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Estimating our build


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So we are hoping to start getting an architect on board soon to get some plans drawn up, size of build and budget is high on the agenda the moment as are the cost of the preliminaries.


Ideally our house would be:

  • 200m2 ICF construction two storey dwelling
  • £200,000 build budget, ex fees etc
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • 4 Bedroom House
  • Master Bedroom with en-suite, walk-through wardrobes etc
  • 3 further bedrooms capable of growth.
  • Family Bathroom
  • Remote or attached storage area/plumbers workshop?
  • Attached 2/3 berth garage
  • Attached hair salon / utility
  • Open plan kitchen dining and living space
  • Separate lounge room
  • Ground floor wc
  • Pantry/utility space
  • Dry store of the kitchen
  • Additional storage on both ground and first floors


In an ideal world the build work completed would be done by the following people:


Who’s doing what??? (in theory)
Ground work: Me + Labourer / Chargehands
Underground Drainage: Me + Labourer
Foundation: Me + Labourer
ICF: Me + Labourer
Roofing full: Sub-contractor
Windows/Doors: Manufacture install
UFH/Boiler : Me
Plumbing : Me
1st Fix electrical : Me
Above ground drainage: Me
External brickwork: Sub contractor (friend)
External cladding: Me
Internal joinery : Sub-con (friend)
2nd fix plumbing : Me
2nd fix electrical : Sub-con (friend)
Dry lineing : Sub-con (friend) Me
Plastering: Friend
Decoration: Me
Snagging: Me
Landscaping: Over time / me 


Speaking with several lenders, (Buildstore / ecology)  once we line up all our ducks its looking like we will be able to borrow between £250-£350k, the maximum we want to borrow is £280k as after all this is a loan we have to pay off before we retire, 30 years on a repayment with a general bank remortgage once its built Im going to be looking about £800-900 a month which is at the top end of what I would want to spend on a mortgage.


Out of the 280k we would need 40k to pay off our outstanding mortgage on the plot, 40k contingency budget & 200k for the actually build. 


  I've been looking into the cost of getting this project off the ground and what sort of money we need to put in from the start.  Attached is my schedule and its looking like most of it is going to be needed to be paid upfront out of our own hard earned cash before the build commences, I am sure that we have missed some unforeseen cost's such as lending / broker fee's so any advice would be greatly appreciated if their are any hidden fees that I may need to add it would be great to know? and I am yet to be given an estimate for building regs plans yet?


  Another concern I have is about the land itself, we are in a local high risk coal mining area and although there are no pits nearby and we are building replacement dwelling, the neighbouring self builds and private developments have all had to have invasive ground investigation reports done and some bore holes drilled to check the land quality. I have had this priced up and am of the thinking it maybe wise to have this done first to ensure that we would be able to continue our build knowing that we will be able to afford the foundation type (strip or raft) as I cannot see us being able or wanting to pay 40k + for pile footings? After all we are not millionaires and this is not grand designs so we want advert the expensive why! moments and hopefully have a fairly straightforward build.




Financially our project plan is


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The build costs are entirely different for each build and it's very hard to say a budget  will work for the size. However some have built for 800/m2 so it is achievable! 


However... my advice would be to spend a LOT of time reading and researching here and othe places to learn as much as you can and find the risks to your own individual project  and finances. The more risk you can mitigate the smoother the build will go. 


My comments would be:


1. You seem to be doing a lot of the work yourself, if you work full time already...how will this fit in with life? Are you prepared  for it to take 2-3 years to complete?. Most of us would love to build yourself and if you can do it great. But be realistic in the first instance.and plan plan plan. 


2. Sizing - 200m2 seems small for the amount  of things you want...these rooms are going to be very small if you dont compromise somewhere. I had planned 200 aswell and had less requirements  than you...I am now at 250 not including my attached double garage...

3. To keep it cheap try ensuring the design is as simple as possible. A square box with straight walls will make it cheaper and easier here.

4. Good luck! Enjoy the process 

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We came in about at £820 m2 Doing most things ourself on a 285 m2 Three German bathrooms Very Large German Kitchen Over 200 mtrs of Italian porcelain 

So figures are very achievable 


Ok on here but I wouldn’t mention the hair salon elsewhere 

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There are a few here who have built for under £1,000/m², but they are very definitely the exception, rather then the rule.  Some. like @Declan52 and @nod, are in the trade, and have done a lot of work themselves, and maybe they live in areas where stuff is cheaper.  The flip side is that we also have members here whose builds have come in at closer to £3,000/m², maybe more, but again they are the exception, rather then the rule.


If I had to guess at a reasonable figure to expect, then I'd say between £1,500 and £2,000/m² is around the right ballpark.  Getting down below £1,500/m² requires a fair bit of DIY work, and also means shopping around a fair bit to get the best prices on stuff.

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@SuperJohnG Yes I currently work full time, I'm looking at the possibility of taking 6-12months of work to get it to the wind, watertight and heated stage so we can then camp when the upstairs is complete if need be.


I intend to get as much info as I can which build hub will certainly help, and hopefully with some intricate planning it will work out well, we may have to make some sacrifices along the way but we will cross those bridges when we have to, our last property project has take 8 years so we are no strangers to living on site but I don't want it for my kids for too long so this build will have to be costed closely.


Yes agree, keeping a simple shape will help, I'm hoping to add some flair by mixing external finishes and varying window size and positions

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