Construction Talk

How much does it cost to build a home in the Okanagan?

We would love to tell you that building a home is a simple and straight forward process with standard pricing however there are many different variables that determine the cost to build. First let’s look at the basics.


The Okanagan Valley provides a beautiful landscape to build your dream home. That said, depending where you choose to live in the valley will help to determine how much the cost of construction will be. For example if you have a flat building site near downtown Kelowna, then the cost to excavate will be much less than if you are building your house perched on the hillside in the Upper Mission. Further blasting and retaining costs can really add up on hillside building.

Type of home

Concrete foundations can be a big cost of construction especially if the home is a large walk-out rancher. Walk-up or slab on grade homes tend to be less expensive to construct however they don’t have as much resale value either. The layout and size of the home will play a key factor in the total cost to construct. There are many different house plans available today. A basic bungalow with standard appliances and average finishes will be much more cost effective than a house with comparable square footage that features granite counter tops, custom cabinets, an open floor plan with support beams, 19 foot ceilings, suspended garage slab, engineered over-height basements, etc.


Nowadays there are many different trending choices for exterior finishings including stucco, hardie board, panels, engineered wood, cut stone, faux stone and more. Depending on the type of exterior material you choose and how much will vary for end cost. Wood soffits are becoming very popular however can add significant cost to building. If budget is important then it is possible to install wood soffits in high visible areas such as entrance ways and patios and choose aluminum soffits for the perimeter of the home.

Every decision you make in every room of your home will effect the price per square foot. So how do you determine what your price per square foot to build a house is? The best option is to speak with a home builder. Having a budget in mind will help you determine what you can get, and how that will affect your home.

Once your builder knows the type of home you’re going for, they can help you with pricing and planning. Most homeowners prefer to design a house layout around their needs first, and pick the finishing look after. If your budget is tight today, you can always upgrade the bathroom later – but changing the layout of the home is much more complicated.

Your actual costs will be determined by your choices. Even a simple choice like the type of heating and cooling can affect costs. Geothermal? Forced air? What about in-floor heating?

We’d love to give you an easy-to-use calculator to help you with your pricing, but there are simply too many variables to consider.

If you’re looking to determine how much your dream house will cost per square foot, contact us and we’ll be able to give you more information what will impact your price, and how to keep costs under control.