25

What Does A Custom Home Builder Do

Many analogies have been used to describe the professional builder: the conductor of an orchestra, the ship captain, and even a general executing a military campaign. The point is that the builder is the one who must coordinate the innumerable players and products needed to transform a set of two-dimensional drawings into a finished home. The builder has to make sure that everything happens just when it’s supposed to and that the clients envisioned the result.

Ideally, this responsibility begins well before the first shovel breaks ground. One advantage to choosing a builder early in the design process is that the builder can make sure the home can be built most efficiently and cost-effectively. Thus, bringing on a builder at this early stage can yield significant cost savings.

Once the plans are complete, the builder must work with local zoning and code authorities to secure the proper permits. Professional builders have a thorough understanding of building codes and good working relationships with local authorities. This is another big plus to hiring a pro: the building department is likely to scrutinize more closely a permit application submitted by a homeowner, or even by a small building company, than one submitted by an established professional contractor with a reputation for solid management and quality work.

Professional builders also have close relationships with quality subcontractors. And because the builder is a source of ongoing work for those contractors, prices offered to the builder will likely be less than prices offered to anyone else.

Once The Project Is Under Way, The Builder’s Management Skills Make A Difference. These Skills Include:

  • Keeping the job on schedule by ensuring that all workers and materials show up exactly at the right time. Construction timetables can change quite often, with causes that range from bad weather to late deliveries. The time and organization required for the builder to constantly adjust everyone’s schedules is something homeowners seldom see.
  • Overseeing the job to guarantee that all trades deliver quality work. The builder knows enough about each specific trade and has a good relationship with each subcontractor to ensure things get done right. For example, if it’s too cold to pour a concrete slab, the builder will have the knowledge and authority to put it on hold even if the concrete contractor is tempted to move ahead.
  • Solving and preventing problems. A new custom home is an extremely complex undertaking with a million things that can go wrong. Having a professional builder in charge of solving problems takes a lot of stress off the homeowners.
  • Completing the punch list at the end of the project. Everyone has heard stories of unprofessional contractors who left a job with a list of small things undone. The professional builder has the resources to ensure that everything is complete before the key is turned over.

Average costs for building a home in Melbourne

It’s not just the price of land that can impact the home’s value, but other variables can also affect construction costs. For example, in Australia, an average lot size is 251.7 sqm, which means that the average building cost will come in at around $320,000 when you consider the average of $1,270.80 per sqm.

The average price can provide a ball-park figure for most suburban homes, but when you add an architectural design into the pricing, the value can jump to $3,000 per sqm and often goes all the way up to well over $5,000 per sqm.

If the construction needs to accommodate the type of soil and the slope of the land, then construction costs will also move beyond the national average.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a New House?

New home builders across Australia charge an average of $50 to $80 per hour, however, the cost to build a new home may vary depending on several factors. For example, the estimated cost to build a high standard full brick house may range between $1,720 to $2,830 per square metre. This article gives an overview of the cost to build different types of houses, from single units to two-storey townhouses per square metre and the labour cost charged by new home builders. This guide will identify the factors that determine the cost of building a new home and highlight simple tips on saving money when building a new house.

New home builders charge an average cost of $50 to $80 per hour. The labour cost to build a new home differs per state, and prices may change depending on other factors. The rates of professional home builders may also depend on their qualifications and experience. For high-quality service, hire licensed builders who are efficient in building a new home.

The labour cost to build a new house is the lowest in Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory, followed by Victoria and New South Wales. However, Western Australian home builders charge a bit more. For example, the average cost to build a standard full brick house ranges between $1,720 to $2,830 per m², while a two-storey high standard townhouse will cost $1,645 to $2,635 per m². 

Factors Affecting the Cost To Build a New Home

Before you build a house, you must calculate the amount of money spent on the project. The process of house construction cost estimates is generally complex as you need to consider many factors in order to come up with the approximate amount that will be used on the project. Here are some of the factors that you need to consider to have an estimate as close as possible to the actual costs:

Depending on the condition of the construction site, construction costs can increase or decrease. Wetlands, conflicting utilities, poor soil conditions, infected materials, overhead lines, river or stream crossings, groundwater, buried storage tanks, endangered species habitat, and archaeological sites are some of the conditions that influence the cost of building a house.

The location of the site will also affect the overall expense. For instance, if you are building your house in a high-value area, you will most likely want to construct a high-value property that will be more expensive than putting up a low-value property in an average or low-value area.

Labour costs

The cost of labour varies per state. The difference in labour prices affects the costs of building a house.

Expect home builders across Western Australia to charge more for building a new home as compared to their fellow builders in Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Cost of materials

Materials such as full brick, brick veneer, and timber frame will have an impact on the total cost to build a new home. This is because building materials used in the construction of your home differ in price.

Size of the home

More rooms will require more labour, more materials, and the use of specialized equipment, which means higher construction costs.

There will be an additional cost to build a multi-storey home as there are other items needed to build a larger home, including an additional floor system, stairs, suspended concrete slabs, and more.

Timeframe of completion

A two-storey house may take longer to finish than a simple bungalow home. The longer it takes for new home builders to complete your house, the more money you have to spend on labour.

Design of the home

The design is a determining factor in the overall cost to build a new home. A custom home that is built using high-quality materials will cost more than a simple home project.

