How much does it cost to frame a house?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to frame a house?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to frame a house?

$11 – $30framing cost per square foot
$1,000 – $12,000small project or home-addition framing cost
$22,000 – $60,000average whole-house framing cost (2,000 SF)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$11 – $30 framing cost per square foot

$1,000 – $12,000 small project or home-addition framing cost

$22,000 – $60,000 average whole-house framing cost (2,000 SF)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
Edited by
Sarah Noel
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

House framing costs

The cost to frame a house is $11 to $30 per square foot, or $22,000 to $60,000 on average for a 2,000-square-foot house, including labor and materials. House-framing costs depend on the home size, layout, number of stories, local labor rates, and whether framing with lumber or steel.

Cost to frame a house by framing type
Location Average total cost
Addition framing (400 SF) $4,400 – $12,000
Basement framing (open floorplan) $2,300 – $3,100
Basement framing (multiple rooms) $3,900 – $6,000
Roof framing (2,000 SF) $12,000 – $30,000
Garage framing (2-car garage) $3,200 – $8,000
Interior wall in existing structure (including drywall) $1,000 – $5,000
Whole-house framing (2,000 SF with roof) $22,000 – $60,000

Framing is the most expensive part of building a new house, making up 15% to 18% of the total construction cost.

Get free estimates from framing contractors near you.

Framing cost per square foot

Framing costs $11 to $30 per square foot on average for labor and materials, depending on the project size, layout, and the choice of wood or steel.

Framing cost per square foot
Factor Cost per square foot
Materials $4 – $17
Labor $7 – $13
Total cost $11 – $30

Labor cost for framing per square foot

The average labor cost for framing is $7 to $13 per square foot, depending on the house size, design, and foundation type. Labor costs are on the higher end of the range to frame a house with a crawl space, basement, or second story.

Additionally, a general contractor typically oversees the project with a structural engineer to ensure the frame's structural integrity can withstand gravity, pressure, and severe weather.

Average cost calculator to frame a house

Full new house framing cost by size

The cost to frame a new house is $11,000 to $105,000+, depending on the size, design complexity, foundation type, and number of stories. The cost to frame a 2,000-square-foot house is $22,000 to $60,000 on average for new construction.

Cost to frame a new house by size - Chart
Cost to frame a new house by size - Chart
Cost to frame a new house by size
House size (square feet) Average cost installed
1,000 $11,000 – $30,000
1,500 $16,500 – $45,000
2,000 $22,000 – $60,000
2,500 $27,500 – $75,000
3,000 $33,000 – $90,000
3,500 $38,500 – $105,000+

*Prices include framing materials and labor.

New residential construction house framing
New residential construction house framing

Factors that affect the framing cost include:

  • MaterialWood framing costs 10% to 30% less than metal framing, depending on current lumber and steel prices. However, steel provides a better long-term value due to its durability and resistance to fire, pests, and moisture.

  • Floor plan / home design:

  • Number of stories – Framing the second story of a house typically costs $4 to $5 more per square foot than the first story.

  • Foundation type – Framing a house on a basement or crawlspace foundation costs 25% to 35% more than framing on a concrete slab foundation.

  • Number of windows & doors – Framing costs increase for more windows and doors because the studs and plates around each opening require special cutting labor.

  • Sheathing type – The outer layer of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) panels that protect the walls, floors, and roof are sheathing. Most contractors include sheathing in their framing cost estimate.

    • Exterior wall sheathing costs $1.00 to $3.50 per square foot of wall surface for OSB or $2.20 to $3.50 per square foot for plywood, including installation.

    • Roof sheathing costs $2 to $5 per square foot installed.

  • Permits – New construction permits cost $500 to $2,000 on average, depending on the home size and local regulations.

Cost of framing an addition

The cost to frame an addition is $4,400 to $12,000 on average for 400 square feet, depending on the layout, foundation type, and whether it's on the first or second floor. Framing a second-story addition typically costs more due to the extra work of reframing the roof.

Basement framing cost

Basement framing costs $18 to $24 per linear foot of wall, including labor and materials. The average cost to frame a basement is $2,300 to $3,100 for a 1,000-square-foot space with an open floorplan or $3,900 to $6,000 with multiple rooms.

The cost to frame and add drywall to a basement is $3.70 to $6.50 per square foot of wall surface.

Roof framing cost

Roof framing costs $6 to $15 per square foot installed on average, including labor and materials. The cost to frame a roof depends on the size, pitch, and design. Framing costs are on the higher end of the range for a complex roof design with multiple angles or dormers.

