Thinking of buying a house? Do you know how much it costs to build a house? We put at your disposal this guide with assumptions and examples so that you have as much information as possible.

Becoming a self-promoter of your own home has great advantages, such as being able to decide from start to finish how you want your home to be or saving the extra cost that would be incurred by purchasing a home from a real estate developer; but also some drawbacks, such as running the risk that the initial budget will skyrocket if you do not take into account all the expenses involved in building a house. So that the latter does not happen to you, in this guide we review all the points you should pay attention to when building your home.

Purchase of the land

The first thing you need to build your own house is a lot to do it. If you already own a piece of land, you are going to save a significant amount within your budget. If you have to acquire the plot, this purchase can represent a third of the total value of the future house, or even more, depending on where it is located and its buildable area (the buildable square meters -that you can build- per square meter of land).

In any case, you already have the land or are pending to buy it, check with the town hall that it is suitable for building, what is the qualification of the plot or what urban regulations apply (for example, how much height can you give your home or the setbacks required). Also check the accessibility of the farm, if it has all the services (water, electricity, sanitation facilities, etc.) and its characteristics (existence of easements, power lines, watercourses, etc.), as well as its inclination, orientation, and sunlight (the sun it receives at different times of the year).

You also need to go to the Property Registry to check the ownership of the land and if there are charges or easements on the property, asking for a simple note; and to the Cadastre, to verify that the surface registered in the deeds coincides with those registered there.

If everything is correct and you have decided to buy, you have to add to the price of the plot:

  • the cost of public deeds in the notary’s office: its price is regulated by State tariffs, it would range between 600 and 875 euros
  • the change of ownership in the Property Registry: whose price is also regulated by regulations, and which is calculated based on the value of the plot.
  • and taxes: VAT of 21% if you are buying from a company or the Tax on Patrimonial Transmissions (between 6 and 10% according to autonomous communities) if you buy the land from an individual. In addition, you will have to pay the Tax on Documented Legal Acts (around 1% of the operation, which also varies according to the autonomous community).

And if you need it to draw up the sale contract, also add the expense of an agency or lawyer (around 300 euros).

Before you can build, you must do a topographic survey and geotechnical study that details the characteristics of the land where the work is going to be built, necessary for a correct foundation and to be able to prepare the building project. The geotechnical study must be prepared by a specialized technician and endorsed by his professional association. Its price is between 800 and 1,200 euros.

Materials for the structure

Depending on what type of house you are going to build: modern, classic, one or two floors, wood …, the material you choose for the structure (the foundation, the framework of beams, the pillars, the floors, etc.) will be different. and this will influence the final price. The most used materials in construction are:

  • The concrete. It is a very resistant material, also to water and fire. The price per cubic meter of regular concrete is around 50 euros, while reinforced concrete can cost 75 euros per m3.
  • Steel. It is used for the floors, which will support the weight of the construction, and also to fix the structure to the ground. It is very resistant to bending. Its price, around 100 euros per square meter.
  • Wood. It is a material with great thermal insulation and is very durable. It can be used for the structure of the house, the beams … Its price depends on the type of wood and its quality; it can range between 185-200 euros per square meter.

Construction prices depending on the square meters

Another element that will determine the price of building a house is the square footage that it will have. The price per square meter will decrease the larger the house, but, of course, the more meters, the more investment you will have to make. An architect will be the one who best advises you on the size that your future home needs to have, depending on your tastes, the size of your family, and the uses that you are going to give the house (if you need a larger garage or have an office at home, to put two cases).

In fact, it will be the architect who will prepare the budget for material execution (PEM) , in which all the costs involved in executing each of the items that appear in the project measurements are computed: earthworks, concrete, and structure, masonry, roofs, flooring and tiling, plumbing and electricity installations, among others. These prices are calculated by multiplying the measurement made by the unit price of each work unit. The cost of labor is also included.

This budget is variable since it will be influenced by factors such as the surface of the house, the quality of the materials to be used in the work, the complexity of the construction (for example, if the terrain is not flat, but is on a slope, the house will cost more). An approximate value of the budget for the material execution of a single-family home would be between € 650 and € 900 / square meter built.

Construction company expenses

The material execution budget (PEM) is just one of the parts of the contract’s budget, which is the price for which you will contract the construction of the house to a construction company. This contract budget includes the material execution budget plus the general expenses of the work (which is usually 13% of the PEM) and the builder’s profit (6% of the PEM).

It is recommended that you present the project that the architect has prepared (the plans and measurements) to several construction companies to ask them for a quote. You can also contract the work in parts, although in this case, you will need to be more aware of coordinating the different works so that the execution does not take time.

Once the contractor is chosen, the forms of payment, guarantees, and execution deadlines are specified in the work contract. The usual thing is that you have to pay the builder monthly payments proportional to the work carried out and retain between 3 and 10% of the total cost to pay once you have received the house.

Total construction budget

To calculate the total budget for the work, you will have to add to the contract budget other expenses generated by the construction of a house, such as the technical fees of the architect, surveyor and other technicians, municipal rates, and taxes, plus VAT for each concept.

In detail, the fees of an architect usually represent between 8 and 15% of the budget for the material execution of the house, while the technical architect usually charges 30% of the architect’s fees, and the health and safety coordinator of the work, 30% of the surveyor’s fees.

As for municipal fees and taxes, if you build your own house you will have to pay the major building license at the corresponding town hall. This rate varies according to municipalities, oscillating between 4 and 6% of the budget for the work. You will also have to pay the Tax on Constructions, Installations, and Works (ICIO) , a maximum of 4%, which will accrue at the time of starting construction.

Regarding VAT, 21% is applied to professional fees, while 10% is paid in the contract budget.

