How Much Does It Cost to Build an Apartment Complex?

For real estate investors, property owners, and contractors, the question “how much does it cost to build an apartment complex?” is certainly worth pondering. According to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), rent and occupancy rates have been on an upward trend since 2009. This data supports the notion that apartments and multi-family residential buildings are excellent investments.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Apartment Complex? Cost Estimations For U.S. Apartments

The cost of building an apartment complex is typically calculated based on the cost per square footage. Real estate resource site Fixr estimates that the national costs for building an apartment complex range from $90 to $430 per square foot, averaging at $270 per square foot. This means an average studio unit costs $127,440 to build, while the average one-bedroom apartment costs $192,780 per unit. 

Based on the average cost per unit, a small apartment complex with 10 rentable studio spaces will have an estimated cost of at least $1.2 million. However, other factors still come into play when determining the actual cost of the entire complex. These include direct costs such as the size and type of building to construct, number of units, and amenities, as well as ‘soft costs’ like the cost of design, quality of materials, and delivery.

Factors That Impact Cost

As mentioned above, many different variables are involved in determining the cost of building an apartment complex. Below are some of the most important factors to account for, as these can have the most impact.


Finding the best location is always the key to good real estate since it can influence rent. However, it can also directly impact the cost of construction and is arguably the biggest contributing factor to the total cost, often accounting for 10-20% of the entire project budget. 

The quality of a location, determined by accessibility, appearance, development, and availability, directly influences the price of land, which in turn affects the construction cost. For instance, an apartment complex built in an urban environment will undoubtedly cost more to construct than in a small town. Likewise, the same apartment complex will also be more expensive to build in New York than in Portland.

Type of Construction

The type of apartment building to be built also directly impacts the total cost of a construction project, especially on the cost per square foot. For example, a luxury apartment building will cost more to build than affordable housing. Additionally, larger buildings will also require more materials and differ in building methods, which increases the cost considerably.

Below are some general figures provided by Fixr on the average cost of construction for various building types:

  • Infill. A term for stick-built apartment buildings composed of up to six apartments, the average cost per square foot ranges from $90 to $190.
  • Low-Rise Apartment. A low-rise apartment typically has four or fewer stories and can have anywhere from 5 – 50 units. They have an average cost of $156 to $240 per square foot, depending on the materials used.
  • Mid-Rise Apartment. Typical mid-sized apartments can have up to 12 stories with a total of 50 to 200 units in the building. These can cost between $185 to $270 per square foot to build.
  • High-Rise Apartment. High-rises can be more than 12 stories high, with many having more than 20 stories. At such a great height, they have to be built in a special way to be able to withstand strong winds and earthquakes. Cost for building high-rise apartment complexes can range from $235 to $450+ per square foot. 

Material and Labor Considerations

Considerations for materials and labor also have to be made as they make up a majority of the construction budget. Even in a healthy economy, they require a healthy budget as the cost of materials and labor continues to rise. But at the height of the pandemic, material costs shot up by 23.1%, while labor cost was up 7.6%. 

Although this trend eventually slowed down, market price changes will inevitably continue. According to data supplied by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), building materials prices have increased by 4.9% since the start of 2022. 

Other Costs and Factors to Consider

Aside from the hard costs, other factors can also impact the construction cost. These include:

  • Soft costs such as taxes, professional fees for design, inspection, and engineering, permits, and others not directly related to the actual construction of the complex.
  • Finance costs include interest on borrowed funds, origination fees, and finance charges.
  • Long-term costs include maintenance, utilities, and other monthly expenses.
  • Waste, which refers to other essential parts of the complex that do not produce income but contribute directly to construction costs, such as gyms, hallways, elevators, lobbies, mail areas, and staff space.

A Reliable Construction Partner

Knowing the cost of building an apartment complex is essential, especially if you want to plan ahead while setting a budget for this significant undertaking. However, finding a reliable construction partner is just as important to ensure your construction budget is used efficiently. 

JNT Construction exceeds expectations as a reputable construction company in the Dallas area. We go above and beyond to ensure that our clients get the service they require. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Signs It Might Be Time For A Tenant Build Out

Time To ReThink Your Office Space

When someone wants to move their business into a new location, they typically rent the space and renovate it, to fit their business` needs. These improvements are known as “tenant build out”, or “leasehold improvements” and represent an important part of the leasing negotiation between the landlord and tenant.

A tenant build out consists in custom interior finishes that may include demolition of existing walls, construction of new walls, adding new flooring, blinds or paint, making modifications to  the electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems etc. The landlord covers only a certain amount of the costs, therefore it is important to understand, before signing the contract, how these improvements will affect your budget.

The right time for a tenant build out

It is very rare to find a commercial space that meets your business needs exactly; in most of the cases, interior build out is necessary, and the right time to do it is always at the beginning, right after you negotiate a favorable allowance and find a commercial general contractor Dallas specialist to help you maximize the potential of your space. The right time is also when you find financing sources for the build out project.

Updated 7/30/2021

Checklist For Starting Your Tenant Build Out

Tenant Buildout Checklist

Since finding a commercial space that meets your needs exactly is almost impossible, tenant improvements are in order, before starting to use it. These improvements consist in various custom interior finishes that must be negotiated up front with the landlord and written in the lease agreement. They may include:

  • Installing new flooring (hardwood floor, laminate, carpet…)
  • Demolishing existing walls or constructing new ones
  • Re-painting the walls
  • Making modifications to the electrical, HVAC or plumbing systems
  • Other upgrades previously negotiated.

If you are in the position to start your tenant build out, make sure to communicate properly with the landlord and find out how much of the costs are they willing to cover. Also, it is good to know that some operations are not typically included in a tenant build out: office furniture, data cabling, phone cabling and other upgrades considered above standard.

