Are you thinking about constructing a cellar for your home or business – but need a better idea of costs first?

If you’re looking for a leisure space such as a gym, sauna, pool room (or just some additional storage), or you need a wine store for a restaurant, we understand that cost can be a big decision factor.

Your biggest concern may be that constructing below-ground tends to be more expensive – not to mention more complicated – and your cellar might still leak over time.

Everyone kind of knows cellars have a reputation for being damp, cold places… but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a given.

Below, I’m going to tell you more about how much a cellar should roughly cost for three different construction methods – but also more about one innovative method in particular, which has some other great benefits…

How much should a cellar cost?

So, of course, I’m unable to give you an exact number for how much your cellar should cost without knowing the dimensions and requirements of your cellar.

However, I can give you a rough idea of how much a typical cellar should cost depending on the two main below-ground construction methods – and one lesser-known (but more effective) one:

  • In situ concrete: £800 – £1,500 (approx. per square metre)
  • Precast concrete: £1,250 – £2,000 (approx. per square metre)
  • Prefabricated steel: £1,000 – £1,750 (approx. per square metre)

Wait a second… what is prefabricated steel, anyway? Glad you asked. We’ve written a blog explaining what steel prefabrication below-ground is, and its benefits (such as being completely watertight, built to very tight tolerances of +-3mm, and 70 – 80% faster installation time).

To give you a better idea of your prefabricated steel options for your cellar, if we were to construct a cellar internally, it’d be circa 4m wide and up to 14m long.

For precast concrete, a company may be able to bring individual modules and slot these onto an in situ concrete slab. However, we always think steel is far more beneficial, as concrete tends to have joints and the possibility to crack over time.

What other factors can affect cost?

When building a cellar using in situ or precast concrete, there are certain risks involved that could lead to complications with your build – especially as cellars need to be built to tight tolerances (+-5mm) which can be a challenge.

In the worst case scenario, you might end up going over-tolerance and having to start again, leading to a much more costly project than originally planned.

In comparison, a prefabricated steel substructure can be built to very tight tolerances of +-3mm, and the risks of leaks are eliminated. A prefabricated steel substructure can also save you 70 – 80% of time spent on-site.

There’s also the long-term cost savings to consider. An independent expert in the field of steel corrosion, investigated and put together a report that prefabricated steel substructures will last over 100 years in the ground, up against the most acidic ground conditions (rare in the UK).

TIP: Take a look at our recent blog to learn more about the longevity of prefabricated steel, and how it can ensure your cellar will last the distance.

Remember, a reduction in time spent on-site can be beneficial to developers and clients. It you’re borrowing money to build, you can get a swifter return on your investment by using prefabricated steel, as it can be constructed much faster.

Advice from a specialist subcontractor

My advice is to look at the most long-term, robust option for your cellar. Unskilled labour and choosing poor materials are one of the biggest causes cellars leak. There are now more materials to choose from, and different techniques and methods.

Constructing below-ground shouldn’t be a cost-saving exercise as this may lead to long-term (and costly) problems.

If prefabricated steel sounds like it might be an ideal option for your cellar – whatever you wish to use it for – but are still feeling a bit uncertain, I’d recommend getting in touch with us directly for some free, impartial advice.

We’d be able to give you a better idea of costs and budget, as well as explain more about the benefits of a higher tolerance, speed on-site and long-term watertightness of your cellar (which essentially means it stays dry and won’t become damp over time – like most cellars do!).


Thanks for reading. I really hope this blog has helped to give you a better idea of the costs involved when building a cellar for your home or business.

However, if you want a better idea of costs – or even a detailed quotation that includes everything from design to installation – I’d recommend getting in touch with me directly.

Alternatively, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below – I promise to respond with something helpful!