What are the hard costs of building townhouses?

What are the hard costs of building townhouses?

When building townhouses it's important to know the hard and soft costs of the project. Hard Costs refer to the brick and mortar costs, things like building materials, labor, excavation, grading and landscaping - things you can see. These are the tangible costs associated with building your project from start to finish. The hard costs are usually easy to identify and can be determined by an experienced estimator to give you a rough estimate of the cost of the project. They include but are not limited to the following:


The cost of the building materials used to build your project – lumber, brick, nails, shingles, plumbing materials, wiring, appliances, doors, windows etc… These are relatively easy to budget for and an experienced estimator will be able to give you a fairly accurate price for each material. Lumber remains in high demand and low supply so continues to fluctuate with the market.


The cost of employees and subcontractors - their salaries. Pretty straight forward and easy to determine and budget.

Floor Plans

The cost to design or purchase the floor plans for your project. If building several townhome designs the cost for each floor plan would be counted. When building multiple designs there may be a discount given.


If there is an existing structure on the lot it will have to be demolished and the debris will need to be removed.


Will you be building your new structure into a hill? You’ll need to excavate. Does the new structure have a basement? If so you’ll need to excavate. Any movement of earth will result in excavation costs.


Similar to excavation, the land may need to be graded properly for water drainage and for easy of access.


Landscaping costs include any raised gardens, sod, trees, shrubs etc.

Water drainage

If you live in a flood plane you’ll need to have a route for the water to drain properly into the city our county system.

Contingency costs

This is an estimated amount of money expect for overages. It usually comprises of between 5 and 10% of the project. It’s meant for unforeseen costs that might effect the building process.

The hard costs of building new construction are usually fixed. If estimated properly you’ll have a very good idea of the general cost of the new construction less the soft costs. Soft costs of construction are the less tangible expenses that include fees, taxes, cost of permits and LEED certification to name a few.

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