A nationally accepted self-build cost calculator can be seen at:
A wealth of advise is available online for calculating your self build costs and correctly they all say “each build is different” and Flosh Meadows management with great simplification say “the more work you do and determinedly control your costs the cheaper the build”
Most sensible calculators show a wide range of costs from £700 to £1500+ per square metre dependant on simple or complicated design, standard of finish, control of budget, your own work input and location.
Estimating your self build costs is fundamental to your project planning.
Let’s look at the factors that affect self build costs and how to work out how much yours might be.
Calculating a ball-park figure allows you to:
- Decide if it is economically viable to build your own home.
- Work backwards to calculate how much you can afford to spend on a plot of land.
- Assess your borrowing needs.
- Get an idea of the house you can build within your budget.
Factors Affecting Self Build Costs
The cost of building a house is affected by many factors including:
Most build cost calculators work on traditional masonry or timber frame build costs. If you are interested in a specialist build method you should contact specialist companies for estimates. Have a look at the house construction methods available to you.
Variations in material, labour and equipment prices affect the total build cost. As you’d expect, London is the most expensive area, followed by the South East. The Midlands, Yorkshire, Wales and the North East are the cheapest.
The more you do, the more you save. Employing a package company increases the price but reduces the stress. Visit our build route page to look at the options.
Economies of scale apply. Cost per square metre build costs reduces as the size of the property increases. Each additional floor becomes less expensive than the lower floor.
Materials and Design
Your choice of materials and bespoke design items will have a considerable influence on the cost of building a house.
Contaminated ground, a steep slope or a very remote location will greatly increase your costs.
Garages and Outbuildings
Garages and outbuildings must be accounted for. It is usually recommended to budget the same £/m2 for garages as for the main house.
The Building Costs
Build costs are referred to in Pounds per square metre (£/m2) with m2 being the total internal floor area of your proposed home.
Depending on the influence of the factors mentioned above, a traditional masonry or timber frame build in the UK can range anywhere from £550/m2 to £1700/m2.
This variance is by no means restrictive and a cutting edge design and build could come in well above the top figure. If you are considering this, speak to your architect or designer about cost implications.
Other Costs to Remember
People often like to add up the actual build costs and pretend that some others don’t exist. This is bad practice, always budget for everything and remember to include:
- Land purchase – Solicitor’s fees, stamp duty, other costs.
- Professional fees – Architects, Planning Consultants, Engineers, etc.
- Borrowing costs – Interest payments and set up costs. Click for more on mortgages.
The significance of these costs will be specific to your individual project. If they are relevant then the cost implications should be noted.
The Next Step
By estimating your self-build costs you can assess the feasibility of building, set a budget for your plot or begin the design process in earnest. As you move forward you’ll need an accurate set of projected costs which can be used to assist with the design and project management of your build. Our money matters section looks at all things financial in more detail including building up your cost projections.
Remember with careful cost and design control you can save up to 25% of the value of the completed property.