How much does it cost to build a house?

Price guide

£1,400 - £3,000

low

£1,400

median

£1,800

high

£3,000

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much does it cost to build a house?

Most of us dream of having our own homes. Not only will it save us from the costs of renting but it will also provide comfort and safety. Indeed, having your own living space is an accomplishment on its own.

On average, the cost to build a house ranges from £1,800 to £3,000 per square metre. However, it could go higher or lower depending on the build route, quality of materials, and design complexity.

If you want to know more about how much it costs to build a house in the UK, we have created a comprehensive price guide. This will help save you time in researching and lead you one step closer to your dream home.

Factors that affect house building costs

Each build differs in complexity, size, finishing, and approach. In this guide, we highlighted the most important things to consider leading up to the final costs to build a house. Our goal is to help you create the perfect home fit for your needs without breaking the bank.

Build options

There are four major types of builds that you can choose from in navigating your home build project. Each of these will significantly affect the final cost to build a new house. Across all, DIY is the most budget-friendly option and can help you save around 30% of final expenses. The main contractor route is the most expensive but is also the most convenient if you do not have the luxury of working on your home project.

  • DIY – DIY build pertains to handling everything from purchasing materials to project management and execution on your own. The only parts where a professional service is advised is when installing wirings, plumbing, and applying for certificates (structural engineering, architect). This build is helpful if you are on a tight budget and have some time and energy to build the house.

  • Self-manage with subcontractors – The second type of build is when you manage the overall project, including buying all materials, setting timelines and ensuring this is followed, and hiring tradespeople to help out with heavy lifting. This build is perfect for you if you have a knack for project management while also knowing building regulations. Having so will help you converse well with the authorities when getting permits while effectively managing the subcontractors. If you need help with build quality concerns or other legal fees related to building, hiring a building consultant can help make things easier while ensuring you are adhering to guidelines.

  • Main contractor with subcontractors – The third type of build is similar to the second one except that the main contractor is hired to build the house’s structure. You will still need to buy materials and manage the subcontractors.

  • Main contractor – The last type of build is the most expensive but also the most convenient. It involves the least exposure for you and leaves the end-to-end process in the hands of the main contractor. If you don’t have the time to be hands-on with your home project but have the budget to employ a main contractor, then this is the best fit for you.

If you opt for the second or third type of build but don’t know where to start, Airtasker can connect you to a host of subcontractors or drafters nearest you. Just put up a task on our platform, indicate a reasonable amount within budget, and receive offers in minutes.

Quality of fittings and fixtures

After choosing your house build route, the second factor in determining how much it would cost to build a house is the specifications or quality of fittings and fixtures. The three main types are standard, comfortable, and luxury. The Standard build is the most basic type and is usually offered by developers. The Comfortable build has higher quality materials while a Luxury build is the top of the line, highest standard of build.

While all three types have similar cavity walls, the tiles, partition walls, and heating coverage differs. The quality of bathroom and kitchen fittings also vary.

Specifications

Inclusions

Standard

  • Cavity walls are facing bricks, insulation, and 100mm blockwork

  • Tiles are concrete and interlocking

  • Softwood joinery (standard)

  • Studwork partition walls

  • Standard kitchen

  • Basic bathroom

  • Radiator central heating

Comfortable

  • Cavity walls are facing bricks, insulation, and 100mm blockwork

  • Tiles are machine-made clay

  • Softwood joinery (high-end)

  • Blockwork partition walls

  • High-end standard kitchen

  • Mid-range bathroom

  • Downstairs underfloor heating

Luxury

  • Cavity walls are bricks, insulation, and 100mm blockwork

  • Tiles are made of plain clay

  • Hardwood joinery

  • Blockwork partition walls

  • Fully custom kitchen

  • High-quality bathroom fittings

  • Full underfloor heating


Complexity of project

Besides the type of build and quality of the fittings, another factor that affects the cost of building a home is the project’s complexity. This includes overall project design, type of house, number of rooms, type of rooms, and house size.

As always, more complicated designs will take longer to finish and will lead to more costs. Bigger houses located in London will also cost more than in the suburbs due to pricing differences. Currently, London is the second most expensive city in the world to build houses. However, you have the advantage of being near the business district and other infrastructures.

Cost of materials

Material costs for house building form a considerable chunk of the actual cost to build a house. Despite the expense, quality materials are a good investment because this help ensures that your home will last longer and in top quality.

Superstructure

The superstructure includes the walls, roofs, external cladding, and beams of the house. For exterior cladding, render on block wood and timber cladding is the cheapest at £25 per m², while flint is the most expensive at £90. You can save up on costs for roofing by using reclaimed or second-hand slates, which are £35 per m². Reed thatch is most expensive at £80 to £90 per m².

External cladding type

Price per m²

Render on blockwood

£25

Timber cladding

£25

Handmade all-weather tilling

£50

Reconstituted stone

£50

Natural stone

£75

Rubble walling or flint

£90


Roof type

Price per m²

Welsh slate

£60

Second-hand slate

£35

Handmade clay tiles

£65

Reed thatch

£80


Foundation

The foundation of the house depends on the site condition and the soil type. Only a licensed inspector or a building control surveyor can decide the best type of foundation system for your site. Costs can go higher if your location is far from a concrete plant or your land is sloping as this needs to be filled and levelled.

Service connection

Another important aspect of house building is service connection. This includes electricity, water, gas, and telephone system. Installation costs around £10,000 in total.

Other factors that affect house building costs

Besides materials and house build, some other factors that affect the average cost to build a house include legal and labour fees:

Factor

Price

Legal fees

£500 to £1,200

Stamp Duty Land Tax (England)

£125,000 to £250,000 (2% SDLT)

Land survey

£400 to £600

Architect fees/design fees

5% to 15% of total build costs

Structural engineer

£500

Planning permission

Consult with your local planning authority. This may differ depending on house type.

Building control fees

Consult with your local authority for advice

Warranty

1% of total contract value

Self-build insurance

£500 to £1,000


Keep these in mind while preparing your final budget. It’s best to set aside around a 10% contingency budget if there are pricing adjustments that need to be made to ensure the best materials for your future home.

If you are ready to take the next step, a skilled and experienced home builder is ready to help. Simply put up a task on Airtasker, and we’ll connect you to the best person nearest to your location.

FAQs

How much does a house cost to build yourself?

DIY homes are usually cheaper by around 30% than the total cost of building a 4 bedroom house with a main contractor. It is tricky to put exact pricing on build-your-own homes since the final cost per square foot to build a house in the UK will still vary according to house complexity, location, size, and quality of materials. If you want to know the exact costs to build a house, calculators are a no-go. Instead, getting a personalised quote from a home builder on Airtasker may help give a topline cost estimate.

How much does a frame house cost to build?

Timber frame houses cost around £1,200 to £1,800 per m², which is cheaper than brick-and-mortar. Like with other house types, a frame house can go more expensive or more affordable depending on the size of the home, the quality of materials, and overall complexity and design. Still, some opt to build frame houses due to their energy efficiency, sustainability, and speedy building.

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