2021: How Much Does a Custom Home Cost In Australia?
2021: How Much Does a Custom Home Cost In Australia?
Do you want to design your own dream house at your desired location overlooking a panoramic view? Custom homes are distinctive houses designed by an architect and a designer for a specific customer at the customer’s desired location. The custom home builder consolidates the idea and preferences of the customer into a design that complies with the local building guidelines. These bespoke homes cater for the individuality, functionality, and lifestyle of their customers.
How Much Does a Custom Home Cost In Australia
How much does a custom home cost?
It costs around $1,270 per square meter to build a home in Australia, with Perth being the cheapest location per square meter. The average cost of a newly built home in Perth costs a total of $348,400. In comparison, here are the estimated average building costs per square meter and total average costs in capital cities.
Average Cost Range Per Square Meter
Total Average Cost
$1,400 – $2,700
$1,700 – $3,400
$1,780 – $5,100
$1,800 – $2,800
$1,800 – $4,000
$1,580 – $3,450
$1,500 – $3,000
$1,720 – $3,300
What are the factors that affect the cost of building a custom home?
Do note that the figures above may differ depending on the location, size of the house, labour, material, and living costs among others. Here are the different factors that can affect the total quotation to build your custom home.
#1 – Site Characteristics
The site where the house will be built is to be evaluated first when calculating your budget for building a custom home. Some major site characteristics that should be considered are topography, geological conditions, and available utilities.
Topography involves the steepness of the plot in which grading, deeper foundations and retaining walls are required. These foundations will raise the cost as compared to plots without slope but securely hold your house in place. Nevertheless, custom home builders can transform this into an asset by applying striking aesthetics for your house structure which can enhance its exterior appeal, eventually increasing its market value.
How Much Does a Custom Home Cost In Australia
Another site characteristic to assess is the geologic conditions present under the soil. There might be instances where your chosen site is located at a rocky zone or expansive soil. This will entail machinery to break the rock formations or the addition of cement to stabilize the soil. Also, checking the available utilities such as sewage, water, and electricity is essential because it is expensive to set up your own utility system, especially in remote areas.
Other aspects you need to consider are stand position, driveway, and design challenges due to the lot shape, easements, setbacks and building guidelines. Call us at 08 9317 8941 or visit our website to request a site visit. Portrait Custom Homes does site visits to assist you in surveying the future location of your custom dream homes.
#2 – Size and Shape
Increasing the total floor area of your house will definitely increase the total cost of the project. The size of the house also involves the number of floors, ceiling height and walls. Roughly, $80,000 to $100,00 is the cost of construction for an additional storey.
Similarly, the shape of the exterior of the house also contributes to the cost. A square floor plan which has four corners is way cheaper compared to a custom floor plan which has more corners with different angles. Still, wanting to build a house that fits your budget is vital while determining the comfort and at the same time functional space that you need.
#3 – Structural Complexity
This involves the style and structure of the house which depends on the customer’s preference. On one hand, it can be a single-family, tiny home or townhouse for the kind of structure. On the other hand, the architectural style can be split-level, ranch, craftsman, cottage, contemporary, or modern.
Following a certain structure and style will greatly affect the total cost because of the workmanship required to construct a personalised design of the house. Moreover, customers can choose the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or if they will be adding a basement or a garage. With this, Portrait Custom Homes has a wide range of custom-built home designs available for you but can work hand-in-hand with you to develop the style of your home in Perth.
#4 – Systems
Systems provide the comfort and functionality of your modified home. The three main systems in a standard house include HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling), electrical and plumbing systems.
Other systems might include smart home technology, thermal wall systems, and green and sustainable elements like rainwater harvesting systems and solar panels. Despite the pricey supplementary green systems, it is only 16% more expensive than the standard house system which can easily return your investment in the long run because of its energy efficiency. Adding solar panels to your property in Perth only accounts for about a $3,000 surcharge but greatly increases your home’s value.
#5 – Materials
Custom homes will technically be demanding on the materials for finishes to be used because it will be dependent on your choice. Note that in recent years, material prices have increased which has unfortunately driven all construction costs up. The below table summarises the different construction materials used in Australia and the percentage increase of their costs just in 2021.
Pricing Percentage Increase in 2021
Fibre cement walls and flooring products
3.5 – 7%
6 – 10%
Light gauge steel wall framing and ceilings
Metal door frames
Doors and skirtings
4 – 6%
2.5 – 12%
Engineered wood products
Silicones, sealants, adhesives
How Much Does a Custom Home Cost In Australia
It’s good to choose a material that has high quality for the durability of your home. Although cost should be a deciding factor in the materials you choose, you must also consider the strength and longevity of the material. Materials widely vary in prices, but you can save quite a bit by buying in bulk.
There are two types of function of commonly used materials in building houses in Australia namely for walls and frames. Bricks, concrete, mudbrick or rammed earth, stone, and timber are some of the most popular building materials for walls. On the other hand, for frames, aluminium, steel, and timber are usually utilised.
Moreover, some of these materials can also be used for other purposes in building your homes such as for floor, roof, ceiling, and others. This only demonstrates that you can mix and match your chosen materials to somehow avoid additional charges. While designing your home, Portrait Custom Homes will run through the different options with you and their associated costs.
#6 – Labour
Nearly 30% to 60% of the total cost for the whole custom home project goes to the labour cost. Construction professional costs vary relatively depending on the size and complexity of the house, contractor’s ability to get reasonably priced labour, living cost at the location, and manpower to meet the deadline of the project. Some of the hired construction professionals for this project are construction manager, electrician, roofer, plumber, concrete contractor, framer, drywaller, architect, structural engineer, interior designer, geodetic engineer, land excavator, and land surveyor.
