Building a new house is a daunting experience. Combining all the features and fittings you want into the perfect home, and doing it all on a budget, can be far from easy.
Regardless of whether you’re building your own home or an investment property, the key factor determining all your decisions is cost. You want your new home to be as affordable as possible, and you don’t want to get ripped off by any dishonest builders or tradies who think they can get away with overcharging.
A “cost per square metre rate” is a method of expressing building costs that should be used with extreme caution by both clients and contractors involved in the cost comparison and cost planning process.
There are a number of design aspects which can unfavourably influence square meter rates, therefore giving a false impression of the cost of a building project and this can lead to serious problem for both clients and contractors. “You would not compare a Porsche to a Volkswagen on their cost per square metre, so why try and do it with buildings?.”
How much does it cost to build a house per square metre?
This is difficult to answer because there are lots of factors that affect how much it costs to build a house. Site costs, such as sloping land, as well as the specifics of your home, such as materials used, quality of inclusions, design and layout, make it impossible to quote a one-size-fits-all figure.
Very few Australian builders are willing to quote based on per square metre. I would strictly forbid consumers making decisions based on price per square metre. It’s the quality of inclusions that matters. The scope for variation in square-metre building costs is huge.
For a much clearer idea of how much it will cost to build your house, you’ll need to have detailed design and construction plans drawn up to get a detailed quote. These will take into account all the specifics of your project, from any site requirements through to the size, layout and features of the build.
Just make sure you know exactly what is included in the quote from your builder and what may cost extra. For example, site costs, carpets, driveways, landscaping and fencing are often not included in quotes but can add thousands of dollars to the overall cost.
Volume builder vs custom builder
Although it’s not always the case, volume builders are usually nationally owned companies that have completely systemised their home-building process. The main feature that attracts people to use a volume builder is their extensive range of floor plans that are already priced out, catering to budgets ranging from standard to luxury.
Volume builders work on a standard inclusions and upgrade scale where you can add and subtract according to your budget. It’s a very simple option for people who want someone to take care of the whole process from start to finish.
When you choose a volume builder, every aspect of the build is typically finalised before construction starts. Every single detail is set out right down to the colour of the paint on your walls. “If you are someone who likes to improvise and change things as you go, you might be better suited to a custom build.
Custom builders are usually hands-on local tradesmen who pride themselves on the personal quality and uniqueness that they can bring to your home building experience. Custom builders suit people who like the idea of having some level of involvement in the home-building process, though that is completely optional.
If you choose a custom builder, you have the freedom and flexibility to improvise and make adjustments along the way. Although many custom builders have a range of plans available to inspire you. A custom builder will often work alongside clients during the design phase of their home. Custom home builders generally focus on high standards in design principles and construction of your new home, meaning you will have a quality built home with a high quality finish.
If you don’t want a unique, one of a kind home and you want the cheapest price, while maybe compromising on quality, then a project home builder who works to a square metre rate is best suited for you.
However, if you want a unique design taking in all aspects of your block and you want as much input as possible into the design and don’t want to be limited to choices when it comes to material used and want that high quality finish, a custom builder is exactly what you need.