1. jamie
    September 16, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

    Great article, thank you.


  2. Tim
    October 21, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

    Very Detailed and Very Insightful!


  3. sunil
    November 7, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

    Add utility e.g. new pit for electricity roughly around 3k.


  4. Han
    September 17, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

    Soon I would like to have a brand new house.
    And I have read your reply for others. It’s really great to have some idea to prepare.
    Especially, the cost about the slope.
    Wish have any more tips.
    Thank you.


  5. Tony
    November 19, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

    Thank you. Useful information.


  6. richard
    December 17, 2015 @ 11:13 am

    You should also add installing telephone line to property.


  7. Learnedthehardway
    May 27, 2016 @ 11:55 am

    Great input. I wished I had sean your article before I let the building company talk me into doing the sidecut myself. Wouldn’t cost more than a coup of thousand they said? $11,000 later. Builders #$@**&^**&*#$

    scumbags is u=putting it mildly


  8. Jade
    June 7, 2016 @ 7:10 pm

    Would love rough estimates on getting power supplied. That seems to be the hardest price to pinpoint so far, and can determine whether you can afford that block of land


  9. Sam
    July 2, 2016 @ 5:39 pm

    Glad you brought a few extra things to my attention…. any idea on costs/cost variations for getting plumbing and electricity connected to dwelling – does it make a difference how far set back from the road you build, slope gradient etc? Just a point on the driveway – I’m not sure you are allowed to use gravel – it’s not on the Australian Standards list. If I’m wrong about that please tell me because it would be a lot cheaper to DIY. Also if you meet the BASIX requirements the cost of the assessment and certificate is nominal – not sure where you got that huge estimate… surely you are buidling an energy efficient building out of sustainable materials anyway, and who wouldn’t want a water tank in Australia? Thanks


  10. Daren
    November 1, 2016 @ 12:47 am

    I own a construction company but i totally agree with you.


  11. Kira Parkes
    November 6, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

    Great article! Just to precise: a soil test cost approximately $200 – $400, but this is money well spent! The foundation of your home is extremely important and should be treated as such. This test is administered by geotechnical engineers. Results are classified based on Australian Standard AS 2087/2011- Residential slabs and footings. It’s the results of this test that help contractors and restumping teams to determine the best way to fortify the foundation. Read more: http://www.restumping-melbourne.com.au/cognizant-reactive-soil-sites-part-i/


  12. Bill
    January 11, 2017 @ 4:22 am

    “… a soil test cost approximately $200 – $400, but this is money well spent!”
    Depending. If you build beyond whoop-whoop, sure.
    If you build in suburbia between other houses, the soil is well known.
    The fee becomes a rip-off.

    Sloping land.
    If you have a slight slope, it may cost an arm and a leg to fill in.
    One solution may be a split-level house: 1, 2 or 3 steps inside the house. (A step is about 15 cm high. 3 steps = 45 cm level drop)
    In case of a steeper slope, a cellar may be a cost effective solution – increases the value of the house too.
    It also may be cost effective to build a cellar at the ‘steep-end’ only and use the excavated soil to fill the other part.

    Cheers, have fun building!


    • Ryan McLean
      January 16, 2017 @ 2:50 pm

      Great tips Bill, thanks


  13. Sam Busson
    January 19, 2017 @ 11:18 am

    So, can the engineer’s reports tell the builder how much it cost for the site work? Signed the contract after the soil test and the engineer’s reports but just before we made the 2nd progress payment we have had a meeting with the builder to talk about selection and then we told there is an extra cost for the site work, that cost is 200% more than the original price. Can that happen? Please help.


