If you’re in the planning stages of a self-build project, you’ll no doubt have spent a lot of time trying to work out how much it is going to cost to build your own home. And you’re not alone.

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) estimates over 13,000 custom and self-build homes were built in 2016. Research suggests 53% of Brits would consider building their own home if they had the opportunity, and some of the latest figures from the NaCSBA show 33,000 people have signed up to Right to Build – an initiative which is part of the Self and Custom Build Housing Act that requires local authorities to make sure there’s enough land available for those who want to build their own home.

Here we look at the average cost of building your own home, as well as what factors can impact the overall cost to help you plan your finances.

How much does it cost to build your own home in the UK?

According to the Self & Custom Build Market Report, the average build spend for a typical self-build home is £270,000[1].  But the costs are hugely varied between different self-build projects; anything from £300/m² to over £5,000/m².

On top of this, you’ll also need to consider the cost of land. The same Self & Custom Build Market Report showed that the average plot cost was £190,000 after surveying 500 self-builders who had just finished or were about to complete their project.

The value of land differs across the country, so this impacts the total cost of building your own home. When thinking about location, it’s also worth researching average labour costs in your preferred area. If you’re choosing a particularly remote location, you’ll have to consider the ease of transporting materials there, as this will add to the cost too.

Size and Design

Other factors you’ll need to consider when you’re planning and budgeting for your self-build project include the size and design. Understandably, the bigger the house, the greater the cost. But you can get economies of scale, which reduces the average cost per square metre for bigger houses.

If you’re trying to keep costs low, square plans are the simplest and therefore usually represent the best value. You tend to achieve a lower cost per square metre if you have two or three stories rather than a bungalow.

Materials and Features

If you’re deciding between brick, stone, timber or render, calculate the different costs associated with each to make sure your preferred option is within budget. Sand and cement render on blockwork is one of the most cost-effective options for new-build projects.

You can also spend varying amounts on features and functions, from kitchens and staircases to smart technologies and renewable energy systems, depending on the specifications. Don’t forget to work out the costs for insulating your new home and plumbing it.

How much do I need to budget for insulating my self-build project?

Building your own home is a good opportunity to make sure it’s as energy-efficient as possible. Part of this can include installing home insulation. From reducing energy bills and boosting your EPC rating to adding value to your home, there are a number of benefits of home insulation.

Typically, 35% of heat escapes through the walls, 25% through the roof, 15% through the floors and 10% through windows and doors. The cost of insulating a home will depend on the size and types of material used.

As an example, the Energy Saving Trust suggests the average cost for installing 270mm loft insulation (the recommended depth under current regulations) for a detached house is £395.

So long as your budget permits, installing extra wall insulation, loft insulation and floor insulation is well worth the added costs over time.

How much does it cost to plumb a new house?

When you’re budgeting for building your own home, you need to consider how much it will cost to connect the house to things like water, drainage, electricity and gas networks.

Homebuilding & Renovating suggests you need to allocate between £7,500 and £10,000 for this.

Instead of burning fossil fuels in your self-build home, you might want to consider installing an air source or ground source heat pump. When designed and installed correctly, you can make considerable savings on your energy bills, reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, and earn a passive income from the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Other environmentally-friendly plumbing and heating system additions you might want to budget for in your self-build project include underfloor heating and solar thermal panels.

We specialise in bringing a number of these different technologies together in a single integrated energy system, bringing you enhanced thermal comfort and cost-effective heating that emits a fraction of the carbon dioxide a conventional boiler-heated UK house does.



Building and designing your ideal home is an exciting project, but one that needs to be planned carefully so you don’t go over budget. If you’re planning on integrating renewable technologies in your self-build home, there are a number of government schemes to help with the initial payments. You can find out more about these in our finance guides.

Are you planning your self-build project or currently building your own home? Contact us today to talk about the design and specification of your bespoke renewable energy system.

[1] Homebuilding & Renovating report, published May 2018

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