The demise of building your own home in Ireland under 2014 Regulations (S.I.9 of 2014).

by Bregs Blog admin team


Owning your own home in this country is a tradition that is well established and part of our DNA. Self-building for many is the only realistic way of achieving this. Industry estimates suggest that self-building comprises over 60% of all houses completed in Ireland. So for 2013 of the 8,000 houses that were completed, almost 5,000 were self-built. These are houses built by normal people, at their own speed, the biggest investment most will make in their own lives. Stretching scarce funds to build the best house they can for themselves. The average standard of self-built house is well in excess of the current minimum standards offered in the “built for sale” market.

Most self-builders do so out of financial necessity. Its a steep learning curve but with the appropriate professional input (engineers, architects etc) it can minimise surprises and shocks. It can be a difficult process but all who do it will say it is certainly a memorable experience!

Under SI.9 established builders must now be used in all residential projects over 40SqM. If a self-builder elects to do this role they will be deemed not compliant with the building regulations and may not be able to re-finance or sell their house later on. How much extra will a self-builder have to pay now under this new regime?

Recent estimates from professional sources suggest the extra professional fees for SI.9 would be in the region of €5000 for engineers, building surveyors and architects.  However these are only extra professional charges.

On a typical €180,000 house a contractor’s “management fee” would range from between 5- 10% of the construction cost. There are also preliminary costs (scaffolding, site facilities) along with other costs. A conservative estimate for using an established contractor would be €18000. So the total cost of SI.9 from March 1st for a self-builder (professional fees + contractor costs) could be €23,000 or 12.8% of the total build cost. A huge additional cost for a sector trying to get value for money.

For 5,000 self-builders this year alone the extra cost to for these ordinary people building their own homes could be €115 million euro.

Key stakeholders and professions involved in the formulation of SI.9 have called for deferral of the legislation stating that there will be no benefit to us, the consumer. Under SI.9 the industry will remain self-regulated. €115m extra for no benefit- self-builders are the  silent majority affected. That is a lot of votes in the next local and general election. Politicians better take notice.

For anyone contemplating doing a self-build before 1st March 2014 please visit the Irish Association of Self-Builders here:

The above opinion piece was submitted by Maoilíosa Mel Reynolds on 28th January 2014.