What Is the Real Cost of a House Extension in Ireland?

Cost of building an extension

If you want to know the cost of building an extension in Ireland these days, then you can gain a good level of insight from the average costs that others have faced. However, if your extension is non-standard or no one in your neighbourhood has undertaken an extension for a number of years, then it is not always easy to estimate the true costs. This is because the sort of prices that an average builder will give you are often based on the construction costs alone. In fact, there are many more costs for an extension to take into account.

Now, don’t let that put you off. Knowing about the ‘hidden’ extras that go along with extending your property before you start will help you to budget properly. Without knowing about all the ways in which demands on your cash can be made, it is possible to run into financial difficulties. This way, many people end up borrowing more money than they had expected. To avoid the pitfalls which so many people fall into, it is better to be forewarned. Read on to discover the real cost of building an extension successfully today so that your project is delivered on time, on budget and with no last-minute adjustments to the budget to account for overspending at an earlier stage.

Planning and Design Costs

Many Irish people understandably turn to their local builder’s firm to ask for a quotation to build a home extension for them. In a large number of cases, a good builder will know how much it costs him or her to build a conventional extension based on the sort of materials they will need to buy in as well as their labour costs. Many Irish builders look at the number of square metres you need for your extension and simply multiply this by their baseline figure. Most come up with a figure that is a little over €1,000 per square metre so long as you are talking about a single storey extension, that is.

However, this does not account for any planning and design costs. Okay, many extensions don’t require a great deal of planning because they can be just the same as another one in the same street but that does not mean you should not set aside some of your budget for design. Firstly, if you want an architect to do some design work so that your extension has a unique quality, then you can expect to pay fees of around €70 per hour for a chartered architect in the country. If any elements of a design need to be overseen by a structural engineer, then you can expect to pay at a similar rate. Of course, the more daring the design, the longer it will take to put together and the greater the likelihood that you’ll need the services of a structural engineer, too.

In some cases, you might need to find out whether you have permission to build an extension on your property at all. This might be the case if there are any special legal covenants on the land, for example. Again expect to pay a similar rate for these sorts professional services as you would for an architect. At BIY, all of the design, engineering and build cost breakdown are included within the price you are quoted. Remember that this will also include important legal documentation, too, such as health and safety certification.

Land Preparation Costs

Before you can get building, you may need to clear the land you intend to extend onto. A typical example of this might be if your home is on a steep hill and you need to flatten an area and put a retaining wall in place. Groundworks contractors are often needed for this sort of specialist work. If your site requires it, then you can now expect to pay rates that are at a similar level to that which you’d have faced before the global financial crisis took hold. Excavating about 30 cubic metres of earth will cost in the region of €1000 unless there is an access problem which will push the price up.

The Costs of Project Management

Many people understandably want to project manage for themselves. With extension projects – especially those with fairly standard designs which your builders are already used to constructing – this can be hugely beneficial to the overall cost of a project. That said, good project managers can actually save you money by getting extensions completed on time. If you are facing extra living costs because you temporarily move out of your home, for instance, then a project manager who gets the job done rapidly by coordinating all of the tradespeople involved on your site well will be invaluable.

On less time-sensitive projects, you may as well do the job yourself and lower your expenditure, especially if your extension is under 40 square metres and will, therefore, not require an assigned certifier. Depending on the size and complexity of your extension, you can expect to budget between €4000 and €5500 in total for a professional to project manage for you. Bear in mind that BIY can help you with project management as well as other aspects of building an extension because the costs of delivering an entire project are included as part of the package.

Construction Costs

As mentioned, many local building firms will estimate their costs based on previous work that is in the region of €1,000 per square metre. However, you should always set aside some extra budget for builders’ fees. This is because if there are any unexpected hitches on the way that delay the construction phase, you will be expected to stump up for them. Most building firms will also only quote you for the expected cost of materials, not what they actually pay out for them. Again, if there is any shortage in the construction materials needed for your extension, then you will have to pay for any upturn in price that is a consequence.

In short, you bear all of the costs of the risk associated with construction work in a conventional, client-builder relationship. Because BIY is a big operator, obtaining materials at low-cost is possible. Indeed, the entire build phase of your extension is part of the overall cost – and we only use qualified and reputable tradespeople, too!

BIY Versus Going it Alone

If you appoint your own architect, engineers, groundwork contractors, legal team, project manager and builders to construct an extension for you, then all of the variables can get out of control quite rapidly. You must remain vigilant on all the costs that you are subject to and know what you’re sending before the many invoices come in. On the other hand, BIY offers a one-stop-shop for people up and down the Republic who are seeking high-quality extensions with pricing that comes in around €6,500 for a typical 40 square metre project including VAT.

Contact us to find out how much you could save with BIY on the cost of building an extension.