I am often asked how much a building is going to cost. The first thing I like to answer is that I am not a builder. I am able to give you a rough estimate but do not go thinking that is the exact right cost because there are a number of factors that will impact on the total cost for your construction project. Starting with the great volatility of the current market and ending with the quality of finishes that you are planning to have.

The reality at the moment is that building materials costs have started to decline in February 2009, they are now approximately 5.5% to 10.5% cheaper than last year (2008). Furthermore, for new house building projects the average decline in tender prices is 13%,although in some cases, falls of over 20% have been witnessed. So, this is probably the best time to build! Don’t think twice just think wise.

To help you with some cost guidance these are some useful references.


From RIAI:

RIAI Cost Guidelines, March 2006

(There is no update to these Guidelines, but due to the downturn in the economy they should be reasonable updated.)


From the Society of Chartered Surveyors:

Tender prices continue dramatic fall with building costs down 17.3% on this time last year

Guide to House Rebuilding Costs 2009


From Build Your Own House & Home Magazine:

Self-Build: Estimating Your Building Costs


From Bruce Shaw Group:

Average Construction Costs 2009

Regional Cost Variations


While you are worried about keeping a tight budget don’t forget that you also have to pay the professionals (like me!) that will make your building possible in a knowledgeable, creative and unique way.

Professional fees are not an extra to your construction costs, they should be part of your construction costs but people often forget this. These may be approx. 11% of the overall construction costs and it will include for architect’s fees, engineer, surveyor, BER assessor, etc.

Check out our other articles in this series.

View Isabel Barros's LinkedIn profileView Isabel Barros’s profile