26 May


You are about to build, and unless you are a Grand Designs participant you want to know with some accuracy what this whole adventure might cost.

You will probably spend in some of these areas:

  • Land purchase and associated legal costs
  • Land survey to confirm boundaries
  • Specialist reports, BAL, LCA,  
  • House design
  • Engineering and energy reports
  • Planning, building and septic permits
  • Some kind of whole property plan (may be included in the house design)
  • Connection of services: Power, water, internet
  • Water supply, (probably tanks) if there no mains water
  • Stand alone power if there is no electrical grid connection
  • Access road
  • Fencing
  • Outbuildings: Shed? Woodshed?
  • Landscaping
  • Veggie gardens, chooks, and being greenies, an enclosed cat run?  
  • Bushfire protection system

Last but not least:

  • The build cost 

It’s a good idea to start with a big broad-brush guess-timate, and each property has its own unique costs, but here are some rough indicators.

The cost of building (excluding the above) is usually calculated on a square meter rate. This is total area of the floor plan of the house, essentially the length by the width.

For example, my new house will be a modest 150m2, but many new houses are 250m2 plus.

A very rough guide to square meter costs

Project house: built by a volume builder, of fairly low quality, no individual design & remote relationship with owner.

Cost per m2 = $2,000 plus

Mid-range bespoke (Leaderbuild): High quality finishes, individual design, strong relationship between builder and owner

Cost per m2 = $2800 plus

High range architectural (Leaderbuild) Highest quality finishes, unique features, probably managed closely by architect.

Cost per m2 = $3500 plus

Leaderbuild process summary

  • Rough (back of the envelope) costing
  • Detailed estimate, based on completed design drawings and specification
  • Joint review of estimate
  • Adjustments if required
  • No obligation contract offer
  • Contract
  • Build, and delirious joy on all sides.

As we have said above, based on your scribbles or design masterpiece, we can give you (at no cost) a feel for the project viability. My feeling is that my new own house should cost about $80,000 and its painful but helpful for Lachlan to say ‘Think $600,000 Steve.’ My excuse is that I started as a builder in 1972.

Once a plan is settled and plans completed Leaderbuild sends the drawings to an external estimator on your behalf and at your cost. The estimate cost depends on the size and complexity of the house and costs around $800 -$1,000. This wonderfully informative ‘open’ costing is your property and shows all the expenditure including management and profit allowances. 

You can clearly see where the costs are in detail allowing you amend the plans and specifications or stage the build if required.

Our experience is that home building is super stressful. Juggling finance, making many decisions, staying calm when the weather or some other circumstance interferes with expectations, reaching agreement on style, colours and fixtures is demanding.

At Leaderbuild we are totally into relationship. It's our thing and so we can smooth out many a wrinkle.

Do you have more questions?

Get in touch