Last updated on March 31st, 2022
Home library cost guide
Dreaming of creating your own home library? It can be lovely to have a dedicated space to house your growing book collection. In this guide, we’ll look at the average home library cost, so you can plan your project.
Dreaming of creating your own home library? It can be lovely to have a dedicated space to house your growing book collection. A wall or even a room of books can also be an attractive feature in a home, as well as creating a quiet, calm space for reading, learning and studying.
In this guide, we’ll look at the average home library cost, so you can plan your project.
How much does a home library cost?
The cost to build a home library depends on how much space you want to dedicate to your books. So, it’ll cost more to turn a whole room into a library, compared to filling just one wall with bookshelves.
The type and specification of the bookshelves you choose will also affect the cost. Other factors to consider include the material (i.e. wood, metal or glass) and any finishing details such as painting.
|Cost provided item||Low cost||High cost||Average cost|
|Floor-to-ceiling custom shelf installation||£3,500||£10,000||£6,750|
Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now
Buying an off-the-shelf freestanding bookcase is usually the cheapest way to create a home library, or at least to start one. You can buy large bookcases from as little as £140, all the way up to around £1,250.
For a custom library that fits your space better, you can bring in a carpenter to create some built-in shelving. This is a particularly good idea if you have alcoves, irregular ceiling heights or awkward spaces to fill.
Including labour and materials, the cost to build a home library using a carpenter is likely to be around £900 to £3,000.
Cost to build a home library with floor-to-ceiling custom shelving
Have a grand vision for your home library? If you have the space and the budget, you can create a really spectacular room using floor-to-ceiling custom shelving.
A bespoke design can be pricey though, costing anywhere from £3,500 to £10,000 depending on the size and specification.
Extra considerations for the perfect home library
Last but not least, it’s time to think about the finishing touches so that you can enjoy your new library.
This means installing lighting for mood and for reading, and making the most of natural light. Get yourself some comfy armchairs and position them by the window. You may also want to add a desk for work and study.
If you have a bay window you may be considering a cosy reading nook. Take a look at our bay window seat cost guide for more information and ideas.
Can I build a home library myself?
There’s nothing to stop you from installing freestanding bookcases yourself. You can even fit built-in shelves if you have the tools and DIY experience. However, the key to success in a custom library is always the finish. Everything needs to fit perfectly, with no shelves sagging under the weight of the books. To get every detail perfect, it’s best to bring in an expert.
Do I need to support the floors in my home?
If you’re adding a lot of books to a room, that means a lot of extra weight. It could be worth bringing in an expert to double check that your floors are up to the job of supporting all that weight.