Know the Cost to Build Your Dream House

Here we present to you a city-by-city breakdown of the cost of building luxury or low budget houses

Since we all envisage different houses to live in, the cost of building them will also be different. The cost significantly varies depending on th following factors:

  • The size of the property
  • The builder you opt for
  • The design of the home
  • The materials you use
Cost per square meter

There is huge variation in cost when it comes to square-meter building bacuse it doesn’t entail the cost of furnishing. To help you have an estimate of the costs per square meter, without furnishing, when building a house, there is plenty of information available on the internet. The table below shows an estimate of cost taken from Rider Levett Bucknall’s – Riders Digest 2019 Melbourne, Australia Edition. It displays the range of per-square-meter building costs for custom-built residential homes across Australia’s major capital cities.

Construction cost of Australian Buildings (fourth quarter 2018) – Custom-built, single- and double-Storey houses
Cities Cost range per floor area ($/m2) – Low Cost range per floor area ($/m2) – High
Sydney $1,780 $5,100
Melbourne $1,720 $3,300
Adelaide $1,580 $3,450
Brisbane $1,800 $4,000
Canberra $1,700 $3,400
Darwin $1,800 $2,800
Perth $1,400 $2,700

However, here comes the actual case. The cost per square meter are less important than the quality of the materials. Nick Khachatryan, founder and managing director of Real Estate Exclusive and Jardine Nicholas Homes clarifies, “There are just a few Australian builders who are willing to quote based on per square meter,” he further explained “I would severely prohibit consumers basing their decisions on price per square meter; it’s the standard and quality of inclusions that matters.”

Typical / Normal cost of a three-bedroom house in Australia

According to Khachatryan, the cost to build a three-bedroom house can start from somewhere around $160,000 and head upwards from there. Of course, it greatly depends on the standard of finish you choose for your home, along with other specific building requirements and the inclusions you want.

Budget (from $160,000 on average). Budget is the main focus when you are building a house. Khachatryan says, “The customer can cut down on their specifications for example not include stone benchtops, driveway, fencing of gardens, air conditioning cycle, and security blinds in order to keep it a budget build house”.

  • Standard (from $180,000 on average).A standard budget house has a few upgraded features. “The key features for a standard build house include basic items such as driveway, garden fencing, possibly an alfresco area too and air conditioner,” says Khachatryan.
  • Premium (from $195,000 on average). When it’s a premium built the features will automatically be more. “Stone bench tops in kitchens and all bathrooms, 2,740mm-high ceilings throughout the house, security, bigger floor plan, 900mm appliances, fencing, blinds for security, reverse air conditioning, driveway, fly screens, alfresco area, triple sliding or split doors that leads you to alfresco area, movie theatre room, pantry space, study room, mirrored sliding wardrobe doors, etc.” Khachatryan says.
Average cost to build a four-bedroom house in Australia

Now the cost tends to increase, if you need to build a four-bedroom home. Four-bedroom homes not only cover more floor space, but they also need some other requirements too such as; the addition of a second bathroom.

As explained by Khachatryan;

  • Budget Bulid (from $185,000 on average).“A budget build home starts from say; $185,000 on average without inclusions – If you want to add inclusions, add $17,000”.
  • Standard (from $195,000 on average).“Standard budget starts from $195,000 on average without full inclusions – to have all inclusions $18,000 as above.”
  • Premium (from $205,000 on average).“A premium build house starts with $205,000 on average without any inclusion and the cost soars as you want to add inclusions– with an addition of $21,000 you can have full inclusions”
Factors affecting the cost of building a house

A long list of factors that affect the cost of building a house.

Land and location

Drewe McCredie, The General Manager of Brisbane-based construction and development company kalka says,

“The first prime factor in the overall cost of the home is Land- in majority of the cases, land determines the budget for building the house. The nature of the block used to build the house – is it flat or sloping- will also affect the total cost. In addition, each state has their own varied rates for insurances, taxes, certification processes, and fee. If the building is outside of a metropolitan area, this will also affect the cost for out-of-area allowances for additional travel”.


McCredie says that, “It generally costs more when you build a two-Storey home rather than a one-storey home because two-storeys require additional items to build such as; stairs, additional floor, fall protection equipment and scaffold etc. These are not always obligatory for building a single-storey house. Nick Khachatryan speaks, “Four-bedroom double-storey homes starts from $290,000, as compare to an average single-storey, four-bedroom home which starts from $190,000. The average difference is of $80,000–$100,000 between one-storey and two-storey houses, but this price range does not typically include turnkey inclusions.


