What Is the Average Cost to Build a House in NE?

A newly built house complex in Nebraska.

Real estate property and building costs for standard and custom home construction from New York City to Los Angeles and everything in between have been increasing for the last few years. While there are indicators that the new home construction market is cooling off, reductions in market value so far have been limited to a few specific markets.

The general upwards path of costs of building and property values has also affected the Nebraska housing market. Property values have steadily risen for the last few years and only show minor signs of slowing. Construction costs have also risen due to inflation and general increases in the cost of living in NE.

While those trends might be reversing, the current market in Nebraska is not reflecting any industry decline. That means you will probably pay a higher price than a few years ago and a few years from now to build your home.

If you are considering building your dream home, the following is a general summary of the cost to build a house in Nebraska. Keep in mind that costs for both property and materials can vary greatly from region to region within the state, so you should carefully research where you might want to build.

Land Costs in Nebraska

Overall, land got more expensive in Nebraska, a trend that has remained constant for several years. The average value for an acre of land in Nebraska is $3,360, an increase over 2021 of over $400 per acre. Regional factors influence those totals, and experts estimate the increases will continue barring a few external influences.

In addition to the property’s raw value, multiple taxes and fees are owed to the state at the time of the transaction.

Permit Costs to Build House in Nebraska

Permits are also part of the cost of building a house. All new construction has several fees at the local and state level. Failure to adhere to these fees and permits can result in multiple layers of penalties, including fines and mandatory work stoppages until permits are current.

The average building permit cost in Nebraska ranges from several hundred dollars to over $1,000. Driving those costs are location, the type of permit you apply for, the size of the building you want to build, and other mitigating factors that might require additional permits.

In most cases, at the least, you will need a general building permit, electrical and plumbing certification, and, in some cases, permits to block roadways, etc. Your contractor should handle that paperwork. You can also apply online for a permit and, in some municipalities, see permits granted online. 

For budgeting reasons, because Nebraska permitting requirements vary greatly from region to region, anyone trying to estimate the cost of building a house should plan on permits costing $3,000 to $5,000, or $2000 above what a contractor estimates. Building in a buffer ensures that unforeseen permit or administrative costs are covered.

A construction worker finishing up some foundation work.

Building Costs to Build a House in Nebraska

As with all the USA, the cost of materials and labor to build a house in Nebraska has seen recent dramatic inflationary increases.

Building materials have been hit particularly hard, but virtually all aspects of home building have experienced inflationary pressures, making it less expensive to purchase an existing structure than custom home building in some areas. For example, working with cash home buyers in Lincoln can yield significant savings over building your own home in the same place.

Average cost estimates will put your building project between $59 to $132 per square foot to build a house in Nebraska, depending on the design of the house. That is less than the national average, which ranges between $100 and $200 per square foot.

Examining some building cost breakdowns can help determine the cost of building a house in the current market.

Architecture and Design Fees

Design fees range from a couple of thousand to several thousand dollars depending on the type of house you have an architect design for you and how big your floor plan is. It is common to have the architect and design fee for high-end house plans exceed eight percent of the cost of building a home.

Materials Cost

Materials have experienced the largest degree of inflationary pressure. Materials costs usually take up about 50% of the cost of building the home. So, if your home costs $300,000 to build, including permits, architects, inspections, and labor, your materials cost can be safely estimated to cost about $150,000.

Obviously, the overall cost of construction and materials will depend on the type of home and the quality of materials you use. Here is a sampling of home-building materials and their average costs as of January 2022:

  • Concrete: $1,000 up to $15,000 depending on size and environmental factors
  • Lumber: Up to $70,000 depending on the type of house
  • Roofing: $2,500 to $6,000
  • Flooring: Under $1.00 to over $10 (per sqft)

Foundation and Framing

The foundation of a house will eat up a large part of your budget as well. Typically, putting in a foundation costs between a few thousand dollars and over $25,000. It depends on the footprint of your home and other challenges that the land presents, such as boulders, springs, gradient issues, flooding, and pooling. 

Foundation costs cover the following:

  • Excavation
  • Filling
  • Pouring concrete
  • Form settings
  • Building needed retaining walls or other landscaping retaining structures

These costs apply to homes without a basement. If you want your home to have a basement, tack on another $10 to $30,000, depending on the size of the basement. Framing will cost you up to $50,000, depending on the design you are building.


Completing your home will cost you around $90 per square foot. The cost depends on how finished you want the product before you move in. Exterior finishing (doors, windows, siding, etc.) will cost about $35,000 to $40,000 and include:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Siding

Interior finishing (HVAC, floors, appliances, countertops, cabinets, fixtures, etc.) will cost you about twice what you spend on exterior finishing. It can exceed $50,000 and includes:

  • HVAC
  • Floors
  • Appliances
  • Drywall
  • Countertops
  • Cabinets
  • Fixtures


Labor costs will make up about 40 percent of the cost of building your house. The rates you pay for framers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc., are subject to the market you are building. City markets are usually more expensive than rural markets, but not always.

Average Cost To Build a House in Nebraska

Three factors go into the “average cost” of building a house in Nebraska:

  • Class of house
  • Region of location
  • Specific location

The following are how the classes of houses break down in the average Nebraska housing market.

Class 1: Luxury Single Family

Luxury homes are high-end and often exceed $375 per square foot. The price includes luxury materials and a larger-than-average square footage footprint.

Class 2: Semi-Luxury Single-Family Homes

Semi-luxury homes average over $225 per square foot. A semi-luxury home is larger than your typical home but is not considered extremely large.

Class 3: Best Single-Family Home

Class 3 homes are the highest quality stock home. Best quality standard homes typically will have 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2 to 3 baths (combination of full and half baths.) Class 3 homes tend to be roomier than class 4, 5, or 6. The average square foot cost of a Class 3 home is around $150, while higher-end Class 3 homes can run about $190 per square foot.

Class 4: Good Standard Single-Family Home

A Good Standard home is the most affordable without sacrificing space or materials. It typically has 2 to 3 bedrooms and is constructed with mid-quality materials. The average cost for a home rated as “good standard” is around $100 per square foot. Prices can go as low as the lower $90s and as high as over $135 per square foot.

Class 5 Average Standard Single-Family Home

These homes usually get sold as starter homes. They use mid-grade and lower-quality materials and are smaller. These homes are usually found in lower-end developments and are very “cookie-cutter.” The average cost of a Class 5 home is about $90 per square foot.

Class 6 Minimum Standard Single-Family Homes

Minimum standard homes cost about $70 per square foot and are considered low-end for a new house.

It is important to remember that all home building costs fluctuate based on the design, building process, and market trends. Make sure you scope out home price market averages with your general contractor or a realtor for where you want to build to get the most reliable pricing estimate.

Final Thoughts

The average cost of building a house in Nebraska can run from $70 per square foot to a total cost of over $350 per square foot. Prices from permits to materials to labor fluctuate based on the market.

If you need to sell a house fast in Nebraska to build a new one, remember that we buy houses Omaha residents are looking for.

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