I Want to Build a House

In the next 6-12 months, I would like buy a house to knock down and rebuild.

Are there any builders here who can provide advice with costs? And just answer some general questions I have.

I have not done this before. I have done some Google research however I'm hoping for more specific answers.

Note this is Western Sydney (40KM from CBD)

TIA

Comments

      •  

        That's pretty much it! Also want bigger land size.

    •  

      There are no decent used houses.
      Renovations are a total waste of funds as cost far exceeds the value added.
      Vacant land is not available in the preferred area. Why not demolish and make your own vacant land!

  • +11 votes

    Some builders will take you to town on the footing cost. Contract will state footing cost are not fixed until the engineer confirms soil test and footing design. Same builder will not accept a soil test from a third party because 'we will be liable for the accuracy of that soil test if our footings fail'. After you sign a contract for x amount which includes an estimate for the footing based upon 'similar properties in the area' final footing cost comes back $50,000 higher. Mainly a ploy used at the lower end of the market.

    • +1 vote

      yeah, had to put 27k of screw piers in based on what the engineer said after a bad soil test. Ours was only a front and back extension.

      • +1 vote

        Can you please help me understand what is fitting cost and why is it so expensive. I thought it was just the concrete slab/base on which the house is built.

        And I thought it was just some steel beams and concrete, surrounded by some timber?

        Why is it so expensive? Is concrete expensive?
        And how are builders able to "take you to town"?

        Thanks in advance

        • +3 votes

          Ok, so we contracted an engineer for plans, this was about 3k. As part of this, he arranged a soil test. This was a third party. These guys gave our soil a bad rating eg sandy soil. The design that was then drawn needed twelve screw piers. Each costs $1.5k. So this was around 15k. My suggestion was retest the soil for $800 to make sure. I got my figures wrong, it was 15k slab + 15k screw piers. So about 27k to "get out of the ground" as our main tradie said.

    •  

      'Some builders will take you to town on the footing cost'

      yep - quote low to win the job - then screw them on the 'variations'

      like footings - contract will say 'subject to investigation' or something that is easy to gloss over while reading, but will cost you an arm and a leg when you are actually on the job and he calls you over to 'look at this we just found …'

      'uh oh - that'll cost ya … !'

  • +4 votes

    I have been doing the exact same thing for the last 6 months
    In my experience, a basic house with a volume builder I.e. Metricon or Porter Davis is around 10-11k per square
    Cons - upgrades are more expensive. Quality may be inconsistent as a single supervisor may be looking at 50 odd sites. Changes are limited or very expensive. Also not every site is for them. They may only handle certain amount of fall on the land Pros - they likely be solvent through this
    With a medium builder it is around 15,000 a square. Have to be selective here. Quality and flexibility may be greater in changing floor plans. I would select a builder with an in house trades team to ensure quality is consistent.
    Cons- not every medium builder will make it to the other side post this pandemic.
    More boutique / architect style builders 18,000 - 20,000 per square.

    We chose to go with a medium builder for our build in Melbourne inner north east.

    There has never been a better time to negotiate prices…

    •  

      How hard have you been able to negotiate with trades?

  •  

    I suggest going to Display homes to have a look… there's one near Kellyville, NSW.. many builders in one area plus can definitely see the quality of their work

    Homeworld locations: Kellyville, Marsden Park, Warnervale, Leppington

    see link below:
    https://www.homeworld.com.au/locations/

    • one that stood out if you want more personalized builder - build to your specs: Hall & Hart (Builder)

    Did a knockdown rebuild not long ago… went around before settling with a builder

    •  

      Out of curiosity, who'd you go with?

      •  

        Bentley homes,,,they do about 100 homes a year

      •  

        a private builder, wouldnt recommend.. good quality, less price but you need to watch him every step of the way

    • +2 votes

      When you visit a display home, you either:
      1 - see a crappily made house, in which case you can easily nix the builder from your list. Or:
      2 - see a really impressive house, which will not necessarily reflect the quality you get if you go with the builder. If you were showcasing your work to try get sales, wouldn't you put 150% effort in making sure your display product is top notch?

      •  

        exact reason i would not build a house…it is much easier to buy one that's already been built look at the quality and renovate if need be,

        •  

          There are quality builders out there but it will be reflected in their price.

