Site Costs for New House - What's Involved? Estimated $65k

Hey all,

Wondering if you can help with your experience in the matter :)

It's my first time doing a knockdown-rebuild of a home. I'm a little confused with the site costs.

My proposed builder (Metricon) just gave me a ball park of the total site costs - around $65k ($40k-45k site costs [not sure what this is] + $15k demolition + $5k power pit). I'm going to meet the sales rep this week to find out more but was hoping to go in prepared.

What's involved in these 'site costs' to make such a significant cost of $40k-45k?

About my land:
- Currently has a 1959 single storey home on it, which I want to demolish
- I want to build a $240kish single storey home
- It's flat land and there are homes of the same period around it
- It's located in the western suburbs of Melbourne (Sunshine)
- It's a quiet street (not a main road)
- Above ground powerlines

Edit: Also what have been your experiences with site costs? How much was yours and what was done?

Thank you in advance :)

PS first time poster, please be nice :)


  • keep an eye for the "rock clause" for digging and ask the builder if there were hardly any or no rocks found in the dig, then will they reduce the site costs.
    If they say 'Yes', then on the day, take a photo of the dig and use this as evidence if there were no rocks found.

  • I've been quoted $70k and this doesn't even include demo costs yet. My block does have a fall of 4-5m front street to rear of the block and about 2m over the build area, not sure if this amount is reasonable or not as I don't have breakdown of each component yet. I'd like to know as well what is a reasonable amount, if anyone is care to share. Thanks.

    • Oh yeah I did read that big falls like that have a massive cost for retaining walls. Hope someone can provide you some guidance on this :)

    • Without a breakdown that $70k is just a number plucked out of thin air. It is the equivalent of somebody saying, give me 70k and I'll give you a car. You agree and then you end up with a 1995 Holden Barina because you did not get clarification.

  • You really need a breakdown to understand what your site costs are made up of, likewise if you have not yet done a site survey or lot classification just assume that these site costs are not the end of the price hikes and do not include as much as you first thought.

    • Thanks TheBilly, we've had a site survey done and it came back with S class soil with no rocks at the moment. Are you able to provide a high level estimate of what each item should look like in my scenario? TIA.

      • Has your structural engineer already completed a design for the site?

        • Not yet, the $70k was quoted from the sales guy and we're having tender appointment soon to go through the finer details.

          • @Ch3ap1e: All the S classification is a parameter for the structural engineer to work his design too - this can change and so can the cost. The current quoted amount of $70k is just a guess from the sales person from their experience and the maybe the site survey. It will be interesting to know what the inclusions are?

    • Thanks TheBilly. Firstly, I've been noticing your contribution on these forums and your AMA the other day really helped me understand the process a bit better than before - thank you.

      I'll have a look in detail at the site costs once I meet with the sales rep. They wouldn't have done a site survey yet, so I'll ask what their assumptions are based on and hopefully the site costs can reduce a little :)

  • Look at the Home One forums - great advice and lots of people's experiences.
    Demolition - I estimated $15k, think we ended up spending $18-20k. Beware buried asbestos in the backyards of older houses.
    Site costs - after demolition the site is 'disturbed' - Apparently site costs will always be more than for 'greenfields' sites.
    We allowed $100k plus (on top of what was a $256k build plus site costs) for extra stuff on top of their base price - lights, power points etc. Just get them done. Wear the cost, just get it done!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience and tips. Yeah, I think I might take your advice to take the hit if all the costs are needed. :)

  • Have you thought about doing a full renovation of the existing house and potential add-ons? Depending on what your end goal is vs what you currently have, it may be a much more efficient way of getting what you want. Especially if you have a sloping block, piers/ cut and fill costs, retaining wall costs, site costs, water management costs etc.

    Just a thought..

    • I did think about a renovation, but my home is around 60 years old now and is full of asbestos so I'm keen to get rid of it all. Also I asked for a builder to come around and he thinks it'll be $150-$200k, and being an old house, there might be more problems to come. So I was thinking about adding some extra money and building a brand new house, but was surprised with the site costs :(

      Thank you for raising point!

  • OP please share the breakdown after your meeting:)

  • Okay so I won't list the prices alongside (because I've already mentioned the builder name) but here's a list of the things they might do for sites:

    - Demolition and asbestos removal
    - Levelling to make it flat
    - Rock removal

    - slab (price can vary due to soil quality)
    - bored piers

    - Cap the sewerage point
    - Mod pit (helps drainage on flat land)

    - Power pit (underground power)
    - Tiger tails (safety for workers)
    - Crane due to my power lines and the turning circle of the trucks

    Other stuff:
    - Temp fencing/sandbags
    - Portaloo
    - Road management if in a busy area
    - Soil test

    My site had a combination of these and every site is different so the costs will be different for each.

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