Building costs in Spain: what you can expect to pay for building a villa in Spain

Building costs in Spain can often be less than the price of buying a villa – and the results can be well worth the effort. But of course, the cost of building a house in Spain varies wildly depending on what it is you’re looking for.

Because many of our clients are mostly interested in building costs for the Costa Del Sol, we’ll take a look at what you can expect to pay to build a villa in Marbella. Valencia, Madrid or Barcelona.

The cost to build a villa is likely the first question you will have… and the only way to answer honestly is with another question: “What house?”

It’s a bit like asking “how much does a car cost?” It really depends on the car. When a simple bathroom tap can cost anything from 25€ to 2,500€, the final cost of building a house in Spain is the sum of thousands of such decisions. So a new home can cost 250,000€, 25,000,000€, or any figure you like.

The reality of calculating building costs in Spain

Calculating building costs in Spain

A price range as wide as this doesn’t really 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 does it cost to build a house in Spain?”

To properly answer the question, you need to see some examples of recently constructed villas and a breakdown of costs. This will give you a firm anchor on which to base your decision making at the early stages.

Get in touch so we can share some real-world cost breakdowns with you.

We may even be able to visit a property we have recently finished together so you can see and touch the quality of the finishes. 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.

Loose talk about ‘luxury villas’

Villa in Spain with sea views

You may hear 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 that you’re 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 finishes. It’s 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. Eco Vida Homes shows you examples and takes you around showrooms so you can see 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. We can even show you interior design examples up to a point without extra charge.

Again, 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? Does the ground present issues with access? Are there any 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 so you don’t run into any nasty surprises down the road.

Residential home development cost appraisal

We can also do a development appraisal to work out the financial viability of building a home in Spain for you. The main costs that go into the appraisal are:

1. Site preparation costs
2. Build cost for the main building
3. Cost of outbuildings, terraces, pergolas
4. Cost of driveway, garden, entrance gates
5. Swimming pool costs
6. Cost of professional fees
7. Taxes, licences, legal fees, insurance etc.

Confused? Let’s break it down for you…

Site preparation costs

This would include any retaining walls and extra costs associated with poor ground conditions, as well as the demolition of the existing structure.

We assess this when we meet you onsite to discuss your vision.

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 1,300€ psm, and other sums in between. People typically 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 completed projects 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 seems 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.

Cost of outbuildings, terraces, pergolas, garden

These costs depend entirely on your vision, but we would certainly recommend lots of shaded outside spaces to make the most of the gorgeous healthy climate.

Driveway, carport, entrance gates

These costs can be overlooked, but they are a necessary expense in any development.

Swimming pool costs

Swimming pool in Spanish villa

Features vary: infinity edge, size, shape, heated, insulated, automatic cover – what kind of pool do you want?

Cost of professional fees

This will include the architect in Marbella, technical architect, maybe mechanical systems engineers, project management, topographical survey, geotechnical survey.

Of course, there’s also the time commitment and research involved in hiring this team to make sure you’re asking the right questions. 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 work systematically. In fact, we have a unique way of working that saves you the cost of some of the professional 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 Spanish 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 that 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.

Get in touch
Contact us to discuss building your villa in Spain.