After you have purchased your land, you can calculate the cost to build your custom-designed home based on four components: home construction cost, site and external costs, design free, and the cost of design consultants. The equation looks like this:
project cost = home build + site & external costs + design + consultants
The home construction cost is often calculated using a square-metre rate. This cost can itself be broken down into four components: size, selections, style/complexity, and shape. We’ve taken a close look at each of these in another blog post: Calculate the square-metre rate to build your home.
All too often people focus only on the home construction cost when they create a budget. However the other three elements represent significant outlays, and they can vary from one project to another depending on the specifics of the site. Below we’ll take a look at each of these so you can calculate the overall cost to build your custom home.
Budget per square metre $1500-15,000.
Obviously this can vary widely. However, a typical figure for a midrange custom designed home in Tasmania, with an area of 200m2, including three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage and open-plan living, would be $2500 per square metre, totalling $500,000.
Site and external costs include things like excavation, fencing, and constructing a driveway. These costs are specific to your site and project and will remain static even if you make changes to the building design.
In many cases, site and external costs will be included in your building contract, however, it’s a good idea to split them out from your home construction cost when developing your budget. This will allow you to make adjustments to your home design, and see how each change impacts on your project-specific square-metre rate.
For example, you may want to change the cladding on your home, and see how this affects your budget. By splitting out the site and external costs, which are mostly fixed, you can more easily recalculate the cost of your build.
We’ve taken a close look at the specifics of site and external costs in another blog post: Getting started with custom home design.
Budget for serviced block $20,000-40,000.
Budget for unserviced block $50,000-70,000.
“an architect provides a creative response to your brief, bringing their experience and expertise into play, however a building designer offers another option”
There are two options when it comes to designing your home. You can use an architect or a building designer. One of the main differences between the two is time. An architect allows a lot more time to think, consider your home and resolve design decisions and details.
An architect has a high level of professional training. His or her role is to collect information from you (a brief) and use that information to design a building. Typically, an architect provides a creative response to your brief, bringing their experience and expertise into play.
A building designer has the credentials to design and draft building plans, but will usually provide less input at the conceptual level. He or she will draft up your own design ideas, rather than creatively interpreting the brief. You’re likely to get a less adventurous and less technically complex design if you use a building designer.
No matter which option you choose, design fees are affected by the complexity and detail of the design. Two-storey houses, for example, are more complex to design and engineer than single-storey houses, as are homes designed for steep sites.
Traditional high-end architects charge around 12% of the project fee, for example, $72,000 for a $600,000 build. At the other end of the spectrum, a building designer will usually charge around $10,000 to draft your design ideas, though this will not include interior selections or creative input. A building designer will also offer a much lower level of service.
At Align we sit somewhere in the middle and budget about $40,000 (based on a $600,000 build cost)
There are many different design consultants who may need to contribute to your construction plans, and they will vary depending on your individual situation.
Some design consultants will be included in the fees for your architect or builder, but you need to confirm this when you’re contracting them. If the design consultants are not included, it’s a good idea to ask your architect or builder to recommend consultants – very often they will have negotiated discounted rates that they can pass on to you. Also, it will work to your advantage if there’s already a working relationship between your specialists and your builder and architect.
“it will work to your advantage if there’s already a working relationship between your specialists and your builder and architect”
Here is a checklist of design consultant you may need:
Average budget for design consultants: $10,000-15,000
To summarise, you must keep in mind:
from the ‘feel’ to the functionality, take the dream home evaluation to find the perfect balance for your future home