How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Oklahoma City?

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The bustling Bricktown Entertainment, exceptional museums, and family-friendly landmarks continue to boost Oklahoma City’s Southern charm. This capital city is the core of the state’s urban renaissance perfect for adventure-seeking individuals and those who want a place to settle down. With a variety of theme parks, zoos, and activities to offer, the sprawling metropolitan has quickly become one of the residential construction hotspots in Oklahoma.  

Bethany, Mustang, and Nichols Hills are among the popular neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. These places rank among the city’s most livable communities with great school accessibility and affordability. In a recent article released by Construction Coverage, Oklahoma City was among the cities with the largest increase in residential construction spending since 2020. The builders in the city have seen a skyrocketing growth of projects since the second quarter of the year. Despite the high price of lumber and other materials, the demand for new homes persists. 

Therefore, residents and newcomers have one question: how much does it cost to build a house in Oklahoma City?

The Cost of Building a Custom Home in Oklahoma City


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According to the latest list published by GOBankingRates, Oklahoma claims the top spot in the cheapest places to build a home. It costs as low as $80 per square foot and can also go up to $130 depending on the size of the home, labor availability, materials used, and commute time. This means that for the average size of a home in Oklahoma (1,746 square feet), the approximate total cost of building a home starts from $141,426 and goes up to $226,980 or more. 

This cost is a big jump from last year’s prices due to the price increase of building materials. One material that showed a major price spike is the OSB, a structural panel used in flooring, walls, and roof decking. In February 2020, this product only cost $7.84, but a year later increased to  $31.33. Materials such as concrete, insulation, shingles, electrical wiring, and brick have also experienced major price increases. Beyond the price spike, another challenge that home builders could face is the lack of availability of materials. This challenge requires contractors to either be adaptable and to use alternative and readily available materials, or to extend the project timeline from four to six months to more than a year.

Building a home is no easy task, which is why we always want to be prepared beforehand. Considering the previously mentioned homebuilding trends, our editorial team decided to further review the current prices of building materials in the city that can help estimate your budget. We further detailed these costs by categorizing the figures into hard costs and soft costs.   

Hard Costs

Figure 1. Average cost breakdown of a single-family home constructed in Oklahoma City, according to Home Builder Digest.

Hard costs pertain to the physical building of the residential structure and its corresponding labor costs. A few of the most common costs under this category are the foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, roofing, and other interior details. To complete a safe and durable space for homeowners, contractors in Oklahoma focus on these elements and parts of the construction process:

Structure: For the structure, homeowners will spend approximately $28 to $33 per square foot. This estimate includes costing for the foundation, walls, ceiling, and other parts that will frame the house.

Electrical: According to homeyou, the cost to install electrical panels ranges from $898 to $1,069. This price includes the panel, labor, materials, and supplies. 

Roofing: Since Oklahoma goes through multiple seasons every year, it is ideal that houses use asphalt roof shingles.  For this type of roof, homeowners might spend $5 to $6 per square foot for materials, and a few dollars more for labor, equipment, and other fees. This results in a total cost of $6,200 to $7,900 for the roof. 

Plumbing: On average, Oklahoma homeowners have spent $323 dollars on plumbing materials, labor, equipment, and fees. This cost can go up to $654 or more. 

HVAC: Installing an HVAC will start at $1,868 and can go as high as $9,340. This largely depends on what type to use, the location’s weather, and the size of the house. 

Labor: Construction laborers in Oklahoma get paid $15.7 per hour on average. Some charge as low as $14 or as high as $22, depending on their years of experience. 

Soft Costs

Soft costs include the conceptualization of home construction, such as the processing of designs, land permits, taxes, blueprints, and other fees. These can occur anywhere during the pre- to post-construction stages, which is why it is important to research them prior to going through the actual building process. Soft costs somehow serve as the backbone of the entire construction, which is why if overlooked, this can lead to additional costs and a prolonged timeline. Here are some of the costs you need to consider when building a home in Oklahoma:

Cost of the Land

Oklahoma offers a variety of neighborhoods for every lifestyle. Residents have the option to reside in downtown areas to suburbs or historic districts. The accessible downtown area is ideal for people who want to live close to restaurants and shops while the east side of the suburbs is for people who want to live in the country and have their own land. On the west side of the suburban areas are cities like Yukon which hold festivals annually, attracting visitors to sojourn the historic downtown area. 

The north and south side of the suburbs is where houses with high-end homes and highly rated schools, including the University of Oklahoma, are all located. The historic districts are also on the higher-end for cost of living due to the convenience of staying near the action of the city. Purchasing land in the downtown, suburb, or historic districts, home builders can expect to spend $5 to $50 or more per square foot. Due to the differences in cost of living and accessibility in every area, it is expected that there will be a wide range of land prices in Oklahoma.