  •  

    Planning to go council DA or CDC?

    •  

      CDC will do but if your area is flooding area they will not do it ( before it is not but now it is also made CDC stop due to recently Opal tower , Mascot building, waterloo…, council DA is very slow , they require sometime timely , ridiculous , requires so many thing , some time take one year to be approved, I build they said have to be a specific high due to flooding . and next, next to my house owner built under ground car park .. think about it .

      •  

        i hope you dont have to deal with Cumberland council for your DA

        •  

          Council, particular labor one is pain in the ass to deal with if you apply by yourself, they only deal easier with builders.

  • +9 votes

    https://forum.homeone.com.au/

    all the answers you need is here.

    the only website i visited during our building process.

    • +2 votes

      Great resource that website

    • +1 vote

      Thank you

    • +1 vote

      Nice! It even has a Feng Shui section.

  • +2 votes

    The only thing I’ll say is don’t underestimate how much cheaper something is to do during a build compared to after a build.

    • +9 votes

      Yup. Get 3 phase connected at the meter (don’t have to actually use it, but future proofs your house. Plus you can split your load across 3 phases, tripling reliability. Usually about $750-1k during build, several k$ post build)
      Power points in each corner- peanuts during build but hard post
      Data cabling- same as above
      Roof reinforcements to cater for solar- cheap as pigeon poo.
      Double or triple layer insulation in roof- cost of material only
      Wall insulation

      The list goes on!

      Hell, even running a conduit from front near meter box to back of property (capped at either end until needed, that way only need to dig 2 small holes and pull whatever cable through you want) for a potential future garage/pool/whatever will save thousands at build stage.

      • +5 votes

        Power points in each corner

        I have NEVER understood why people don't do this at build time.

        •  

          because a house is an investment not just for the owner but also for the tradiies/builders? Why install everything at once for few dollars when you can come back in 5-10years and ask for few hundred/thousand dollars. This is why i love youtube and bunnings, instead of spending hundreds/thousand for a plumbing job that take few hours,i just do it myself….then my wife calls the plumber later…only JOKING.

          •  

            @funnysht: I wish we could do simple electrical without the need for a sparky :(

            •  

              @johnno07: yeah that part would get qualified person to do it, but plumbing nah do it myself,

      • +2 votes

        excellent advice..deserves a thread on its own…could you continue that list!!

  •  

    Parents completed a complicated extension that took five months. Rebuild would have been easier. I would say get a lot of quotes as a first step. There are building calculators online for your area.

  •  

    We don't know how to build but we'll knock it down for a lot less than $20000 quoted above. ;)

    •  

      Depend on the house, the block etc. But most knock-down will cost somewhere between 9k to 13k. hiring skip bins that will cost the most.

  • -1 vote

    Google "Dunning Kruger Syndrome" first.

  • +1 vote

    I would stay away from volume builder if you are anal about details

    Me and 3 other friends all did build or renovation in the last 3 years.

    2 small builder and 2 volume builder.

    The two volume builder are glenville (custom design) and marque, impressive fitting and design, but 40% variation and.

    My was a major renovation extension.

    To give you an idea of cost:

    My: 800k reno
    Small builder: 600k brand new build 38sq
    Glenville: 2.5 mill 80sq
    Marque: 1.5mill 50sq

    All inclusive of demo.

    The two volume builder mates would not use volume build again mainly cause of the variation cost and the finishing quality.

    • +1 vote

      Yikes! I guess this is why people go to house and land packages.
      Appreciate the feedback

    •  

      80 square house?!?!?!?

      •  

        Is that large? Mine is 71sq….

        • +1 vote

          Is a 80 square house large….?

          • +1 vote

            @JuryWheel: Yes. A square is 10 feet X 10 feet, so roughly 10 sqm.

            •  

              @kiitos: sorry, i was trying to be sarcastic….its f**kin huge!! Anything over 30squares is a big house imo, 40+ very big!

        •  

          71 squares (660 Square metres) is about 3 times the size of your average 3/4 bedroom house. So yeah that is probably considered pretty damn large.

          •  

            @gromit: Spot on, 660m2. I got used to it and when that happens it becomes the new norm.

