Home buyers face 70k bill to meet new build standards

According to Home Builders Federation (HBF), home buyers will be expected to spend more than £70,000 on property upgrades to meet new build standards set by the Government.

'Watt a Save' findings

With the Government’s increased focus on sustainability, Home Builders Federation carried out research into how much it would cost home buyers to bring their property up to the same standard as a new build. 

In conjunction with New Homes Week, HBF released their Watt a Save report which calculated that upgrade works could reach quotes as high as £73,271.80 based on a three-bedroom semi-detached house. 

However, the report also outlined that 71% of home buyers may only need around £30,000 in total for the necessary upgrade works - with just a quarter predicted to only spend between £10,000 and £20,000. 

Additionally, the findings estimated that the total for typical upgrade works would cost £61,489.30 - with exterior rendering and guttering increasing this figure to the stated £73,271.80. 

What are the costs for?

Estimates were based on the types of services required to ensure the three-bedroom semi-detached property was meeting new build standards, in addition to summarising the costs for both kitchen and bathroom works:  

  • Bathroom: £5,000 

  • Kitchen: £10,550 

  • Central Heating: £6,000 

  • Rewiring: £6,225 

  • Plastering: £9,250 

  • Flooring: £2,264.30 

  • Insulation: £1,950 

  • Windows/doors: £12,000 

  • Roofing: £5,500 

  • Guttering: £900 

  • Rendering £10,882.50 

  • Decorating: £2,750 

These cost estimates will all vary depending on a number of variables such as how old the building is, the building type (i.e. detached/semi-detached/terraced, number of rooms, size), location, and which areas need upgrading. 


In 2019 the Government announced its 2050 Net Zero target, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 100% on the UK’s 1990 levels, in a huge bid to tackle climate change. Over this 30-year period, the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 47.3% according to the latest Government statistics. 

Since 1990, the residential property sector’s greenhouse gas emissions also fell by 14% with the sector responsible for only 21% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.  

Transforming the energy efficiency of older properties is the Government’s latest goal, however, Home Builders Federation reported just 4% of older builds currently have an EPC rating of A or B in comparison to 85% of new homes. 

A number of construction and property legislations have been passed, amended, and actioned to help reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions further. Therefore, new build properties are currently being developed in line with both existing and proposed legislations, including the Future Homes Standards 2025. 

Additionally, these legislation changes have been enforced to assist with bringing older properties up to standard. This will include changes to domestic EPC requirements in 2025. 

Benefits of upgrade works

If you are a new home buyer, ensuring your property is EPC compliant should be a priority. New laws coming into effect in 2025 mean that residential properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above. 

Where any renovations take place, home buyers will want to ensure they are replacing old contents with energy efficient supplements to bring their EPC rating up to the required standard. 

Upgrading your property will lower running costs and utility bills, helping future-proof your home and minimise the possibility of defects arising or the need for further works down the line. 

While these upgrades may seem individual to your property, it is also contributing to the Government’s aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential property sector. 

What upgrade works does my property need?

From advice around feasibility, cost planning, undertaking the work in the current market, and specifying works before overseeing and managing the implementation of changes in accordance with EPC corresponding report recommendations, Sillence Hurn is working closely with home buyers, homeowners, and landlords across the South to help improve their residential properties to the required standard. 

Speak to a member of the team today on 023 8202 4453 or email  enquiries@sillencehurn.co.uk and see how we can help you and your property going forward. 

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