You must also be aware that for starting your tenant build out, you need a lot of documents from property management, as well as from engineering: appropriate certificates, licenses, insurance, declarations, construction plans reviewed and approved, a proven Dallas general contractor and sub-contractors, permits, confirmations, other plans if necessary (such as fire safety plans), as well as a detailed schedule.

Updated 8/3/2021

The Pandemic’s Effect on the Construction Industry

Several elements drove the cost of construction and building materials much higher during the Covid-19 pandemic. With more people at home, do-it-yourself (DIY) and home-based projects increased, causing a shortage of wood and other construction supplies. When demand for numerous products and materials was increasing rapidly, these material shortages were coupled with a scarcity of skilled labor and supply chains for many items and commodities.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that spending on construction rose by an estimated 5% to 8% in 2021. Many of the materials utilized in apartment construction, such as concrete, flat glass, and steel products, are vulnerable to volatile prices. Steel costs have increased by more than 123% in the last year. While this might lead to adjustments in material and type of apartment buildings built, the housing market is expected to remain robust in 2022 due on a continuing housing shortage. Apartment builders may be anxious to start new projects in order to keep up with demand. In light of this and the market volatility, developers could wish to secure supplies and prices for future buildings before they rise once more.

How to Prepare for Your Commercial Remodel Project and Save Time in the Process

Plant Ahead For Remodel

Commercial remodeling isn’t easy, and if you don’t want to end up wasting a lot of time, you have to be prepared from the very start. Proper preparation will ensure that your employees don’t waste time or get stressed during this period, and that the work done to renovate your building will not interfere with your daily business-related work.


The main action required here is a thorough investigation into the work that will be required. Get a professional commercial general contractor Dallas offers to assess the situation and plan the entire renovation job beforehand. Moreover, it’s a good idea to discuss the timing of the project, so that bad weather is not likely to interfere with the work and extend the time frame.


If you really don’t want to waste any time, consider taking your entire business to another building or office area, which can act as a temporary headquarters until the work is completed. The entire move can be done in a single day, and you can have the data simply copied to another set of computer systems and devices in advance, so your employees don’t have to waste any time.


Preparing for a commercial remodel requires careful planning and good timing. If you can’t ensure that the work won’t interfere with your business, then it’s usually best to put it off until such time that you can minimize any damage and losses.

Updated 7/27/2021

What Is a Tenant Build Out and What Should You Get Out of It?

Tenant Build Out We Have The Answers

If you’re planning on selling your home and living in a rented apartment or house, there are a lot of great benefits to consider. One of them is the ability to negotiate with the landlord upon the structure and benefits that you want out of an apartment you’ll be renting that hasn’t even been finished yet.


In the commercial real estate industry, a lot of landlords opt to start by finishing a rough version of the homes they’ll be renting out to potential tenants, and then negotiating with the tenants regarding the features, utilities and amenities that will be installed. This process is called a tenant build out, and it usually involves a lot of negotiating between the tenant and the landlord, and the select commercial general contractor Dallas offers.


The great thing about renting out a new apartment is that you get to be part of the build out process and talk to the landlord about your explicit requirements. You can ask for certain home improvements such as additional insulation or new windows. You can also inquire about any styling and painting preferences, and you can ask about the use of materials that don’t use toxic or allergenic compounds, to make sure you and your family are safe.


In most cases, the negotiation process will also cover concerns regarding who will pay for the work, who will be in charge of the project, and what the tenant will be able to remove and take with them once the lease period expires.

Updated 7/23/2021

Things To Consider Before Your Next Tenant Build Out project

Things To Consider

Tenant build out projects refer to leasing a space within a commercial building or even leasing an entire building, through a commercial real estate company.

Most prospective tenants are looking for private offices and rooms for additional technology, so they will need interior finishes to match their needs, as well as their company’s brand.

The project starts with hiring a designer to create a preliminary plan, based on the tenant`s program, as well as on local building standards.

The next step is signing the lease agreement by both parties and then the preliminary plan becomes the basis for the construction drawings. These drawings must include not only the new construction plan, but also a demolition plan, a power plan, a mechanical plan, new casework and windows, as well as schedules and other details about wall sections etc.

The contractor and the real estate company manage the construction costs. The lease agreement must also include specifications about the expenses and items paid by the building owner and those paid by the tenant.

Patterns, colors and manufacturers for interior finish materials are not required to be included in the drawing set, but materials are.

The complete drawing set has to be stamped by a registered architect before being submitted for approval.

Build-outs do not have to be difficult, contact the professionals at

Updated 7/14/2021

Build Planning Tips

Tips for Planning a Tenant Build Out

Build Planning TipsA tenant build-out is the process of transforming a space leased by a commercial tenant in order to meet a tenant’s requirements. The process might involve changing the design or the layout of the offices, of the commercial space or of the restrooms and in most cases, it involves painting work and other types of internal finish work as well as the accommodation of new technology.

Depending on the complexity of the project, tenant build-outs might require building or demolition permits issued by local authorities and the involvement of professional designers and architects in the creation of detailed plans, layout designs and blueprints, followed by the actual work processes carried out by building contractors. Like any building project, a tenant build-out also needs to be meticulously planned and managed – the teams that execute the build-out plans need to be coordinated the same way as in the case of a larger construction process.

Budget planning also needs to be made an integral part of the overall planning – like in the case of any building project, the allocated budget should be at least 15% higher than the total amount calculated for materials, labor fees and documentation costs to allow for easier accommodation of unexpected expenses and situations.

Learn more here from JNT Construction