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How To Calculate The Cost Of Building A Home?

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The concept of constructing your own home is certainly an appealing one. Every month in the UK, thousands of new builds are finished and for good reason.

Building a home has numerous advantages, such as a higher return on investment. However, there are also plenty of drawbacks, such as the inflation of labour and materials costs due to the pandemic.

But, one question remains – how much does it cost to build a house in the UK? The answer is that it depends. A custom-built home could range from a few hundred thousand pounds to millions.

Numerous variables come into play, and understanding them can assist in comprehending your total costs and what you can do to control them.

This makes it difficult to provide an exact cost for constructing a house. Even though there are several house-building cost calculators available for free in the UK, it can be beneficial to gain a more comprehensive understanding.

Before you can start calculating the cost of your new home, you must first decide if this is the right path to take to get the house of your dreams.

It is essential to determine if building a home is the right choice before you can even begin to estimate how much you will have to spend.

Table of Contents

Buying an Existing Home vs. Building a New Home

Many people who are looking to purchase a house have to consider the benefits of buying an existing home versus working with luxury home builders in Manchester and beyond.

Building a new home has numerous advantages, but it’s essential to consider if this is the right choice for you before you think about the cost of the building.

One of the most attractive aspects of building a new home is that you get to build the house you want. You don’t have to settle for any existing home, and you can make it just as you want it the day you move in.

This means you can personalize everything from the layout and design to the colour palette. Ultimately, you may have a valuable investment should you decide to sell it in the future.

However, there are also some drawbacks to building a home. It can take up to 12 months to achieve the home of your dreams, and this can be extended if there are delays or shortages of materials.

Additionally, you could have difficulty finding a mortgage lender as custom home loans don’t work the same way as other mortgages.

So, should you build or buy? It’s a tough decision to make and you have to weigh the cost of buying a house like you want versus the cost of building a house like you want. Take a closer look at the timeline to help make your decision.

The Timeline of a Custom-Built Home

Finding the right site for your home is the first step for any builder. To make sure you find the ideal plot, keep an open mind and be prepared to compromise.

Make sure to research different types of plots available, as some come with planning permission and others don’t. Don’t forget to check the planning register and speak with local estate agents, and don’t forget to spread the word to family and friends.

Once you have the perfect spot, you can start to get ready. Your team will clear away debris and create access to the building site.

Plumbers will connect you to the water, and surveyors will mark out the area. Materials will arrive for the exterior of your home, and your goal is to ensure it is weathertight as soon as possible.

The foundation is the hardest part of the building and can get expensive. The team will excavate, lay reinforcement bars, and place compressible materials in the trenches. The plumber will install pipes and ducts, and the surveyor will check on the foundation before they begin to lay blockwork.

Work on the exterior structure starts next. The groundworkers will finish up the service trenches, and the carpenters will begin to build trusses. The walls will go up, the roof will be attached, and the windows and doors will be installed.

The interior of the house will be fitted with all necessary piping and electricals. If you’ve opted for underfloor heating, the loops will be laid and prepared. Staircases will be installed, and insulation will be added to the walls.

Plasterers will work on the ceilings, the trim will be put in, and the floors will be laid. If you have any fitted shelving, it will be installed, and the kitchen units and wall tiles will be added.

Outside, the landscaping begins. Groundworkers and gardeners will prepare the driveway and patio, and the garden will be levelled. Bricklayers will build any decorative walls, and decorators will come in to paint the walls. Finally, there will be a walk-through to make sure you’re happy with everything.

Building a home takes between six and twelve months, and the cost depends on the selections you make along the way.

How To Calculate The Cost Of Building A Home
Building a new home has numerous advantages, but it's essential to consider if this is the right choice for you before you think about the cost of the building.

Understanding the Factors That Can Affect a Self-Build

Many factors can influence the cost of a self-built home and size is one of the most important. The bigger the house, the higher the price tag. However, you can still save money if you choose to build something large.

You can opt for a cheaper superstructure and standard options for other components.

Building multiple storeys could cost more, but it would make better use of the land so you’d need a smaller lot for a bigger home. Also, adding a basement can increase the space without increasing the overall cost too much.

