Known for its leisurely, laid-back lifestyle, South Carolina is a spectacular place to settle down and build a home. Beautiful beaches, five-star golf courses, and luxury living are the perfect combination for young families, retirees, and everyone in between because everyone deserves the best place to live in South Carolina.
Before drawing up plans for a dream home in the Palmetto State, homeowners should take a moment to familiarize themselves with state-specific requirements and building tips. It’s easy to get excited or overwhelmed and skip a step. By doing a bit of research ahead of time, you’ll be prepared to meet with contractors, designers, and mortgage lenders with confidence and stride.
In any homebuilding project, it’s best to start with a plan and a budget. Make a list of personal requirements for your final home product, then a list of nice-to-have features. Only turn to the nice-to-have list when you’ve determined that there is room in your budget for an additional splurge. Otherwise, it will benefit everyone in the long run to stick to your initial budget as much as possible throughout the construction timeline.
To begin the planning process and start strategizing your budget, here are a few tips and tricks for building a new home in South Carolina.
Living in South Carolina is characterized by mild winters and hot, sun-drenched summers. To make the most of their new home and the pleasant features of every season, homeowners may consider the addition of a sunroom or glass porch enclosure. This way you can enjoy the sunbeams – without the harsh humidity or unfavorable heat index.
An important consideration for building a home in South Carolina is storm preparation. Parts of South Carolina are susceptible to hurricanes, tornadoes, and heavy storms.
To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to invest in reliable storm protection options, such as accordion hurricane windows, fabric shields, storm panels, and other systems to bolster exposed doors or windows. Storm attachments vary in price and features but range from very basic coverage to automation and aesthetically-friendly features that blend into the home design outside of storm season.
Additionally, South Carolina homes are subject to certain building code requirements that are based on storm precautions. Consult with your builder to learn more about these specifications.
A newly-built home in South Carolina will cost between $300,000 and $400,000. Of course, this can change as plans are adjusted to meet individual preferences, style choices, and material costs in an unpredictable materials and labor market.
Below is a step-by-step guide for building your South Carolina home.
The first hurdle is simply purchasing land. If you already own the land, then you are in good shape. If you’re still looking for the perfect spot to carve out your home’s permanent placement, consider working with a local realtor to seal a great deal.
Homeowners looking to purchase raw land, meaning an isolated plot on untouched land, can expect to pay between $15,000 and $114,900 per acre in South Carolina. Buyer beware: This is only the base price before additional site preparation costs, such as water, sewer, and electrical connections are added to the grand tally.
Some homeowners who want a development somewhere in between raw land and suburbia might choose rural development. Lot sizes of one-quarter acre to 10 acres usually exist outside of suburban areas, but include paved roadways, water and sewer systems, and potentially electrical connections. Ready-to-build rural lots typically cost between $15,000 and $70,000 per acre.
The most common location for residential builds in South Carolina is the suburban development, which tends to bundle the costs of the land, site preparation, and utility hookups. They may also include the features of modern luxury amenities of residential suburban communities such as curbed streets, sidewalks, and neighborhood landscaping. Depending on these factors, homeowners may spend between $3,559 and $199,000 per lot in South Carolina, this will also depend on the affordability of your city.
Permits and Paperwork
Early in the project – even prior to breaking ground – schedule an appointment with your contractor to discuss necessary building permits and how to obtain them. Typically, a general contractor will be the most knowledgeable on permits required for your area; some will even take care of the paperwork as part of their services.
However, a slip up on these filing prerequisites will stop or delay construction. To obtain necessary permit information required by the state, county, and/or local government, visit sciway.net and reference South Carolina Building Permits Process.
South Carolina homeowners should expect site preparation to cost between $9,800 and $33,900. This includes any electrical connections to the grid, sewer and water system connections, excavation, clearing, and leveling.
Depending on the type and size of the foundation, this stage may cost homeowners between $32,820 and $63,579. It’s a good idea to discuss the foundation options with your local builder, who can advise you on the foundation (basement, crawlspace, or slab) most suitable for the area’s climate.
Building out the house’s skeleton is no small task. The framing phase, including the lumber structure for sides and roof that give your home its real shape, can average $32,820 to $84,772. This amount may fluctuate given the current material pricing of lumber and labor – and the size of the home.
Constructing the exterior makes up a large portion of the overall budget (15 to 20 percent). The roof, exterior siding, windows, and doors are a substantial expense and may cost between $49,230 and $84,772.
After the framework is standing and the blueprints are beginning to look like a real house, the major mechanical systems need to be installed. The cost to connect and activate the plumbing, sewer, and electrical grid, plus any major appliances including HVAC, maybe between $32,820 and $63,575 on average in South Carolina.
The largest expense in the overall budget will be the interior finishing touches. This not only includes drywall, painting, trim, countertops, cabinetry, and flooring, but also any interior decorative elements that make your new house feel cozy, comfortable, and personalized. These costs can swing widely, based on personal preferences. The average costs in South Carolina may range between $82,050 and $148,350.
Helpful Tips for Building in South Carolina
Finally, here are some additional items for consideration when becoming a South Carolina homeowner.
Closing Cost Incentives
Many cities and states across the U.S. offer financial assistance to first-time and repeat buyers. A little research could save you quite a bit in upfront costs. Learn more online about South Carolina down payment and closing cost assistance programs that are currently available.
Completing your home in South Carolina from start to finish may take between seven to 12 months. Of course, this can change based on how much work has already been put into acquiring the land and site preparation. Generally, floor plans and design preparations, including hiring a professional contractor and crew, can take four to six months. The actual construction of the home from the ground up will consume the rest of the time.
Build Your South Carolina Home
Building your dream home can be a bit overwhelming at times, but ultimately homeowners find the outcome to be exceptionally rewarding. Hopefully, this information eases a small amount of hesitation towards buying a new home by offering some insight into the process.
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.