This is the first question you will have if you are thinking of building a home in Spain. And the only way to answer the question honestly is with another question: “What house?” It’s like asking “how much does a car cost?” What car? Think of it like this. A simple bathroom tap can cost 25€ or 2500€. The final cost of building a house is the sum of thousands of such decisions and so a new home can cost 250,000€ or 25,000,000€ or any figure you like.
No Help at all!
Now this doesn’t help us at all. We are still left with the problem that you can’t make a decision about whether you want to go ahead without an answer to the question “how much?”
So let me tell you how we answer the question. We show you examples of villas we have recently constructed with photos and maybe videos and a breakdown of costs. We may even be able to visit a property we have recently finished so you can see and touch the quality of the finishes. This gives you an anchor. You may want to spend less or you may want to spend more than these examples but at least we have the starting point for a conversation about how much your home may cost.
You may find a lot of loose talk amongst estate agents and developers who talk about “high quality” or “standard quality” specifications. Have you noticed that all villas are “luxury” villas? What is high quality to you or me? It is totally subjective and effectively meaningless. Until an architect has drawn up a detailed specification and bill of quantities the fact is you are dealing with guestimates and that is fertile ground for misunderstandings and ultimately disappointment.
It’s Your House not Our House
If you work with us we will support you in making the decisions on the design and the finishes. It is your house not our house so you will be making all the decisions. Our job is to truly understand what you want so we can save you time and money by making the right suggestions. We show you examples and take you around showrooms and show you the options that fall within your budget (by the way we pass all commissions that are offered to us by suppliers onto you). We can work with any supplier that you may know or prefer. And interior design, up to a point we can show you in examples, is included without extra charge.
By the way although the question “How much?” may be uppermost in your mind you also have to consider the physical limitations of the site for example will there be extra costs because of the slope or ground of access conditions. And the legal limitations – how much can you build, how high can the house be, how far away from the neighbours or boundary. We assess all of this for you in a free site appraisal.
Residential Home Development Cost Appraisal
We can also do you a development appraisal. Here are the main costs that go in the appraisal with some more information on each item underneath:
1. Site preparation costs
2. The build cost for the main building
3. The cost of outbuildings, terraces, pergolas
4. The cost of the driveway, garden, entrance gates
5. Swimming pool Costs
6. Cost of Professional Fees
7. Taxes, Licences, Legal fees, insurance etc
Site Preparation Costs
This would include any retaining walls and extra costs associated with poor ground conditions, demolition of existing structure. This we assess when we meet you on site to discuss your vision.
The Build Cost for the Main Building
At the beginning we use an inclusive rate per square metre as a guideline. Recently we have finished projects at 900€ psm and 1300€ psm and in between. People commonly spend 1,600€ or 2,000€ (and more) and this will get you a truly beautiful home. It is also possible, with care and taste, to produce a home that feels classy and well-designed without breaking the bank. Ask to see our projects completed and judge for yourself whether these are high quality or not. We think you will be pleasantly surprised.
You can build for less than 900€ psm, and certainly people do, but personally I wouldn’t recommend it. For reasons that are not clear to me the native population seem quite happy to live in uninsulated uncomfortable poorly designed properties that are damp and where you can hear someone having a pee upstairs. So if that is your bag then budget for less and if I am honest you probably don’t need to call us.
The Cost of Outbuildings, Terraces, Pergolas, Garden
These costs depend entirely on your vision but certainly we would recommend lots of shaded outside spaces to make the most of the gorgeous healthy climate.
Driveway, car port, entrance gates
These costs can be overlooked but they are a necessary expense in any development.
Swimming Pool Costs
Features vary: infinity edge, how big, what shape, heated, insulated, automatic cover – what kind of pool do you want?
Cost of Professional Fees
This will include the architect, technical architect, maybe mechanical systems engineers, project management, topographical survey, geotechnical survey. If this all sounds complicated we take the whole thing off your hands in a way that allows you to stay in control. We communicate clearly and we work systematically. In fact we have a unique way of working that saves you the cost of some of the professional fees.
You may find these articles helpful:
Architect’s Fees Marbella and Costa Del Sol
How to Assess the Financial Viability of Building a Home in Spain
Questions to Ask Your Architect About Their Fees
Taxes, Licences, Legal fees, insurance etc
We make sure you understand everything before you get started, how VAT varies, how much the licence is – it varies between municipalities. We put the whole caboodle in an easy to understand spreadsheet so there are no nasty surprises later.
Author: John Wolfendale
Bio: John is a founder of Eco Vida Homes and is passionate about bringing modern design and construction practices to Spain. He believes a home which is warm in winter and cool in summer is largely a matter of design and selective use of materials. He is British and a Chartered Surveyor with over 22 years experience living and working in Spain.