10 Things To Consider When Building a House

Building a house is a large undertaking. As an architect, when people contact me for the first time, they always ask, “what do we do first?” This article will be looking at ten considerations when you are planning to design and build a house. I am not bothering listing hiring an architect or contractor as I assume that is obvious since you are now on an architect’s blog. So let’s take a look at some things to consider when building a house or when designing a house.

Here are ten things you can learn from my experience in the hopes your build goes a little more smoothly.

Your schedule is a guideline.

Our build stretched over the course of a year. Originally, however, our optimistic contractor gave us a tighter timeline, and we hoped to be done in nine months. Of course, what I thought was a hard-and-fast schedule was really a loose guideline. Bad weather, building issues, and scheduling contractors meant the timeline was out of our control. I wish I’d understood that the schedule was definitely subject to every contingency in the book. When it comes to what to know when building a house, understanding that your ideal schedule may not pan out is at the top of the list.

Design for your future.

It definitely showed when designing our home; we could barely even imagine what life with kids would be like. Sure enough, however, we had three children over the space of 10 years, and things that worked for us as a child-free couple aren’t ideal now. We designed our home with “right now” in mind, but it would have been better if we’d had a 5- or 10-year perspective.

Finish before moving in.

This might seem like an obvious piece of advice, but when you near the end of a long build, you’re just ready to move in. Plans you had to finish the basement or landscape your backyard seem less important if they’re holding up your move-in date. But I wish we’d finished everything before moving in since those last few items literally took years to complete afterwards. If you already have contractors there, it’s much easier to finish projects now than paying them to come back later. Keep your resolve and get all of those little jobs done before your first night in the home.

Plan for storage.

No one gets that excited to plan their storage spaces. Most of the attention goes to the master bath finishes and picking out cabinetry details. But I’d bet that if you polled homeowners, most would say they’d rather have more storage space than, say, a deeper bathtub. I wish I’d known that storage is prime real estate in a home. Planning for storage isn’t the most exciting part of the process, but it has a huge influence on your lifestyle and organization later on. Keep it in the forefront of your mind when designing and building a home.

Research contractors.

We hired a roofing contractor and handed over a huge deposit before he’d ever set foot on our property. Rookie mistake. He made off with the cash, and we never saw or heard from him again. Looking back, we hadn’t done our homework and properly researched all of our contractors. In some cases, we got lucky, but we definitely should have asked for referrals and reviews before doing business with our contractors. It would have saved us time and money in the long run.

Sweat equity is king.

My husband loves to tell houseguests about me grouting our tile at nine months pregnant with our first baby. At the time, I thought it was cruel and unusual punishment, but now I’m glad for the sweat equity we put into the home. It wasn’t only a money-saving tactic; sweat equity helped move the process along faster, too. Instead of waiting for contractors to fit us into the schedule, we were able to get our hands dirty and take care of some of the work ourselves. Definitely leave some stuff to the experts (no self-plumbing, please), but don’t be afraid to pitch in and help where you can.

Invest in fixtures.

It was hard to know where to allocate funds when building a new home. There were plenty of trendy items I’d rather have spent money on – decorative pillows, anyone? – but in the end, it was better to invest in fixtures. Those are the parts of your home that stick around, even when you change your decor. By investing in higher-quality fixtures, we’ve been able to swap out finishes and colours to freshen up the house without having to make major changes – or repairs.

Go neutral.

If you ask my husband or me what our biggest design regret for the house is, we’d probably both say, “The dark green.” See, we used two-toned paint throughout the house, with a dark, mossy green on the bottom and a neutral beige on the top. The beige has worn beautifully, but we’ve already painted over the green. It was fine for a few years, but it was a huge challenge when it came to redecorating. I wish we had chosen more neutral colours and changed accents rather than using a specific colour throughout the home. I can’t even tell you how much we’ve spent on primer, let alone paint, to cover our mistakes.

You’ll spend your own money.

We were lucky enough to secure a construction loan, which meant the big stuff was all covered. But we didn’t account for the things we’d pay for out of pocket along the way. Sure, we could submit draws to the bank to pay for the foundation or drywall, but trips to the hardware store for screws or sandpaper on our dime really added up. Looking back, a contingency fund for construction expenses would have saved a lot of stress.

It’s stressful but rewarding.

Everything you’ve heard about how building affects relationships is true. We often joke that if you’re able to build a home together, there’s not much that can shake your marriage. Rather than simply choosing an existing home, a building is a never-ending tug-of-war between wants, needs, and compromises. It’s easy to let the stress get to you, especially when you’re debating the merits of fixture finishes or floor layouts. But if you keep the main goal in sight – a home where you can live, grow and love – it’s easier to see what’s really important. Pick your top three building dealbreakers and expect to make compromises on the other choices. My husband and I often talk about building again.

On the one hand, we’ve learned so much that the next time wouldn’t be as stressful. On the other hand, there’s something about living in a house that you’ve created, from a piece of scratch paper to a structure full of life and memories. Building your own home isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those brave enough to take on the task, the rewards are immeasurable.

Building a house might seem like an arduous task, and, well, it is. But by planning for the long-term and putting in a bit of sweat equity, it can be the best thing you do for your family. Planning, planning, planning is the key (with room for some necessary flexibility). And don’t forget to give yourself plenty of storage. Trust me. 

Scroll to Top