            •  

              @Logical: How much is your heating and cooling bill?

              •  

                @JimB: I know the aircon cost for a 80sq home is around the 150-200k mark, I would imagine if you going to build a house that size you are probably not that concerned with 5 grand a year in electric bills.

                •  

                  @ozaym: Not necessarily.

                  Just because they own a 80sq house doesn't mean they aren't cheap.

                  $150-200k is well off the mark for aircond for a 80sq house. It should well under half that for 2 x 3 phase air cond systems. Any more you're getting ripped off.

                  Plenty of McMansions around.

                  •  

                    @JimB: Well most McMansions these days would be above 1 mill in build cost.

                    $150-$200 is for small duct systems, that quite often these mcmansions require.

                    a 80sqm house would require 4-5 of the largest ducted units from Deakin etc.

                    Unless you want to zone the crap out of it.

                    Hence why I think the ideal size of a family home is around 350-400sqm, I would have no problem running 3-5 zones and just keep the house nice and toasty.

                    •  

                      @ozaym: I think you mean Daikin.

                      You're saying a 80sq house requires 4-5 24Kw air conditioning units?

                      •  

                        @JimB: Yes that one.

                        I am told my the guy that balances my aircon (different company to the ones that installed) it's roughly 1kw for 10 sqm, and then you give discount for 3meter ceiling, if you have double brick, hallways, big window small window etc.

      •  

        Indeed its big, I think its a status thing, dude is loaded

  • +1 vote

    Check out those shipping containers on youtube, a couple built it themselves with low cost.

    •  

      Would councils allow it tho?

  •  

    I would say between 300k to 25 million depending where and what you want to build.

    •  

      What's the 300k? A cardboard box?

  • +1 vote

    Build 2 granny flats for like 100k and save the rest.

    •  

      Looking to build our 'as close to dream family home'

  •  

    Site works/Footings/Soil removal can blow out costs and this varies on the area you're building.

    Volume builders in SA Mid-Spec $900-1,200 per metre
    I know Private Builders High Spec $1,500 pre metre

    It does depend what you want, what your builder lets you do yourself etc

    There's many Facebook groups and Forums where people building compare costs and advice which is very helpful. That's your best bet, in SA one group has 100's of people comparing builds and costs.

    Best of luck.

    •  

      do u have a link for the sa group?

  •  

    is it campbelltown area, st marys?

    •  

      Blacktown

      •  

        there are lots of houses near schofield being built…is there a specific type of house you want to build?, i would think it would cost a lot more (you have to think about 1-2 yrs build- which means you need to rent somewhere else, headache of dealing with builders in general/good and bad out there, council approvals etc)

        •  

          It would be model of a display home most likely. Don't want to do Schofield/Riverstone etc.
          We are currently living with inlaws atm. Can also move back into our apartment if needed.

          •  

            @Bottom Dollar: i see that would probably be an advantage, as long as your priorities don't change over 1-2 years e.g kids/jobs. But even then waiting 1-2 yearas to move into a house vs 1-2 months..lol id go wif the latter.

            •  

              @funnysht: Why is a relatively modest house going to take 1 - 2 years to build? If they can't do it in 16-20 weeks after demo tell them to forget it.

              •  

                @BartholemewH: it's not simply just buying house then ask for builiders to build. When you buy the house you need to wait 1 month till the cooling off period etc etc, await council approval which prob takes them 100 years and then demolish the said house, then get plans done. Before you even start it'll be around few months at least
                '

        •  

          is schofield good? parent in laws just bought there.

          •  

            @lplau: nice place, rouse hill has a big shopping centre there, and given the houses around are like >700k you have married couples with families living there, unlike blacktown/rooty hill etc.

  •  

    There is many hidden costs that you never knew existed until you start building. Also, the price/quotes you get from builders will be the basics and when you get to pre-start, you'll likely end up spending more unless you are super disciplined.

  • +1 vote

    Currently building now. My advice is don't do it. Just buy a house that is done.

    •  

      I would love to move into a ready build house in this suburb but so far, it doesn't seem possible. Some renovation, going up one storey has to be done…
      Happy to pay a premium for a ready build however it's all land for development.