Architecture and Design Fees 

Architects serving the city of Oklahoma typically charge 8% to 10% of the construction cost. Some also prefer an hourly rate of $50 to $150 or a per square foot charge of $1.5 to $3. Hiring the best residential architects in Oklahoma is indeed a worthy investment because this will result in a home that is well-thought out with spaces that are accustomed to one’s own preference. These professionals possess years of experience and prove that skills, hard work, and passion can go a long way. Such professionals include interior designers who cost from $4,000 to $6,500. Others include structural engineers, with rates usually between $200 to $1,200 depending on their level of management.

Permits and Other Fees 

According to the Oklahoma City Municode Library, the city has a couple of permits to take note of and to consider when building homes. Although some contractors offer to handle these permits, it is also advisable that clients or homeowners familiarize themselves with the different permits needed to build a new home. Listed below are the four main permits needed to build a home in the city. Each permit features a base or minimum fee as well as any additional costs related to it:

For Mechanical Permits, the Municode listed five classes of hp or tons and its corresponding prices:

In April of 2021, The Oklahoman reported over 73 building permits for new homes. This number is expected to increase for the rest of the year making Oklahoma City a robust industry for residential construction. Moreover, the visual representation below displays the different soft costs for home construction in Oklahoma City and their corresponding price range for a 1,746-square-foot home.

Figure 2. Breakdown of soft costs in Oklahoma City, according to Home Builder Digest.

How do the custom home building costs in Oklahoma City compare to other cities in Oklahoma? 

In Oklahoma, the average cost for residential construction starts from $110.87 per square foot. According to howmuchly, the lowest building costs in the state start at $89.23, and the highest costs start from $135.5 per square foot. This puts Oklahoma City in the middle of this range. Residential construction in Oklahoma City starts from $113.87 per square foot, the same range as surrounding cities Edmon and Norman. A more affordable area in the state includes Muskogee, Tulsa, and Stillwater where construction costs range from $105.79 to $110.84. Meanwhile, in a more affluent neighborhood like Lawton and Enid, one will have to spend around $115.14 and more per square foot. 

Major Custom Home Building Trends Across the Web for Oklahoma City 

Over the last few years, Oklahoma City’s home construction and real estate have experienced an overwhelming surge. By mid-2020, the city’s market had exploded with a robust demand for homes. The Journal Record discussed how home construction in central Oklahoma rose to more than 12% at the beginning of 2020. Generally, this was a great start to 2020 with over 1,266 new homes built until the end of October. However, this also meant that prices have increased due to the delayed supply of materials and higher labor wages. Builders in the area have increased prices fast as more and more people demanded newly-built homes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a Producer Price Index summary which reported a 19.4% increase in building materials recorded over the past year.

Sites like the Oklahoma Home Builders Association, The Oklahoman, The Journal Record, and Manta give the general public an overview of what to expect when it comes to OKC’s home building market. According to Manta, home construction prices in the city will land anywhere between $10,900 for value-conscious homes to $90,840 for a more high-end custom home. In other builder websites, Richard Homes estimates a 2,500-square-foot custom home will cost around $342,750 and more depending on the design and amenities included.

The Future of Oklahoma City’s Residential Construction Industry

Oklahoma City’s construction industry does not show any signs of slowing down. As more and more people demand housing due to the housing shortage, it is likely that the construction boom will go on for the next few years. According to Statista’s May 2021 list of the 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest value of new residential construction in 2020, Oklahoma City was at the 44th spot earning $1.67 billion worth of new construction. As seen on the graph below from Builder Online, the construction of single-family homes had a slight dip in 2020 but quickly recuperated in 2021. Single-family homes make up 86% of the total new construction by mid-2021. Attached homes occupied 4% joined by 10% of other/unknown types of construction. 

“Local Housing Data: Oklahoma City, OK.” BUILDER, December 2, 2021.

Comparatively, as projects increased, prices also increased. As seen in the graph below, new home prices per square foot have increased since 2019: from $107 per square foot ($215,261 per home sales) to $133 per square foot ($244,323 per home sales). This rapid increase in the short time span was felt by clients, builders, and suppliers.

“Local Housing Data: Oklahoma City, OK.” BUILDER, December 2, 2021.

With these ongoing trends, it is likely that Oklahoma City will continue to see an increase in its construction industry alongside an impending price increase brought about by the effects of the material and labor shortage during the pandemic. Despite these movements, Norada Real Estate Investments names Oklahoma City one of the nation’s most valuable housing markets to invest in. The website also states how Oklahoma City has one of the least volatile housing markets in the country, creating a strong and stable economy for investments and real estate values. 

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