How Much Does it Cost to Build a House?

While most people are happy to look at the property market and buy a house that is currently for sale in their price range, others dream of building their own home. Doing this means they can have a house in their favorite location that is built in their preferred style. They can also tailor their new home to meet their specific needs and tastes. It takes bravery and determination to embark on the risky business of building your own property. If this is something that you have always dreamed of doing, one of the most important questions you will have asked yourself is how much it costs to build your own home. Of course, the cost of this can vary significantly and depends on many factors. Here is an overview of the different factors that affect the cost.

Land and Location

The first stage of building your own home is acquiring a piece of land on which you can build a property. The piece of land must be sufficient for the size of home and garden you are planning. The cost of buying land depends on which area you are building your home as this can vary significantly from one location to the next. In most instances, the land is sold by either square foot or square meter. However, larger plots are sometimes sold per square acre or hectare.


You must also have planning permission to build a home. There is a cost to apply for planning permission and you could potentially have to apply for planning permission more than once. Authorities may turn down your first application but suggest that they may approve it if specific changes are made to the plans. You would then need to pay for a further application with the changes you have made. If the land was previously used for agricultural purposes, then you may have to pay a fee to apply for a change of use of the land. It is best to use a professional architect to draw up your plans to avoid problems further down the line and their services will also cost money. Similarly, it could be necessary to hire a surveyor to assess the land before planning begins and this is another cost.


One of the biggest costs of building a house is the materials you use. The exact cost will vary depending on the type of materials you use and the size of the property. It is likely that you will use different materials throughout the house for different purposes. For example, the exterior may predominantly be brick with glass windows and you may use wood for the interior frames. The quantity of each material will impact on the cost. Another point to remember is that if you source unusual materials from an international location, it will significantly raise the cost of the build.


Labor is another significant cost when building your own home. The larger the house and the longer it takes to build the structure, the more money you will spend. You should compare the cost of hiring fewer workers and the build taking longer to the cost of hiring more workers and completing the project sooner. Another point to consider is that hiring specialist labor will cost more. You may need specialist workers if there are unusual aspects to your architectural design or if you are using rare materials.

Hiring Machinery

A further cost is hiring machinery, and this is one of the costs that home builders can overlook. Leveling the ground, digging out the foundations, lifting heavy parts to the upper level of a house, and moving materials around may all need machinery. If you are using a building company and they give you a price before beginning work, they will usually include the cost of this machinery in the price. However, it is important to clarify this before work begins. It is also important to remember that unforeseen difficulties are common in building projects and this may lead to the unexpected use of machinery at a cost that was not included.

Fixtures and Fittings

Finally, you should consider the cost of fixtures and fittings. Again, this is something that first-time home builders forget to include in their calculations but are an important aspect of completing the project. These include everything from internal doors to fittings in the kitchen and bathroom. The cost of these can vary significantly, so it is important to shop around.

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