Finding an Architect

The first step you should take in this process is to find an architect to assist you with the initial design. It can be difficult to even begin discussing ideas such as how much it costs to build a house in the UK without having a plan.

You can usually find someone who meets your needs if you ask around among those who have recently built their own homes. Additionally, there are numerous online databases featuring architects who could be suitable for your project.

When searching online, you should also check for an architects’ fee calculator on UK-based sites.

This can be quite helpful when estimating the cost of the build. Make sure that whoever you choose is registered with the Architects’ Registration Board and that they offer the services you require. How much does it cost to work with an architect?

Typically, it is about 7-15% of the total cost of the build. The good news is that when you collaborate with an architect, you can usually find a low-budget house design that you love and recuperate some of the money spent on the architect.

The Plot

Once you have an architect and you’ve started looking at the design, the next step is the plot. You can usually get an idea of plot prices by searching online.

Sites like plotfinder.net will provide an overview of plot prices in your area, but there are plenty of other options out there, so shop around. Remember that plots usually cost a lot. Some people suggest that the cost of the plot should be a third of the total cost of building a house, a third for labour, and a third for the structure itself.

If you want to save money, consider the conditions of the plot. For each degree of the plot’s slope, you can expect to add £1,000 to the cost of building a house in the UK. Make sure that the plot is already connected to services too.

If it isn’t, you’ll need to budget at least £10,000 for connecting it to water, sewers, electricity lines, telephone lines, and gas. The bigger the build, the more you’ll need to budget.

Also, check if there are any covenants or easements on the plot in 2022, as these can be quite expensive to remove.

How much does a project manager cost UK
A project manager can even reduce the overall cost of the project by up to 10% depending on how well it's managed.

Adding a Project Manager

When it comes to building your own home, you may need to decide whether you should add a project manager to your budget. It may seem like an additional expense, but having a project manager can save you a lot of time and hassle.

They can coordinate the hiring of professionals, ensure the materials have arrived, and maintain the site clean and safe.

Plus, they work with the architectural designer to make sure your dreams are realized. Furthermore, they are responsible for coordinating inspections and keeping the project on track.

A project manager can even reduce the overall cost of the project by up to 10% depending on how well it’s managed.

Usually, a project manager adds up to 8% to your budget. So, if you’re wondering how much it costs to build a house in the UK, you may find that the added cost of a project manager is worth it.

Will The Materials Shortages Affect My Budget?

When the pandemic struck in 2020, the construction industry faced a severe slowdown. This led to a significant cost increase in materials when 2021 saw a spike in demand.

Then, Brexit added to the burden, further driving up the cost of materials and creating shortages nationwide. Timber and steel were the hardest hit materials, experiencing price hikes of up to 74%.

Although these prices have decreased and the shortages have been largely alleviated, they still exist. Supply is generally keeping up with demand, but there is still the possibility of inflation and energy cost increases, resulting in further shortages and price increases.

Therefore, if you are planning to build a home, you should factor in additional costs to cover any potential price hikes or even missing materials throughout the construction process.

Choosing a Construction System

Once you have the plot and you’ve decided on who will manage the build, you need to consider the construction system. This can affect the cost of constructing a house in the UK. Different systems cost different amounts, so it’s important to think about what will work best for your home.

A timber frame home consists of timber stud work, which is then covered in insulation and a plywood layer. It is then protected by water-resistant membranes and cladding. This can be built on-site, or the panels can be prefabricated in a factory and brought to the site.

There are two main types: open panel, where insulation and joinery are added on the construction site, and closed panel, which is delivered to the site with insulation already fitted.

This is a quick way to build a house, but the initial manufacture can take a couple of months. It is great for managing the project on your own, and if you have a tight budget, as the cost of the frame, delivery and assembly is all in one package.

Masonry construction, also known as blockwork, is another option. This consists of an inner skin that bears the load of the home, and an outer skin that protects it from the elements.

