A Comprehensive Guide to the Cost of Building a Custom Home in Vancouver in 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to the Cost of Building a Custom Home in Vancouver in 2024

Unravelling the Costs: Factors That Influence the Price Tag of Your Dream Custom Home in Vancouver in 2024

The allure of a custom home in Vancouver is irresistible. But what factors determine its cost? In this blog, we delve into the key considerations and offer insights into the average expenses involved. Read on to make informed decisions about your dream home project.

The Cost of Constructing A Custom Home In Vancouver, British Columbia in 2024

If you’ve already embarked on your research and engaged in conversations with multiple builders, you’re likely aware that custom home building prices span a wide range. 

A custom home is tailored precisely to your desires and requirements, with due consideration for your financial situation. 

The cost of constructing a custom home in Vancouver is influenced by several significant factors. The size of the home, the complexity of the design, and the quality of materials chosen are important considerations. Additionally, fees for architects, engineers, and builders contribute to the total cost. 

As per market trends and current inflation rates, in 2024, you can expect to spend anywhere from CAD $350 to $500 per square foot on an average quality-built custom home in Vancouver.

For a high-end custom home with premium finishes and luxurious amenities, the cost can exceed CAD $500 per square foot. On the other hand, a more modest custom home with standard finishes and fewer high-end features may fall in the lower range of the price spectrum.

For example, standard-size lots in Vancouver are 33 x 122 feet typically single-family homes are approximately 2800 square feet. The cost of constructing a brand-new quality-built custom home in Vancouver on standard-sized lots would range from CAD $980,000 to CAD $1.4 million. The cost of constructing a high-end custom home on the same lot would start at CAD $1.4 million.

Remember that the approximate cost estimates provided here can vary based on build quality, market conditions, construction demand, and individual project specifications.

The cost can fluctuate significantly based on the following factors.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Custom Home Construction:

Part 1: Crafting Your Budget and Game Plan
Do you have a strategy in mind for embarking on the construction of a custom home?

When it comes to building a custom home, one of the most common questions homeowners ask is about the budget. Specifically, they often inquire about the price-per-square-foot.

The inquiry about the price-per-square-foot is ambiguous and cannot be compared directly from builder to builder. In the construction industry, there is no universal standard defining the inclusions and exclusions for this metric. Builders have varying standards for building quality, which must be taken into consideration.

When you are researching custom home builders, it’s important to look beyond the cost-per-square-foot.

Click here for The 10 Pitfalls of Hiring Cheap: Why Cutting Corners on Home Construction Can Cost You More

When builders discuss the price-per-square-foot, they are referring to the direct construction costs of the home also known as Hard Costs

Discover the distinction between Hard Costs and Soft Costs by clicking here.

Comparing estimates can be challenging for homeowners as it’s a lot of information to digest. First-time custom homeowners usually don’t know what typically is included and not included. 

Homeowners, in particular, need to be cautious when dealing with excessively simplified estimates. The lack of clarity regarding what is included and what is not can make it challenging to dispute after the fact. 

If the homeowner hires a reliable, trustworthy and reputable builder, simple estimates and agreements will suffice. However, if a homeowner hires a shady builder, even a longer estimate or agreement may not prevent them from finding ways to charge extra fees.

It’s important for homeowners to carefully review and compare estimates to ensure they have a clear understanding of the costs involved.

Additionally, certain estimates include the costs of appliances and blinds, while others do not. While appliances and blinds are not a part of home construction. Both will be installed nevertheless. You can get basic appliances and blinds, fancy ones or anything else in between. 

A custom house is meticulously crafted, allowing homeowners the freedom to select from a wide array of options that cater to their unique preferences and desires. What may be indispensable to one person might be inconsequential to another.

At Glenmark Homes, we prioritize open communication with homeowners to discuss the comprehensive budget. We understand the importance of transparency throughout the entire building process, fostering trust every step of the way. Click here and take a moment to explore our unique building process unique to Glenmark Homes.

Working with a reliable builder is crucial as it alleviates the homeowner’s concerns regarding every aspect of the construction process. With a trustworthy professional at the helm, homeowners can rest assured and have peace of mind throughout the project, free from unnecessary stress, worries and distractions.

Having an open and honest discussion about the overall construction budget at the start of the project is important in establishing the right game plan to move forward. 

The construction budget for a house, for example, whether it’s $350, $450, $550, $650 or more per square foot, can greatly impact the type of home you’ll have.

