What Is the Cost Per Square Foot for a Custom Home in the Puget Sound Area?

Custom homes can vary greatly in price per square foot no matter their size. Here's a look at how a range of home features impact cost.

CATEGORY: Building a custom homeCustom Home BudgetCustom Home Cost

June 22, 2021

One of the joys of buying a custom home is truly making it your own—you get to choose nearly every feature, from the size to the layout to the countertops. Because every custom home is different, budgeting is different too. Products in production homes are purchased in bulk, netting a similar price per square foot up and down the block. But custom homes can vary greatly in price per square foot no matter their size or number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

So what can you expect to pay for a custom home? Estes Builders’ typical range in Kitsap, Clallam, and Jefferson counties west of the Puget Sound is $250 to $400 per square foot.

While that range might seem daunting, consider that existing homes in Seattle currently have an average price per square foot of $451, according to Homes.com. In many neighborhoods, you’re spending the same per square foot for a smaller home that will need to be remodeled immediately after move-in.

With a custom home, the house is not only move-in ready, it’s designed for you and by you. Here’s a look at some of the features you might see across a per-square-foot range of $250-$400:


The kitchen is where much of your design budget will go and offers a lot of flexibility. In general, a kitchen for a $250-per-square-foot house might feature quartz countertops, prefab cabinetry, and standard  appliances. As you upgrade appliances (think a Wolf range and Sub-Zero refrigerator) and cabinetry, add natural lighting, and customize the island, your costs might reach $300 per square foot. In a $350-per-square-foot home, you’re moving into a larger kitchen with features for the savvy cook and frequent entertainer, including lots of prep space, a prep sink, custom cabinets, and granite countertops. At the $400-per-square-foot level sits a true chef’s kitchen, perhaps with built-in appliances, multiple ovens and dishwashers, and top-of-the-line surfaces.

Master Bathroom

Like the kitchen, the master bathroom is another likely splurge spot. At the lower end of the range would be tile for counters and shower surrounds and a standard drop-in tub. At the $300-per-square-foot range, you might find extras like radiant floor heating and a separate built-in tub. At $350 per square foot, spa-like features become an option, including a sauna, oversized shower, and freestanding tub. For a true spa experience, a $400-per-square-foot home may include a custom walk-in shower with multiple fixtures and high-end surfaces.

Interior Finishes

There’s a lot you can do with interior finishes without breaking the bank. A $250-per-square-foot home may feature pre-finished hardwood floors and masonry accents for a Pacific Northwest feel. For a bit more investment, at the $300-per-square-foot level you might add simple custom built-ins for the living room, mud room, and office storage. At $350 per square foot, you can upgrade to higher-end hardwood flooring, custom wood windows, and custom masonry accents. For the ultimate Pacific Northwest experience, a $400-per-square-foot custom home will add an expansive window wall to take in the views; you also could add details such as exposed beams, custom ceilings, a wine storage room, and even an indoor pool.

Exterior Finishes

Curb appeal is everything, and you can get it with smart choices at nearly every price point. Still, the more you spend, the more extras you can afford. At $250 per square foot, you can include a sought-after three-car garage, perhaps to use as a workshop. At $300 per square foot, popular upgrades include a metal roof, which is durable for our climate. A $350-per-square-foot home can expect budget allowance for extras, perhaps a garage for your RV or a full outdoor kitchen. And creativity abounds at the $400-per-square-foot level: Along with upgrades like multiple decks, cable railing, and custom concrete, custom options like detached garages and four-car garages are in reach.


Whether your budget is $250 per square foot or $400 per square foot, Estes Builders can help you build the home of your dreams. Our design team specializes in creating homes that meet your needs and incorporate your wishes while staying within your budget. And with our Fixed Price Guarantee, you know what you’re getting upfront without worry that your price will increase over the course of your build.


Contact us today for a free Custom Home Investment Study and let us help you discover the possibilities for your own dream home.