Utah is a beautiful western state with countless attractions. From its famous skiing in Salt Lake City to its “Mighty Five” national parks, you’ll never run out of things to do in this western paradise! When it comes to building your new home, Utah is a great and affordable state.
Before you start calling builders and pouring the foundation, though, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here’s a guide to help you through the home-building process.
One of the first things you should determine is which region you wish to build your new home. The state has three major geographic regions that may make it an easy decision – the Rocky Mountains, the Basin and Ridge Region, and the Colorado Plateau.
Utah is known for its dry and semi-arid desert climate. The temperatures can vary widely between the southern and northern parts of the state. The northern portion is prone to cooler temperatures and receives bountiful snowfall annually, giving way to its thriving skiing economy, while the southern regions are much warmer. However, it is more common to experience what is known as “dry heat,” which is a high temperature accompanied by low humidity that makes the heat slightly more bearable. The same goes for the winter temperatures with “dry cold,” making the cool months less bitter.
Although it is dry year-round, there are ideal months to start building your home. Get started in the fall, before the ground freezes, so production is less likely to slow down.
Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you consider the cost of building your new Utah home.
There are many custom and production home builders in Utah. A custom home is exactly what the name implies: fully custom. You have control of every detail in your home and you work exclusively with your builder. When it comes to a production home, you still work closely with your builder, but the selection process is less complex: Your builder gives you an array of pre-selected options, which simplifies the process.
Custom homes also come with a custom price tag. Your costs will rise significantly, depending on how expensive the materials are that you select. Some materials may require specialized installation, which will raise your costs. The price of a production home, on the other hand, is more predictable.
Nationwide, the cost of materials and labor is rising, and this holds true in Utah. There are many other determining factors, but materials and labor consume a significant chunk of the price tag. It’s a good idea to stay current with national material supplies so you will better understand price changes, and talk to your builder about any delays or cost increases.
The standard of living in Utah is high compared to other states. Utah has become a very desirable location within the last 20 years, and it continues to grow. According to recent estimates, the average cost to build a house in Utah is $125 per square foot. This depends on where you build and what type of house you select.
The Salt Lake City area will have significantly higher land costs. For example, the price range for a newly built home in Cedar City is $200,00 to $400,000, while in Park City, it jumps to $450,700 to $650,000.
Here is a step-by-step timeline for building a home in Utah.
According to LandWatch, there are thousands of properties and rural land for sale in Utah, amounting to 328,123 acres. This means there is plenty of land to explore, with costs ranging from below $5,000 to upwards of $1 million.
Finding a builder is a crucial first step in the home building process. While it is always an option to organize the construction of your home yourself, hiring a builder is a less stressful path. Builders are experts in the area and have a good grasp of the terrain. Further, they have relationships with contractors to ensure the job gets done in a cost-effective way that will save time and headaches. If you want to read reviews about homebuilders in your area, check out sources like Trustbuilder, where you can read reviews from actual homeowners who have worked with different builders.
On average, permits for building a new house in Utah cost about $800 to $3,000 in 2022. Utah requires a building permit for all new homes, and the local county will issue it. Your builder will provide guidance on all the other paperwork and licenses you will need so you can get your house started.
While the home-building process is lengthy and complex, here’s a general idea of what to expect. After the above steps are completed, construction begins. The lot is prepared, which includes leveling the land and getting ready to pour the foundation. Once the foundation is laid, the early rough framing begins.
After framing and foundation, early plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems are installed. The next step is to install the insulation and erect drywall throughout the house. When these are completed, the flooring will be installed along with the first coat of paint. Finally, it’s time for the fixtures and appliances, as well as the final touches.
While it is a pricier state to settle down in, there are plenty of incentives to move to the great state of Utah. It offers multiple closing costs assistance programs to help reduce the daunting price tags of buying or building a new home.
Utah has so many cities across each region. Before you build, research each city that sparks your interest to learn which is best for you and your situation. Utah’s affordable cities are great options when wanting to move to this attractive western state, and there are plenty of retiree-friendly cities.
With wide-open skies and sprawling cities, it’s easy to see why new homeowners are heading to Utah. While building a home is a huge endeavor, it’s one you should enjoy. Buckle up and get ready for the adventure!