How much does it cost to build an apartment complex?
How much does it cost to build an apartment complex?
$150 – $400 cost per square foot
$75,000 – $600,000 cost per unit (500 to 1,500 square feet)
$3,750,000 – $30,000,000 total average cost (50 units)
Average cost to build an apartment complex
The average cost to build an apartment complex is $150 to $400 per square foot, or $75,000 to $600,000 per unit. Building a standard mid-rise apartment complex with 50 units costs $3.8 to $30 million, depending on the size of each unit, labor fees, material quality, and the building location.
|National Average Cost||$16.9 million|
|Maximum Cost||$200 million|
|Average Range||$3.8 to $30 million|
Cost to build apartments by complex size
Commercial construction costs $150 to $400 per square foot on average. The following table shows the average cost of building an apartment complex by size:
|Number of units||Square footage||Average total cost|
|4||2,000 – 6,000||$300K – $2.4M|
|10||5,000 – 15,000||$750K – $6M|
|20||10,000 – 30,000||$1.5M – $12M|
|50||25,000 – 75,000||$3.8M – $30M|
|100||50,000 – 150,000||$7.5M – $60M|
Apartment complex building cost factors
Building an apartment complex includes many different projects involving different professionals. Each project varies in cost depending on the quality of materials, local labor rates, and unit sizes.
|Factor||Average cost per square foot|
|Foundation cost||$5.00 – $33.00|
|Framing cost||$11.00 – $30.00|
|Drywall cost||$1.50 – $3.50|
|Flooring cost||$4.00 – $15.00|
|Plumbing cost||$4.00 – $5.00|
|Interior trim cost||$4.00 – $10.00|
|Siding cost||$4.00 – $13.00|
|Roof cost||$3.00 – $6.00|
|Insulation cost||$1.00 – $4.50|
|Electrical wiring cost||$4.00 – $9.00|
|HVAC system cost||$3.00 – $6.00|
|Interior painting cost||$1.00 – $3.00|
|Countertops cost||$50.00 – $150.00|
|Doors cost||$225 – $1,900 each|
|Windows cost||$450 – $1,500 each|
|Light fixtures cost||$70 – $300 each|
|Toilets cost||$350 – $800 each|
|Sinks cost||$330 – $1,300 each|
|Cabinets cost||$150 – $500 per linear foot|
|Appliances cost||$2,500 – $6,800 per kitchen|
The following factors also affect the cost of building an apartment complex:
Apartment sizes – Your final cost will depend on the square footage per unit and the number of stories in your complex. A basic mid-rise complex has 5 to 10 stories and about 50 units. In comparison, a two-unit duplex costs $100 to $230 per square foot or $200,000 to $460,000 total.
Apartment design – Basic fixtures cost less than luxury materials and amenities. Luxury high-rise apartments cost more to build but tend to make more money in rent.
Region – Apartments built on the east or west coast tend to cost more than in the Midwest or south. Land close to restaurants, schools, highways, major cities, and bodies of water is also worth more.
Land – Before you can plan to build an apartment complex, you’ll have to own the land itself. Lot prices range from $1,500 to $200,000 per acre, depending on the location and size.
Hard vs. soft costs – Hard costs include materials, labor, utilities, and other costs that directly relate to building. Soft costs include designs, inspections, taxes, fees, permits, and other costs indirectly related to construction. Soft costs are typically 20% to 30% of the budget.
Financing – Borrowing costs include processing fees and interest paid to the bank or lender.
Maintenance – After construction, you may need to pay for utilities, landscaping costs, and relevant maintenance fees for elevators, gyms, pools, or laundry equipment.
Building permits – General contractors typically obtain building permits and include the fee in their labor charges. Make sure to research zoning permits for multifamily units before buying land to make sure you can build an apartment complex in your desired location.
Before you can start building an apartment, you’ll need to hire several different professionals to help you design your building, make sure the land and plans are sound, and begin construction:
An architect charges $100 to $250 per hour
A structural engineer charges $100 to $220 per hour
A general contractor costs $50 to $150 per hour.
An interior designer costs $50 to $200 per hour.
Electrician services cost $50 to $130 per hour.
Plumber services cost $45 to $150 per hour.
If you haven’t purchased land yet, consider hiring a lawyer. A real estate attorney can help you navigate construction laws and zoning regulations as well as draft contracts for your contractors.
Apartment building process
The process for building an apartment complex typically follows these three steps:
Pre-construction – This stage is often the longest and includes setting a budget, finding financing, and hiring your architect and builders.
Construction – This stage includes installing the foundation, walls, roof, utilities, fixtures, painting, and floors.
Post-construction – This stage includes cleanup, payment, final inspections, and then finding tenants or buyers.
Apartment complex building FAQs
Is building an apartment complex a good investment?
Building an apartment complex is typically a good investment because it produces a high return on investment (ROI) as well as multiple income streams. As long as you keep the building in good condition, it should increase in value over time.
How long does it take to build an apartment complex?
Most apartment complex projects take 12 to 24 months to complete, depending on the size, number of stories, and material quality. Delays from shortages, disputes, or inclement weather can impede the progress of the project.
How many units are in an average apartment complex?
An average apartment complex can have anywhere from 4 to 100 units. Small complexes have 4 to 10 units, while medium mid-rise apartments have about 50 units. Large high-rise apartments have 100+ units.
What is the average square footage of an apartment unit?
The average size of an apartment unit is about 900 square feet, depending on the number of bedrooms:
Studio apartments are typically 300 to 600 square feet.
One-bedroom apartments are 600 to 900 square feet.
Two-bedroom apartments are 900 to 1,200 square feet.
Three-bedroom apartments are 1,300 to 1,600 square feet.
Getting estimates from apartment construction companies
Choose professionals with the best reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Ask to see a portfolio of past projects.
Get a few estimates from different contractors to compare.
Choose companies that are licensed, bonded, and experienced.
Get an itemized, written estimate and contract before making payments.
Questions to ask apartment complex builders
When hiring builders, ask these important questions:
How long have you been in business?
What services do you offer?
Can you give me any testimonials and references from past clients?
Will you hire the necessary subcontractors, plumbers, and electricians?
How much input can I provide during the process?
What are your labor rates?
Can you get me any discounts on bulk material orders?
What delays or extra fees can I expect?
Will you give me a written estimate and contract?