  14. Matthew
    January 25, 2017 @ 11:24 am

    Hi, as a sales consultant for a builder in QLD , It would seem this article has been written by someone not so up to date with how the industry, and process should work. (i say SHOULD as there are always cowboys and ‘cheaper’ builders)

    Site costs: The can be fixed by most builders who build a volume of homes. If your builder offers a quote but not fixed site costs, ask why. Problematic estates will have a provisional sum, but buyers are usually made award of this before land purchase.
    Soil and Contour: Our deposit is $1500. This is spent once the quote is finalised on Soil, contour, and engineering. This price comes off the price of the house and is NOT in addition.
    Flooring:The only builders who don’t include flooring in their initial costs, are low balling. There is no reason to price a home without flooring. If a client wishes to supply or have their own flooring done, they can inform the sales consultant of this, and the consultant can remove it.
    Driveways: See Flooring.
    Slope: If you chose a sloping block (anything with 1m of fall over the building pad) expect additional costs for piering and retaining walls. You should always speak with a builder about the land at or before depositing on it to see if the slope will increase costs.
    Soil Type: Most builders offer an S Class Slab in their standard pricing. We offer M (an upgraded level), and from there it can go to H, H1, and so on, each step increasing the engineering for the slab to be suitable for site, thus increasing price.
    Bushfire: Your land agent is required to disclose any Bushfire rating on the site and any noise requirements. These can increase costs so be aware.
    Fees for Closing Roads ect: This is included in site costs. Its part of the ‘Cost to put the home on the site’. If it is not, or they charge a variation for it, demand an answer.

    Good luck, and if in doubt ASK, or go to another builder or agent for a 2nd opinion.


  15. Stuart
    February 1, 2017 @ 8:25 pm

    Thanks heaps for a very good article. We appreciate the time you took to post it. Also appreciate the comments left by others. We are weighing up whether or not to move and build our dream home and we hadn’t considered all of these hidden costs. Cheers.


  16. Di
    March 3, 2017 @ 10:40 am

    I need to decide whether to renovate an old house or scrap it and start again. What type of expert do I need to consult?


  17. Chrono
    March 29, 2017 @ 3:46 pm

    Bottom line is: there is always a catch (ALWAYS). I’ve met with a sales rep twice from a reputable building company, and in the first meeting all is perfect and beautiful to make you feel comfortable and fall into an endless mortgage. Second meeting, after being alerted by a wise friend, the sales rep had to tell me about possibly or highly likely extra costs (some of them listed above).

    Prices and promotion online are misleading and should be prohibited, period. Sales people are hungry for their commission and will use marketing and sales pitch to sell. That is their job and what they’re trained for.

    You will never ever spend that advertised sum and move into a new home (NEVER).
    Best way to go in my opinion is: Visit a few display homes, let it cool for a while, get your head straight and don’t be mesmerised by what it seems to be the best option.
    Seek professional advice to get a real idea of what costs will be like for the entire building process. Even after for your annual council rates etc.

    Yep, that is a lot on your plate even before considering signing a contract.
    By the way – there has just (not just) and increase by major banks on their variable rates for mortgages.
    I don’t know where this is all going to and when Australia will become again a country of buyers and not renters.
    Good luck to us all


  18. su
    June 3, 2017 @ 9:44 am

    In South Australia floor covering, light fittings, paving around building are expected to be covered by client. It takes a long time to collect information on real costs of building. It is annoying so many “gotta have it today” buyers are sucked into signing within initial 2 weeks of contact. Then they have real shocks when the total bills roll in. Get 3 quotes minimum and NEVER assume anything. Day 1 with 3 builders I said double glazed windows were a basic need, then with all three reps on signing contract day the quotes did not include double glazing. Their reply was “Oh, after you take possession, you can remove these windows and put in double glazed. I did not sign and walked away.


  19. Blake Dinah
    July 27, 2017 @ 11:35 pm

    Building a home is a complicated process, and certainly, these hidden extra costs will add up surprisingly for a new home owner (based on my own experience). I have a good experience working with builders, and it’s pretty much a pleasant one since they are willing to explain to me what these hidden costs are. Great article by the way.


  20. Tahmina
    August 11, 2017 @ 8:09 pm

    Hi ..we are really confused to build our home by any buliding group or independent builder?
    If anyone have good experience with any builder in Adelaide with low cost..pls pls suggest me



  21. Ninnie
    September 5, 2017 @ 9:32 am

    Also a wheelie bin won’t cost you $600 they’re around $75-$95 from your local council


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