    •  

      what problems are you encountering? like from who the builders? project managers? costs?

  •  

    2500Mq plus price area find some land or easy knock down job or house give or sell cheaply for relocation relacation can cost you zero some pay remove the house

  •  

    If you can consider building off the plan you can get a brochure of designs and prices for house builds from large project building companies like Wilson Homes (MJH Group).

    Then you can tack on the land and demo costs plus some site specific fees (soil testing, bushfire rating) and standard buying/building fees (stamp duty, conveyancer).

    The prices in the brochure go out the window if you think you want to make any changes to the design. But the builder will give you a price for the change.

    •  

      Oh yeah, this sounds like going with a "volume builder" as mentioned above. Restrictive in design, more expensive but less involvement, decisions and stress.

  • +8 votes

    I'm an architect happy to answer questions. There are a whole heap of things you need to consider at each different stage.

    Budget

    The first is your budget. Tally up your absolute maximum and take away 20% this is your new budget.

    Finding a property

    There are dozens of articles and people more qualified to give you professional advise.
    One thing I would say is to pick your aspects wisely, North on the rear is the most desirable it allows you to have a living and backyard flooded with natural light for more of the day.

    Time Budget

    Be realistic, buying and building for the inexperienced isn't a quick process.
    Allow sourcing property, arranging loans, settling, finding a builder, a designer or an architect. Preparing a brief, approve a design, town planning, developing the design, getting consultants (land surveyors, engineers, energy raters etc) picking fixtures and fittings.
    I would allow a some where between 3-6 months depending on if planning is required, if you run a tender to select a builder.

    What makes a good home?
    Everybody is different, every brief is different. Everybody has different preferences, are in different stages of their lives when building a home.
    Write out a brief of what you want, whats important and don't put it away, constantly revisit, prioritise it, re-prioritise it and refine it.

  • +1 vote

    We have done this in the last few years.

    Knock down - around $25k, a large chunk of this was tip fees for asbestos removal.

    Build - we went with Hotondo which is a franchise type setup, Australia wide company but building with a local builder. Single storey, split level design. We had a good experience but check the product review website and try find reviews for the actual builder that is in your ares.

    Cost was close to $2k/m2 and we customised everything down to the fine details. This covers middle to high end options, incl. fixtures, 2.7m ceilings throughout, stone bench tops in kitchen & bathrooms, ceiling high tiling, 4x skylights, high end flooring, double glazing throughout, internal insulation etc.

    Landscaping - depends on your block and your goals, you can just lay turn and DIY garden beds if that's what you want. Retaining walls are expensive if required. We probably spent another $150k here after all said & done but have again chosen premium options.

    On the homeone forum there is a 'things you forgot' thread. Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing, if you don't then you will be adding to their list after your experience.

    •  

      Went with Hotondo recently too and pretty happy all round.

    •  

      how big was the house in the end?

      •  

        Just under 300m2, and $600k build.

        There will always be ancillary expenses once you move in of course and these can add up too - incl appliances, alarm, curtains / blinds, fencing, 133' 4k projector with atmos surround etc.

  • +3 votes

    You have to factor in Straya tax. Everything even things we export is more expensive in Australia.I think we have fifth most expensive tradies in the world only getting beaten by places like the international space station, Dubai ,Doha .In other words what are you doing on ozbargain you should try ozspread'em.

  •  

    Deleted.

  • +1 vote

    If you have a partner, building a house is one of the most stressful things you can do together. Make sure your relationship is good before you start. Everyone I know who built (including me) suffered some kind of strain on their relationships. Just a heads up.

  • +1 vote

    im just about to knockdown rebuild in bris.
    ive added alot of extras to the house and its coming in around $1388 sqm on 295 sqm build size 2 storey

    knockdown will be $0. there is a place here which will resell my top half and demolish the rest without cost so it pays to call around to different demolishers

    this includes for me 2.7m and 2.59 ceiling heights. 2.4m high garage door. 2340 internal and front door heights
    first floor premium engineered wood whole house with whittlewax
    5kw solar
    caesarstone benchtops . the list goes on.

    its a hard process. some of these things i negotiated before contract thinking i was done before colour selection then i found a bunch of other shit to add like floor to ceiling tiles in bathrooms

    lucky my builder in plan already had double power points to most cnrs of every room where i see others dont and is usually 1 single point a room. i literally only need to add the few points i want to the island and thats it.

    and now reading this thread i think i might pay the 500-1k and have 3 phase setup

    • +1 vote

      under 400k for a double storey, mid spec seems pretty good

    •  

      What state? It seems SA is much cheaper to build than other states.