Roof trusses cost $60 to $500 each for wood or $150 to $700 per truss for steel, excluding labor. Most new home construction uses trusses because they are pre-built and more cost-effective than rafters.

Walls and interior framing costs in existing structures

The cost to frame a wall is $1,000 to $5,000 on average, depending on the wall size and the stud spacing. This price includes labor and materials for framing and drywall.

Prices for framing a load-bearing wall typically fall on the higher end of the range because load-bearing walls require more studs than non-load bearing walls.

Attached or detached garages

The cost to frame a garage is $3,200 to $8,000 on average, depending on the size. Framing a new attached garage typically costs less than a detached garage because it shares a wall with the home.

The cost to frame a garage door opening is $200 to $250 for a single-car door and $250 to $300 for a double-car door, not including the door itself.

Cost to dry-in a house

The cost to dry-in a house is 40% to 60% of the total construction fee and includes framing, sheathing, doors, windows, and more. "Dry-in" means the building's shell is complete enough to keep the elements out. A dried-in house protects materials inside the home from rain, wind, or snow while interior construction continues.

A house is dried-in when:

  • All exterior walls are framed, sheathed, and covered with house wrap or an equivalent moisture barrier.

  • The roof is framed and sheathed, with a permanent roof or temporary waterproof covering installed.

  • All doors, windows, and skylights are installed.

  • All vents and wiring or plumbing openings are covered or temporarily sealed against weather.

  • Exterior trim, flashings, sealants, and caulking have been installed where necessary to waterproof and wind-proof the home.

House framing material cost estimator

The material cost to frame a house is $4 to $17 per square foot, depending on if you use wood or metal. Wood framing materials cost less, but steel framing is more durable.

House framing material cost per square foot - Chart
House framing material cost per square foot - Chart
Metal vs. wood framing material cost per square foot
Factor Wood Steel
Material cost $4 – $12 per square foot $10 – $17 per square foot
Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Many wood-framing contractors available
  • More insulating than steel
  • Extremely durable
  • Easier and faster installation
  • Fire-resistant
  • Insect and rot proof
Cons
  • Prone to rot and insects
  • Not fire-resistant
  • More prone to warping or cracking
  • More expensive
  • Less insulating than wood
  • More difficult to cut on-site
  • Less contractors with steel-framing experience

Cost of lumber to build a house

The average cost of lumber to build a house is $4 to $12 per square foot for materials only, or about 35% to 50% of the total framing cost. However, lumber costs fluctuate daily because lumber is a publicly traded commodity.

Steel / metal stud framing cost

Get free estimates from framing contractors near you.

Metal stud framing costs $17 to $32 per square foot, including labor and materials. Steel framing is more durable and easier to install than wood. Unlike lumber, a steel frame is not susceptible to fire, rot, or pests.

House framing FAQs

What is included in framing a house?

House framing includes the home's structure or skeleton constructed from wood or steel that supports wall siding, drywall, flooring, and roof coverings. The home's foundation must be complete before framing can begin.

  • Exterior walls – Vertical studs, horizontal top and bottom plates, and sheathing

  • Interior walls – Vertical studs and horizontal top and bottom plates

  • Floors / ceilings – Sills, beam girders, joists, blocking, and subflooring

  • Roof – Trusses, rafters, posts, ridges, tie beams, collar ties, blocking, and sheathing

  • Framed openings – Studs, sills, and headers to frame doors and windows

How long does it take to frame a house?

Framing a house takes 30 to 60+ days on average, including roof framing. Building time depends on the local weather, crew size, equipment, and the home's size, layout, and design complexity.

For faster framing, consider a steel frame constructed from pre-built panels that contractors can assemble on your home site in only 2 to 3 days.

What is the life expectancy of a timber frame house?

A timber frame house lasts 25 to 100+ years, depending on the construction quality and environmental conditions.

Finding and hiring house framers

When hiring a house framer near you, remember to:

  • Obtain estimates from at least 3 contractors with comparable materials.

  • Select licensed, bonded, and insured contractors who have been in business 5+ years.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the project begins.

  • Never pay in full before the project begins.

  • Make the final payment only after the work is complete and has passed all inspections.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business, and how many homes did you frame last year?

  • Can I see photos of your work?

  • Will you handle the project yourself or hire subcontractors?

  • Which type of lumber and other materials do you use, and why?

  • Does the estimate include all materials, sheathing, labor, delivery, and cleanup?

  • What unexpected costs might come up during the project?

  • Will you review the building plans with the architect if you have design concerns?

  • How long will the project take?

  • Do you offer a warranty? If so, what does it include?