Other expenses after completion of the works


At the end of the construction, it will be necessary for you to do a general cleaning before moving in, to remove dust, remains of cement, plaster, paint, silicone … A company specialized in end-of-work cleaning will charge you between 15 and 20 euros per time and person. The final price will depend on the size of the house. Know more about the plot for sale in Karachi.

Housing deed

Another cost that you have to include in the budget to build a house is that of the deeds. When finishing the building, you will have to request a new construction deed, a document that is formalized before a notary public attesting that the house has been completed. The cost depends on the declared value of the house (we are talking about a percentage that is around 1.5%) and also on the number of pages that the deed carries. Calculate between 700 and 1,000 euros.

In order to deed a recently completed home, you must go to the notary with the following documentation:

  • work license
  • the certificate of completion of the work, issued by the facultative director and endorsed by his professional association, certifying that the work conforms to the project for which the license was obtained
  • the first occupation license, granted by the city council
  • and the energy efficiency certificate of the home.

Once the deed is done, you must register the home in the Land Registry and Land Registry. The registrar’s fees (also assessed by the State) are around 0.5% of the value granted in the deed to the home. Finally, you must pay the Tax on Documented Legal Acts, which will represent another percentage on the value of the house (between 0.5% and 2% depending on the autonomous communities).

Registration of supplies

Likewise, add to the overall budget the expenses that you will have to register the supplies of the house:

  • Light: from € 165, depending on the power contracted.
  • Water, between € 50 and € 150 depending on the municipality.
  • Gas, from € 72 to € 156 for connection rights, depending on the autonomous community in which it is located and the chosen natural gas access rate, and from € 128 for connection rights.

Prices depend on the type of construction

Depending on the type of construction chosen, it may be necessary to have a budget. These are some of the most common constructions and their characteristics.

Construction of prefabricated houses

Building a prefabricated house is an increasingly popular modality, for two main reasons: its lower cost and the greater speed when building the property. In this construction option, the components of the house are pre-built in a factory creating modules that will then be transported to the chosen plot where they will be assembled and construction completed. In this way, the construction process is shortened, being able to have the house finished in a matter of months, compared to the traditional process that usually takes around a year or a year and a half.

These prefabricated houses require a previous foundation on the site and all the permits and administrative procedures, just as if we were building a traditional house.

Consulting companies specialized in the construction of prefabricated houses, the price can be between € 770 and € 870 / m2.

Modern architecture house construction

On the other hand, there will be those who choose to build a modern house, state-of-the-art in design, and construction systems. Glazed facades, flat roofs, use of home automation, open interior spaces or great heights are some of the ideas that come to mind when thinking of a modern house.

The qualities are chosen and the choice of the architect are factors that will influence the final price, but a modern house does not have to be more expensive. Even if it is designed to be energy efficient, it will save you energy once you live in it.

Construction of ecological houses

More and more people prefer to build an ecological house. These buildings are those in which sustainable, natural, or recycled materials are used, free of toxins and of local origin. An ecological design also takes energy efficiency into account, taking care that the home has good insulation, good orientation, and good ventilation that minimize the use of heating and air conditioning.

A priori, building an ecological home can raise the budget, although the higher initial expense will be amortized in a short time due to the lower energy consumption.

Construction of wooden houses

Wooden houses are gaining followers among those who want to build their own house, as wood is an abundant, sustainable, light, insulating, resistant, and versatile material. Wood-frame houses are common in the United States and Canada or the Nordic countries, and now they have begun to interest Spanish owners.

Its higher cost compared to a traditional brick and concrete house is offset by shorter construction times (as the wooden structures are prefabricated in the workshop and assembled “dry”) and its greater energy efficiency.


If you need to finance the construction of your house, you can resort to a specific type of mortgage, self-promotion mortgages. In this case, the amount that the bank can lend you is calculated based on the final value of the home and will allow you to make the payments for the work as construction progresses

To apply for a self-promoting mortgage you must previously have:

  • the plot duly registered
  • budget and project endorsed by the college of architects
  • building license in the corresponding town hall.

How to plan the construction of a house

In summary, among the issues that must be considered when calculating the costs of building a house, it is also advisable to pay attention to the planning of the construction. These are, step by step, the different stages of building a house :

  1. Choice of terrain. Do you already have a piece of land on which you can build a house? If so, the first step is to carry out the topographic survey and the geotechnical study.
  2. Architect’s project. This section includes the basic project for your home, and later, the work execution project.
  3. Choice of the construction company. With the project (plans and measurements) prepared by the architect, you can contact one or more construction companies to request a quote.
  4. Building license. Once the project is approved, and before starting to build, you will have to request the building permit from the corresponding town hall. Its price and the time it will take to grant it vary according to municipalities (from 15 days to 3 months, the most usual, up to a year or more in those municipalities that accumulate delays in their concession).
  5. The work. Before starting to build, you will have to request the provisional connection of the electrical current and water supply of the work (the construction company itself can do it) and entrust the construction management to an architect and the management of the material execution to a technical architect. It is also mandatory to take out all-risk civil liability insurance for construction. On average, traditional home construction in the USA lasts from 12 to 18 months, not counting the time prior to obtaining the building license or the time spent doing the project.
  6. Documentation of the new home. Once the construction is finished, you will have to carry out a series of procedures before you can move to it: request the first occupation license at the town hall (for which the architect and surveyor will have to first sign the certificate of completion and endorse it in your professional association), notarize the property at the notary, register it with the Property Registry and Land Registry, register supplies, and pay the corresponding tax (IAJD) at the Treasury of your autonomous community.

In this article, we have reviewed how much it costs to build a house in the USA and all the aspects and details that you should look at throughout the construction process in the self-promotion mode. Check out more articles at Shaz Vlog.