Guide To Custom Home Building

If you have ever considered building your own home, then you will know that one of the biggest considerations is cost, how much you will need to save or borrow for your dream build.

The cost of a custom home build can vary, and calculating how much expense is involved can be difficult due to the numerous factors that must be taken into consideration.

The article below highlights the main building costs involved and the major factors that influence the cost of custom builds.

Custom Home Building Cost

Size of the Proposed Build

One of the most obvious factors in custom home building costs is, of course, the size of the house you wish to build. A bigger building will require more materials, and this is usually estimated by the contractor you have hired and will take into account the total area of the floor in meters squared and the estimated cost per square meter.

Building Materials – Quality and Type

The materials you choose for your custom home builder will have the biggest impact on cost, and the price of different materials can vary greatly. Depending on your budget, you may choose to build a full brick dwelling or opt for a timber finish.

Additional Costs to Consider

There are many additional extras than can add to the final costs; these could include garden fencing, stone benchtops or an air conditioning system.

Site Costs Before Building

Another factor that will need to be included in your budget is the cost of preparing the site to be built upon. In some cases, the land will need to be prepared, for example levelling an incline to lay a flat foundation.

Average Costs Per Square Meter

The cost involved in building a custom home in Australia will vary depending on a few different factors such as location, the suitability of the proposed site, and the size of the build. 

In 2018, it was estimated that the average price of a custom build in Australia was just over three hundred thousand, however, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), this can vary greatly.

Location plays a big part in build cost, and the general price range could be anything from under three hundred thousand up to over one million for a standard-sized home.

Annual increases in cost to build are also a factor; in recent years the average cost for building a home increased by 74.8%.

Despite increases and current custom home trends, building your own home can still work out less expensive than purchasing an existing house with the added benefit of being able to really customise your home to your needs.

Additional Fees Related to Home Building

Some other costs must also be considered in the form of fees; these can also vary from state to state. Fees such as planning and stamp duty as well as transferal costs may apply.

Website Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. We aim to offer general guidance in the process of house building and as such does not constitute legal advice. We endeavour to provide information that is both informative and useful to our reader base; however, we do not make any guarantees. We do not accept liability for the recommendations and information provided. You should always obtain legal advice before entering into any contract or concerning any financial projects you may consider. 

Custom Home Building – A Step by Step Guide

It may seem like a big task at first, to build your own home but with these helpful custom home building tips, you will learn how the process works and the benefits custom home building can bring. It can be a long and somewhat complicated process, but this quick checklist will help you get the ideas you need to make your plans a reality.

How to Get Started Custom Home Building Plans

Most people consider a custom build at some point during their lives; you may have been thinking about it already or looked into it in the past but didn’t know where to start. This step-by-step guide outlines the different stages of building your own home from deciding on a build budget to finding the right location to build.

Below we will cover the basics of:

  • Creating a budget
  • Setting out a time frame for your build
  • Finding a suitable site
  • Designing your home

The major benefit of a custom-built home is that you can get exactly what you want and need (budget dependent). You can customize everything from the bottom up, from the size and layout of the different rooms to the type of kitchen and even the smaller details such as door fittings.  Before you decide on a design, you should take into consideration the needs of your household, now and in the future. Here’s a quick list of questions you can ask yourself to get a general idea of what you need:

  • Do you want a large home or a home that can be extended in the future?
  • Would you like an open plan on one level or several stories?
  • How many bedrooms will you need?
  • Are there any must-have features you would like?
  • Can you tailor the build to accommodate your lifestyle?
  • Are you considering an environmentally friendly design?
  • Will your home be suitable for future possible additions to your family?
  • How much space do you really need?
  • Are there any adaptations needed for accessibility?

Who Will You Need to Hire?

Some several different contractors and professionals will need to be hired to complete your home build. These will include an architect to create your plans and a general contractor to make those plans a reality. Optionally you may also consider hiring an interior designer or a landscape architect to add the finishing touches to your home.

Monitoring the Progress of your Home Build

Keeping on top of all the different aspects of home building can be daunting but is essential to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Having a team of people who need to work well together means there must be clear communication between all parties involved.

Many people decide to take this task on themselves to oversee all the work that needs to be done. You will also need to consider who will take care of payments, inspections and permits as well as after build cleanup. You may wish to hire more people to cover these areas.

Budgeting for Your Dream Home – Custom Home Building Cost

Possibly the most important part of your custom home build is knowing what your budget is, how far it will stretch, and where the major part of your money will be spent. Ideally, you will find out the cost per square foot for your build and then decide on the size you can build to within your budget.

When making your budget, it’s best to consider the following:

  • Cost to purchase the site
  • Fees and taxes relating to the area
  • Design costs
  • Engineering Fees
  • Cost of construction
  • Cost to landscape or cost to prepare the site for building upon
  • Decor and decorating costs
  • Contingency budget for unexpected costs

Loans for Home Building

In most cases, you will need to borrow to complete your build. To avail of a loan you will need a good credit rating, your score can affect the type and size of the load you get so if possible correct any errors in your credit score before applying for a loan.

To avail of the best interest rates, you need to shop around. Lender interest rates can vary, and you can save substantially by doing some research first.

Look at the different options available on mortgages. Variable and fixed rates are the most common; you will also want to consider the length of time you want to take out your mortgage. Speaking with a financial advisor can be of great benefit at this stage.

Consider what you can afford as down payment, again your financial advisor can help you to decide on a suitable and realistic amount.

The time frame for your Build

Once you have started the process of building your own home, then you may be eager for it to be completed in as little time as possible. It is good to have an idea of when you want to have the project completed, but some considerations may affect the finish date.

These could include the climate in the area you are building, unseasonable weather can delay a build. Another factor can be the school calendar if you have children you may want to set a time frame for when they are finishing up for the year.

Another aspect that can influence your time frame is your current home if you have a lease that is ending you need to consider if the new build will be completed in time for you to move or if you will have to find alternative accommodation temporarily.

Custom Home Building Checklist – Site Location

Location is key when building a home, and there are a few things you may want to consider when picking a suitable site, these include:

  • The size of the land to build on and how much garden you want/need after the build.
  • The shape of the land, does it limit where you can build and in what direction?
  • Is there a slope on the land and will it need to be levelled before building?
  • The direction of the plot, do you want more sun to the front of the property or the back?
  • Site surroundings, you will spend much time looking out at your surrounding so consider what the view will be.
  • Neighbours, will your home be overlooked by a neighbours property or would you prefer that the neighbours were closer than they are.
  • Surrounding sites are there any sites for sale beside yours? Another consideration if you require privacy.

Nearby resources and access 

When choosing a site location, it is worth taking the time to get other opinions. They may be able to point out things you have not considered, and you will also need to get professional advice to ensure that you can build the home you want on the particular site in case there are any restrictions you may be unaware of.