Is It Cheaper To Buy A House, Or Build It Yourself?


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When it comes to getting onto the property ladder, many people are turning to building their own home. Although it has typically been the preserve of the wealthy, it is now a viable alternative to buying. Building your own home is not just a wild dream, it can often make great financial sense. In many cases, it can be significantly cheaper than buying a house of the same size and specification.

However, in order for your self-build to come in on budget, you need to be very strict with costs. You’ll need to keep a tight eye on outgoings and expenditure. A self build can work out cheaper, but only if you do it right. There are plenty of variables to consider and it’s not always so clear cut. Self-builds aren’t always cheaper. In fact, the costs of building yourself can spiral out of control if you’re not careful.

The design and specification

The cost of building yourself varies wildly. A self build gives you the opportunity to create a truly individual house. You can customise every aspect of it and make it your own. You can include environmental technology that will make energy consumption cheaper in the future. This is one great benefit. However, the truly high-end customized home is a very expensive pursuit. Individual fittings and designs cost a lot of money to develop and install. If you have a particularly unique design in mind, there is no way around it. It will be expensive.

On the other hand, if you’re planning a simple design with regular fittings, it will be cheaper. When there are no complicated installations, the installation process is quick and cheap. You’ll pay a small amount on fitting and a low amount to buy. Of course, for many, this regularity spoils the purpose of self-building. There is a balance to be struck here where you can mix individuality with low cost. For example, some companies like Cannon Custom Homes offer a good middle ground.

The hidden costs of building

In many cases, a completed self-build is worth between 20-25% more than the cost of building. However this is just an average and is reliant on all kinds of market forces and other factors. If you keep a sharp eye on costs, you will be rewarded. Remember that costs don’t stop at building alone. You’ll need to consider where you will live during the build. This could mean two years of rent payments. You may also need to give up work for a while to oversee the build. You’ll need to take any loss of earnings into account too. A self build can be cheaper, but not if you spend a fortune elsewhere.

In the end, I’m afraid there is no simple answer. Every home is different and you’ll have to do your own sums to work out if it’s cheaper to build. In general, a self-build will work out cheaper. However, this is only the case if your design is relatively simple and you can reign in the hidden costs. If you plan a unique design and difficult installations, you must be prepared to pay for it!

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