Advantages of designing and building your own Spanish Villa


According to Statista, over 530,000 people moved to Spain in 2021. These people will need accommodation, maybe an apartment or old rustic house, but some have a more exotic dream home in mind.  Many people move to Spain with the dream of owning a fantastic villa with a pool, gardens and stunning views. These properties don’t come cheap and are in high demand. But are there any Advantages of designing and building your own Spanish Villa?

There are some substantial financial benefits to going it alone. The prominent builders and promoters make huge profits, which you can save for yourself. In fact, Taylor Wimpey’s Spanish division reported profit margins of 26.7% in the first part of 2022. That is not a tiny percentage to save.

There is also another issue when you have the budget to buy your dream Spanish Villa; you may not be able to find one that meets all of your criteria. Maybe there is nothing suitable available in your chosen location or nothing with sufficient bedrooms. Or there could be another reason so crucial to your purchasing decision: you cannot compromise.

There is a solution to this; it is not as complicated as you think. Design and build your own Spanish Villa. Building your own Villa is unlike an episode of Grand Designs, though, as the TV show is designed to emphasise the drama to make good TV.  

With a competent Architect, Solicitor and Builder, your professionals should keep the drama to a minimum. Unless you insist on being part of every on-site decision, you will not be aware of any problems as your professionals will overcome them. That is what they are there for, after all.

There are some things to be aware of if you are thinking of designing and building your own Spanish Villa.



First, you have to decide your budget and how you will allocate it to the build. There are the obvious costs of a plot of land and builders but don’t forget the other expenses. Your Villa will be unique to you. The advantage is that it will be an excellent financial investment, but sound budgeting is vital.

The figures below are estimates but give a broad idea of the cost breakdowns of designing and building your own Spanish Villa.

As percentages of the total cost, you can expect to pay:

  • 45% for purchasing the plot
  • 40% for the building work
  • 8% for the professional fees
  • 7% for taxes and licences

Remember when budgeting that they will be IVA (VAT) on the contractors’ and other professionals’ bills; take this into account.

Build a contingency fund for unforeseen items, such as extra drainage or unexpected site preparation. 

A reasonable contingency would be around 10% of the total project cost. This percentage may seem a lot, but it may never need to be used. Still, if something unforeseen arises, it is best to have the funds readily available to keep the project on track.



There are plenty of agents selling land with or without current planning consent. The choice is yours to make.

Your solicitor will perform all necessary checks to ensure the site is suitable for construction before purchasing. So you can sleep soundly once they have approved everything.

Do take into account the availability of utilities. A plot without access to electricity or a road will never become your dream villa. Again your solicitor can access any information needed and ensure the plot is suitable.

You must add the costs of the Deed of Sale, notary fees, and registration at Spain’s Land Registry on top of the building costs and the plot cost. This amounts to about 0.5% of the buying price on average.


Architect and other Construction specialists

Your architect is where your ideas turn into reality. Spain has a fantastic reputation for architecture and architects in general. It would be best to find an architect who understands your vision and can portray it in the final build.

The advantage here is that you can work with your architect to specify the style and type of materials used in your home. You are not restricted to living with someone else’s choices.

Architect costs vary based on location, professional experience and project complexity. 

You can expect to pay around 10% of the total construction cost, which is very inexpensive given their pivotal role.

Your architect will design and plan your dream villa and create a project draft to gain authorisation from local authorities.

Specialists must complete several site studies before construction can begin to assess the project’s potential and viability. Which are:

  • In a topographical analysis, the geometry of the site where the house will be erected is outlined. This survey costs between 250 and 400 euros.
  • A Geotechnical analysis reveals the terrain’s peculiarities and helps create suitable foundations. The typical cost is 725 euros.



You can choose your builders, but the architect often chooses the builder for a more seamless build. Your architect will have experience with different builders’ abilities on different sizes and styles of building.  

The advantage is that they already have a good working relationship and will most likely produce a build less prone to stalling or other issues. The builder will also be more aware of the demands from the architect regarding the quality of fit and finish so that the contractors will complete your new home to your standard.



The advantages of designing and building your own Spanish Villa are huge. Choosing the location, the design, the fit and finish, and the materials will give a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

The financial advantages are not to be underestimated. By cutting out the promoters, there is a massive saving to make. Your property will be unique and have higher desirability should you consider selling in the future, thereby achieving a higher price.




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