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Cost to build in brick?

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V8Eng02/02/2014 20:59:29
1730 forum posts
6 photos


Sorry not truly Model Engineering but required for same.

Does anyone on here know how to roughly estimate the cost of a small (about 3 x 4 M) single storey brick building? I have a single skin building in mind, with a tiled roof and insulated concrete floor. An internet search seems to bring up house building calculators not small stuff.

The reason for asking this is as follows:

After having the electrical supply (50M underground cable) to my Worksop condemned, I have taken a critical look at the structure (ancient shed), outcome = really beyond use for much longer.

I can readily find out the cost of wooden buildings, but depending on finances the idea of something solid nearer the house seems very appealing.

Thanks for any help available.

Edited By V8Eng on 02/02/2014 21:08:59

AndyP02/02/2014 21:09:35
189 forum posts
30 photos

If your local library has a copy of Spon's price book then that is probably the most accurate apart from actual quotes.


websnail02/02/2014 21:43:11
60 forum posts

Use blocks not bricks, cheaper.

If only a single skin, a vapour barrier will be required on walls.

John Stevenson02/02/2014 21:45:39
5068 forum posts
3 photos

Single wall is 6 bricks per square foot.

Engineering bricks [ plain are about 40p each dropping to 20 - 25 in bulk

facing bricks are 70p each dropping to 50 - 55 in bulk.

You can also buy seconds from builders merchants at about 2/3rds of these prices.

Bag of cement will do 40 sq feet and you also need 4 bags of sand for the same area.

Sorry can't help with the roof as i don't know current pricing and I have been off the tools for a while.

This was my last bash at building.

Looks like a rebuild but it's new from the ground up, to get by planning one wall was knocked down and then rebuilt [ or so we told them wink ]

Halton Tank02/02/2014 21:52:53
97 forum posts
56 photos

Neighbour across the road had his stand alone garage approx. 16' x 10' rebuilt (old garage demolished, new concrete base) and it cost him £8000. All done and dusted in a week.

Regards Luigi

ASF02/02/2014 21:59:42
131 forum posts
12 photos

I would suggest about £4 - 5 K for materials including concrete and skip

I was working out my own build the other day although i am looking at celotex to insulate as well.That would need studing on the inside then covering with ply etc. You will need about 2k of bricks.

It gets confusing for me as I already have tiles, but budget about £300 a thousand for those (small oblong ones)

Then the labour. Rough estimate, double the materials.

I like the idea of proper facing bricks as you dont need to render, paint, paint ,repair...

HughE02/02/2014 23:57:07
122 forum posts

Don't use single brick or it will be damp and cold. Use thermal blocks (Thermalite) much quicker . However you will need to put a vapour barrier on the exterior surface, timber cladding or render. some of these are OK to use below ground I believe..

I built a small shed for under £2k using blocks and bricks for the first 500mm then used a timber frame. Feather edged cladding insulated with150mm rock wool and sterling board interior. Roof was the most expensive item £350 for the slates. Could have used profile sheeting at £200. If you can consider under floor heating keeps rust away and less tiring on the feet. Paint the floor with a light colour floor paint. sorry shed was 3 x 2.4 m

Good luck

John Hewes03/02/2014 02:39:23
22 forum posts
2 photos

If you have a concrete floor, i would insulate it well with Kingspan or similar, then sheets of ply. I did this to my garage/workshop and it is so much more comfortable.

Mount your machinery on the concrete, though or it may not be solid enough'


John McNamara03/02/2014 07:28:46
1341 forum posts
127 photos

Hi V8eng

A few thoughts....... (As I live in Australia you will need to check your local regulations, they may differ)

If you use hollow Cement blocks the bond between them is not particularly good, solid concrete blocks are better. conventional clay bricks are better again. Depending on the length of the walls the engineer may require brick piers to support a single skin block wall. in the corners and every n metres, or if hollow block ask that the blocks be core filled with concrete, you will need insulation in addition. Single skin walls do tend to get damp.

