Self build house cost
There is no simple answer to ‘how much does a self build house cost?’ as it depends on many varying factors. Each homeowner will have different requirements and desires to be included when building their dream home, however, the basics are pretty consistent.
To help you plan out your budget, our industry experts give an insight into how much you should expect to pay, at each stage, for a standard self build house:
What can affect the budget when building a house?
Many factors can affect your total self build house cost, and when money is precious we would advise prioritising what matters most. Spending a large amount of your finances on trivial matters, such as expensive taps for your new ensuite, before arranging your foundations would be careless. You’ll want to allocate your budget by importance but also timeline.
The land itself will take up a large chunk of your overall budget, closely followed by the superstructure. Furniture and finishing touches should be the least of your worries until you have a fully functioning house shell to begin with.
Self build size
Size will be the biggest factor that can affect your building cost. To give a general idea of how much your new build home will set you back, houses in the UK typically cost £1,500 to £3,000 per metre squared. Using this ballpark will allow you to estimate how much the entire build will be and gauge a size that you can afford. As a guide, a three-bedroom house ranges between 90 and 120 m2, amounting to a build spend of £126,000 to £300,000. A four-bedroom house can range between 140 to 200 m2 costing between £196,000 to £500,000 and so on.
The cost of your foundations will, of course, rely on how big your self build house design is. Prices vary from £100 to £150 per square metre. Unless the plot of land you have chosen is on a slope or ground conditions are poor, this should be a good rough estimate to add to your budget.
Different build methods
Self-designing and building often result in a unique looking house – with building methods playing a huge role in aesthetics. Whilst individually crafted houses are considered beautiful feats of architecture by many, local authorities often prefer that the outside of your home stays cohesive with others close by, (this, of course, only applies if you choose a building location situated amongst other houses). Although some designers may sway to the chosen build method of any surrounding houses, which could in turn affect the price tag, staying in tune with your potential new neighbours externally won’t necessarily determine the building system you decide on.
Brick and block vs timber frame
These building methods are the most commonly used in the UK and although they have very different construction designs, they don’t differ all that much in price. Whilst brick and block and timber frames both work as great systems, the main difference affecting your build, would be labour time. Brick and block will require minimal preparation and vast on-site labour to construct your self build house, whereas a timber frame pre-fabricated build system will be manufactured off-site, with companies such as Flight Timber Structures, to then be delivered and erected on-site.
The basic price for blockwork is approximately £10 per m². Adding to that is your insulation at an approximate cost of £12 per m² to reach the minimum standard. However these prices only account for masonry work – openings or lintels and cavity closures will be added on top and may present at different stages of the build.
On the other hand, industry experts have identified that prices for a timber frame house can be around £72 per m². When choosing timber frame construction, the overall costs will come from the factory, design, and delivery of the pre-fabricated structure as a whole, therefore prices may seem steeper but are holistic.
Self build house – Roofing price guide
Like for all aspects of your new build home, keeping your roofing plans and designs simple will help save on your budget. However, simple may not be what you’re after. Different types of roof styles and shapes will affect your final cost, so take this into account when your architect is playing around with the overall layout of your home.
Roof trusses that are manufactured off-site (as they reduce on-site labour) and low pitch roofs will be the most cost-effective; rafter lengths are shorter which uses less timber, reducing material costs. The shape and size of your roof will determine the complexity and approach used; whether or not you will want to use your loft space in future is also something to keep in mind for your choice of structure.
A standard estimation can be calculated for homeowners looking to utilise loft space for light storage only. The area of your home in m2, with an allowance of a shallow pitch, multiplied by a range of £25 to £32.50. A steeper pitch, with the intention of gaining habitable space, will increase your costs by about 50%, due to the larger sized timber components. Adding in attic floor support for potential windows and skylights are other factors that will increase your self build roof budget.
Walls and ceilings
The structure of your home will be dealt with in the planning and designing phase of the project, so you will know in advance which internal walls are loadbearing. This will help you to construct non-loadbearing walls using studded partitions which are inevitably cheaper than brick and block. Professionals installing an average timber stud wall can be around £800 with materials at a standard size of 3m x 2.4m x 125mm and cost of £175 to £200.
The average cost of a new ceiling would be between £400 – £1,000 depending on on the size of room. This is with the assumption that your ceiling system for your self build home would be plasterboard; there are other types of ceilings such as lath and plaster and dropped ceilings that vary in complexity and price. However, plasterboard is the most affordable with a standard cost of £6-7 for a 2400mm x 1200mm board with a 12.5mm thickness.
You should expect to pay between £750 to £1,500 for a standard straight staircase, which is the most commonly used in the UK. This price range includes the construction and installation price. If you desire a more complex staircase for your new home, prices will increase due to different cuts and materials used. For example, a half landing staircase can range between £1,500 to £1,950 and if you venture into a metal or glass staircase prices can soar up to £10,000+.
Windows and doors
It’s important to discuss and decide what sized windows and doors you wish to have in your new house at the design stage. This means minimal late changes will be made if any, which could prove quite costly.
In the UK, casement windows are the oldest style and are used as standard. uPVC casement windows are the most economical choice for your new home and will cost you anywhere from £500 to £1,250. Softwood framed windows are also available for a warmer and period-style home but will cost around 30% more than uPVC windows. Aluminium windows are also a great choice and suit contemporary self builds or add a sleek touch to period renovations. They offer great insulation whilst being lightweight but durable and long-lasting. The brilliant benefits of aluminium windows come with an added cost – with new build pricing typically being around 25% more than uPVC windows.
