Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Cost of Building a House

What will building a house truly cost? How to work out an approximate budget.
The best way to budget for this is, according to a builder friend of ours is to a) work out how many square meters you would like your home to be and b) what specification or grade of finish you want to achieve as a high grade finish is obviously going to cost more than a standard one. Then you can do a rough estimate sum as follows:

cost of standard finish per square meter approx $950
cost of average finish per square meter approx $1100
cost of high end finish per square meter approx $1300 (plus)

Multiply the cost per sqm for the finish you'd like to achieve by the amount of space in sqm that you want and hey presto you have a ballpark figure of what your house is likely to cost.

e.g 400sqm house with high end finish
400 x 1300 = $520,000

These figures have been roughly calculated from talking to friends who are either builders or have built their own homes. They also informed me that it pays to budget at least another 10% of what you think it will cost for all those little things like fences, hard and soft landscaping and the like.

Building off a builders pre-designed plan is usually cheaper than having your own design made up so it is a good idea to look at as many builders displays and brochures as possible, find a design that best suits you and then tweak it to make it really work. The housing market is somewhat flat at present so many builders are offering great promotional deals which include various upgrades for a fraction of the cost which means your humble dollar can stretch that much further. Definitely worth comparing what's on offer and doing your research on that one.

As this next house was to be our third home (not counting places we have rented) we felt there was no room for compromise, it just had to be perfect. After doing our sums it was a no brainer that building rather than buying a house was the best option as we could achieve the illusive perfect home and for a better price than paying top dollar buying a house that would need a further $100-200K spent on it for alterations to bring it anywhere close to what we had set our hearts on. 

I hope my simple house build calculator helps give you a rough idea of what to budget if you are considering taking the plunge.


  1. Hi Rachel and Sandy,

    What a great blog you guys have going here. We are starting our own blog and build of a Nelson 43 in Melbourne, It is great to read through all your information to help us along the way.

    How great are all the blogs around?

  2. Hi Kirsten
    Glad you are enjoying the blog and finding it informative. Good luck with your build, I hope it goes smoothly. Remember to be as prepared as possible, know what you want and ask lots of questions.
    Yes there are some great blogs out there - I found Tim and Tina's Nolan really helpful.
    All the best