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How much does it cost to rebuild a house per square foot in the UK?

The cost to rebuild a house per square foot in the UK sits at around £163 per square foot (£1,750 per square metre). However, that can go up to about £279 per square foot (£3,000 per square metre) depending on the complexity of the architectural design and a host of other factors! Rebuilding a house costs can vary, which we examine below.

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It's also wise to build in a 15% contingency, which means that you have the budget to cover other costs such as structural engineering surveys and project management and have a little room to breathe if any aspects of the build go over budget.

Average Cost to Rebuild a House Per Square Foot UK

As we've covered, the average cost to rebuild per square foot in the UK is £163 and up to £279 for larger or more elaborate designs.

To help break it down, we've listed a range of average property sizes in the below table to show what you might expect to spend to rebuild a home depending on the number of bedrooms.

Rebuild Project Average UK Cost
Two-bedroom house £188,000 - £281,000
Three-bedroom house £242,000 - £363,000
Four-bedroom house £295,000 - £442,000
Five-bedroom house £318,000 - £477,000

Much depends on how many storeys you have planned for your rebuild and whether the home is terraced, semi-detached or detached.

For example, a rebuild for a three-bedroom semi-detached property with two storeys is around £243,000 - but if you want to add another floor at the top of the structure, you could be looking towards the higher £363,000 end of the scale.

Average Rebuild Costs by Square Foot

It's also possible to calculate your anticipated rebuild cost by measuring the square footage of your building plans.

Rebuild Project Average Cost Per Square Foot Average Total Cost
1,000 square feet - three bedrooms, two bathrooms £196 £196,000
1,400 square feet - three bedrooms, two bathrooms £174 £243,000
2,000 square feet - four bedrooms, three bathrooms, one garage £163 £326,000

As you can see, the price per square foot drops the larger the property. That is because things like groundwork and laying foundations cost a similar amount and will be comparable for the same footprint regardless of how many storeys are built above.

Listen to Kevin McCloud give his top 5 tips when considering a self-build:

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Rebuilding a House Costs Examined

The cost of the rebuild itself is one element of this rather big project. Before you draw up budgets or start making plans, it's also important to factor in ancillary costs and other fees that will be associated with the design and build process.

We've listed some of the important services and surveys along with average costs below.

Rebuild Project Element Average Cost
Property survey £400 - £1,500
Demolition of the old property £18,000 - £45,000
Drainage connection survey £250 - £450

Some contractors will provide an inclusive quotation, but you may also hire a separate project manager or architect to liaise with your builders and manage these extra tasks, such as scheduling surveys at intervals during the construction phases.

Why Knock Down and Rebuild a Property?

If you have an existing structure and are considering demolishing it to start again, it's essential you compare the costs and viability of renovation vs demolition.

Properties in very poor condition or where you wish to carry out major structural changes are usually more economical to knock down and rebuild. You have the benefit of tailoring your design and layout to your exact requirements.

Building a new property can be an extensive and fairly lengthy task. Still, it is generally far more cost-effective to rebuild than to spend a huge amount renovating a structurally unsound property or renovating when the condition of the foundations, roof, walls and eaves needs considerable work.

The first step is usually to commission a surveyor to come and inspect the home and take a look over your plans.

In some cases, it may be a simple decision since you might not be able to achieve the appearance or functionality from the property as it stands:

  • Substantial renovations with complex structural work can be more costly than rebuilding from scratch - a surveyor will be able to help establish whether a renovation is possible.
  • Very poor condition homes that are derelict, uninhabitable or run down may need to be demolished due to the dangers of an unsafe structure that would not withstand a renovation project.
  • If you wish to change the style of the residence completely, a facelift might not be sufficient to make the required changes, so a demolition and rebuild may be preferable.

However, a rebuild isn't a small project, so it's important you have an overview of the options and understand all of the costs to rebuild a house per square foot in the UK before work begins.

Factors Affecting Your House Rebuild Budget

Of course, we've talked about averages based on square feet or the number of bedrooms. Still, the rebuild budget for a simple residence will be considerably different from an ultra-modern design with picture windows, bespoke joinery and a solid wood staircase!

There are so many variables involved in a property rebuild that the only way to be confident that you have a great idea of the true cost is to work with approved contractors to compare price estimates and discuss the options.

As an indication of some of the factors that will influence your overall price, we have listed some of the biggest aspects of the work.

Site Preparation

Before any rebuilding work begins, your contractor will need to undertake a range of tasks to prepare the site for building to start and ensure they have created a safe schedule of work, including:

  • Site surveys and investigations
  • Demolition of the old structure or walls
  • Site clearance to make a level plot, including removing the foundations
  • Laying new utilities such as piping lines or drainage

Building Design

The next step is to start creating the underlying foundations and substructure upon which your rebuild will sit.

