How much does it cost to build a house?

Price guide

$900 - $3,100

low

$900

median

$1,200

high

$3,100

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much does it cost to build a house?

Most of us dream of having our own homes. Not only will it save us from the costs of renting but it will also provide comfort and safety. Indeed, having your own living space is an accomplishment on its own.

On average, the cost to build a house ranges from $900 to $3,100 per square metre. However, it could go higher or lower depending on the build route, quality of materials, and design complexity.

If you want to know more about how much it costs to build a house in Australia, we have created a comprehensive price guide. This will help save you time in researching and lead you one step closer to your dream home.

Factors that affect house building costs

Each build differs in complexity, size, finishing, and approach. In this guide, we highlighted the most important things to consider leading up to the final costs to build a house. Our goal is to help you create the perfect home fit for your needs without breaking the bank.

Build options

There are four major types of builds that you can choose from in navigating your home build project. Each of these will significantly affect the final cost to build a new house. Across all, DIY is the most budget-friendly option and can help you save around 30% of final expenses. The main contractor route is the most expensive but is also the most convenient if you do not have the luxury of working on your home project.

  • DIY – DIY build pertains to handling everything from purchasing materials to project management and execution on your own. The only parts where a professional service is advised is when installing wirings, plumbing, and applying for certificates (structural engineering, architect). This build is helpful if you are on a tight budget and have some time and energy to build the house.

  • Self-manage with subcontractors – The second type of build is when you manage the overall project, including buying all materials, setting timelines and ensuring this is followed, and hiring tradespeople to help with heavy lifting. This build is perfect for you if you have a knack for project management and know building regulations. Having so will help you converse well with the authorities when getting permits while effectively managing the subcontractors. If you need help with build quality concerns or other legal fees related to building, hiring a building consultant can help make things easier while ensuring you are adhering to guidelines.

  • Main contractor with subcontractors – The third type of build is similar to the second one except that the main contractor is hired to build the house’s structure. You will still need to buy materials and manage the subcontractors.

  • Main contractor – The last type of build is the most expensive but also the most convenient. It involves the least exposure for you and leaves the end-to-end process in the hands of the main contractor. If you don’t have the time to be hands-on with your home project but have the budget to employ a main contractor, then this is the best fit for you.

If you opt for the second or third type of build but don’t know where to start, Airtasker can connect you to a host of subcontractors or drafters nearest you. Just put up a task on our platform, indicate a reasonable amount within budget, and receive offers in minutes.

Quality of fittings and fixtures

After choosing your house build route, the second factor in determining how much it would cost to build a house is the specifications or quality of fittings and fixtures. The three main types are standard, comfortable, and luxury. The Standard build is the most basic type and is usually offered by developers. The Comfortable build has higher quality materials while a Luxury build is the top of the line, highest standard of build.

While all three types have similar cavity walls, the tiles, partition walls, and heating coverage differs. The quality of bathroom and kitchen fittings also vary.

Complexity of project

Besides the type of build and quality of the fittings, another factor that affects the cost of building a home is the project’s complexity. This includes overall project design, type of house, number of rooms, type of rooms, and house size. As always, more complicated designs will take longer to finish and will lead to more costs.

Location

The average cost to build a house in Australia also differs depending on the location. Sydney is the most expensive, ranging from $1,190 to $3,100 per m², while Perth is the cheapest starting at $950.

City

Basic finish

Medium finish

Luxury finish

Adelaide

$900

$1030

$2750

Brisbane

$1210

$1390

$3000

Melbourne

$1180

$1330

$2900

Perth

$950

$1010

$2600

Sydney

$1190

$1290

$3100

 

Cost of materials

Material costs for house building form a considerable chunk of the actual cost to build a house. Despite the expense, quality materials are a good investment because this help ensures that your home will last longer and in top quality.

Superstructure

The superstructure includes the walls, roofs, external cladding, and beams of the house. For exterior cladding, the average rate is $55 per hour but can go higher or lower depending on the type of cladding and installation costs. On the other hand, new roof costs range from $40 per m² for concrete roofing to as high as $200 per m² for slate roofing.

Foundation

The foundation of the house depends on the site condition and the soil type. Only a licensed inspector or a building control surveyor can decide the best type of foundation system for your site. Costs can go higher if your location is far from a concrete plant or your land is sloping as this needs to be filled and levelled.

Service connection

Another important aspect of house building is service connection. This includes electricity, water, gas, and telephone system. Location plays a huge factor in electricity and gas connection fees, and costs differ greatly per state and city. However, the typical cost to wire a newly built house ranges from $3,000 to $13,000. This could still go higher depending on the project scope, labour, and fixtures.

Other factors that affect house building costs

Besides building options, fixtures, and materials, other factors affecting the average cost of building a house include legal fees like stamp duty, insurances, and house plan costs. Stamp duty related fees differ per state and if you are a first-time homebuyer. For house insurance, the average cost is $137 a month for insurance that covers the building and contents. Of course, expect to pay more if you live in NSW.

Lastly, a house plan usually costs around 3% to 5% of the total building costs depending on the labourer. Architects charge about 5% of total building costs for a house plan, while building designers and drafters charge around 3% of total building costs for house plan and approval services.

Final tip: before you start your home project, it’s best to set aside around a 10% contingency budget if pricing adjustments need to be made. If you are ready to take the next step, a skilled and experienced home builder is ready to help. Simply put up a task on Airtasker, and we’ll connect you to the best person nearest to your location.

FAQs

How much does a house cost to build yourself?

DIY homes are usually cheaper by around 30% than the total cost of building a 4-bedroom house with a main contractor. It is tricky to put exact pricing on build-your-own homes since the final cost per square foot to build a house in Australia will still vary according to house complexity, location, size, and quality of materials. If you want to know the exact costs to build a house, calculators are a no-go. Instead, getting a personalised quote from a home builder on Airtasker may help give a topline cost estimate.

How much does a frame house cost to build?

Timber frame houses cost around $1,300 to $1,500 per m². Like with other house types, a frame house can go more expensive or more affordable depending on the size of the home, the quality of materials, and overall complexity and design. Still, some opt to build frame houses due to their energy efficiency, sustainability, and speedy building.

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