How much does it cost to build a home on Vancouver Island

by Mar 8, 2023

How much does it cost to build a home on Vancouver Island, that answer is it depends on a lot of factors.

  1. Are we talking about the land and the home?
  2. What type of home are we building as not all homes are built to the same quality?
  3. Is this a code minimum home or a high-performance home or somewhere in between? “Pretty Good House
  4. What part of Vancouver Island are we building on?
  5. What does the land look like that you are trying to build this home on?
  6. What time of year would your house build started in?
  7. What is the timeline for this home build on Vancouver Island?
  8. How big is this home?
  9. Will this home need engineering?
  10. What are the finishes in this home?
  11. Availability of Materials?
  12. Does this home have deck, garage or cover areas?
  13. Finished or Unfinished spaces?
  14. Does this property have services (water, sewer, and other utilities) to it or does it need well and septic.
  15. Is this a one story home or a two story home.
  16. How is the accessibility of this property can you get large machinery in and out easily?

You could be between $300-$500+/sqft to build a home not including the cost of the land but taking a Cost per square foot to judge how much your home is going to cost before factoring all of these questions will lead you down a path of less than desirable outcomes. Designing a home to your budget and your wants and needs will deliver a home that you will be happy with for years to come. If that makes sense to you and want to learn more about if a “Design Build Team” is right for you.  Understanding that every project is a prototype and with that in mind lots of questions would need to be discussed to get at the heart of this answer. We will discuss with you below about how it may impact the cost of your home build.

Cost of land Vs Cost of home

 Cost of Land on Vancouver Island range quite a bit and depending on if you are looking for in a city or in the country. Then there is the cost of the home and needing to understand that every home is not built equally and will have a different life cycle depending on what you value.

Is quality important?

When we start to talk about quality of a home this can be the fit and finish of the home or the bones of the home (Structure, building envelope, and mechanical systems). These options can vary greatly from home to home.

Code minimum home Vs high performance home

Code Minimum

A code minimum home is a building which is built to the legal minimum standard. Which is the majority of our housing these home have a life cycle of around 25 years before a major renovation is needed to keep it occupied.

High Performance

A high performance home is a home which will keep you cozy year around. These homes could have life cycles of 50-100 years with good mantience. There are many reasons for that which we are more that willing to share with you if you have intrested.

What part of Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is a large island with a bunch of other islands which surround it, some of these Islands which are easier to get to then other. It is important to understand this as building close to a town or in a town has its advantages with the availability of getting material to your site with less freight or delivery costs.

What does this lot of land look like?

Are we on a flat peice of land in the middle of no where with lots of room to store material or are we on a rock hill with very little space in the middle of town to get deliverys to site. These are two completely diffrent projects and understanding that every project needs to assested for its risks has a factor into that cost.

What time season is this project starting and finishing?

We do live in a rain forest here on vancouver island so dealing with weather is something that does need to be taken into consideration. We get a fair amount of rain and some times we get snow. This can sometimes impact timelines or increase costs to keep things dry and allow surfaces to be worked from or on.

Timeline for house build

On every project, there are three main constraints scope, cost, and time. So depending on the scope and the budget (cost) of the project will determine how long this project will take. If you are wanting your project to be completed sooner you will either need to reduce the scope or work to be completed on the project or increase the cost of the project to have more work either being completed offsite or onsite at any given time.

Large homes

Often on the larger homes engineering are involved and they are more complex, which adds to the length of the project and in turn more expensive when it comes to the “soft costs” of the project. On some larger projects the cost per square foot does go down due to the shear size but not always.


What are soft cost on a home build

Soft Cost are

Soft costs of a construction project:

Soft costs in a construction project refer to expenses that are not directly related to the physical construction of the building. These costs are typically associated with the planning, design, legal, and administrative aspects of the project. Some common examples of soft costs include:

Architectural and engineering fees:

The cost of hiring professionals to design the building, create construction documents, and provide oversight during construction.

Permitting and zoning fees:

The cost of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities.

Legal and consulting fees:

The cost of hiring lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to advise on various aspects of the project.