#7 – Administrative, Design and Permits
Administrative, design and permit costs are compulsory. Its prices differ according to the desired location of your custom home. It is also essential to undergo preliminary inspections for compliance which will have additional costs. Without these, clearances and approvals will not be granted to you by the local government or regulatory service authorities. Expect to spend around $3,000 total for government building permits.
#8 – Building Subsidies
There are several kinds of grants and subsidies that the government offers for building owners. For instance, first-time homeowners are eligible for a one-off payment from the government to assist you in building your first home. However, building subsidies have also significantly increased labour prices due to increasing the demand for building and construction.
What are the processes involved in building a custom home?
You know by now that costing a custom home isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. That’s because building a custom home involves quite a lengthy process, which includes:
#1 – Initial Consultation
For this first meeting, getting to know you, your family, and your lifestyle is essential. Several meetings will be held after this initial consultation to build a strong relationship with you. With this, the project will certainly align with your character, assist your functions, and revolve around the comfort of your family.
It is fine if you have zero knowledge of your possible dream house, if you have some rough sketches of the plan and scrapbook of ideas, or if you have the full set of drawings and specification of finishes from your designer. Our creative professionals will fully support you from this first consultation up to the end of this project. Also, we will consolidate all your ideas and goals to complete your custom home.
Portrait Custom Homes offers a free consultation for almost 32 suburbs in Perth. We assure you that we will not proceed to the next stage unless you are entirely satisfied.
#2 – Design
The design stage is the most tedious among the pre-construction processes. But, at the same time, this stage will be the master guide for the whole project. It comprises site visit, planning, and budgeting.
You can request a site visit by sending an email, calling us at 08 9317 8941, or visiting our website. The site surveying and preparation will require a preliminary budget estimate cost other than the building cost.
In planning, all your ideas and sketch plans and our designers’ plan will be consolidated to produce concept drawings. We will also share some of our own innovative concepts so you will be inspired to create a genuine design that will capture your likings. Inclusions and selections from the material to be used to the finishes can be confirmed using our online selection process. Furthermore, we will align the vision of your dream house within your budget expectations and will set realistic time frames. Other categories that might be included here are interior design and landscaping.
So, from these 2D-concept plans, we will present to you a 3D walk-through. Then, we will provide the full set of drawings and site engineering assessment. After this, the design will be more developed and price estimates will be refined. We can then get a clearer picture of the costs once we’ve finalised the design.
#3 – Documentation
Documentation consists of quotation, contract signing, and deposit. The final architectural and engineering plans with finishes and total budget for the whole project will be outlined during this stage. A detailed breakdown of all site works, building costs and other associated costs will have to undergo approval. Consequently, you have to sign the HIA Fixed Price Agreement to obtain a Home Owners Warranty after the deposit. As we have promised that we will guide you through the process, all these documents will be thoroughly explained to you before signing.
Afterwards, these completed quotations, plans and contracts will be submitted to our council and regulatory service authorities in Perth. Then, we will ask for clearances and approvals for scheduling and building compliance with your custom dream home.
#4 – Stage Selections
A complimentary consultation with our Design & Colour consultants can introduce you to our preferred suppliers with premium yet affordable materials. These specific materials will be set up into a showroom for your assessment. Additionally, we provide full online access to a secure website for smooth communication among the parties involved. In this portal, all your queries and emails will be categorised by topic. This messaging system will prevent losing emails and constantly prompt you to reply because of the automatic reminders and notifications.
You can also approve price amendments in this portal which means selections, upgrades and financial decisions will be recorded. This portal enables you to monitor all the plans in the design of your custom dream home from foundations to selections, appliances to fixtures and finishes to the finest details. Other than that, you will be updated on the progress of the whole project because the photos will be uploaded to the gallery of the portal.
#5 – Construction
Construction is the last stage for building your custom home. It is important to coordinate and finalise all pre-construction works thoroughly to the smallest detail. Scrupulous attention to detail and extreme organisation is our approach to this stage. You will be informed of the development through the online portal. Pictures of the major milestones in the construction process will be accessible for your browsing.
Why buy a house when you can build, renovate, or add?
Most people buy an existing home to save themselves from stress on all the requirements needed for building a new one. However, after buying an existing home, you’ll most likely find that you wish some parts of your home were designed differently to suit your family. Even though it is encouraged to build a custom home because of its customer-centric design, Portrait Custom Homes still has services that accommodate these necessities other than Home Builder.
Home renovations plan to restore or improve a certain part of your home into a good state of repair and design. It can involve converting a space into an office or a gym. This means that it alters the function of the space based on your needs. This also allows you to make the space liveable, enhance your well-being, and increase the value of your home. Furthermore, we can also renovate kitchens, garage, heating systems or some other innovations like home technology or electrical systems with solar panels.
Home remodelling is different from home renovations in the sense that remodelling includes not only a renovation but totally changing the structure or form of a part in the house.
Home additions simply imply the addition of a room, office, suite, conservatory or deck off the main floor area of the house. This is a lot cheaper compared to building a new home from scratch. An additional space by expanding the floor area of your house might be the solution for improving your lifestyle compared to totally moving into another location.
If you’re interested in building a custom home, take advantage of our free quotes and request a site visit today. Contact us at 08 9317 8941 and work with the most trusted experts in custom homes in Perth today.