2555 ext. 1275
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
1924 Northwest Blvd, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814


Equal Opportunity HousingEqual Opportunity Housing

 Lake Coeur d'Alene

Comment balloon 4 commentsPam Jank • January 24 2011 04:32PM



Thanks for your email questions.  I hope this answers your questions:

My information is just meant to demonstrate that a frame home constructed with 2000 sq. ft. will have a different cost basis depending on the style of the home.

Always refer to your contractor for actual costs in your geographic location.   I.e.,  A "Brick" home is more affordable in some geographic locations than others.   Here in the northwest a "Brick" home would be more expensive than a wood one.  Also, take into consideration the concrete vs. wood costs in your demographic area.   Here, the concrete walls (including excavation) are less expensive than the additional wood, framing, siding, glazing, etc.

 Generally speaking and Using your quoted 5000 Sq. Ft.

·         Rancher w/Basement = 2500 SF above ground + 2500 SF below grade (roof covers the 2500 sq. ft. above grade)

·         2-Story Home = 2500 SF above grade 1st floor , + 2500 SF above grade 2nd floor (roof covers the 2500 sq. ft. 2nd floor)

You will have the same amount of roofing materials/costs for both of the above styles.

Most daylight walk-out basements are completely below grade with an exit and steps up to grade or have one side completely open because it's on a hill-side. (The back wall and some or all of the side walls would still be below grade). In both of these basement scenarios there is LESS wood, LESS glazing, LESS siding, etc., than used in the construction of the 2-story home.  You also save on how far heating ducts & plumbing have to be run, etc. in a rancher w/basement.  The more open/daylight a basement is the higher the costs for wood, siding, glazing, etc.    However, if your construction site is solid granite/basalt... you may want to consider a 2-Story home.  The additional blasting and excavation costs may not make a basement as cost effective.

You can save costs on a 2-story home by having it built "Slab on Grade"  instead of a "Raised Foundation w/crawlspace."     "Slab on Grade" is an all concrete foundation.   A "Raised Foundation with crawlspace" has a concrete foundation perimeter and is framed in with wood floor joists, insulation, etc. and therefore will cost more. 

In some localities, they do not consider "below grade/basement" as part of the total square footage of the home.   I.e., if a 2000 Sq. Ft. Rancher with basement (1000 above grade and 1000 below grade) was listed on that localities MLS it would be listed as a1000 Sq. Ft. home with a notation that it has a basement.  They would not even address the below grade 1000 Sq. Ft. in the total square footage of the home.  Even if it is a Daylight Walk-out with only 1 concrete retaining wall and everything else is wood.  If it is below the grade they don't count it.

Hope this generalization helped.  Remember to refer to your local contractor for actual costs in your locality.  If you are from the Kootenai County and surrounding areas I am more than happy to refer you to a local contractor.

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) over 7 years ago

Nicely written!  Well defined, and photos of houses to dream about...

Posted by c m over 7 years ago

Cheryl, Thanks.  It sure saves me alot of time trying to explain to clients now....

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) over 7 years ago

I've had multiple emails requesting the Builder for these homes.  I am more than happy to give you his contact information. He is located in Kootenai County, ID in the Hayden Lake/Coeur d'Alene area.

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) over 6 years ago