      It definitely pays to shop around, in the current market it's probably the best time to build as it's very slow.

      •  

        qld.
        yes i had another company give competing quote for the plan done in house by first builder.
        they came in 7k cheaper however not as good in some finishes/products so stayed with primary builder as already they had 3k deposit to draw up a custom plan which is not refundable so that made the gap even less

        though we got 10k off when called builder 2 to say not going ahead " in situation like this we have the ability bla bla " im like should have done from start.

        I then told other builder who basically did similar by including better quality ducting and a cpl of other things
        end of the day though regardless of price wife felt more comfortable for the job to go ahead with original builder

    •  

      Similar here, except no knock down. Just a build in Brisbane. About $1300 sqm for double story, 40mm caeaserstone Island, 20mm caeaserstone to kitchen benches, butler pantry and all bathrooms. Floor to ceiling tiles all bathrooms and ensuites. 2.6m ceilings up and down, free standing bathtub in ensuite, all black tapware and underbench sink, corner less stacker doors to our door area, upgraded nice soft carpets to all upstairs and media downstairs,big driveway Inc in that price too… Left off plenty of other upgrades too.

      Feeling pretty good with the price now after reading what others are paying 😅

    •  

      Who did you use to build and who did the knockdown? Looking at a similar thing

      •  

        I just finished building with alphaline at what worked out to be $1500 sqm 3m high celing floor to ceiling tiles 3 bathrooms spotted gum wood floor both levels on a 2 story 20mm caesar stone ext ect
        BTW there are massive wood shortages right now and when they get some it's up 30 to 60 pc in cost from right now . Builds are being delayed after slab down

        •  

          Thanks mate. Did they do the knockdown as well? Yeah I heard prices were up

          •  

            @larkan: No I organized that and was free. Had a old cheap qld house and they sold top half. I have heard increased Costs if you have to pay due to new asbestos rules if that's in the house

  •  

    I did knockdown rebuild in inner city Melbourne, cost around $600 all up for decent double story with nice (but not over the top) finishes

    Don't regret it all and very happy with the result.

    Key is do your homework, be very involved in the planning, build and the details, ask a lot of questions, don't trust anything the builder or sales person says, get everything in writing, get your own building private inspector. I did this and had no surprise costs

    Started off planning a double story extension but quotes were coming in not much less than than that, which was why we decided to start again. Also looked at a lot of houses and couldn't find what we wanted in the area we wanted.

    There are also so many dodgy builders around that i wouldn't buy a house built recently by a volume builder that I wasn't involved in the build

    •  

      Can you PM me with details of who you built with? Also looking to start building later this year in inner Melbourne.

  • +5 votes

    Interesting, I am building my hone in Punchbowl Riverwood region, it cost a lot extra like Demolition , council contribution in cash . and the display home is plenty of extra inside , my buider is Masterton, after a friend DIY ( owner builder ) that cost a lot more at the end and it took 3 years, if you don't know much of the people in the building industry , go for a company, it is more expensive at the beginning , but it is faster (pay less rent) , and you have 7 years structural warranty .

    •  

      What do you mean by council contribution in cash?

      • +2 votes

        I did not aware about it, builder( Masterton) told me to go to Canterbury council to pay $5000 (1% of your land value ) , I ignore it, that why my builder can not do anything , they told me urgently pay for that and send him the receipt then I realize this one before was bond $2000-3000 if you do some things wrong they will take bond to fix it, because it is a bond , you can get back, but rule has changed, I talked to council but they say it is a law..or regulation , so I take out credit card to pay , and the counter told no credit card , cash or bank cheque only, that money is non refundable , I have to shell out $5000 cash to pay them, they do give me a receipt look like aldi store receipt, then I send one to Masterton.

        •  

          For us it was 1% of the build cost, not land cost.