At what stage are you currently in the process?

Do you already have a comprehensive set of building plans, interior design plans, and specifications readily available? or are you starting from scratch?

Having detailed plans is crucial for providing an accurate preliminary estimate. There are so many moving parts when it comes to building a custom home and planning the budget.

Several factors homeowners should be aware of, including market conditions, availability of labour and materials, inflation, and changes in city-building regulations. 

If you don’t have plans yet, no worries! We can start by discussing the overall details of your project. Here are the advantages of starting from scratch:

  • Hiring a builder after finalizing the plans, only to realize the need for substantial changes based on the builder’s suggested improvements, can lead to additional time and financial investment in implementing these modifications. Homeowners often find themselves wondering, “Why didn’t I consider that?”
  • By engaging a builder from the outset, you can benefit from their insights. For instance, many homeowners have a budget in mind but may not be aware that certain features come with a hefty price tag, which can impact the overall budget.
  • Experienced builders are in high demand, so securing a spot in their schedule is advisable as early as possible. Acting promptly will ensure you can benefit from their services without delay.
  • Homeowners sometimes encounter designers who fail to meet their expectations or only discover they’ve hired the wrong designer when it’s already too late. However, an experienced builder can play a crucial role in bridging the gap by offering suggestions to designers and ensuring that the homeowners’ desires, requirements, and budget are all taken into consideration. A significant number of first-time custom homeowners frequently fail to recognize the crucial significance of engaging a skilled designer. Selecting the wrong designer can significantly affect the construction budget and timeline, causing a ripple effect throughout the entire project. It is crucial to make a wise choice to avoid unnecessary financial implications.
What is the cost of the Project Management Fees?

Project management fees can vary depending on the builders’ experience, reputation and type of project. They usually range between 10-15% for single-family custom homes, but they can be as high as 20-25% if the project is very complicated. 

Project management fees are typically based on the total cost of construction also known as the Hard Costs. 

These fees do not include other associated expenses such as architectural plans or engineering.

Many builders also charge additional fees for change orders and unexpected costs due to unforeseen circumstances.

Homeowners need to stay informed about these fees so that they can better manage their budgets. If you’re looking for an experienced builder in your area, make sure to research carefully, ask questions to verify that they’re the right fit for your project and ask for references.

Certain custom home building companies may advertise lower percentages for their fees, but they often inflate the overall cost of construction. This tactic creates the appearance of lower project management fees, but in reality, it’s merely a numbers game. Be cautious and discerning when evaluating these offerings. 

The project management fees cover managing the project from start to finish, from administration, managing the construction timeline and ensuring the project stays on track, budget oversight, scheduling inspections and coordination to supervising contractors as they work on the project and providing quality assurance in control measures to ensure the highest level of quality for your custom home build.

At Glenmark Homes, we understand the importance of transparency when it comes to discussing construction costs upfront. We provide homeowners with reliable information so they can make informed decisions about their custom home build. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the entire process and answer questions you may have about the cost of construction. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your vision and find out how you can make your dream home a reality. We look forward to speaking with you soon! 

Part 2: Location, Location, Location:
Have you already bought a parcel of land?

The geographic location of your future home plays a significant role in determining the cost. Prices of land, accessibility, and local regulations can differ drastically across regions in British Columbia. Building in an urban center like Vancouver may come with higher land costs and stricter building codes, while rural areas could offer more affordable options.

In general, homeowners tend to construct opulent residences with intricate designs in highly desirable locations. The cost of construction is closely related to the location. 

As such, it’s important for homeowners to consider these factors before beginning the building process. Purchasing a plot of land is often an expensive endeavour but can be worth the investment if chosen carefully. Land in prime locations is more expensive, but the house that you build on it may be more desirable and worth more in the long run.

It’s essential to research real estate trends in the area, as well as the local building codes and regulations. Being aware of zoning bylaws can help you decide if it’s possible to build the dream home your desire on the land that you have purchased, or if another location is more suitable for your dream house. 

It is also important to consider what kind of lifestyle you want your home to provide. Those looking for a quiet, secluded area may be better off choosing a suburban or rural location over a bustling city street. 

If you need to buy a parcel of land first

Land costs and building regulations can vary across regions in British Columbia. Urban centers like Vancouver may have higher land costs and stricter building codes, while rural areas offer more affordable options. 