A cavity between the two ensures a moisture barrier and provides insulation. The outer skin can be clad with timber, brick or stone. It is easy to find materials and cladding, and it is quite soundproof. If there are last-minute design changes, it is flexible. The main drawbacks are that it takes longer to build and the weather can affect the build schedule.

ICF, or Insulating Concrete Formwork, consists of blocks or panels of polystyrene. These are stacked to create the walls, and then concrete is poured into the formwork.

The polystyrene remains in place to form insulation around the building. This has to happen on-site, but there are fewer components than with masonry construction, so it is possible to manage the project on your own. This method allows for unique design elements, such as curved walls and basements on slopes.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are similar to a timber frame. They are constructed off-site, precision cut in a factory, and then brought to the building.

They consist of two OSB timber panels with rigid foam insulation bonding them together. They are strong and airtight, but the wall thickness is kept to a minimum. They are good if you don’t have much space, but not many companies specialise in this type of construction.

Oak frame construction is a frame that is also manufactured off-site, but the panels are hand-finished. It is usually encased in a timber panel or SIP system to increase the thermal efficiency rating. It is attractive, but careful design is a must because the oak will shrink as it dries out. It is the most expensive construction method.

Masonry construction is the cheapest option. It can cost just 13% of the overall build cost. Timber frame construction is 10% more expensive, costing 15%. Oak frame is 50% more than concrete blockwork. SIPs and ICF are slightly more expensive, costing 5-15% more than blockwork, but they are much quicker to build.

How much does a foundation cost UK
Many people find the look of brick appealing, but it can be quite expensive.

Adding in the Cost of the Foundation

Foundation costs per square metre are usually the same regardless of the size of your house. The total cost of building the foundation depends on the type of soil in your plot.

The local authority surveyor will determine which foundation system is necessary for your home. This can range from rafts, piles, or a reinforced slab, and could add up to an extra £10,000 to your budget.

Your foundation costs may also be affected by how close the site is to a ready-mix concrete plant, the muck away and the vegetation on the plot. If there are trees, it will be harder to clear, which can increase the costs.

Pricing The Add-Ons

Do you want your house exterior to stand out? You have numerous options, but they may not be budget-friendly when it comes to house-building costs.

Many people find the look of brick appealing, but it can be quite expensive. Typically, brick prices can add up to 5% to the total cost, depending on the type of brick used. If you opt for stock brick, it can add around £1,000 to your total cost. Character bricks, however, can double the price due to their rarity and difficulty to lay. The type of brick you choose can also affect the cost, as artwork is more expensive.

If you’re not a fan of brick but love the look of natural stone, it can be even pricier. Course stone blocks can increase the cost of your house build by £20,000. Reconstituted stone is a bit more affordable, but labour costs remain high due to its installation being a slow process.

Sand and cement rendering is an excellent choice for blockwork houses, and surprisingly inexpensive, particularly if it doesn’t need painting. You can also mix lime to make it more forgiving. The cost to build a house in the UK using this method is around £10 per square foot.

Cladding is a great option, especially for timber frame structures. UK construction costs per square metre for house builds in 2021 were approximately £10 – £50 for this option. The cheapest option is timber cladding, but there are other options such as Cladco Fibre Cement, composite cladding, and tile.

The Cost of the Roof

The cost of your home’s roofing depends on a few factors, such as the coverage you choose, the structure of the roof, the type of insulation, the felt and battens, and the flashings.

If you opt for a simple, low-pitched roof with pre-made trusses, it’ll be the least expensive option. This is because the rafter lengths are short and because trusses are made with thin timber.

When you move away from this basic design, the costs start to climb, as the trusses will need to be constructed on-site and require more labour.

It may also necessitate the services of an engineer to check the design, and a building regulations inspector to inspect it. In some cases, structural steelwork may be needed.

The steeper the pitch of the roof, the more it will cost. Prices for a concrete, basic roof can start from £8 per square meter, while a handmade tile roof can cost up to £80 per square meter.

What is the average price of windows
If you want to take it up a notch, you could go for bespoke windows, but be prepared to pay significantly more for them.

Windows and Doors

The exterior joinery can enhance your home and also disproportionately add to the overall cost of your property. Generally, the standard specifications include ready-made windows and doors.