Internal doors can range in price depending on the materials used and finish of the doors. For doors of non-standard construction such as glass or metal, prices will increase and research should be completed to fit the desired budget. A standard door is typically constructed of a timber frame, hardwood or plywood surface with a hollow centre and can cost as little as £25. As homebuilders, you will need to consider whether you want to buy doors fully finished or take on that responsibility yourself; buying bare state doors will save you money on the initial outlay, however buying paint and the time it’ll take for you to paint them (or the cost for a decorator to do so) will need to be considered.
Suspended timber, solid slab concrete or block and beam, are floor construction systems that are used within housebuilding and all fall under building regulations. In the UK, ‘block and beam’ is popularly used for domestic properties due to its off-site manufacture of the beams and blocks. It is easy to assemble and doesn’t require a specialist installer, saving you on labouring costs. Using this floor structuring method can, on average, cost you between £200 to £250 per m2.
Adding your own touch
Like everything else about your self build house project, the way you decorate your home is very personal to you. There are many choices to be made that can take a toll on your budget so a rule of thumb is to arrange the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring before bedrooms and other rooms.
Kitchens, bathrooms and utilities
Varying companies will charge varying prices for kitchen, bathroom, and utility design/installation.
Generally, when searching around for a kitchen and price you’re looking at £5,000 to £10,000. This usually won’t include appliances or decorating costs, such as ovens, fridges and tiling, so keep that in mind with your budgeting.
Bathrooms are broken down into three main factors that can influence how much you spend however, the most important part of your bathroom fit will be the suite; shower, bath, sink and toilet. Your budget and the size of the room will generally determine your choice of a standard bath/shower or luxury free-standing bath. You can spend as much or as little as you like however, the average price for a self build bathroom is between £2,000 to £7,500.
Flooring again is something that can be controlled by your personal choices. Prices can range from £15 per m2 for vinyl to £65 per m2 for solid wood. How your flooring is laid out will also affect the materials wasted by ‘off cuts’; Parque and herringbone pattern flooring is a popular choice but can result in a lot of wastage so consider your budget when choosing the type of flooring you prefer.
Additional costs for building a house
Not all self build house costs you may calculate will be exactly as expected when the building comes around; materials may be cheaper or dearer than originally thought, and unprecedented obstacles can quickly cause you to incur additional costs. A good tip is to add on or keep behind 10% of your budget as a contingency or buffer for unexpected overheads.
Prices to employ tradespeople to work on your self build home will vary reliant on what job you need them for. Here is a list of approximate prices for each trade to help guide you and even spark your inner ‘DIYer’ if you fancy saving some pennies!
Finding a plot of land can be troublesome, so to find a plot of land that is affordable to you can be even harder. Once this has been arranged and purchased, however, the costs don’t stop there! The condition of the land you have bought will determine the tasks required to ensure your plot is suitable for building upon – and the costs that come alongside them. Removing trees, debris, levelling and even deconstruction of existing buildings can eat up a considerable amount of your budget. For example, a site survey can vary between £500 and £700.
Planning permission related fees are split into three categories: statutory planning applications, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) council charges including pre-app costs and professional estimates. Luckily, ‘self-builders’ may be eligible for exemption from paying CIL if your construction meets the requirements.
Like most homeowners, whether it be to build or buy a home, you will need to borrow money. Self building is no different and mortgage fees, re-inspection fees and interest over time will all subtract from your self build budget.
Ensure you keep some budget aside, or factor this part of self building into your money planning at the beginning of your journey.
Martin and Ben were exactly what you dream of from a builder. They arrived when they said they would and finished when they said they would. The standard of their work and their employees was exemplary. Their quote was very accurate and any adjustments were completely fair and of no surprise.
I would recommend them wholeheartedly, and I look forward to their work on another project next Spring.
Martin and his amazing team have spent the last few months refurbishing my house. They installed a new kitchen, replastered most of the walls, and converted a large bathroom into a bedroom and bathroom. Every single tradesperson sent to the house has been professional, courteous, and always left the house in a clean, tidy state. Nothing was too much trouble and I cannot recommend these guys enough.
We highly recommend Ben and his team for the quality of their work, their professionalism, and their attention to our requirements. They completed a single story extension at our house in Colchester as per the schedule and to cost quoted. The finish is great and everyone who has seen our extension now wants one! Thanks to all of you for a wonderful job!
Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend M Jarrald Construction. They have recently completed an open plan extension for us and everyone just says ‘wow’! We are very pleased with all aspects of the build from start to finish, all tradesmen involved with our project have been fabulous and extremely trustworthy. Thank you to Martin and all the guys.
Martin and Ben are great to work with. They have given us a fabulous new space in our house which makes a difference to our lives every day. They have been reliable throughout the build and have responded swiftly to any problems.
Looking to stay on budget? Our new build service offers self-builders like you 0% VAT, with all the hassle of reclaiming handled in house by the M Jarrald team – allowing you to focus on what’s most important. This can be a big factor for homeowners when considering building their own house and can sometimes be overlooked when researching material prices etc.
New home building service
Whatever the budget, we strive to work with our clients and achieve their dreams. If you’d like to get some more information on any of the costs mentioned above and want to start your self build journey, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation with our amazing M Jarrald team today!