Average UK Costs to Tear Down a House and Rebuild

Tearing down a house, knocking through a structure and building something different is a major project. Still, it may be an excellent opportunity to configure your dream property at a lower cost than investing in a larger home.

Below we have collated some average costs to give you an idea of your total budget requirements.

Tear Down and Rebuild Project Average Price
Demolition and foundation removal £32,000
Rebuild for a three-bedroom property £198,000
Rebuild of a property of 1,000 square feet £152,000
Rebuild of a property of 1,400 square feet £192,000
Rebuild of a property of 2,000 square feet £261,000

There are additional costs you will need to account for, which we’ve listed as follows.

Task Average Price
Surveys to search for drainage and underground piping £350
Service disconnections for utilities £5,000
Structural property survey £500

If you are unsure whether extra costs are included in your quotation, please verify with your contractor, or request an itemised estimate, so you know exactly what is and is not included in the price.

Checkout this fascinating time lapse video of a company tearing down a house and rebuilding:

Cost Factors in Tearing Down a House and Rebuilding

Of course, the exact budget for each demolition and rebuild will vary considerably, as multiple factors will influence your budget.

Examples of things your contractor will need to ask include:

  • Property size: how large is the existing structure you wish to demolish, and are you replacing it with a new building of a similar size or something much larger?
  • Property type: is your home a bungalow or a four-bed house, is it attached to another building, and what sort of property would you like to rebuild?
  • Design: what are the complexities within the design and layout of the new property – do you require custom services such as bespoke joinery?
  • Surveys: there are several surveys you will need, both to demolish the old building and construct something new. The number of surveys (i.e. structural, building regulations, planning approval, utility disconnections) will affect your overall price.
  • Groundwork: if the old structure is easily accessible and a relatively simple demolition, it will be cheaper than projects requiring extensive groundwork and preparations.

This list is far from exhaustive. Other considerations include your location, whether you want to hire one contractor to manage the project end-to-end alongside your architect, or whether you prefer to commission separate specialists for each stage.

Pros and Cons of Tearing Down a House to Rebuild

Budgeting for a tear-down and rebuild can be tricky since it is a big job with many moving parts.

If you’re unsure whether to try and renovate the building as-is or knock it down and start again, it may be useful to have comparable prices and designs so you can make an informed decision.

We’d suggest thinking through each of these elements before you make any final choices.

Structural Integrity

Dilapidated buildings may require delicate structural work to bring them back into good condition. They could cost significantly more if the home is a period property or has underlying issues such as subsidence, foundational deterioration or decay in the joists and eaves.

It may be worth having a surveyor visit the property to give you an honest opinion about whether a renovation is viable – or if they would recommend you tear down and rebuild.

Property Style

Older homes may not be fit for purpose or may not have the layout or appearance you want. If you have a run-down house with a particular style, achieving the finish you wish may not be possible with the existing structure.


Homes in extremely poor states may not be considered safe to renovate – contractors must ensure that their working conditions are safe, so if the structure would not withstand renovation, there may be no option other than to demolish it.

Cost Efficiencies

Most renovation works do not qualify for any tax relief – but if you rebuild, you may be eligible for zero-rated VAT, which can knock as much as 20% off the total project budget.

New buildings do not incur VAT provided they don’t incorporate any parts of the existing structure, apart from:

  • Cellars, basements or concrete slabs on the ground floor.
  • Party walls connected to neighbouring buildings.

If the site has a detached outbuilding or garage, this can be left in situ (provided you wish to keep it!), and you may also apply for a VAT exemption for the demolition costs, provided you are tearing down an old home to build a new one.

Now you understand the cost to tear down a house, it may be best to research other cost effective methods of achieving your house goals. You may find you just need to demolish and rebuild a garage for more space, remove a wall to create new options or it may be cheaper for you to build over existing instead of building new.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most popular questions about planning to demolish an existing property and build a replacement.

How Much Does It Cost to Tear Down and Rebuild a House?

A lot depends on the property you’re demolishing and what you want to build, but the average rebuild cost for a standard-sized three-bedroom home is around £198,000.

You will also need to budget for the demolition of the old building, which costs around £20,000 and up to £32,000, depending on the nature and size of the existing structure.

If you need a more accurate price estimate, please complete our quotation request form with some information, and up to four approved local contractors will be in touch.

Is It Better to Tear Down and Rebuild or Renovate a Property?

In some cases, demolishing and rebuilding a home might be most cost-effective if the old structure is in very bad condition or doesn’t reflect the style you wish to achieve.

It is worth comparing quotations for both options if you’d like to analyse the costs and decide which option best suits your needs.


Rich Crossley
Having spent 30 years working all over the world for top-tier investment banks, I’ve owned and developed houses all over the world – Europe, the US and Asia. I’m now based back in the UK and involved in the property industry – oh, and I’m a keen DIY enthusiast!

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