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Costs of Building a House

Costs of building a house need to be looked at beyond the builder quote

In this article about house building costs I highlighted the big components that impact the final budget.

They are:

  • Builder fixed price quote
  • Variations to inclusions (this can be additional amount you have to pay or amount that the builder owes you based on your final selection of items in the builder inclusion list)
  • Floor covering
  • Lighting
  • Window covering
  • Landscaping

In addition to these costs you might want to provision for other smaller expenses but can add up quickly such as:

Extra concrete around the house. If your builder quote doesn’t mention about concrete strip around the house then it is not provided. If you want to have this feature it’s worth having an estimate for it before you sign the contract. Your builder will organise the concreter to pour around the house for you.

For us it was done prior to delivery of the rain water tank. Large areas required steel mesh therefore dearer calculated to square metre. Smaller strips didn’t require steel.

Extra concrete for the driveway. Make sure your contract mentions dimensions of driveway as per approved plan to avoid being charged for extra concrete.

Letter box. If you don’t mind purchasing a basic letter box at Bunnings and install it yourself you won’t need to have it included in the contract. However if you like a modern rendered letter box then make sure you have budgeted for it. The price to have one of these big square letter box installed could amount to above the $500 mark.

Additional power points. More power points mean more convenience for you in living in the house. No more needs to use powerboard everywhere or cord extensions.

For your reference on average a four bedroom, double garage house would have 25 double power points. You might find that it’s not enough.

If you plan to have additional power points it’s more economical to have them installed during the construction phase. It’s like half the price than if the electrician had to come back and when the plaster boards are in place. Since the price is roughly the same it’s wiser to install double power points.

As you can see it's easier for electrician to install power points before the insulation batts are put and walls covered

Example of strategic locations for additional power points may include:

  • under the sink (useful for instant heater in the kitchen, insinkerator, hot/cold water dispenser)
  • in the garage
  • over the kitchen bench
  • in the lounge or family room where the TV and other Hi-Fi equipments will be installed

More alarm sensors. Check the number of alarm sensors included and ask yourself if you would need more in particular areas of the house. Some might want to have alarm sensors in: garage, master bedroom, hallway at the front and hallway at the back.

Smoke detectors. Same considerations as alarm sensors. I was advised that smoke detectors are not to be installed in the kitchen as they may go off when cooking.

Water inlet for the fridge. If you have or plan to have a fridge with water dispenser it’s worth having a water inlet installed behind the refrigerator. Again anything that can be installed before the walls are covered with Gybrock costs less in labour and time than when the house is completed.

Remote controllers for garage door. Double check in your inclusion list if the remote controllers for your garage door are included. We overlooked this aspect and had to take money from our pocket to pay for 2 remote controllers at $200 each!

TV Aerial. Indispensable piece of equipment for a new house (costs more than $300 to get one installed).

I think having all these expenses in mind would provide you with a complete picture of what costs of building a house are expected to be.

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