Insurance premiums:

The cost of insuring the project against accidents, damages, and other potential risks.

Financing costs:

The cost of obtaining and servicing loans used to finance the project.

Project management fees:

The cost of hiring a project manager to oversee the entire construction process.

Soft costs are a crucial part of any construction project, as they can account for a significant portion of the overall budget. Proper management and control of these costs can help ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

Will this home need engineering

There are many reasons on why you may need a engineer on your project. There are structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, mechanical engineers these are the main ones and many more which could be needed depending on the project and the constraints which are put on the project.

Custom Home Building Guide

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Custom Home Building Guide Vancouver Island

Fit and Finishes

The fit and finish, or the quality of craftsmanship and the material selections. There are many diffrent types of material and depending on your life style and who or what (pets) is living in your home will help to determine what type of materials would be suggested for your project. The durablity of the material selections or the amount of maintenance of a type of material may also have a factor in your decision making.

Availability of materials

In construction there are long lead time items and short lead time items which means the time in which it takes from order to delivery. So depending on when these items need to be onsite may increase the cost if the delivery time needs to be shortened. In construction buying material before they are needs to be installed and then need to find a place to store it can also increase the cost of a project.

Decks, Garages and covered areas

It is important to understand if you are going out and your desire is to find out how much it cost to build a house and you are looking up “how much does it cost to build a house per square foot” you need to understand which spaces they are including or excluding from there cost per square foot.

We will do a little math equation based on cost to build a house with a budget of $500,000 and square footage of 2000 sqft .

  1. So we have a house  budget of $500,000 divided by 2000sqft = $250 per sqft. In this equation are you including the decks, garage and covered areas, crawl space or unfinished spaces?
  2. Same house now $500,000 and in this price it does included a garage which is 20’x20′ a 8’x8′ deck and a covered porch 6’x10′ = 524sqft which would be pretty common on most houses. Now is this square footage going to get added to the cost of the build or is this house going to go from a 2000 sqft house to a house with a garage, deck, porch and 1476 sqft of interior finished space?
  3. Then the next question is are all spaces the same cost per square foot?
  4. If you are still looking to build a home with 2000 sqft of interior finished space with the garage, deck and cover porch at $250 a sqft you would now be looking at a home costing $631,000. $500,000 finished and 131,000 for the garage,deck and covered porch.
  5. So understand that you are comparing apples to apples is important, if this is the route you desire to determine what your house will cost you.

Finished and unfinished spaces

On a home there are finished and unfinished spaces and understanding that the scale of both can vary. Finished space may have multiple layers of wall or ceiling finishes like a wainscotting on a wall or a detailed coffered ceiling to as basic as a laundry room with no cabinetry. Unfinished can be basements which are framed in but nothing else or could be brought to the point of all the rough in work (plumbing, electrical) and drywall but nothing further. Everyone interprets a finished and unfished space a little diffrent but making sure everyone is clear as to what they are looking for will lead to success. Communication is key. 

Services and Utilities

When purchasing a piece of land it is imporatant to understand how or if you can get the  utilities you desire. Then to understand what it will cost to get those services to your property. Some lots will have most or all of those run right on to the corner of the property. You will also have lots where you will need to put in a septic feild and drill a well and may need to create your own power onsite weather that be solar, fuel source or geothermal it all depends on where you build so having your builder brought in early to help determine some of these constriatins early on the project could be saving you alot of time.

One story or two story, three

In almost all cases it is cheaper to go up then it is to go out. The reason for this is you share the same foundation and same roof structure for the majority of the build.


Accessibility is a large part of how complex or difficult a project can get becuase of being able to get machines in and out or around a jobsite. Finding places for material to be when the build is being completed. Accessibility can be a issue when working on a hill and needing to get workers up to the area where they need to complete there scope or work weather that be ladders scaffolding or machine lifts.

Contact BRC About Building Your Carriage House Vancouver Island Today


If what you have read above sparked an interest for your future, Buck Robertson Contracting would like to start this journey of building your carriage house with you! If you would like to contact us, please visit our contact page and we will reply back to you within 24hrs.

Thank you for reading!

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