These are usually double-glazed, painted, softwood casement varieties and cost around £60 per square metre.

If you want something a little better, you could invest in double-glazed aluminium windows with hardwood surrounds and a hardwood-panelled front door, which usually costs about £121 per square metre.

If you want to take it up a notch, you could go for bespoke windows, but be prepared to pay significantly more for them.

The Floor Structure

The exterior of your house has several associated costs, as does the interior. One of the first expenses to consider is your ground floor structure. Common options include concrete slabs, suspended timber, or beams and blocks. Softwood joists with chipboard cost around £16 per square metre, while sturdier engineered joists, such as I-beams, can increase the price by close to £3 per square metre.

If you’re looking for greater sound insulation, an ICF home with a completely concrete first floor could be an option, though this could add up to £12 per square metre to your bill.

The Flooring Itself

Floor covering can vary in cost dramatically. If you want to go with something like a contract-quality carpet, you can expect to pay around £20 per square metre. Upgrading to wood effect laminate is usually only £25 per square metre.

However, if you opt for something more luxurious, the cost will be significantly higher. Wool carpeting, for example, will give you a soft and beautiful finish, but it will cost up to £55 per square metre. Engineered oak flooring is very popular, but it will cost around £65 per square metre.

Ceramic tiling is a great addition to bathrooms and kitchens, but it can add up to £70 per square metre to your house build costs in the UK.

How to calculate construction cost UK
Internal partitions can be costly, but developers generally work to keep the cost low whether you choose blockwork or timber frame walls.

The Internal Walls and Ceilings

Internal partitions can be costly, but developers generally work to keep the cost low whether you choose blockwork or timber frame walls. Wet plastering or dry lining are usually equal in cost.

Emulsion paint is typically used to keep costs down, while extra features like tiling in the kitchen and bathroom or wallpaper will add to the budget.

The cost of building a house with these options is around £80 per square metre. The height of the ceiling is the biggest determinant of cost.

The average height is 2.4 metres. Each extra 100 mm will increase the cost by roughly 1.65. Plasterboard and emulsion paint usually cost £17 per square metre, though decorative plasterwork may add to the total.

Adding the Staircase

If you have a second storey in your residence, your staircase design is a great way to make it stand out. However, the more intricate the design is, the heftier your budget must be.

Generally, a standard staircase consists of two straight flights constructed from softwood and connected by a half-landing. It usually includes a softwood balustrade too, which is usually painted or stained. For a house with this option, the average cost of building is around £1,250.

If you desire a single straight flight of stairs, you can anticipate the cost to increase to a sum like £1,500. If you want to make a statement, you can opt for a straight flight of stairs in hardwood, with a stunning hardwood balustrade. This will cost you around £2,150.

Including a Chimney

Most modern homes don’t feature a chimney due to the hefty associated costs. As an alternative, they often have log-burning stoves with stainless-steel flues, which can cost as little as £1,650.

If you’d rather have a more traditional fireplace with a beautiful chimney, however, it’ll come at an extra cost. The best designs typically add about £11,300 to the total cost of the property.

How much does it cost to update a kitchen UK
The kitchen is a special place in the home, and the cost of fitting it out can vary depending on the quality and style you choose.

Upgrading the Kitchen

The kitchen is a special place in the home, and the cost of fitting it out can vary depending on the quality and style you choose.

How much does it cost to fit a kitchen? On a budget, installation could be around £5,000. But for a luxurious, chef-style kitchen, you could be looking at a price tag of around £50,000.

Focusing on the Bathroom

The plumbing costs for a bathroom will not change depending on the design. Sanitaryware, brassware, and tiling are areas where you may choose to spend more.

You may also want to add some luxuries, such as different showers and enclosures, heated towel rails, and underfloor heating. The number of bathrooms you plan to include in your home could affect the total costs.

Generally, the cost for a standard home design with two bathrooms is around £3,500. If you opt to add additional bathrooms or other attractive features, the cost could go up to £10,200.

Built-In Storage

Many people decide to construct their own homes primarily due to the need for more storage space, and built-in storage solutions are an ideal way to accomplish this.

It is often possible to install extra closets, cabinets and even built-in bookshelves at a minimal additional cost. If you desire high-quality finishes, building costs for a four-bedroom house in the UK are roughly £40 per square meter.

Heating Your Space Cost
If you'd like to upgrade to underfloor heating, you'll be impressed with the quality, but it will come at a price - usually £40 per square metre.

Heating Your Space

If you haven’t yet considered how to heat your new home, now is the perfect opportunity. Standard builds usually include a radiator system with a gas boiler. It is estimated that, in 2022, the cost of construction per square metre in the UK will be £18.

If you’d like to upgrade to underfloor heating, you’ll be impressed with the quality, but it will come at a price – usually £40 per square metre.

You could opt for a system that uses renewables, but it will be costly. On top of standard construction costs, you are likely to spend an additional £1,600 for a typical MVHR system.

Adding the Electrics

Most homes in the UK offer standard electrical connections at an average of £37 per square metre for the overall cost of building a house.

If you’d like to upgrade your system, to include a structured cable network, hi-fi system or security system, you can expect to pay roughly £500 for each upgrade.

Many people are now choosing to include a garage in their home, which is a great idea as it provides you with a workshop space and off-street parking. The cost of building a garage in the UK is typically between £13,000 and £25,000.

A Porch Might Look Nice!

Many individuals appreciate the beauty and usefulness of having a porch. It can make your home look much nicer and increase its value.

How much does a porch cost? Estimates from 2021 show it to be in the range of £1,500 to £5,500.

How much does it cost to build a house in 2024
Building regulations fees typically amount to around £1,000.

Are There Other Fees?

There are other costs associated with constructing a home. On average, you can expect to pay roughly £1,000 in legal fees. If the cost of the property is over £500,000, you may also have to pay Stamp Duty.

Before beginning, it’s necessary to have a topographical site survey, which usually costs about £350. A planning application is likely to require fees of up to £500.

Building regulations fees typically amount to around £1,000. The warranty for your property will cost approximately one per cent of the contract value. A building cost calculator can help calculate the other fees.

Adding in the Cost of VAT

If you are adding up the numbers, taking into account VAT, you may wonder, “How much does my house cost with VAT?”. Fortunately, you can get all of the money back from the materials you use to build your house, from the cabinets in the kitchen to the flooring.

To do this, you must submit your invoices to HMRC. You can find a self-build calculator online, which can give you estimates of the VAT.

Should You DIY Part of Your Home to Save Money?

Many people are tempted to build their own homes to save money. Keep in mind, however, that a third or more of the cost of the home can go towards labour, so if you take on some DIY work, you can significantly reduce the overall cost of your house.

It is important to have some experience in the area of work that you decide to take on, however.

People often take on roofing, decorating, flooring, and even landscaping to save some money when constructing their homes.

Make sure to tell your team in advance that you would like to take on some of the build yourself. This way, you won’t throw off the schedule at the last minute. Additionally, make sure you have the right experience to do the job.

A few hours of watching online videos is not enough to make you a flooring expert, and you don’t want to create a mess that looks bad and requires a contractor to come and clean it up.

If you are considering taking on this task, you may want to talk to your team. Ask questions such as “How much to fit a kitchen labour only” to find out how much you could save. Feel free to inquire about any aspect of the home that you are comfortable taking on.

For example, researching block laying rates in 2021 in the UK might help you decide if it is worth it to save on your masonry rates.

Additionally, there are various self-build cost calculators available online that can help you comprehend where you might be able to save money if you decide to do it yourself.

This way, you can find out if it is cheaper to build a house by yourself or have contractors handle all the work.

How to calculate construction cost UK
Generally, you should expect to pay between £1,750 and £3,000 per square metre. To get a more accurate estimate, try using a cost-to-build-a-house calculator.

A Final Look at the Average Cost to Build a House in the UK

It can be difficult to figure out how much it will cost to construct a house in the UK. Generally, you should expect to pay between £1,750 and £3,000 per square metre. To get a more accurate estimate, try using a cost-to-build-a-house calculator.

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