Building an apartment complex can be expensive, but the total investment required usually exceeds the initial construction costs. To get a better understanding of how much it will cost to build your apartment complex, you’ll need to account for the many different variables involved. 

At Royal Estimation, we’ll take a look at some of the factors that can affect the overall cost of constructing an apartment complex. We’ll also discuss some tips to keep in mind when budgeting for your project and provide an estimate of what you could expect to pay. With this knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions about building a successful apartment complex. 

Which Factors Affect The Cost Of Building An Apartment Complex?

The average cost required to build an apartment complex is typically $70,000 to $200,000 per unit. However, this cost can be higher or lower depending on numerous factors. These factors include:


The location of the apartment complex influences the construction cost significantly. Building an apartment complex in a high-demand area or urban center can be much more expensive than building one in a rural area. 


How many units are included and what amenities are offered also impact costs. It’s usually cheaper to build multiple smaller units rather than fewer large units, as multiple single-family dwellings require higher infrastructure and labor costs. 

Land Acquisition:

The cost of the land and surrounding area also affects the overall cost. If the property is located in an expensive neighborhood or district, then it is likely to be more expensive than a similar-sized property located in a lower-demand location.


The configuration of the apartment building and how much interior space is needed also factor into construction costs. This includes the type of layout, number of rooms, and amenities offered. 


The quality and cost of materials used also affect the total cost. Using higher-quality materials or more luxurious items such as stone counters, marble flooring, etc., can increase costs significantly. 

Labor Costs: 

The amount of labor and skilled professionals needed to build the apartment complex can also factor into construction costs. Depending on the area, there may be higher labor costs due to union requirements or a tight labor market. 

Design and Architecture:

The overall construction costs of an apartment complex are influenced by its architectural design. This includes the number of floors, the layout, and the inclusion of amenities like swimming pools, gyms, or parking structures. The complexity and intricacy of the design also play a role in determining the costs.

To achieve a balance between an appealing design and a cost-effective construction plan, it is important to work with experienced architects and design professionals.

Taxes and Regulations: 

Taxes and local or state regulations can influence the cost of building an apartment complex. Local zoning regulations or environmental laws may dictate specific requirements for development in certain areas, thereby increasing construction costs. 

Permits and Approvals:

The cost of building an apartment complex may also be affected by obtaining permits and approvals from local authorities. These costs can vary depending on the type of permit needed and its associated fees. 

Cost Breakdown and Considerations For Building An Apartment Complex:

When constructing an apartment complex, there are several things to consider in terms of the costs involved. 

Land and Site Preparation:

One of the first expenses to take into account when constructing an apartment complex is acquiring the land and preparing the site. This involves buying the land, conducting soil assessments, clearing the area, and getting it ready for building.

The costs of the project may differ greatly based on the area, dimensions of the land, and the extent of groundwork that needs to be done.

Construction Costs:

The costs of construction include all the processes involved in building such as foundation, structure, flooring, roofing, electrical and plumbing systems, and interior finishes. 

Factors such as the size of the complex, the number of units, the architectural design, and the chosen construction materials can affect these expenses. 

To properly evaluate the budget, it’s important to get comprehensive cost estimates from contractors or construction management firms.

Professional Fees:

The costs associated with professional services such as architectural and engineering services, legal fees, permits, and other required services are included in the professional fees for the project. 

It is advisable to hire experienced architects, engineers, and legal professionals to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain the integrity of the construction process. To ensure cost efficiency, it is suggested to obtain multiple quotes and compare the fees of different professionals.

Utilities and Amenities:

An apartment complex must have certain basic features such as water supply, sewage systems, electricity, landscaping, parking areas, and recreational facilities. These features are known as utilities and amenities. 

It’s important to think about the expenses involved in installing and maintaining these systems. By prioritizing energy efficiency and sustainability, you can lower utility costs over time and offer appealing amenities to residents.

Contingency Fund:

To accommodate for unforeseen costs and possible construction setbacks, it’s crucial to have a contingency fund in your budget. It’s recommended to set aside approximately 10% to 15% of the overall construction expenses as a contingency reserve.

This fund allows for financial flexibility to handle unexpected situations without risking the project’s advancement or quality.

Cost of Different Units of Apartments:

Number of UnitsExpected Cost
4 Units$258,000 to $344,000
8 Units$516,000 to $688,000
10 Units$645,000 to $860,000
12 Units$774,000 to $1,032,000
20 Units$1,290,000 to $1,720,000
50 Units$3,225,000 to $4,300,000
200 Units$12,900,000 to $17,200,000

What Are The Tips For Budgeting To Build An Apartment Complex?

Here are some tips for budgeting to build an apartment complex: 

Calculate Your Budget: 

Before you begin, you need to determine your budget for the project. Calculate all of the costs that will be involved in building an apartment complex, including labor, materials, and permits. 

Once you have an accurate understanding of what it will cost to build the complex, then you can start making decisions on how much money to allocate for each area of construction.

Research Potential Building Sites: 

You should research potential building sites before you begin. Look for areas with the necessary infrastructure and utilities nearby, as well as zoning laws that will allow for multifamily buildings. Consider the local economy and other factors to ensure that your project is a viable option.

Partner With A Contractor: 

It is important to partner with a licensed contractor who is experienced in building apartment complexes. This will ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. A contractor will also be able to provide valuable insight into potential cost-saving measures and other aspects of the project. 

Monitor Expenses: 

During construction, it is important to monitor expenses closely. Be sure to review all invoices and verify that they are accurate. If the costs start going over the budget limit, you need to figure out why and make appropriate changes.

Stay Organized: 

Finally, staying organized throughout your project will help ensure its success. Create a timeline with realistic goals and deadlines to help keep you on track. Make sure to keep all your financial documents updated and properly organized to help you monitor the project’s progress more easily.

Following these tips will help ensure a successful apartment complex building project. With careful planning and budgeting, you will be well on your way to creating an affordable housing option for many people in your community. 


In conclusion, building an apartment complex can vary in cost and complexity depending on a host of factors. Breaking down the various elements of construction and design considerations is essential to successfully estimate how much expenditure is required. 

From the ready-made exterior finishings like windows and doors to the more complicated interior layouts which require plumbing, electrical works, and carpentry, it is clear that no two buildings are alike in this area.

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Harry Thomas
Harry Thomas

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