The Australian Dream Series


Building costs

One of the first questions which most people need to ask is the hardest to answer - how much is my home going to cost?

Construction costs vary right across Australia.
Pricing the same home in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne will result in 3 different prices.
Prices will also differ depending upon the amount of competition in pricing. Builders and the various trades will increase or lower their pricing relative to how busy they are. The availability of materials and transport costswill impact and quite often prices may vary relative to the amount of local experience in relation to your type of construction.
For example builders, bricklayers and electricians in and around the Blue mountains near Sydney or the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne may be well acquainted with mud brick type construction. Builders and trades in other areas may not be and may 'fatten' their prices for unknowns.
Other methods outside the common weatherboard, brick veneer or solid brick construction including straw bale, Hebel blocks, Timbercrete, or rammed earth construction may similarly push up prices.

The remoteness of your building site will also impact.
A lack of access to the site could increase costs - will materials need to be craned in?
Can concrete trucks get onto the site or will concrete need to be pumped?
Will power be available from the start of the job or will a generator be required?

Beside the obvious price differences of including an extra bathroom, ensuite or the like into a design, the variation in the cost of fittings and fixtures can be substantial. The choice of polished granite bench tops over laminex,  or glass splash backs in preference to tiles; Angthor 'gold' taps and handles against the Caroma Prisma series through to clear laminated shower screens over obscure mesh screens will impact on tight budgets very quickly.

To work out what size home you can build or what you can afford to include in your home, you need to have an idea of what the building cost will be.
This can be frustrating as it is not possible to get an accurate across the board average price per square.
It can be likened to a dog chasing it's tail - you need to know what you can afford to build to meet your budget before designing it, but you need to design it to be able to accurately work out prices.

You can get an idea by talking with Builders in the immediate area and discussing in reasonable depth what you are proposing.
Going through your 'wish list' will give him or her a good appreciation of your requirements and from this they should be able to give you a 'ball park' squarage price.
If you have friends who have recently built a similar design in the area, they will also be a good place to start.

Remember that prices per square are a 'guesstimate'. No serious Builder will give an accurate price without costing your project stick by stick.
A squarage price of $5500/square against $7500/square equates to an extra $40,000 on a 20 square home.

Another source that is often looked at is display home prices to gauge costs. Remember that Display Home Builders can usually trim prices for these homes due to repetition and the opportunity to buy materials in bulk. Trades will also generally tighten their prices for repetitive and ongoing work, so keep in mind even that even if the home is similar in size and quality to what you are proposing that the price will in theory be less.



Building materials >>