What cost per cubic metre should I budget for when building from scratch?

What cost per cubic metre should I budget for when building from scratch?

Thanks, Andy Welton


Hello Andy

This is the classic how long is a piece of string question, if only because the key issues are so variable. Your costs will generally depend upon 2 factors:-

1. Your specification - i.e. the quality of materials, products fittings you plan to use / install

2. How much of the work you intend to do yourself - If you are paying a contractor to do everything, this will inevitably cost more than if you were to do some or all of the work your self.

Budget costs for building are usually based upon the external footprint area of your intended useable floor area. E.g. if you are planning a two storey house with a ground floor area of 1,000 sq.ft or 93 sq.m then you would simply double that to arrive at your total development floor area (include the external wall thickness into the O/A calculation) So in this case your multiplying factor would be 2,000 sq.ft or 186 sq.m

Most DIYers do not have the trade skills or the time, so if you are planning to appoint a contractor to do the bulk, or all of the work you might allow a budget of £120/sq.ft or £1,292/m2. So in the example above you would have a development budget of £240,312. This would have money built in for a medium spec. kitchen, bathroom, floor and wall finishes etc. and very basic external works. If you wanted to develop into the loft / attic space, then your need to add the useable floor area you plan to create into the equation.

But please be aware this is only a guide. I advised someone a few weeks ago that you would be best advised to pay a friendly builder, or a quantity surveyor, to cost your project from the start, then you can prune or enhance your project accordingly. Always 10 times harder to do it part way through. Also, I notice Ken's Yard offer a building estimate service here which you may want to make use of.

Hope that was helpful

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