How much does it cost to design and build a house?

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The amount it costs to build a house of course depends on a number of factors but here is some helpful information to get you started.

If you have ever watched any TV show based around developing homes, you will know that building your own home can be very rewarding but it is a long process with many stages involved.

One of the first questions you probably have if you have decided to build your own home is this one:

How much will it cost?

As with so many things in life, the answer is complicated. 

In Australia, the cost of building a home can vary greatly from city to city. What’s more, the size of your home, as well as the finishes you want to include, will of course impact the final figure.

In general, the average cost of building an average Australian home of 229.8sqm is $320,238 (this is according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics). 

Keep in mind that this is only the cost of the build itself. You will also have to spend money on things like land purchase, design & documentation and planning & building permits.  

The figure above is also based on data from 2019… and the majority of homes are built by high volume builders! If you are considering a custom-designed home and not a cookie-cutter style, it is generally agreed that the cost per square metre will come in somewhere between $3,000 and $4,500 from a medium to a high-end build.

So calculate the size of the home you want to build by, say, $3500 and you will have a basic idea of where you will be starting from. 

How much can I borrow?

When you speak to the bank or a lending specialist, they will run you through your options for a construction loan.

Find out what the maximum amount is that you can borrow before you start shopping around for land or quotes for a renovation. It will be based on your income, your assets and the amount you can repay. 

Factor in the cost of a Building Designer

When applying for a loan, remember that the cost of building a new home will also include the fees for a designer, particularly if you want a custom-designed, beautiful, functional and sustainable home that is uniquely yours.

Your Building Designer doesn’t only design your home. They work closely with consultants, planners, interior designers and builders to make sure it is completed on time and on budget. They are a valuable investment that will make it easier to create a finished product you love. 

Generally, a good designer will charge around 6-8% of the build cost. Ask your designer to break down their step by step process so you can understand why you are getting good value for money.

When you come to a home designer with a budget in mind, they will also work within that to find the best and most realistic options for your build. They have extensive knowledge of each cost as the project progresses and will be able to advise you as you go. 

Your planner will also liaise with your council and organise planning permits. Check out the City of Melbourne’s website for some information about fees associated with building a house. A planning permit for a single dwelling property between $100,000 and $500, 000, for instance, is generally around $1300.00.

New home builder tips

When it comes to designing and building a brand new home, it is important to keep in mind that most projects go over budget. This may be because you discover a problem which needs to be solved like underground rock or a disused water main under your land but most of the time it is because the home wasn’t designed by a Building Designer or Architect. You could also decide during the build that you made changes or added a pool for example!

The ABS found that 44.9% of the new residential dwellings they looked into cost more than they were initially approved for. In general, it is wise to give yourself some leeway with your initial budget and be prepared to pay for a few unexpected expenses. This figure again is very high but isn’t reflected in a well-designed home. We usually advise 10% for a contingency. 

Want to know more about designing and building your own home? Contact Mesh Design Projects.

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