Home Construction Costs in Orange County

California’s housing crisis and high cost of living have been making news for quite some time. And home construction costs in Orange County are no exception. This emphasizes the crucial need of meticulous planning and budgeting for any Orange County construction project. In this blog we will discuss Orange County construction costs for projects like home remodels, additions, and other projects around the home, including new home construction.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are looking for reliable contractors to perform various construction projects in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties.  GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

Notably, in Southern California locations like Orange County, upgrading a 2,000-square-foot home can cost over $200,000. This cost, however, includes more than just construction supplies and labor. There are various elements that contribute to overall costs, including:

Labor: Skilled labor in the construction business might cost between $200 and $250+ per person per day. Given that construction projects require multiple workers and can last several months, labor costs can quickly add up.

Materials: Building materials have a significant impact on construction costs. This category comprises the costs of obtaining lumber, flooring supplies, pipes, wiring, drywall, paint, and energy-efficient windows to meet the most recent building codes.

Contractor Fees: Developers and contractors must ensure the financial viability of their projects. However, reaching profitability becomes difficult due to different expenses such as insurance and employee compensation.

construction costs in Orange County windows

New Home Construction Costs in Orange County

Building a new home is a significant undertaking, and the costs are substantial. The first thing you need to know is that the costs will be tremendously impacted by the architect you select and the home plans they develop for you. Wherein a basic, traditional floorplan and style might cost $400 per square foot to construct, a modern design with exotic shapes and materials could run up to $700 per square foot.

Its important to start your architect with a budget in mind. Its also important to show progress sets of plans to a general contractor to get their feedback along the way. A contractor will be able to help you ‘value engineer’ the draft plans in order to save costs before they get finalized.

Whole Home Construction-Remodeling Costs in Orange County

The cost of upgrading an entire home in Orange County can run from $100 to $300 per square foot. It is crucial to realize, however, that not all home construction projects are created equal in terms of difficulty and breadth. The amount of work needed is determined by factors such as the current state of the home and the specific goals of the construction project. Let’s look at a cost breakdown for some common construction projects:

Bathroom Construction Costs in Orange County

Bathroom Remodeling Costs: A basic bathroom remodel can be completed for as little as $25,000. However, the expense of renovating larger bathrooms, particularly master bathrooms, can easily exceed $60,000. Vanities can range from $300 for small prefabricated units to $2,000 for custom options. Shower costs vary depending on whether it’s a simple shower overhaul or a prefab shower surround, starting around $1,500.  Bathtubs for a small shower/tub combo for a secondary bathroom can start at $800+, while larger and more sophisticated tubs for master bathrooms can be a significant cost upgrade.

construction costs in Orange County drywall

Kitchen Construction Costs in Orange County

Kitchens have grown into more than just a place to cook; they have also become major centers for a variety of activities. Kitchen remodels in Orange County can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000 or more, with the bulk lying somewhere between $45,000 and $70,000.

Costs associated with kitchen remodeling include cabinets (prefabricated options starting at around $150 per linear foot, while custom cabinets start at approximately $250 per linear foot), countertops (ranging from $40 to $50 per square foot for standard materials and potentially exceeding $100 to $150 per square foot for luxury options, which can contribute up to $10,000+ to the overall cost of a full kitchen remodel).

Next, appliances (with prices varying depending on the brands and models chosen, from a budget of around $3,500 for standard appliances to potentially $50,000 for luxury brands), backsplash (options ranging from countertop material pieces to porcelain, ceramic, glass, marble, or quartz tiles, with varying costs), sink (commonly stainless steel but with other options available at different price points), and islands (with the cost of cabinets and counters often factored into the kitchen island expenses, influenced by factors such as electrical outlet installations, lighting fixtures, and the size, depth, and functionality of the island).

Room Addition Construction Costs in Orange County

Adding structural, architectural, functional, and ornamental features to expand living space can be a considerable investment. Detached garage conversions (ranging from $200 to $300 per square foot for a standard two-car garage, resulting in total costs ranging from $90,000 to $125,000), accessory dwelling units (ADUs) with a size of up to 1,200 square feet (averaging between $300 and $450 per square foot, resulting in total costs ranging from $100,000 to $400,000), and junior accessory dwelling units (ADUs) with a size of up to 500 square feet (averaging between $300 and $400 per foot).

construction costs in Orange County framing

Construction Costs in Orange County – Contractor Bids

If you’re undertaking a significant remodel project, you should always get at least three bids from reliable, local OC contractors. But unless you prepare before requesting contractor estimates, you might find that their cost estimates are significantly different. This put you into a challenging situation asking yourself why the same job could be prices so differently by these various contractors.

So, to start, the best thing you can do to make sure you’re receiving consistent bids is to provide the contractors with as much information as possible upfront. A building plan is a great start…and the more thorough the plan, the better. Next, consider including a project checklist which includes all the items you envision in the project. For example, if you want wallpaper in the bathroom, that wont be in your blueprint, but you can include it in your scope checklist.

Finally, the more information you can provide about your desired materials, the better. For example if you tell every contractor that you intend to use a certain shower tile which costs $5/sf…then each one will use that number in their bid. Alternatively, if you don’t provide this guidance, each contractor will assume a different cost for shower tile. Or, some contractors may include this material and others will exclude it…making it difficult to compare bids in a consistent manner.

These examples demonstrate the expenses of home construction in Orange County. It is crucial to remember that the figures presented are estimates and may vary depending on a variety of factors such as the precise location, materials chosen, customization requirements, and project complexity. It is best to speak with qualified professionals in the industry who can provide customized assessments based on unique needs and preferences to acquire accurate and precise cost estimates.

When it comes to finding a pro you can trust to do your home construction project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.


Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com


Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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