The materials used in the construction, from brick and brick veneer to a lightweight clad such as weatherboard, all the materials will have an impact on the total cost of construction”. The estimated costs of a brick veneer vs a fibre cement sheet clad are going to be about on par, McCredie explains. “What will increase the cost is the different range of bricks as well as type of mortar colour. Some bricks are roughly three times the cost of your entry-level brick. Same comparison goes for lightweight cladding”.


“Brick trades range in rates for upper or lower bricks, and also single- and double-heighted bricks. Cladding especially lightweight-clad trades normally have a single rate for each type,” McCredie explains. Other trades that you will need to get your house to move-in status: plumbers, electricians, painters, plasterers, renderers, and gardeners will also determine the cost of your house.

How to choose a builder

The one who builds your house from scratch commonly known as the builder is the next important factor who will have an impact on the overall price. Builders cost vary depending on the type of work they specialise in (for example, custom-built homes vs display homes), and how much they charge for their work in the market. Before deciding on the builder, it’s essential to obtain consult several builders to get an accurate idea of building costs, as well as compare the value for which builder offers the best.

Nick Khachatryan states the fact that majority of homebuilders merely chase builders who quote the cheapest rates, which often times end in dissatisfaction and displeasure. “The best deal is to compare your builder’s rate to others’ prices and get the inclusions list cost from the core of the house to the ceiling. Keep a lookout for site costs as they differ from builder to builder; if you rushed for lowest rate – you might end up paying the difference in the future.”

Build a Low cost kit home

Want to go for a low cost home? Kit home can be your go to option for that. It is the low-cost option when building a house. These are a simplified version of home, built off-site, and the materials are transported on a truck to your site for assembly.

Kit homes come in a wide range of designs and serve as a cost-effective solution, allowing owner-builders to do much of the work themselves. However, several factors can affect the cost of a kit home. Let’s look at these factors.

  • The model: The model that you choose for your kit home for example a four-bedroom or a one-bedroom kit home. Flooring design, number of bathrooms and other spaces (e.g., a study) also has a big impact on the cost.
  • The cladding option: Weatherboard, brick trades, render and more cladding options affect greatly.
  • The site: Difficult to access sites or that require levelling result in increased costs.
  • What’s in the package: You have to be vigilant in while choosing kit home builder because some kit-home prices you see quoted online will include nothing but the bare shell of a home.

Some guides for you to know how much the kit home cost and get a licensed builder to construct it for you.

Are kit homes really inexpensive than standard homes?

The answer hinge on a range of factors. For example, just getting a builder to build the kit home will cost a lot more than if a standard home. Also, have to keep in mind the cost of paying various trades (plumbers, electricians) to get your home ready to move in.

Kit and floor cost Labour and Construction Total Cost
Two-bedroom kit home $35,000 – $80,000 $40,000 – $80,000 $75,000 – $160,000
Three-bedroom kit home $75,000 – $110,000 $85,000 – $125,000 $160,000 – $235,000
Four-bedroom kit home $85,000 – $130,000 $115,000 – $160,000 $200,000 – $290,000

Whether a kit home is the most affordable option for you or not you must look into what is included in the package? You may need to pay extra for soil testing, laying slabs and any finishes you add yourself to the home.

If something goes wrong during the construction process, lenders could be left with only a piece of land as security and this is why Australian lenders have a very conventional and conservative approach to kit home. Therefore, majority lenders won’t approve loans to those who want to construct a kit home, while those who approve of it impose tight restrictions on the loan to value ratio (LVR).

Way to get finance to build your dream home

You’ll need to apply for a construction loan. These loans allow you to purchase a block of land at first and then start construction within a set timeframe or if you already own the land, start accumulating fund for the construction of your home.

A construction loan is set up a little differently unlike a regular mortgage. The lender calculates the total amount smartly you need to pay to your builder that allows you to access portions of this amount at intervals so you can pay your builder throughout the construction process. These loan withdrawals are calculated as a percentage of the total mortgage amount.

While your home is being built, you make interest payments within the time frame set by the lender. Once construction is completed and the builder has been paid completely, you will start making full principal and interest repayments. Learn more about construction loans by contacting us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *