For many who aspire to one day build the house of their dreams, the actual financial side of things is a harsh reality that can wait until another day. But with developments in construction methods and a competitive labour market, it may not be as expensive as you think. So, how much will your self build home cost?
The most obvious way to save money is to do as much of the work yourself as possible. Labour costs usually account for 50-60% of any self build home costs, so the more you can undertake the better. Be realistic and honest about your own capabilities, though – if you’ve never done any plastering or plumbing before, it might be wise to leave that to the professionals. Most self builders will leave the traditional ‘first fix’ elements of the job to qualified tradesmen and save money by fitting floor finishes, doors, kitchens and light fittings themselves.
DIY isn’t for everyone though, so the reality is that your own experience will fall somewhere between this and the other extreme, which is to hire a builder to oversee the whole thing. This is, of course, the most expensive build route, but as a result is the one that should cause you the least amount of stress and the greatest likelihood of your project completing on time.
Our guide to Building Costs breaks down approximate costs by build route and the region of the UK that you are building in, and is updated regularly. This only covers materials and labour though, as there are other variables you need to take into account which it is difficult to generalise – these include the cost of your plot, any slope that you may have to overcome, and the size and shape of your home.
Another consideration is the quality of materials you wish to use – our guide assumes a ‘standard’ specification, but you can always spend more and build to a higher standard. Increasing to a ‘good’ specification can add 30% to your build cost, and to an ‘excellent’ specification as much as 50% more.
We will look at building costs in more detail in future articles, but we hope that this is a useful starting point. Don’t forget that you can find up-to-date figures here, and our exclusive guide ’50 Ways to Save on your Self Build’ is available as a free download here.