Building Method Cost Implications

Building method has less difference than I expected:

  • Brick And Block: £900 to £1,100 per sq metre
  • Timber Frame: £900 to £1,100 per sq metre
  • Steel Frame: £1,000 to £1,100 per sq metre
  • Insulated Concrete Formwork: £1,000 to £1,200 per sq metre
  • Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS): £1,000 to £1,200 per sq metre
  • Pre-cast Concrete Panels: £1,200 to £1,500 per sq metre
Build Route, seems to have an impact.
  • Be the project executive and 250 sq m 5 bed house should be around £250,500.
  • Employ a professional project manager and …..  £236.750.
  • Self manage and …. £212.250

Looking at the cost of other house projects.

This 227 sq m conteporary home was built (OK on a flat site) for £1,174 per sq m.

It was a steel and timber frame system with a flat roof, lots of glazing (big windows) and wooden floors etc.

Although this similar house cost £1,750 per sq m

The zinc roof and home cinema might have contributed to that ?

Then this house is £1,335 per sq ft


450 sq m, £1,033 per sq m house
– Blockwork and steel

Other costs:


Site Survey: £300 to £600.

Legal Fees: £750 to £1,000.

Design Fees: Ranges from 4% to 12%, depending on the services you require. Design and planning only is around 4%. Design, planning & building regulations would be around 6%, and 12% would be for design, planning & building regulations, plus full schedule of works, renders and full project management on-site.

Structural Engineer Fees: £250 to £500 for a straightforward design, considerably more a bespoke or complex structure.

Planning Application Fees: £335.

Building Regulations Fees: £500 to £800.

Self Build Insurance: £600 to £1,200, depending on the value of the project.

Warranty: Most lenders will require you to have a structural warranty certificate, which will provide you with 10 years cover for any defects with the materials or structure of your house. There are several warranty providers, ranging on cost from £1,400 – £3,500.

VAT on Self Build Projects

Get  Notice 431NB and VAT notice 708 and VAT information sheet 0501
HMRC runs a special scheme called VAT refunds for DIY builders and converters
– design fees and professional fees are not normally eligible for VAT refunds.
Provided you can estalish that your project is a new build, all all construction costs are eligible for zero-rating for VAT.

– so either get invoices with no VAT on them, or reclaim the VAT

The general rule, if items are fixed to the building they are zero VAT, if they are removable, pay the VAT
  • fitted kitchens 0%, but white goods are not.
  • fitted cupboards, 0%

You can’t zero-rate the following work:

  • on-site catering services
  • landscaping, apart from the minimum that’s required by the planning consent
  • constructing external tennis courts and swimming pools – these are always standard-rated for VAT
  • converting a non-residential building into a new flat or house unless you’re working for a housing association (although if you’re converting a non-residential building like a barn into a house or flat, then you can reduced-rate your work)

If you are managing the project yourself and buying materials, you will have to pay the VAT but will be able to claim it back on com ple tion of the project.

  • So keep all VAT receipts.
  • Where a builder is employed for the supply of materials and/or labour you should not be charged VAT for either (if you are, contact the VAT Enquiries Office before you make any payment). Being registered for VAT, the builder will be able to claim back the VAT on their own return.
  • You can only make one claim for a VAT refund and it must be made with in three months of completion (receipt of a completion certificate).

Average Day Rates

The SW of the UK has an average labour day rate for (presumably) the 7 main trades, is £182.