The costs of building a house in South Africa

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
House Irene Estate, Pretoria, Nuclei Lifestyle Design Nuclei Lifestyle Design
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South Africa has become a magnet for property buyers and –investors, and it’s not only thanks to our world-class natural beauty. Building costs are also quite affordable in our country, resulting in South Africa’s collection of architects being busier than ever before.

But how does one save for that dream home? And more importantly, how much money needs to be put away?

1. Estimating the cost of building a house

render of swimming pool area Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

render of swimming pool area

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Whether it’s container homes or prefab designs, many people seek to find newer and cheaper ways of building houses in South Africa. But consider that there are various factors that help determine the building costs.

Once the appropriate land has been secured, start by noting all the likely costs that form part of your construction plan. Some vital ones to include are building costs and professional fees. 

2. The cost of building in South Africa

What you will pay for building your own house will vary considerably from location to location (i.e. Cape Town to Johannesburg). Different types of buildings are linked with different building costs as implemented by various local government institutions. 

As a rule of thumb, these costs can give you a clear idea of what you should be putting away:

• A flat: R8,163/m² 

• Townhouse: R6,802/m² 

• Free-standing house: R5,932/m².  

3. The expenses of house building

Never overlook quality and design details, as they will always hike up a construction/design budget. For a high-end home, you are looking at costs ranging between R8,000 and R13,000 per m². Of course, with less-costly finishes and materials, those expenses can definitely drop lower to about R5,000 per m² (give or take). 

Don’t forget about the difficulty of construction which can also influence your final amount. 

4. The cost of construction and specialist items

Exterior view – entertainment area (after) Nuclei Lifestyle Design Modern houses
Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Exterior view – entertainment area (after)

Nuclei Lifestyle Design

Construction costs are all expenses incurred when the actual building starts. These may include bricks, cement, plaster, windows, paint, etc. 

Specialist items include a specified rate for every square meter. But remember that specialist items are excluded by the main contractor. Some examples of specialist items include cupboards, kitchen- and bathroom fittings, light fittings, etc. 

5. Paying the professionals

To finalise your dream home you will need more than one professional on your team. In addition to architects, you will also be working with quantity surveyors, structural engineers, electrical experts, and possibly even geologists (depending on the location of your property). 

And yes, your choice of professional (and their location, reputation, rate, etc.) will definitely play a role in determining your overall expenses.

6. Consider Nuclei Lifestyle Design

The professionals over at Nuclei Lifestyle Design certainly possess the expertise and experience for a client’s dream home construction. That is because, for more than 30 years, this architectural team has been enhancing the quality and style of numerous architectural structures in South Africa, including residential design.

Located in Pretoria, Nuclei Lifestyle Design continues to amaze under the leading eye of Hennie Pelser, a registered and experienced architectural professional. 

Apart from architecture and interior design, Nuclei Lifestyle Design can also be relied on for a collection of other relevant services to clients including renovations, residential and commercial builds, and corporate developments.  

While planning your home-building budget, don’t forget to take a peek at The interior design trends for 2021

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