How much does it cost to build a house?

Many of us dream of building our own home. Instead of buying a property and trying to make it fit what you need, you can start from scratch, and create a tailor-made home that is perfect from the start. We’ve put together this guide to new build house costs so you have some idea of cost to build a house before you hire a new home builder.

Building Costs per m2

With such an incredibly broad category, it is very difficult to place a simple price on the cost to build a house. There are thousands of factors involved in home building, from the scale of the build, to the design, the materials and the finishing touches. 

Coming up with a one size fits all price is very difficult. For a very general estimate, it is easiest to think about the cost to build a house per square foot, or more usually, the cost per square metre. 

Breaking it down like this, at the lower end of the spectrum, a new build house might cost as little as £1,400 per square metre. At the top end of this range, you may be looking at more like £2,500, or even £3,000 per square metre. A typical, average price to bear in mind is probably around £1,800 per square metre.

cost of building a home

The typical size of a three-bed home ranges from 90 to 120 sqm , so a three-bed build project goes from £125k to £300k with an average cost of around £213,000.

 

A four-bedroom house can vary between 140 sqm and 200 sqm, meaning the cost of building a home this size range from just shy of £200k up to £500k, with an average cost of around £350,000.

A big five-bedroom house covers between 200 to 240 sqm, with a new build 5-bed costing between £280k an £600k, with an average cost of around £440,000

Ultimately, the price to build a house will be influenced by the materials chosen, the scale of labour involved, the land you are building on, and many other elements. Some of the key costs are broken down below.

Material costs

Construction costs

The majority of the costs involved in building a new property will be in its construction. The superstructure (such as the walls, roof beams and external cladding) will take up the bulk of the costs – sometimes around 30% of the total build cost. Brick and block is typically the cheapest method of construction – if using timber frame, the price can be increased by around 50%.

FOUNDATIONS

The costs of the foundations and floor structure will usually be the next largest cost after the superstructure costs, though this is usually fairly static, unless the plot of land you are building on is on a slope or is of unusually poor quality.

ROOFING

Roof costs are another significant portion of the overall build. The average cost of constructing a roof is around £5,000 to £6,000 though this will change depending on the scale and the kind of tiles used.

KITCHEN

Whether you’re fitting a neat galley kitchen or a spacious kitchen-diner, the cost of kitchens can vary widely, with an average cost of around £5,000 to £6,000

BATHROOM

Bathrooms are hardworking rooms, so it’s vital you install one that can put up with wear and tear. New bathrooms can range from around £1,400 for small, simple rooms such as en suites, to £6,000 for more luxurious affairs.

ELECTRICS

The cost of wiring a house starts from around £3,000 for a smaller home, rising to around £5,000 for larger projects. 

labour costs

Architects

Architect fees for a new build house typically come to between 5% and 15% of the overall costs, depending on the complexity of the design. Remember to keep aside a suitable amount to cover these fees in your budget.

Trades

All of the costs above include the cost of labour and are broadly representative as of 2020. However, the cost of individual tradespeople can be broken down by trade and the length of time they spend on the job.

variable cost factors

Possibly the biggest single individual cost not covered above is the price of the land itself. Land prices vary widely depending on the size and condition of the plot, whether or not it has any planning permission attached to it, and of course, where in the country it is.

The design will also play a major factor. While a simple brick and block construction is relatively easy to calculate, using different materials such as a timber frame or metal cladding will change the overall costs.

Your final choice of fittings and fixtures will also play a part in the final costs – a basic bathroom suite from a major retailer will cost a few hundred pounds, while bespoke fixtures or reclaimed and refurbished items can cost thousands – deciding which finish you’re willing to fork out for will have a big impact on your projected spend. 

Other costs

There are a number of other fees that will need to be kept in mind.

  • You will usually need to apply for planning permission, which is currently £462 if approved at the first opportunity. Fees for building regulation applications and inspections can cost up to £1,000, while there can be other costs for site surveys and structural engineer reports, which can be around £500 each.
  • Other common costs involve demolition or waste clearance from the site, which can cost several thousand pounds, and landscaping costs.
  • There are also numerous legal fees and taxes which will vary depending on the value of the land.
  • Self build insurance can cost around 1% of the overall costs.

Remember

If you’re embarking on a major project, like building your own home, you need to be fully aware of the scale of the job and the costs involved. Set a budget and get several quotations for the work. Allowing yourself a contingency – around 10% of the overall budget – is a wise move to help you cover any extra expenses that could arise as a result of delays or issues with materials.