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The true cost of building your house extension

A well-planned extension may completely alter a home, but determining how it will affect your budget is a difficult task. When it comes to unlocking your property’s potential on a budget, there’s a lot to think about: planning permission, hiring expertise, timing, and so on.

Something as easy as planning for a spring/early summer build, for example, could save you money. You’ll have a greater chance of avoiding delays caused by severe weather (though this isn’t always the case in Ireland! ), which would drive up labor costs as well as living costs if you were renting somewhere else during construction.

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Cost estimates alone may not often convey the whole story, and these projects are renowned for taking longer than intended and exceeding budget. Fortunately, with the correct information and preparation, extending may be well worth the effort. So, let’s look at those pesky hidden charges so you can save as much as possible…

Overly optimistic estimates

Getting an overall cost starts from the ground up. When you go to a builder for an estimate, many will simply multiply the amount of square meters of floor area to be enlarged by a baseline value. For a single storey extension, this is normally little over €1,000 per square metre.

Instead, plan on spending roughly €2,000 per square metre on a new construction2. And it doesn’t include the cost of fixtures and finishes.

It’s important to note that at this point, builders are vying for the work, so you’ll probably get a lowball estimate that doesn’t include any planning or design charges. Before you start working, be sure you’ve considered everything.

With this in mind, we created the Home Improvement Calculator in collaboration with It takes into account the job’s intricacy and desired finish quality to provide you with a completely customized quote. Other things to look out for:

Professional aid beyond your builder

If you’re seeking for something other than a normal build, you could require the help of a chartered architect. For such services, expect to pay roughly €70 per hour. If structural engineers are needed for a specific design, they will charge a similar cost.

Have you been informed by your builder that hiring an architect is a waste of money? A hands-on builder who oversees the entire project may appear to be a budget-friendly option, but it could be a false savings – hiring a specialist architect can help you avoid costly construction errors.

Hiring a qualified project manager might cost anything from €4,000 to €5,500. They will, however, keep you on track and on budget, perhaps lowering your living costs. On larger jobs, this could be a viable option.

Planning permission

is not usually required for rear additions of less than 40 square metres. You may need to hire an allocated certifier for additional jobs. Extending your property can irritate your neighbors. A structure that blocks someone’s view of the sun or a boundary wall can cause a disagreement. This results in further charges. Be honest with them and include them in the process of resolving problems as soon as possible.

Preparing your land

You may need to level the region you’re extending into before you can safely build. It costs around €1,000 to excavate 30 cubic meters of earth. Construction near trees, drains, or other subsurface systems might be pricey. This is something that an architect will consider.

Upgrades to boilers

More room equals more heating demands, which some energy-efficient boilers might not be able to handle. It may also be required to replace boilers that are more than ten years old in order to ensure that the entire house is properly heated. A new boiler might cost up to €3,0003 to buy and install. If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you might be eligible for a Better Energy grant.

Don’t forget about a contingency fund

Having one from the beginning is highly suggested. Any snags in the construction process will result in additional builders’ expenses, which you will be responsible for. Setting aside 10% to 20% of your budget will offer you the assurance that any setbacks will not ruin the project. So you can sit back and relax (kind of!) while witnessing your vision come to life.