The process of moving to a new house is considered one of the most stressful events in one’s life, along with major illness, death of a loved one and divorce. Choosing to self-build your dream home has the potential to add extra layers of complexity into the mix.

The difference between building your new house and the other major stressor’s however is that, if correctly managed, the self-building process and end-result can be massively rewarding.

For most of us the home we live in will be our largest expenditure. On top of the initial cost of the house, we will have annual repairs and maintenance, utility bills, gardening, or landscaping costs. We may extend the property or convert an attic or garage to make extra space. It is a lifetime labour (hopefully of love…) that we can be proud to show to our family and friends.

The most recent AA survey ( found that the cost of running a home in Ireland comes to €17,811.09 per annum.

Engineers Ireland estimate that the cost for building a single or two-storey house to ‘one-off’ design to be between €2,500 and €3,500 per m2, with this in mind a 100m2 house will cost €250,000 to €350,000, depending on the finish required.

Before you can turn the first sod you need to make sure that you have met all your financial institution’s and all statutory requirements.

You will need a site survey, construction drawings, structural details, site suitability (percolation) test, and planning permission.

Your financial institution will require a Detailed Costing Template to be submitted showing the stage-costs and total-costs of the project and they will require your engineer to sign-off at each stage before they will allow you to draw down the stage payments of the mortgage. Your engineer will provide your financial institution with a copy of the Professional Indemnity Insurance to show that they hold Insurance cover to design and build your dream home.   

By retaining an engineer to project manage your build, you gain the confidence of knowing that an experienced professional is protecting your asset and your dream.

Your engineer will have a past history of dealing with the complex problems that can present themselves and will often anticipate issues before they arise saving you, the client, costly time delays and overruns on budget.

They are accountable to you and they will navigate each step of the build with your best interests in mind, ensuring deadlines are met and the build comes in on budget, thus ensuring your self-build is a close to a stress-free project as possible. (Adv.)