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Building a house in the present economic and politically unstable situation in the U.K. could be the wisest or the most foolish decision you have ever made.

However, building your own house has many benefits, according to a professional building company in London, MPC Contractors Limited. If you have the time, resources and unlimited patience, then it could be just the challenge you have been looking for. It is, however, not a decision to be taken lightly.

Six factors for a house builder to consider:

It is vitally important to do your homework before you begin.

1. Is it worth building your own home?

Compare the price of the average house price in the area that you would like to live in with what it would cost to build your own house, including the cost of the land. The cost of land in the U.K. is the largest variable.

Prices of land and building costs differ from county to county, with London and the South-East of England being the most expensive.

2. Self-building means a unique property for you!

But unique often brings with it a hefty price tag even though you will be able to build a house that meets your personal specifications; design, size/space, energy-efficiency, lifestyle requirements and quality of fittings.

You will be making hundreds of decisions about the design, materials, and finishes for your dream house, and these will impact the costs and time needed for the construction.

3. How much do you have to spend?

What is your budget? Now add on a whole lot more!

The questions to ask in this regard are: Will it be a DIY project with you being the project manager? Or will you be employing a team of professionals? You could also consider a mix-and-match option of employing professionals to do some of the more specialized jobs and do the rest yourself. Do you have the necessary skills to build a house?

Up to half the costs of building a house in the U.K. will go on labor, so it is a significant factor to consider.

If you employ a contractor to complete the whole project, you are looking at costs between £1000 and £3000 per sq. meter.

If you build it yourself you can almost halve those figures. 

4. What are the additional/hidden costs?

There is always a long list of additional fees that you need to include in your budget:

  • Legal fees, stamp duty and land tax
  • Survey fees and architecture costs
  • Planning application and Building regulation fees
  • Insurance
  • Finance costs if you are having to take out a loan
  • Having services connected
  • Abnormal conditions such as sloping land, inferior ground conditions or contaminated soil on your land.

So, I am sure it is becoming clear that it is very difficult to accurately work out building costs because there are so many variables that you will have very little control over. It is very common for most people to find that they have gone over their original budget quite considerably by the end of the project.

I suggest that you should have between £15 000 to £30 000 to adequately cover these costs.

There are a number of companies which offer a free building cost calculator.

In 2019, the average cost of a new, architect-designed home in the U.K. was from about £1,750 to £ 3,000 per square meter, excluding the cost of land and other professional fees.

5. What type of construction do you want?

There are so many different types of materials that can be used to construct your house and your choice will determine two important things: the cost of the project and the time it will take to build.

Most architects and builders would advise you to spend most of the budget on a strong structure. This could be built on-site or assembled using a prefab house building kit such as HUF HAUS. These timber-frame houses are built to a high specification and the price includes many interesting additional features. Take a look at their website and price lists at www.huf-haus.com

6. What about finishing off costs?

You will need a budget for landscaping the garden as well as equipping the house with basic appliances such as boilers and white goods. These costs should come in at about £12 000 for a reasonably finished house that you would be happy to move in to.

In summary, I just want to say that I hope you have had a calculator ready while I have been suggesting all the different costs that need to be considered. 

When all is said and done, if you really want to take on a challenge of this magnitude, remember to do your homework and get as much professional advice as possible.