That involves several stages, each of which needs to be completed before the next will begin:

  • Digging the substructure
  • Laying foundations
  • Installing drainage and insulation
  • Fitting the floor slabs

From there, a contractor will start building the skeleton:

  • Superstructure and external walls
  • Internal walls and roofline
  • Insulation inside the property
  • Making the structure airtight

The following phase is to begin adding external finishes, and the parts of your building that will have featured in the design process, such as:

  • External finishes
  • Roofing tiles or slates
  • Windows and doors
  • Guttering
  • Wall cladding

Internal Appearance

The inside of the rebuild will start to take shape once the outer layers have been completed and the property is waterproof:

  • Installing utility services and fitting out the interior
  • Adding plumbing, heating and ventilation
  • Fitting electronics, stairs and internal doorways
  • Decorating and plastering
  • Applying your selected finishes
  • Laying flooring and tiling
  • Fixing lighting

Outdoor Landscaping

After a demolition and rebuild, the outside of your new residence will likely need a lot of attention since the clearance and subsequent traffic of construction vehicles normally leave the ground torn and damaged.

Examples of work required include planting, landscaping, and laying driveways, paths and patios.

Project Management

Unless you intend to self-manage your rebuild project, which is only normally advisable if you have sufficient experience, you will hire a project manager or architect to keep a watchful eye on the rebuild, address any issues and oversee regulatory compliance. This will increase rebuilding a house cost overall but will have many benefits.

They might deal with planning permission approvals, building regulations inspections, health and safety provisions, services such as safety fencing and scaffolding, and overall site management.

Now you understand the cost to rebuild a house per square foot in the UK, you may want to research whether you need planning permission to demolish and rebuild, the overall costs associated with waste removal, and how much it costs to remove to clear a site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Next, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about how much it costs to rebuild a house in the UK per square foot.

How Do I Measure My Planned Rebuild to Get an Accurate Quotation?

If you have architectural plans, these will usually show you the dimensions of the property and each space, so you can use these figures to receive your rebuild cost quotations.

Architects and surveyors need to calculate volume per square foot or metre since this information dictates the most suitable building materials and the length of pipework or drainage required.

To measure an existing structure, you can:

  • Measure the length x width of each external wall on your ground floor.
  • Multiply those figures together to calculate the total ground floor area.
  • Double that again if your upper level is the same size.
  • Otherwise, measure again length x width and add the required buffer for the width of the walls.

You can also find dimensions on your property plans or deeds or organise a contractor to come and visit your property to take the measurements on your behalf.

How Can I Calculate the Cost to Rebuild My Property?

The easiest way to get an idea of your rebuild cost is to complete our quick quotation form with some details of your plans and where you live.

We'll use that information to suggest approved contractors who provide the services required and who can send a price estimate directly to you.

You can also use the rebuild cost calculator on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website, which gives a rough idea, primarily to help with building insurance estimates.

What Would It Cost to Rebuild My House Like-for-Like?

You can estimate a rough rebuild cost by looking at some of the available information about the property and its structure, such as:

  • The deeds to the home.
  • Mortgage valuation reports.
  • Buildings insurance policy documentation.
  • Your original surveyor's report.

Most of this paperwork is drawn up when a property is bought or sold, so it may be outdated depending on how long you have lived in your home.

You can use our free, no-obligation quotation service to get a better estimate of your rebuild cost. That may be important if your property has been seriously damaged due to a disaster such as a flood or fire - buildings insurance providers should cover the cost of the rebuild but may need you to quantify what this will be.

If you need to rebuild following this sort of damage, it is essential that you have a range of quotations to be confident that you won't be under-claiming on your insurance.

Likewise, you may wish to find out what your home would cost to rebuild to ensure that you have the right level of insurance coverage and are fully insured should anything happen that would mean you need to rebuild.

Why Does the Rebuild Cost For My Home Differ From the Market Price?

The saleable market value of a property is often far higher than the cost to rebuild - even if you were to recreate the exact same footprint, layout, design and materials.

This differential is why self-builds have become popular since you can usually build a property at significantly less than it would cost to buy an identical home.

The difference is that market values don't necessarily indicate the build cost but reflect the price a buyer is willing to pay for your property.

Property listing prices depend on countless factors, such as the area you live in, the desirability of the location and nearby schools, the amount of land you own, and the quality of the property design, layout and decor.

Some homes also command a premium based on the lack of available properties in the immediate area, which is why you may pay considerably more for the same house in a city centre than you might for a comparable home in a quiet town.

If you need to rebuild or decide to demolish and rebuild an older property, you can use the opportunity to make further improvements, such as incorporating an additional bedroom rather than a loft space or increasing the size of the foundations to create a larger ground floor.