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How Much Does it Really Cost to Build a House in the UK?

Posted on Monday, 26th February 2024

How Much Does it Really Cost to Build a House in the UK?

Owning a home is a big dream for many in the UK but understanding the true cost of building one can be challenging.

Catherine Storer, Executive Director at ESS and an expert in the construction training industry, shares insights into the true cost of building a house in the UK. Aspiring homeowners often grapple with understanding the financial landscape of home construction.

Storer explains "When it comes to building a house in the UK, the costs can vary significantly."

Land prices across the UK

" Land prices vary greatly depending on the location, with significant differences between cities like Nottingham and London. In Nottingham, where land may range from £50,000 to £200,000 per plot, factors such as proximity to urban amenities and transportation infrastructure can influence prices. Conversely, in London, where land is in high demand and space is limited, prices start from £400,000 and can exceed £1 million per plot, reflecting the premium associated with urban living and desirable neighbourhoods."

Designing, planning and construction costs

Storer notes, " Design and planning costs are essential components of the home-building process, covering architectural designs and obtaining necessary permissions. Typically ranging between £3,000 and £5,000, these expenses ensure compliance with local regulations and standards while bringing the homeowner's vision to life. Architects play a crucial role in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing designs tailored to the client's preferences and budget.”

" Construction costs encompass materials, labour, and project management expenses. With an average range of £1,000 to £2,000 per square meter (£93 to £186 per square foot), building a standard 100-square-meter home could cost between £100,000 and £200,000. Factors such as the complexity of the design, site accessibility, and local building codes can influence these costs.”

Utilities and services fees

Storer explains, " Connecting a newly constructed home to utilities such as water, electricity, and gas entails additional expenses. These costs, which may range from £5,000 to £10,000, cover installation fees, permits, and any necessary infrastructure upgrades to ensure reliable access to essential services.”

Interior Finishes

" Interior finishes contribute to the overall look and feel of the home, enhancing comfort and functionality. Expenses for flooring, kitchen fittings, bathroom fixtures, and painting can range from £20,000 to £40,000, depending on the quality of materials and level of customisation desired by the homeowner.”

Exterior and landscaping costs

Storer suggests “Landscaping adds curb appeal and enhances outdoor living spaces. Costs for amenities such as gardens, patios, and driveways typically range from £5,000 to £20,000, depending on the size of the property and the complexity of the landscaping design.”

Contingencies and Fees

" It's prudent to budget an additional 10% to 20% of the total project cost for contingencies, unforeseen expenses, and professional fees. This buffer helps mitigate risks associated with construction delays, material price fluctuations, and unexpected challenges that may arise during the building process.," Storer advises.

Empowering homeowners

Understanding these intricacies empowers prospective homeowners to make informed decisions. Storer emphasises that there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the cost of building a house in the UK. With transparency and careful planning, individuals can embark on their home-building journey with confidence.