Sometimes conventional double brickwork with a cavity that is unlikely to require piers does not cost that much more because only one tradesman is involved and without the extra labour of forming the piers the walls go up quickly. You can place foam insulation in the cavity between the bricks. (The brick ties are just pushed through a slot cut with a carving knife in the foam)

If you order your windows and doors ahead of time they can be bricked in. (Cover them in plastic) I don't know if they are available in the UK but in Australia you can get a solid core external door unit with a steel surround for bricking in, That will make it hard for the burglars.

If you are going to use a conventional roof with a central ridge you can order the trusses pre made, they should be easily manhandled by two people. they are simple to erect on the wall plates. (The wall plates have to be strapped down with hoop iron, make sure the straps are in the cavity so you don't see them. the underside of the rafters can be lined with plaster sheet and insulation. leaving the ceiling beam part of the truss visible.

Draft exclusion is often overlooked. The join between the brick walls and the ceiling must be trimmed, sealed and insulated. If you plan to have a roller door, they are quit difficult to draft proof and almost impossible to insulate.

Concrete does make the most rigid floor, with a couple of coats of paving paint to keep the dust down. Or use an insulating system. like John Hews Suggested.

I read an interesting article about Epoxy floors, in particular maintaining them. Epoxy does not stick to epoxy very well at all. This makes refinishing difficult the floor has to be ground back. I was going to do my workshop with epoxy, after reading the article I think I will just use paving paint.

Window's, As I write this I am sitting near a skylight in the attic. You can get them double glazed ours came from a company called Velux. **LINK** We have several in the house, they have never leaked and are highly recommended, I have no connection with the company. For a shed they may be a good alternative or additional to a window.


Edited By John McNamara on 03/02/2014 07:37:40

Bazyle03/02/2014 13:46:07
6382 forum posts
222 photos

As I plan my new hobby room I'm struck by how much floor area the insulated walls take up as a proportion of the whole when working within the constraints of planning limits. Bricks are wasteful compared to timberframe, insulation and sheet cladding. There is the security and weight support aspect but without those bricks you could fit in another lather or two.

neil singleton03/02/2014 14:50:23
5 forum posts

I built my last worshop on an uninsulated concrete slab floor, 8" durox block rendered on the outside and painted, plastered on the inside, flat felt (torch on) roof with 8" of insulation between roof and plasterboard celiing, electrics (double socket every metre), double glassed pvc window (second hand) and double glased glass in the double wooden doors, all for about 3 grand material cost. Warm enough with one 1200watt heater in all but the coldest of winter days and reasonable soundproof (air compressor going didn't annoy the neighbours unless the doors had to be open).

Never had to repaint in the 10 years I was at the house and not a crack in sight (normally building regs in my area would have wanted deep foundations)

By the time you add insulation and decent paneling to be able to hang stuff on, is wood realyl cheaper than block?

Russ B03/02/2014 16:52:17
615 forum posts
26 photos


I'm also looking in to this as I'll be buying a new house soon (so workshop is back to square one),

Depending on where you live and the local weather, if damp is a concern, single skin bricks/blocks are not an option since bricks are very porous and actually wick water, you're humidity will be at the mercy of the outside weather unless you have a heater running to maintain a slight inside/outside temperature difference.

As has just been said, timber frame and cladding is a great option since your cladding can be waterproof, and your insulation can then be placed in the timber frame gaps - if appearance is key, choose a flat cladding and cover in chicken wire and render it, you can even get brick effect "rollers" so you can apply a coloured render and "stamp" a brick pattern in to it - paint the detail and it will look like real brick - its also the cheapest option since it doesn't require a skilled brick layer, and depending on regulations in your part of the world being timber framed it could swerve planning regs.