When buying a parcel of land for building a custom home, homeowners should be aware of potential restrictions that may affect the building plan. The following are important factors to consider when researching parcels: 

  • To ensure proper zoning of the land, it is advisable to reach out to the local planning authority and familiarize yourself with community plans. This step will help to ensure compliance with the local zoning ordinance.
  • Topography and soil conditions– sloped and hilly land may require additional engineering or construction costs.
  • Necessary permits– the location of your land parcel will determine what type of permit is needed for construction.
  • Availability of utility services such as water, sewer, electrical, etc.– determine whether these are available on-site or need to be brought in from an outside source. 
  • Accessibility of the land– make sure there is access to the parcel, for example, tree barriers can sometimes block a huge portion of the front access to the property and machinery or delivery using crane trucks needs to access the property from the back of the property. 

Engaging a knowledgeable builder to help with researching and acquiring suitable parcels can be immensely beneficial in navigating local regulations and ensuring an efficient process. After all, time is money! 

At Glenmark Homes, we believe that home building should be an enjoyable experience. We provide the necessary guidance and support to help steer your project from start to finish, leaving you with a home that’s tailored to your needs, preferences, and budget! 

Part 3: Size and Scope of the Home

The square footage and complexity of the design significantly influence the overall cost. Larger square footage with more intricate designs means more materials, labour, and time. Additionally, unique room shapes or architectural complexities can add to the construction expenses.

The price per square foot decreases as the size of the home increases because the numbers average out. Once again, this highlights the fact that using price per square foot as a measuring standard is inadequate.

Architectural Style and Design Features:

Your chosen architectural style and design preferences can significantly sway costs. While a minimalist design may be more cost-effective, elaborate features like vaulted ceilings, custom windows, and intricate detailing can elevate the budget.

Quality of Materials and Finishes:

Premium materials and high-end finishes drive up expenses. Balancing quality with a budget is crucial.

Labour and Construction Costs:

Labour availability and construction costs vary based on the region. Hiring skilled professionals ensures top-notch work and the longevity of your home.

Specialized Features, Customization, and Upgrades:

Unique amenities like swimming pools, home theatres, and elaborate landscaping. Opting for custom features like built-ins, specialty appliances, and smart home tech will add to the overall expenses.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Incorporating energy-efficient features may increase upfront costs but lead to long-term savings.

If you have a more substantial budget, it is worth considering the construction of high-performance homes like Net-Zero or Passive Homes. These homes not only offer superior energy efficiency but also contribute to a more sustainable future. 

Foundation and Site Preparation:

The type of foundation and necessary site preparation impact the budget

Permits and Regulations

Adhering to local building codes and securing permits contribute to the overall construction expenses. The cost is determined by the city and varies based on the specific permits required for your project. Moreover, it is subject to periodic increases. 

BC Step Code Program:

The BC Step Code, a voluntary roadmap established in British Columbia, is an essential consideration for prospective homeowners. This initiative aims to guide the construction industry toward creating more energy-efficient residences and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The BC Step Code is divided into different levels of energy efficiency, with each “step” representing a higher standard. By 2032, the goal is for all new buildings in British Columbia to be built to step 5, representing net-zero energy-ready levels of performance.

It’s worth noting that although adhering to the BC Step Code is voluntary, many municipalities in British Columbia have chosen to adopt it as a requirement. This means the construction of your custom home could well be subject to the standards outlined in the BC Step Code. 

Choosing to build in compliance with the BC Step Code can result in higher upfront costs due to increased insulation, superior windows, and more efficient HVAC systems required to meet the energy efficiency targets. However, these investments will pay off in the long run through lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.

At Glenmark Homes, we’re experienced in building homes that surpass the BC Step Code requirements, providing you with a comfortable, eco-friendly home that stands the test of time. Request a free consultation to learn more about how we can build your dream custom home in Vancouver, BC, in 2024, in line with the BC Step Code’s objectives.

Part 4: Timeframe and Scheduling

Tight deadlines and expedited construction schedules may lead to additional costs to meet specific timeframes. 

Constructing a well-built home is a meticulous process that demands time and effort. It can be a daunting experience for everyone involved, from the project management and construction team to the homeowner.

Part 5: Contingency Planning

Setting aside a contingency budget for unforeseen expenses or changes during construction is essential for managing costs effectively.


Understanding these basic factors and working closely with your builder and design team will help you create a realistic budget for your custom home and ensure a successful and satisfying construction process.