How Much Does It Cost To Build An Apartment?


(per Unit Cost)
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Apartment Building Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Custom Home Builders      Apartment Building Costs

Apartment construction has a number of different variables involved, so pricing this type of job can be difficult without specific details. A new construction project is a big undertaking, and it is important to know all the aspects involved to get the most accurate estimate.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average apartment is 861 square feet, which works out to a 24-foot by 35-foot space. Based on a building with 12 average-sized units, the national average for construction is about $125 per square foot. Some contractors, however, may charge as much as $200 per square foot depending on the work required and the rates of subcontractors.

This project will require the assistance of an architect and a general contractor. The architect services will require about 10-15% of the total project budget, while contractors account for about $200,000 in fees for their day-to-day project management duties, including permit pulling, hiring subcontractors, sourcing materials, and keeping the project on task.

Apartment construction will include labor and materials for all exterior and interior work, including: building materials, fixtures and appliances, flooring, doors and windows, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical work, roofing, finish and trim work, and cleanup.

Apartment construction: three-story masonry unit with 12 total apartments, mid-range materials, full basement, and turnkey finishing.

Item Cost per Unit Cost
Architect services   $600,000-$900,000
Contractor fees   $200,000
Labor costs $125 per square foot $1 million
Total Cost   $2 - $2.2 million per project
12 units @ 871 square feet   10,452 square feet
Per Unit Cost   $64,500-$86,000

Other considerations and costs

  • While you might spend an average of $75,000 per unit to complete construction with mid-range materials, you also have to account for the cost of the land. However, the flat square footage rate does not cover things like interior construction and finishing, land acquisition, parking lots and playgrounds, and other expenses. Assuming all of these costs, a three-story masonry unit that has 12 apartments would actually cost as much as $9.4 million without the inclusion of land or site improvements.
  • The cost to build an apartment versus the actual price of completing an apartment building is quite different. Make sure that you get a detailed estimate from a contractor that covers all costs, fees, and materials.
  • Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project
  • If you are a builder and need insurance check out our Builders Risk Insurance Guide

DIY considerations

  • Apartment building construction is never a DIY project due to the sheer scope of the work, as well as the building code requirements, the variety of jobs and work involved, and other complex aspects.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Websites.
How much does it cost to build an apartment in your city?
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Cost by city

(per Unit Cost)
  • New York, NY$120,879
  • Bronx, NY$99,331
  • Brooklyn, NY$82,787
  • Philadelphia, PA$103,279
  • Washington, DC$89,621
  • Atlanta, GA$81,084
  • Miami, FL$73,746
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$77,249
  • Minneapolis, MN$90,622
  • Chicago, IL$105,585
  • Houston, TX$108,905
  • San Antonio, TX$73,105
  • Austin, TX$82,777
  • Denver, CO$69,939
  • Phoenix, AZ$73,789
  • Las Vegas, NV$80,988
  • Los Angeles, CA$91,254
  • San Diego, CA$82,809
  • San Jose, CA$100,024
  • Seattle, WA$73,229

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: