How much does it cost to build a house in South Africa?

Building your own house in South Africa can be a daunting task. It does allow you the chance to create your dream. The average cost for a typical 3-bedroom 146 square metre home is just under R2 million.

Building contractors standing at construction site. 5 things impact the cost of building your home:
  • location
  • size of the house
  • materials used
  • the site or landscape you are building on
  • local rules and regulations

Location and size

Location is the most significant factor in determining how much it costs to build a house in South Africa. Construction rates vary considerably from province to province. The size and type of property also determine overall costs.

Province Average cost per square metre Standard 146 metre home 90 metre home
KwaZulu Natal R19 230 R2 800 000 R1 730 000
Guateng R15 730 R2 296 000 R1 410 000
Western Cape R14 050 R2 050 000 R1 260 000
Mpumalanga R11 390 R1 662 000 R1 020 000
Limpopo R10 550 R1 540 000 R950 000
North West 10 130 R1 478 000 R911 000
Note: The cost per square metre increases when building sectional title

Property Size and Materials

The size of the property you want to build and, of course, the materials you build from ultimately determine your property’s cost. The cost of building materials in South Africa has generally increased in the last 5 years. The following examples indicate the average prices of some basic materials:

  • 1000 bricks – R1500 to R6000
  • 1000 roof tiles – R1200 to R4000
  • Concrete foundation slab – 100m property – 16m3 R23000
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Rooms and Features

Another factor that can impact the cost of building your home is the rooms and features. Kitchens and bathrooms can add to the price, as can including a swimming pool.

Bathroom

Labour for a bathroom is roughly R380 per hour.
The average bathroom costs R9 000 – R9 700.
Small scale bathroom costs R9 000 – R13 000.
Medium-range bathroom costs R13 000 – R17 000.
High-end bathroom costs R17 600 – R25 000.

Kitchen

Labour for a kitchen is roughly R380 per hour.
Small-scale kitchen renovation costs between R44 500 – R65 000.
Medium range kitchen renovation costs between R65 000 – R90 000.
High-end kitchen renovation costs between R90 000 – R150 000.

Swimming pool

6 x 3 swimming pool costs roughly R60 000.
7 x 4 swimming pool costs roughly R70 000.
8 x 4 swimming pool costs roughly R80 000.
10 x 5 swimming pool costs roughly R100 000.
12 x 6 swimming pool costs roughly R120 000.

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house in South Africa?

Professional Services

Various professional services are required when building a house. The cost of building contractors services varies by province and town. The size of the company used for the services can also determine the price. The professional services are sometimes called the hidden costs. Professional services base their fees on a percentage of build cost:

  • Land surveyor – up to 5% of construction
  • Architect – up to 5% of construction cost
  • Structural engineer – 2% of construction cost
  • Quantity surveyor – up to 4% of construction cost
  • Lawyer – average R900 per hour

Labour costs vary throughout South Africa. Labour costs in Gauteng, for example, are in line with or just above national averages, whereas the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal are lower. Rural labour rates compared to urban are generally lower too.

Wrap-up

In summary, the cost of building a house in South Africa can be anywhere between R10,000 and R20,000 per square metre or from R800,000 for a small 2 bedroom home in the North West Province to R7,000,000 for a 4 bedroom property in Kwa Zulu Natal.

With property prices in many areas of South Africa increasing, building your property is a more affordable option provided you seek the right advice, work with the right people and do not mind waiting a few extra weeks.

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