Calculating the Cost of Building a Home

The cost of building a home varies dramatically and it’s not just because of size. While large properties and small properties will obviously have different costs associated with the build, factors pertaining to location, soil quality and the type of house will affect the cost of building a home.

Average Cost of Building a Home in Australia

Across Australia the average price difference between a low square metre build and a high square metre build is huge.

In Sydney, a low square metre build costs around $1,780 compared to a cost of $5,100 for a high square metre property. For those living in Melbourne the cost is around $1,720 and $3,300.

A low square metre build in Darwin costs around $1,800 compared to a high square metre build cost of $2,800. While in Perth, the cost is around $1,400 and $2,700.

Over in Adelaide home builders are looking at a cost of $1,580 and $3,450. Whereas home builders in Brisbane should expect to pay $1,800 and $4000.

In the nation’s capital, Canberra, low square metre builds cost $1700 while high square metre builds start at a cost of $3400.

Cost Per Square Metre

A lot of builders and home owners like to talk about the cost to build a house in terms of dollars per square metre. This is calculated by taking the total cost of the build and dividing it by the total floorspace of the home- not the land.

With this in mind, a basic project home costs between $620 and $780 per square metre. A deluxe project home costs $1,000 to $3,000 per square metre. While a deluxe customer built home will cost between $2,500 and $4,000.

However, the cost per square metre for a kitchen or bathroom is going to cost more than the cost per square metre for an empty room. Therefore, if a home is featuring a big bathroom or kitchen the cost per square metre can quickly become inaccurate.

Three Bedroom Home

If you’re looking to build a 3 bedroom home, expect the cost to be anywhere between $160,000 and $195,000. The price depends on the fittings used and the features people just can’t live without.

For example, a budget build that chooses not to features a driveway or an alfresco area will cost, on average, $160,000. Whereas a standard build that features fencing and a driveway as well as an alfresco area costs around $180,000. On the other end of the scale, a premium house with a big floorplan, high ceilings and additional study has a cost starting from $195,000.

Four Bedroom Home

The price for a budget built 4 bedroom home starts at $185,000. While the build doesn’t feature inclusions like sealed driveways or fences, the additional cost is for the extra bedroom. A standard 4 bedroom build starts at around $195,000 whereas a premium build begins at a cost of $205,000.

The Different Costs to Expect

Other than the actual construction of the house, there are a lot of additional costs to expect when building a house.

The land

Firstly, there are a few costs associated with the land itself. The quality of the soil needs to be tested and if the results indicate that the soil is difficult to work with, costs can increase by thousands.

Builders also have to take into account the sloping of the block of land. The best case scenario is that the land is perfectly flat as most builders will not work on a block with a greater slope than 3 metres. If the land features a front to back slope, expect to pay $6,000 for every metre of the slope.

If the house is being built in a flood or bushfire prone area, there will be extra costs attached. The additional costs stem from making sure that the property is well equipped and safe during fire season. While a property in a flood prone area will have the additional cost of raising the home to help safeguard it from flooding.

The house

Some people prefer to go with a custom builder and designer rather than through a project home. This incurs the extra cost of employing architects ($60-$125 an hour), engineers ($100-$150 an hour) and land surveyors who cost anywhere between $300 and $700.

The trades

By going through a builder who hires more expensive subcontractors home builders may have to pay more in labour costs. While trades greatly impact the materials used in terms of quality and cost, they also come at a cost to employ on a building site.

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