How Much Does It Cost To Build A House

It can be hard to find a home that entirely suits your needs. The greatest hack to get your ideal location, design, and amenities is to build your own.

However, there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account.

Read on to find out all you need to know regarding the cost of building a house.

House Build Costs Explained

What is your budget?

Cost to build a house budget

This is the first step in establishing the sort of house you can build as well as the amenities and condition of this property. Consider the following:

  • Your savings
  • Equity obtained from selling your current home
  • Funds available from a self-build mortgage
  • Funds from using a we buy your house service to sell your property.

Once you have a ballpark idea of budget, you must consider the price of land in the area you are looking to build. Account for the price of a site, legal fees, and stamp duty, gaining your information from or Often it is a good idea to set aside an additional 10-15% as a contingency for unplanned costs and architectural design fees, which are usually around 5% of the total build cost.

Construction system costs

The term construction system refers to the structural walls of a house, which is usually around 15% of the total build cost. This consists of concrete blockwork, that make up the external walls and ground floor partitions, as well as timber partitions for any upper floors. Keep in mind that oak frame construction is half as expensive again.

Additionally, one must consider insulation, which manufacturers estimate to be anywhere from 5-20% more expensive than the blockwork itself. Not only does this increase the speed of build, but will save money in the long run by improving energy efficiency.

Also, when looking for a plot, look out for one that is connected to mains electricity services. Otherwise, an additional £10,000 will be needed to connect your home to water, sewers, gas, electricity, and phone lines.

Foundations costs

This is one of the few costs that remains fairly consistent, regardless of the size of your future house. The price per square meter is dictated by your local building control surveyor. An engineered foundation solution may be necessary, in which case, allocate approximately £10,000 of your budget for this.

However, there are numerous variables which will influence the cost of foundations. For example, proximity of the site to a ready-mix concrete plant or tip. Furthermore, keep in mind that a flatter site will save a great deal of your budget, since the amount of landscaping needed is reduced.

Exterior costs

Standard stock bricks usually come at a price of £350 per 1000, rising to £900 per 1000 in the case of character bricks. Primarily because the unusual shape of character bricks requires additional labour for the construction worker, who must arrange the irregular patterns together. As such, natural stone is a more expensive option than stock bricks.

If you are looking to cut costs, consider sand and cement render on your blockwork. Or perhaps take different path and build using dense timbers such as oak, cedar, or chestnut. Often these are comparable in cost to a good quality brick, and bring a sense of character to the property.

Roof costs also vary considerably, depending on the structure, insulation, coverings, detailing, felt and battens. A low pitched roof is very cost effective, since the raft lengths are shorter and therefore use less timber. Furthermore, the simpler the roof shape the less it will cost, since these are quicker to build. For example, smaller tile formats demand more labor and production time.

Interior Costs

Floor, walls and ceiling costs

Building a house cost

One of the most important decisions in building a house, the importance of choosing the right flooring must not be overlooked. The standard specification is softwood joists covered with chipboards, costing roughly £16-19 per square metre. Engineered joists or concrete structures will raise this cost, but offer enhanced strength.

The standard ceiling height is roughly 2.4m, and this is usually the cheapest option. For example, adjusting the ceiling height by just 100mm alters the cost by 1.6%. Bear in mind that a ceiling covering is usually priced around £20 per square metre.

Wall finishes however, are more consistent in cost, whether wet plaster or dry-lined. There are standard, good, and excellent specifications, priced at £64, £80, and £96 respectively per square metre

Windows and door costs

Similarly, windows and doors are cost according to standard, good, and excellent specifications. The approximate cost of a standard specification lies around £16,000, and this can nearly double in the case of an excellent specification. The difference in price is down to the quality of materials used in construction.

Kitchen build cost

Depending on your design specification, kitchen costs can vary widely from £14-£120 per square metre. Overall costing between £3000-£7000 depending on the material you are looking for.

Bathroom build cost

This is primarily dependent on the type of room you are looking too build. A bathroom consists of a WC, basin, bath, plumbing etc.) costs anything from £3500-£8700. A shower room accounts for a shower instead of a bath, raising the general cost to £3700-£9200. Whilst a cloakroom typically consists of just a WC, basin, and plumbing, therefore is priced lower at £1900-£3600.

Electrical costs

Luckily, these do not vary a great deal from house-to-house other than by scale. Generally these cost around £50 per square metre, but remember any extra fittings such as an alarm system will require an additional allowance.

Extra fees

It can be easy to overlook small costs once the big structures have been accounted for, but do not forget that the following must also be considered:

  • Topographical survey: £350-£500
  • Structural Engineers’ Fees: £400-£500
  • Planning Application Fees: £462
  • Building Regulations Fees: £500-£1,000
  • Warranty: Approximately 1% of contract value
  • Self Build Insurance: Usually 1% of the predicted build costs
  • Demolition Costs: £5,000-£10,000
  • External Works: Roughly 15% of total build cost

The bottom line

Starting the process of building your own house can be daunting initially, but worthwhile in the long run. It is possible to get your dream features with appropriate planning and costing!

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