Meta All Microsites Pixel

How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Fort Wayne?

Home » Cost Guides » Indiana Cost Guides » How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Fort Wayne?

As the second largest city in Indiana, Fort Wayne is one of the state’s major metropolitan areas. Fort Wayne is noted for being a center for learning and a progressive environment for businesses and individuals. In recent years, the local economy proved itself to be resilient following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on day-to-day life. 

The Cost of Building a Home in Fort Wayne

Share this infographic:

Fort Wayne—along with the rest of Allen County—set a new record for jobs and construction value in 2021. Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the area’s chamber of commerce and economic development organization, recorded positive numbers for attracting and retaining talent. There were about 27 business expansions and relocations within 2021, which is a single-year record for Allen County.

Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, people continued to build and expand their homes and businesses in the area.

Unfortunately, construction firms have reported a struggle to find qualified workers to meet the demand for homes. Additionally, while firms are expanding payrolls, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and its chapters are looking for ways to prepare the next generation of construction workers. Some efforts include digital advertising campaigns.

Figure 1. Typical cost breakdown of a single-family home constructed using the conventional method, according to Home Builder Digest.

The average cost of construction for Fort Wayne is about $170 per square foot, which is lower than the national average of $207 per square foot. Project owners can expect to see most firms charging anywhere between $140 to $200 per square foot for the home building cost. The actual construction cost will differ from project to project, depending on the type and quality. This does not include hard and soft costs, however.

Hard costs concern the aspects of home construction that are physically part of the house itself. These are things like framing, foundation, plumbing, flooring, and roofing. Soft costs, on the other hand, are things like the cost of land, permitting fees, and architectural and design fees. It should be noted that hard and soft costs will fluctuate independently of each other, sometimes without prior notice.

Hard Costs

New home construction in Fort Wayne can start at $140 to $170 per square foot for a basic and simple design. Project owners who are looking to build a home with more customized features will come across firms that offer their services in the $171 to $200 per square foot range, which is usually for mid-value type homes. Building a fully customized and high-end luxury home, meanwhile, could cost $300 to $400 per square foot and above. However, these figures are estimates; projects may be priced higher or lower, depending on the square footage and additional features.

On top of basic construction costs, there are other hard costs to take into account. Some of the well-known ones are foundation, roofing, HVAC installation, and electrical installation.

Fort Wayne’s roofing costs range from $122.72 to $1,699.20 per 100 square feet, depending on the roofing type. The following table features price ranges that project owners can expect to see:

Major system costs are composed of things like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical, and plumbing. HVAC system installation will likely cost about $1,806, but some services for air conditioning installation have also cost an average of $6,372. Meanwhile, plumbing costs between $64.90 to $73.63 per hour and electrical costs about $61.36 to $74.58 per hour plus materials and parts. Electrical fixture installation would cost about $122.72 to $139.71 per 120-volt outlet.

New flooring installation costs between $3 and $22 per square foot, which is about $2,950 for a 500-square-foot space on average. Labor for floor installation, on the other hand, is about $0.60 to $4, depending on the contractor and project scope.

Soft Costs

Soft costs are expenses that go beyond the actual building of the structure. These costs include the cost of land, permitting fees, and architectural and design fees.

Cost of the Land

Fort Wayne’s population is currently growing at an annual rate of 1.06%. The positive population growth means that the land in the city may increase in price more than land in areas with stagnant or negative population growth.

The parcels of land available for sale in Fort Wayne on Zillow have an average cost of $33,040. The cheapest lot costs $4,000 for 2,178 square feet. It is located along Drexel Avenue. Meanwhile, the most expensive lot on Zillow costs $150,000. The land is located along Swinney Avenue and is 24,394 square feet.

Permits and Other Fees

Information related to the permitting process for homeowners in Allen County, where Fort Wayne is located, can be found on the local government’s website. The website has a homeowner’s guide for homeowners who wish to obtain a permit as an owner and occupant for self-perform work. The permit application form, homeowner affidavit, and advanced structural affidavit are to be completed and submitted to the Building Department. 

There are two ways to send the necessary documents:

  • Email the completed forms to
  • Place the files in the drop box located outside of the Building Department office located at 200 E Berry St. Ste. #180, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

The permitting fee schedule can be found on pages 27 to 29 of the PDF file provided by the local government.  Some of the fees are provided in the table below:

Architecture and Design Fees

Architects commonly base their costs on the total cost of construction or total construction value. For Fort Wayne, that would be around 5 to 20%, depending on the services rendered, project complexity, and architect experience.

Some architectural firms may also charge by the hour or by square footage. Pricing will be based on the request, project location, and the architect’s position, experience, training, and reputation. Most project owners will avail of services like layered drawings, project management, concept development, consultation, and site visits.

Interior design services are about $790 to $11,871 in total. The cost will also depend on the work being done.

For prospective project owners who are looking into availing landscaping services, it should be noted that pricing will be based on the project size. A small project with a basic home planting plan will cost about $400 to $600, while a mid-sized project with a planting plan and basic construction documents will cost $600 to $2,800Bigger projects with concept drawings, elevation drawings, complex hardscape designs, and detail construction documents will cost $2,800 to $8,500.

What Leading Custom Home Builders and Architects that Serve the Fort Wayne Area Say

Lonnie Norris​, the vice president of sales for Granite Ridge Builders, shared his views on the construction market, which is currently being affected by a housing shortage. It will take at least five years for supply to meet demand considering that rising interest rates and costs are putting pressure firms to keep their services affordable.

“Demand remains strong and there is still great consumer confidence and interest that is bringing people to our model homes and office,” said Norris.

Al W. Hamed, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Management (MSM), president of Hamed Homes, noted that the construction industry is, and has been, evolving in recent times. The historically low mortgage rates provide a good opportunity and investment for those who are interested in building a home despite the rising construction costs and labor shortages.

“As these challenges persist, builders will identify and implement new and innovative methodologies to continue to bring their product offering to fruition, without compromising quality or integrity,” said Hamed, noting that the emergence of new and creative trends are aiding builders and buyers build the gap between wants, needs, and associated costs. 

With new trends appearing, additional interest in the industry is being fostered in buyers. Hamed shared that it is “very much an exciting time to be aligned with the construction arena.”

The Future of Fort Wayne’s Residential Construction Industry

Much like other sectors in northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne’s construction industry is suffering from the impact of the labor shortage. This labor shortage is expected to last well into 2022. The lack of skilled workers is forcing firms to turn down projects to avoid being unable to complete them within the allotted time. This is also causing prices to rise.

About 90% of firms have reported a struggle to find qualified workers to hire, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Moreover, firms are currently looking into bringing more people into the industry, especially with the employment gap created by an aging construction workforce. One of the proposed solutions is the idea of holding training and professional development programs, much like the Building Education with SIPs Training (BEST) by Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA). BEST is part of SIPA’s work towards offering accessible training programs to teach its participants to save time and labor when providing health and low-embodied carbon structures.

Considering building a home in Fort Wayne?

Contact us for a free consultation