In Minnesota, beautiful waterways and natural resources seamlessly transition into buzzing cities and a booming economy. There’s so much to love in the North Star State; it’s no wonder homeowners are choosing to make the move and build a new construction home in Minnesota.
Minnesota boasts incredible attractions and affordable housing. Prominent education opportunities and exemplary healthcare are a few of the key highlights, as well as an outstanding art scene and the famous Mall of America. Well-known for its nickname, Land of 10,000 Lakes, the state is the site of more than 12,000 bodies of water, each as breathtaking as the last.
Building your dream Minnesota home is a huge undertaking and should be done with careful consideration. The project can be broken down into two large expense categories: land preparation and construction. Land preparation includes the cost of the land and any site work that must be completed prior to building. Construction costs include design drawings, labor, and materials used to bring your home to life. Costs will vary state by state, but a general outline of new home construction costs can be a helpful baseline.
New homebuyers should consider their personal price point and make a thorough budget at the beginning of the process with their contractor. Local contractors provide great insight into common home expenses in the area, including permit costs and additions for weatherization due to climate. With the final budget in hand, new home buyers can take a look at the step-by-step process for building a home and start making decisions. For homebuyers in Minnesota, here are a few state-specific considerations and tips to keep in mind when building a new construction home.
Minnesota’s location in the Upper Midwest allows the state to receive the widest range of seasonal changes in the U.S. Frigid, snowy winters with below-freezing temperatures are a major consideration for homeowners in the northern part of the state. Necessary weatherization installations are required such as sufficient insulation and piping, as well as regular maintenance of the furnace and water heater so they remain in top shape.
Hot, humid summers can be fairly wet or have mild in temperature in less severe annual forecasts. Luckily, its inland location safeguards the state from the threat of hurricanes, but tornados can be a possibility. The inclusion of basements and rooms sheltered from windows are beneficial in these cases.
How Much Does it Cost?
New homebuyers in Minnesota should consider the size of their home, any personal design preferences, and its location; these are some of the factors your builder will use to give you a reasonable cost estimate. In general, buyers can expect new home construction in Minnesota to cost between $90 and $200 per square foot. In the Twin Cities, this estimate may be higher, likely closer to $110 to $250 per square foot.
Here is a step-by-step guide for building your new house in Minnesota.
In Minnesota, the average cost per acre of land in 2020 was $4,840, according to the USDA. This cost can vary quite a bit depending on your lot’s location in either the city or untouched farmland.
Permits and Paperwork
In Minnesota, homeowners typically do not need a license for general construction work on their own homes – providing they are the legal owners of the property. However, some mechanical, electrical, and plumbing projects may require a license or employment of a licensed contractor.
In the case of building permits for single-family homes, local regulations vary. For example, Minneapolis building permits require a paperwork process and inspection (typically set up by your contractor). An online application and review process is required for obtaining a St. Paul building permit and documentation must be submitted by the contractor.
Contact your local municipality to learn more about the process for obtaining a building permit. At times, homeowners may need more than one permit depending on the home design and additions. Fees associated with building permits vary by location from one year to the next.
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to clear and prepare the average construction site is between $1,366 and $5,303, with an average of $3,196. Depending on how dense the foliage on the lot may be, the cost could be up to three times higher. If the site is not connected to utilities, this will be included in the site preparation stage in the costs to build a home.
Foundation and Framing
Depending on where you live, your home may either be a slab-on-grade foundation or a basement foundation. A concrete slab-on-grade foundation in Minnesota typically costs between $5.82 and $6.48 per square foot, with an average of $6.15 per square foot. On the other hand, a basement will cost significantly more for the added space, ranging from $19.85 to $34.18, with an average of $27.02 per square foot.
Framing a new construction home in Minnesota depends on the market price of materials and labor. Currently, the cost to frame a home is about $7 to $16 per square foot. This expense, similar to the cost of new roof installation, is in line with the national averages for building a new construction home.
Critical for surviving harsh Minnesota winters, a furnace is a necessary installment. In Minnesota, a new furnace may cost between $6,000 and $9,000, at an average of $7,700. A new furnace with regular maintenance and care should last 15 to 20 years.
An HVAC is also beneficial in the moderate, but humid, summertime temperatures. Installation of an HVAC may cost between $4,000 and $12,000 on average.
Helpful Tips for Building in Minnesota
Finally, below are a few tips and tricks for building your dream Minnesota home.
In Minnesota, the weatherization of your home is critical to its structural integrity, as well as your general comfort and safety. Weatherization can vary in cost, but its intention remains to protect the home’s interior. This includes replacing doors and windows as needed, adding insulation in the walls and around pipes, filling gaps in the exterior walls, and patching any roof leaks. These actions will protect the longevity of your home, increase efficiency, and lower energy bills.
Closing Cost Incentives
Most states and cities offer down payment and closing cost assistance for new and repeat home buyers. For more information on closing cost incentives in Minnesota, check out your local city government website or speak with your general contractor.
When to Build
Spring is usually the ideal time to build your new home in Minnesota. Construction can be done in the winter if your lot is exposed to enough sunlight, which can thaw the ground. But if the seasonal forecast isn’t looking favorable, you can expect delays due to the occasional Midwest snowstorm. Builders are often less busy in the winter, but you may need to pay extra for heaters on site. In the springtime, builders have more time on their schedule than in the summer when they are backlogged with other projects.
In Minnesota, a new construction home can be built in a time span of three months to one year, depending on location, season, and contractor availability.
Build Your Minnesota Home
Minnesota is a wonderful place to live. From the gorgeous landscapes to the exciting urban city centers, the state has a little something for everyone. With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to take the next step toward your homeownership dreams in the North Star State.
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.