Edit* as an easier cosmetic finish to the brick stamp, decorative timber uprights can be installed and painted black with white render inbetween -  a tudor type finish if you like


Edited By Russ B on 03/02/2014 16:55:26

Ian S C04/02/2014 09:39:40
7468 forum posts
230 photos

If you build in NZ, your work shop is going to be a wooden (the main structure), or steel frame.

Then it's up to you as what you have for the outer cladding, galvanized iron, these days powder coated is probably the most popular, then weather board, and I think brick would be near the bottom of the list, it is only used as a veneer, and can not be used as a structural element in the building, Hollow concrete blocks, with reinforcing, can be used without framing.

My own workshop is a galvanized iron clad double garage 9 m x 6 m, unlined inside, unpainted outside. Ian S C

V8Eng07/02/2014 18:33:52
1730 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks to everyone for their input to this, the costings and ideas are a great help.

I have not managed to get to the Library yet, but plan on looking into that ASAP.

Brick is my preferred construction and the new unit will be fairly close to the house so it may be necessary anyway, perhaps a cavity wall is in order from your advice about insulation etc, a tiled roof is preferred by me as a long term no worries solution.

As to to local planning what a can of worms that is!

Now if John Stevenson could just crane that single storey part of his house onto a low loader for me that would be great, I am in awe of your work John!

Whilst I can lay bricks pretty well (IMHO) albeit very slowly, things need to proceed at a better pace because I am on the slippery slope to 70 this year, so would prefer to have a workshop to use rather than spending ages building it.

Time to get a few quotes in, but there is to be a delay due to some other work which has gone somewhat haywire.


Edited By V8Eng on 07/02/2014 18:38:46

Terry McCabe07/02/2014 21:12:35
9 forum posts

To keep my feet comfortable and relieve strain on my ageing legs I have a horse mat it measures 6X4 feet and is 3/4 inch thick. It has a good skin on it unlike a cow mat and cost 50 Euros in my local agricultural supply store. I find it highly satisfactory.

stevetee07/02/2014 23:51:30
145 forum posts
14 photos

As you are constrained by planning as to the overall size might I sugest the following.

Insulated concrete base. Build up 1 or 2 blocks high wall. Then build up in 4x2 timber , its light quick and you can put the insulation inbetween the wood so you have an insulated structure without any addition widthof wall. Clad the outside in corrugated iron . On the inside put up a polythene vapour barrier and then 12 mm sterling ( particle ) board or chip board. The insulation can be cut accurately with a multi serrated bread knife.

For an even Cheaper build. Dig a bucket sized hole. Fill with concrete, place an angle iron in the concrete sticking up about a foot , place these about every 6 foot or so or where there is a corner. Bolt vertical 4x2 to angles . Build the timber structure off the angles. Once the shed is finished pour the floor. Anyone who has never built with ' tin' will be amazed how quick and easy it is. The flimsy wooden structure stiffens up as soon as 2 sheets of tin (to form a corner) are nailed on. Even million dollar house in NZ have tin rooves.

John Stevenson08/02/2014 00:09:55
5068 forum posts
3 photos

Something I was going to do when i wanted a spare shed but because of time finished up buying one.

Local sheet metal works gets sheets in on long pallets, about 10 foot long and three foot wide.

They have three planks on one side and 5 on the other. Obviously you need to cut some down to get a fall on the roof but if you stand these up on a concrete base with a barrier under the bottom and temporary fasten them together, you can then whip round the outside with some tongue and groove, shiplap, steel sheeting of the plastic covered variety.

Bung 4" of insulation in between the slats and whip round the inside with sterling board, chipboard, MDF and you have a quick shed, the inside and outside cladding with give it it's integrity.

John McNamara08/02/2014 11:48:26
1341 forum posts
127 photos

Hi All

Stumbled on this:

Construction through the wars to now.




Phil Whitley09/02/2014 18:09:50
1449 forum posts
147 photos

Try this brick, block and mortat calculator.

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