At the height of the property price boom in Ireland there were plenty of people getting sites and building their own houses. It normally worked worked out cheaper per square meter than buying a house. On top of that - you could specify exactly how the house would look (subject to planning permission)
With the drop in house prices since 2007 - the savings to be made by going down the self build route are no longer as attractive.
Building costs have fallen in the last couple of years - but they have not fallen by nearly as much as house prices. Building materials have risen in price - labour costs have generally fallen.
In 2011 -in many parts of Ireland if you can find a good second hand house in a suitable location it may well work out cheaper than building a new one. (Less hassle too)
You might have to compromise on some of the features .
According to figures from the Society of Chartered Surveyors the rebuilding cost of a 4 Bedroomed Bungalow in the Galway area is €1277 per sq metre .
The figures assume a basic quality specification with normal foundations, brick/block walls, concrete tiled roof, concrete ground floor and timber first floor, softwood flush doors and hardwood double glazed windows, painted plaster to walls, plastered ceilings,standard electrics and central heating.
This cost needs to be increased for extras such as a garage (Garage building costs range from €14,296 for a single attached garage to €25,701 for a double attached garage)
Also - add on extra for things such as fitted wardrobes, higher than average kitchen fittings, fire alarms and security alarms, and for any outbuildings, walls, fences, patios, etc.
The price of the site also neeeds to be added on to this figure. Land prices have fallen - so you can get a site in a rural area for €25k. Quality sites on the edge of towns or in tourist areas will cost more.
So - for a 200 Metre sq detached 4 bedroomed bungalow with a garage in the Co Galway area - the figure for rebuilding would be about €275,000 - and that is without any garden walls or fencing or patios.
Add on the cost of a site - with a minimum of €25000 - you are looking at around €300,000 to build the house.(According to SCS). Even if you are being given the site - the cost is going to be in the region of €275,000.
There are plenty of 4 and 5 bedroomed bungalows built in the past 5 years that are selling for less than €275000. ... So if you are prepared to settle for something that might be 80% of exactly what you want - you could save money by buying instead of building. (Not to mention the lower hassle and headaches)