The Cost of building a house

Hi All,

We have a small plot of land with a Garage and a hard standing on it. I am thinking that it would work well to knock down the existing structure and build a small 3 bed house there. the current area is 8.5x6.7 m and we would build a two story house so I guess about 114m2.

does any one know what the approx m2 cost of this sort of contructution is - I have no real feeling as to if I can afford this, would be good to get an idea before I am too far down the road.

Don't imagine it make a huge amount of difference but the project is near Royan (17)



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Try looking at an english website New World Timber. We drew up our own plans for a single storey 140 sq m house and they quoted us 25,000 £S for the kit and delivery. That's not the end of it of course, but we were going to finish it ourselves other than plumbing and electrics and we budgeted 120,000 euros for a finished house. In the end we never got the pp (it was down in the Pyrenees and a Mafia styled Mairie and commune) and gave up but still looking at their site for any future development we might want to do.

Hi All,

Thanks for all the input - great stuff.

I am fairly sure the plot is 'contructible' as it is surrounded by houses and I am told that it should be fine - but I will indeed check it out with the Marie (thanks Melanie, I did look up the local plan d'urbanisme but the scale made it difficult to tell exactly what was what).

The plot already had a metalled roadway and all services including mains drainage (so no need for a foss) - hopefully avoiding the taxes that James refers to.

I will allow 1500 Euro m2 plus a 10% contigency - thanks for the info John and Nick.

I will then check out with a local estate agent, what the potential value of the new build will be - i'm not looking to make money on this, but neither am I looking to throw it away.

Thanks for the offers to put me in touch with people, I may well be in touch closer to the time of implementation.

Now I need to start getting the money together!

Thanks again.


People in 24 I would highly recommend this man:

He works from roughly Le Bugue 40/50 kms outward, has examples of his work on the site and would be happy to show some here.

Just a passing thought for those of you who cannot and do not do it themselves but need someone with real recos.

It's the TLE (Taxe locale d'equipement) organised by DDE/DDT, for things like roads, drainage, planning services etc. Has very recently been replaced by Taxe d'Amenagement with fairly complicated calculations based on a percentage of surface plancher - which has replaced the old Surface Hors Oeuvre Net - internal floor areas of the building. You might want to ask at your Mairie for a calculation, but as an example an house in our area of 160m2 attracts a Taxe d'Amenagement of around 6000 Euros.

For Mark and Marianne, I'm not sure why the DDE department of the region charges this tax on new builds but that's the way it is here in the Central Region. The DDE is the department that takes care of roads, streets and highways and other regional public works. Perhaps it was because we have new streets in our development which was created out of an old vineyard. The two payments totalled over 5000 euros but it's a one time charge for the life of the house. Any buyer of our house would not pay this but of course, I'm adding these taxes into the value I give to the house if & when we put it up for sale.

Hi james,

I too would be keen to know what additional costs these taxes represent in % terms - any info gratefully received.



A local friend has designed a tiny 2 bed house and the cost of build was almost 100.000. Incl


Once he puts a bed in there will be no room too chase a mouse.

When we bought, the field we thought we were buying entirely had, in fact, been divided. Fortunately, the couple who bought to build are great. The husband, Pascal, is a woodworker and for the last eight or so years of their working lives they are building and eco-house. Thus far (one year in their case) they have built a 'garage' in which they have a workshop and temporary bedroom, shower and kitchen. The concrete and brick foundation/cellar/laundry plus the fosse septique are down and now the rest will be wood (ok, bar plumbing, etc) until they clay tile the roof. We are helping each other a bit when they come down from Paris to work and thus getting to know each other, to the point I have vital documents in a file in my office and am allowed access. So I had a look, did a bit of calculation and their costing is a few €s under 1200 the sq m (close to the Mutuelle des Architectes projections in fact). They are doing all work themselves, which is to saying using family and friends, so no labour costs at all and being in the trade Pascal knows exactly how and where to buy his timber which he researched before they decided to build here.

James, what are DDE taxes?

I am an architect with British qualifications living in Brittany. I still do a little consulting work and am pretty up to date with prices in the UK where a reasonable cost would be £1500 per square metre, plus fees, plus VAT on the fees, plus local authority fees. What I know of work here would be about the same, maybe more on isolated plots as in the UK (Isle of Wight, Isle of Man etc).That would include reasonable fitting out costs including bathrooms, kitchen etc. Unfortunately quite a few private clients spend all their time looking at glossy mags and they then choose stuff right at the top of the range which can drive costs up. In my time I did more than hundreds of private houses and we used to set provisional sums for such items (not artificially low ones) so they client knew if he chose more expensive ranges then the cost would increase. I advise tendering most major items but do it on a proper competitive and fair basis. In some parts of France the building season may be limited by weather which will affect cost. I should say I have done projects in London the cost of which would be £3000 or more per square metre, frequently plus VAT if in an existing building. The additional costs imposed by sustainablity improvements at construction stage also add to the initial cost, but help over a longer period.

Yes just go to:

If that's the correct Mairie for you! Find where you are on the zoning plan, then refer across to the relevant reglement for that zone, i.e. UA etc

Hi Mark. The agent we've just bought our house from only does estage agency part time and his real job is building houses from scratch... I don't know if speaking to him would be of interest to you but if you do want his contact details email me and I will give them to you. His name is Calum Neill. He seems to do a lot of work so that would indicate his prices are fair and he does a good job - but I can only vouch for him from the estate agent side and he has been amazing with us.


Christine Kavanagh

good point Melanie - you must check with Mairie

seconded, (thirded John West) ;-)

Hi Mark - I work as an architect in the Savoie region, and here we tend to budget between 1500 - 2000 Euros/m2 depending on spec. Building work does tend to be expensive here though so perhaps the lower end of the range would be more applicable to your project. For interest, the Mutuelle des Architectes Français states an average budget for new build houses in France as 1170 Euros/m2, which seems rather low in my experience.

On another point, I presume that you have checked your local PLU, plan local d'urbanisme, to ensure that you would be able to rebuild the house within the footprint of the existing? This isn't always necessarily the case, as quite often planning rules have been brought in since original building were constructed!

Don't forget the Notaire fees (which are mainly taxes) and the DDE taxes that come 18 and 36 months after you have finished building. These two taxes are expensive.

I agree with John West you should be budgetting €1.200 to €1.500/m² but this will give you a fairly decent spec. This should include all finishes etc.

Hi Mark

New build pavilions around my way ( of around 110 m² - walk-in , key in hand) are being sold by local french developers for as low as 130k. Although admittedly on a 'lottisment" with maybe ten others - and plot size of only 6/700 m² - it does show you what can be built for the 1200Euros/m² price. They're pretty basic- certainly not 'British style' kitchens, (or cuisine americaine as the french call them ) . Hope that helps

Hi Vanessa,

I can see how approx 2000 euro m2 is a bit eye watering!

My project is probably not going to be in the immediate future (2-3 years). But if you would be kind enough to let me know which route you eventially take, I would appreciate it.