Does a basement or second story cost more?

That depends on market and current material prices

This question gets asked a great deal and the answer is driven by the market and current material prices. Generally speaking, building up tends to be less expensive than a basement. That said, not too long ago, lumber was at an all-time high and basements were the better option. Check with your builder and they can advise you on the pros, cons, and cost of each.

If it's a brand-new build, building a basement can be less expensive than building a second story, depending on the specific location and other factors. A basement can be added during the initial construction process, with the foundation and walls already in place, while a second story would require additional load-bearing structures to be built. However, the cost of a new build can be much higher than a remodel, especially if it requires excavation, foundation and also the cost of the land. It's important to have a detailed cost analysis and to compare the costs of both options before making a final decision. Factors such as zoning laws, the local building codes, and the cost of the land would be considered.


Booklet: What you need to know before hiring a home builder. A guide for home buyers.

You should feel confident and excited during your home-building process. After all, the builder you choose could mean the difference between a project that's done right, on time, and on budget and one that costs too much, takes too long, and is fraught with quality problems.

But with every builder claiming to be qualified, how can you be sure you’re picking the right one?

Download What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Builder, written by Choice Builders’ owner, Roger Thomas. This guide will help you choose a builder who is right for you.

In it, you'll find answers to questions like:

  • How do I make sure a contractor can build to my budget?
  • Why do some contractors appear to cost more than others do?
  • Should I ask for a “free” estimate?
  • How do I choose a good contractor, let alone the best one?
  • How should I compare prospective contractors?
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Passive House Institute U.S. Certified Builder
Certified Green Professional National Association of Home Builders credential
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Houzz Best in Service
Cedar City Rotary Club
Better Business Bureau A+ Rating
Cedar City Chamber of Commerce
Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. Houses for Living. Homes for Life.
RESNET Energy Smart Contractor
Iron County Home Builders Association

Learn more about building a new home:

What goes into the price of a home?
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Will you work with a home builder or a designer first?
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