The Hidden Costs of a Self-Build

It is crucial to maintain an accurate record of expenses when determining the budget for constructing your own home. Additionally, you must be fully aware of all the components that need to be encompassed within your self-build project. While the costs of building materials and labour may be evident, it is important to conduct thorough research in order to identify any potential hidden expenses that could catch you off guard.
costs of a self-build house in construction

Thinking of building your own home? This might seem like a costly endeavour, but in many cases building a home can actually be cheaper than buying a home of the same quality. Without a previous owner, there are no appreciation costs to factor in. And there are many ways to cut costs on construction by carefully considering your home’s design.

That said, there are still some hidden costs that can be overlooked when budgeting a self-build. It’s important that you factor these in so you’re not caught short during construction. This guide details six of the biggest hidden costs.

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    1. Surveys

    A land survey is necessary for mapping out your land, confirming the borders and making sure that the land is possible to build on. Such a survey can cost anywhere from $1000 to $10000 depending on the size and geography of the plot of land. Some sellers may have the courtesy of carrying out a survey for you; however, you need to be sure that this survey has been done by a certified professional and that you understand the survey results.

    2. Land Clearance

    You may need to pay someone to clear any unwanted rocks, rubble, vegetation or debris on your plot of land before you start building. If there are structures on your plot that you need to take down, it may even be necessary to hire a demolition company. This clearance can greatly vary in cost depending on what is already on your land; a few rocks are likely to be much cheaper to clear than an entire building.

    3. Planning/Building Permits

    Before making any developments to your land, including clearance, you will need to make sure that you have permission from your local building authorities. If you do not get permission, you could be ordered to reverse any work done or may be fined if your development is not legal. Permit fees can vary depending on the type of development you are applying for.

    4. Temporary Accommodation

    While you’re building your property, you may be able to stay in a previous property. However, many people sell their previous home to fund a self-build – which means moving into temporary accommodation during construction. You’ll need to consider the cost of this as well as the cost of putting any belongings in storage.

    5. Self-Build Insurance

    Self-build insurance covers your property while it is under construction. This includes offering compensation for any damage caused by fire, weather damage or vandalism. It is worth taking out this insurance so that you are not left out of pocket if something goes wrong.

    6. Mistakes/Delays/Last Minute Changes

    A lot can go wrong during construction. You could accidentally order the wrong supplies, or there could be delays in construction due to bad weather that result in having to pay labourers for longer than you anticipated. There may even be last minute amendments that you want to make once your project is underway. It’s important to leave some money aside for these eventualities.


    Constructing a new home is an exciting endeavour that should be approached with enthusiasm and minimal stress. However, the potential hidden costs associated with building a house can pose a threat to your aspirations and overall satisfaction.

    To defend against such unplanned expenditures, it is crucial that you become acquainted with the six essential tips for managing the biggest hidden costs of self-building that we have mentioned in this post. By maintaining consistency and being well-prepared, you can confidently embark on this journey and turn your dream home into a reality.

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    Cidinha Moss

    Cidinha Moss

    Cidinha Moss is the founder of Moss51 Art & Design, an SEO Content Writing and Web Design studio. She is a content writer and artist, with a background in languages, education, marketing, and entrepreneurship with years of writing, teaching, and providing effective text, images, and web designs to her clients. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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