Building a house is always connected to unexpected expenses. Even more so when you are building a house in a foreign country. We tried to get as much information as possible about the costs of building a house in Madeira so that we can plan how much savings we need to have in order to start building.
In this post I will focus only on the costs of the construction of the house, therefore you will need to add on top of that the costs for purchasing a piece of land, for paying an architect, all the taxes and so on. Based on discussions with locals, architects as well as our experience, here is what we know.
Pre-built houses are often the cheapest option
Pre-built modular homes are usually very sustainable houses at a low price. In fact, you might find a T2 under 40,000 Euro (read this for more information).
Depending on the company you choose, and of course on what materials and finishes you want to use, prices range between 600 and 1,300 Euro per square meter, before VAT. In my opinion, most people building modular houses in Madeira will be in the lower price class – simply for the reason that the construction in Madeira is not so expensive. Just to give you an example: you do not need a heating system like in the rest of Europe, and in case you are building a house below the banana tree line you will not even need to have a fireplace. What you need to take into account is that there may be additional costs in case the company you choose is not on the island. Then you have to pay extra for shipping.
A friend who has been living in Madeira for four years now told me that there are also these small wooden cabins that you can buy in hardware stores for around 25,000 Euro, even in Madeira. They are really small, but some of them have a separate bedroom and therefore qualify as a T1. I never wanted to live in such a cabin and therefore did not ask about the details. But for some people they might also be a very nice and cheap option to consider.
Costs of building a normal solid house
Solid buildings have advantages but also disadvantages. I will not go into details here but just give you the prices that I know. I have talked to three different architects and all of them told me more or less the same thing. Depending on what you want to have as an end-result, the prices range from 800 to 1,300 Euro per square meter, before VAT. 800 Euro means not the best (if not bad) quality, so this is usually not what you aim for.
After several discussions I believe that people are likely to pay around 1000 Euro per square meter. For me this means that for my house I will need to pay 150,000 Euro plus VAT. Compared to Austria (or most other areas in Europe) this is a very good price. Like anywhere else, you can lower the price by doing some of the things yourself.
And by the way, in case you have seen traditional stone houses in Madeira like the one in the picture above (this is my all time favorite place on the island) – and if you have fallen in love with them just like I did: they are more expensive to build! So maybe just consider adding basaltic rock details to your house than building a whole stone house.
I hope this post gave you a first impression of what it costs to build a house in Madeira. Depending on how much you would have to pay to buy a piece of land, you can decide whether it is better for you to build a house or to buy a house or apartment. Peace out, Hana.
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