Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?


Every person has a different perception of what their dream home must look like and the features that it must possess to make it stand out from other houses in the neighbourhood. This is exactly what makes it so difficult for us to find our perfect home when we are only looking at existing houses. 

Besides the ability to give your house a customised look, building your own house has several advantages over buying an established property. But is saving money one of them?

Why self-build?

If a self-build is managed properly, its value should be considerably greater than the total construction cost of the project. If you are eligible for construction finance, and can stick to your budget, you may get your ideal home at a price much lower than what the market price would be for a similar property. 

With a self-build property you have the added advantage of including features which are generally found in very expensive properties such as green features and energy efficiency. Even if you buy an existing house and consider installing these features, it may prove to be a very expensive affair. 

Modern features such as underfloor heating are quite costly and adding it to existing properties may be more expensive than installing it while constructing a new house. 

Getting the right house

Buying a newly constructed house: 

While the housing market in the UK offers many choices to home buyers at the time of buying a new house, the stock majorly comprises uninspiring homes built using populist designs by large developers. 

Finding one that meets your general needs relating to location or number of bedrooms may be easy, but it is very likely that you will have to make big compromises regarding layout, size, decoration or energy efficiency, amongst others.


Building your own house gives you the freedom to build the type of house that you have always envisioned for yourself and your family. While you may have to keep your impulses in check to make sure that you do not exceed the budget in matters relating to the type of plot you wish to purchase and the construction plan. 

Besides these limitations, you will have free reign to build a home which is exactly as small or big as you would like it to be and has the exact layout which in your opinion is perfect according to the needs of your family. 

A self-build home will have all benefits and features that you expect to be present in a home and will be less costly to maintain. From the beginning of the construction to its end, every inch of the project will be according to your tastes and design.

Building standards

Buying a newly constructed house:

The quality of houses built by the large developers in the UK are believed to be low in standard according to most industry experts. The ultimate objective of developers is to earn profits which often makes them compromise on the quality of the project. Additionally, the pressure to meet house building targets makes developers rush through projects and as a result the standards are slipping.


As self-builders do not have the same objective of maximising returns and are not under any kind of pressure to complete their project, it is possible for them to achieve a higher standard in every aspect of construction. For instance, they can pay greater attention to the amount and quality of insulation used. 

They can design their home in a way that it has a longer life and requires less maintenance. They can build their house in a way that is sensitive to local wildlife and source sustainable materials for its construction. 

While including these aspects in your construction plan is bound to increase the cost of construction by a negligible amount, self-builders can add significant value to their homes by doing so. According to a recent study, self-builders can expect to get at least 25 percent greater price than their costs if they were to put their house on the open market. 

Green credentials

Buying a newly constructed house:

Large developers know very well how to use terms like ‘best eco homes’ and ‘eco friendly’ to increase the price of their homes when they are marketing and advertising their project. However, it is a well-known fact that very few of these developers are actually committed to the cause of designing and building eco friendly homes. 


Those who build their own houses can be steadfast in their resolution to build a greener home and can make proven green choices at the time of its construction. They can design the house carefully (such as Passivhaus standard) to reduce its energy consumption. They can install renewable energy systems and select materials which are environment friendly, and so on. 

Hard work and stress

Buying a newly constructed house: 

Buying a house from an owner or a developer is hassle-free and possibly the easiest option that you have when looking for a new house. The complications are not likely to go beyond selecting the right mortgage plan, searching for the right property online, paying visits to different houses and making the decision to purchase. However, there are many things that can go wrong during this process.


There are many complicated tasks in self-building such as finding the right plot, hiring a good architect, tradesmen or project managers and managing the budget. It may take several years of your life and you will need to closely monitor every aspect of construction. 

There is plenty of scope for things to go wrong, but if you do it right you will have a genuine legacy to leave behind for your future generations. The home that you will self-build will have your unique stamp all over it and it will be a superior house than any other that you would have been able to afford otherwise.

It can be your only opportunity to have the home of your dreams – a dream which many people are unable to achieve during their lifetime.

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