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What are the costs for the builder when building a house?

More and more people dream of owning their own homes. Before the start of construction, you have to think about various things so that the financing can be put on a secure footing. When building a house, it is not only done with the construction costs. To the actual total costs of land, development costs, ancillary construction costs, such as the building permit, the notary costs, the costs for the structural engineer and the real estate transfer tax must be added.

Depending on the developer or construction company with whose help you want to build your dream home, these costs can vary significantly. The construction costs for the construction project also depend on the type of house. Builders have the choice between a single-family house, a semi-detached house or a turnkey-prefabricated house. A construction cost calculator is usually helpful here, which breaks down the house construction costs into building costs, ancillary costs, and other things.

What are the costs of building a house?

For the example calculation, let’s take an average example house with 140 square meters of living space, ordinary equipment, and a land area of 1,000 square meters in a medium price range. The single-family house will be built according to the current standard of the EnEV. Thus, the house is adequately energy-saving, but it is not a low-energy house. Further information on this can be obtained from KfW.

In the example calculation, it is only a cost example with average values, which is why the cost factors can vary significantly in reality. If, for example, a very energy-saving house had been built, the construction prices would have been significantly higher. However, in the long term, construction prices are paying for themselves again. Due to the small living space, for example, the expansion of the attic would have made sense.

Other costs incurred

Many builders make the mistake and adding to the land costs the cost of the provider for the prefabricated house. However, the construction costs determined in this way do not correspond to reality. The construction of a house usually causes a number of other construction costs as well as ancillary construction costs. As a result, the mortgage lending is set too low and builders have to increase the financing afterward. For the homeowner, this means a higher monthly burden. Often the operating costs incurred are underestimated, which then also burden the household budget over many decades.

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Construction costs include:

Land costs

Ancillary land costs

Construction costs

Ancillary construction costs

Costs for access roads and parking spaces

Costs for the garden and outdoor facilities

Cost of setup

For this reason, one should pay careful attention to the costs. As soon as the architect’s detailed planning is completed, a cost estimate can be made. In the worst case, you can delete individual items.

The most important cost factor in house construction is the construction costs. The further costs can usually be estimated very well due to the construction costs. In Germany, you have to reckon with pure construction costs of about 1,300 euros per square meter. In some cases, the construction costs also rise to 1,500 to 2,000 euros per square meter. Of course, it is always more expensive.

Another coarser method of estimating the construction costs is that of the enclosed space. Here one plans about 500 to 800 euros per cubic meter of enclosed space during construction. Depending on the equipment and type of house, these costs can also be significantly higher.

Both methods are only rough guidelines. These benchmarks are in no way sufficient for the planning and estimation of financing. A certain feature alone can drive up costs by several hundred euros per square meter.

Which cost factors determine the total cost of building a house?

Builders need to consider a few points in advance:

The size and location of the property – there are very large regional differences.

The type of house (detached house, turnkey prefabricated house, stone architect’s house, apartment building, etc.)

The roof shape (gable roof, flat roof) or the roof design of the house

The equipment requirements (interior design costs can be very variable, depending on which standard you want – building services, heat pump, roller shutters, sanitary installations, number of interior walls, various building materials, exterior walls and floor ceilings)

The energy standard (for a passive house you usually have to calculate 15 to 20% more than for an ordinary EnEV house)

Are you planning a carport or a detached garage

The amount of own work that builders provide

The local conditions (location of the construction site, surveying, soil conditions, earthworks, if necessary contaminated sites in the soil – soil surveys, costs for the development and purchase of land, real estate transfer tax)

What planning services does an architect undertake?

Which construction company carries out the construction work

Costs of craftsmen per construction phase

All cost factors must be taken into account in the construction project, as this can significantly increase the cost of construction.

What is the advantage of a basement over a floor slab?

The first thing to say is that a cellar causes additional costs. The construction of a cellar increases the construction costs by about 20%. The costs are offset by the large gain in space. The area can be used as a utility room, laundry room, storage area and possibly as additional living space. The area gain is 100% of the house floor area. Thus, the construction of a cellar is worthwhile in any case.

This can also be clearly seen in the example calculation. For the price of basement construction with an area of 140 square meters, you would only get a utility room with 20 square meters on the ground floor. There are then no other reserve areas for storage or the like in the house. Furthermore, one should keep in mind that a house with a basement later has a larger resale value. Home buyers are more likely to opt for a basement house.

What running costs will be incurred for a single-family house in the future?

With these costs, many builders are usually wrong and estimate them too low. For a single-family house, the running costs are between 400 and 600 euros per month. These include:

The property tax

Municipal waste water charges

Municipal fees for garbage collection and street cleaning

The regular costs for the chimney sweep

Heating costs

The cost of insurance

The cost of telephone and internet

The costs of the GEZ

It also makes sense to build up a maintenance and repair reserve for a single-family house. In the case of an apartment building, this is even mandatory.

Is building a large house more cost-effective?

You can’t say that as a lump sum, because the total costs for house construction are usually evenly distributed between shell and interior design costs. Whether builders build 50 square meters more or less of space usually has no effect on the square meter price of the finished house. Other cost factors already have a greater influence – for example, you plan a basement or the expansion of the attic.

What influence does the construction method have on the total costs?

The influence of the construction method makes a significant difference on the total costs of building a house. This is based on whether you want a prefabricated house, a solid house, a multi-storey house or a bungalow. The prefabricated house is usually much cheaper compared to an identical solid house. However, this price comparison will hardly be applied in practice.

Furthermore, there are clear differences in the house in wood frame construction and in the brick solid house, which can not be named in general. Only a professional can compare these costs if both types of houses are identical. However, when comparing the two house types, one should not forget the long-term maintenance costs and the energy costs, even if they vary depending on the type of house.

A bungalow is usually slightly cheaper to maintain, but the construction effort can be higher than with a multi-storey house. Builders who think about later when building their dream house usually choose the bungalow, as it is easier to convert it in an age-appropriate way. Think of barrier-free access for wheelchairs or walkers. In the case of a bungalow, this causes significantly lower costs and less effort compared to a multi-storey house.

What influence does the roof shape have on the construction costs?

Especially the roof shape can cause different costs. Most choose the classic gable roof with standard roof pitch. This roof shape is the most cost-effective and usually costs about 60 euros per square meter of roof area. The gable roof is sufficiently stable and with a higher roof pitch from about 35 degrees, it offers a good opportunity to expand the attic without loss of space.

The hipped roof offers a very high stability with a low possibility of using the roof space. Furthermore, it is about half more expensive than the gable roof. If it is only about the weather requirements, the additional costs are not worthwhile. However, the hipped roof again speaks for a better solar energy yield, because it offers more roof area for more solar collectors.

The pitched roof is about 30% cheaper than the gable roof and offers the largest usable space under the roof. However, the pitched roof has to be insulated more elaborate than a gable roof, which cancels out the cost advantage. Often, there is a higher maintenance effort for the pitched roof, because the joint between the roof and masonry is more susceptible to the penetration of moisture. It must therefore be maintained more often.

Experts advise against a flat roof. Over time, the flat roof causes relatively high maintenance and repair costs, which increase the operating costs for a single-family house by around 1,000 euros and more per year. The flat roof is therefore only worthwhile if you want to build a roof terrace, because the plot is too small for a terrace. When building a roof terrace, this must be taken into account in terms of statics and load-bearing capacity.


The planning for the house construction should be carried out in advance with an architect, because only in this way can you put the financing on its feet relatively safely. Nevertheless, there are always costs that were not thought of when planning. These would be the costs for the outdoor facilities or for the parking areas.

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