Building your dream house certainly sounds exciting but it’s necessary to know exactly what to expect when you decide to go on this endeavour in Australia. Every country has its unique laws and specific market conditions and informing yourself on them will make the whole process easier (and cheaper) for you.
1. The laws and your rights
First, get acquainted with Australian laws regarding building a house to ensure you are within the legal scope.
House plans are made by an architect or a builder, and they have to be accompanied by a building certifier’s approval, and probably a council approval, too. It’s best to check with your local council or a building certifier whether you need to include both.
Discuss your plans with the architect or the builder during the drawing stage to ensure all the aspects are covered and clear.
Sustainable housing laws
Australian building regulations enforce building an eco-friendly home that will use less energy and water, thus helping reducing gas emissions. The in-house design should also include energy-efficient appliances and fixtures.
Builders and contractors
Any builder or trade contractor that costs more than $3,300 has to be licensed, and so do associated tradesmen, such as plumbers and gasfitters.
You also have to sign a contract with the builder of your choice, in which the expected time of finished works has to be included. When choosing a builder, look for quality companies. Reliable companies like Sydney Inner West builders with references allow you an insight into their previous clients and quality projects. Browse online for a while to make the right choice, then consult a lawyer because making it final.
2. Fees you may not know about
Make yourself aware of the hidden extra costs that could tear your budget down if you’re not prepared. They are never fixed prices, so always consult your building company on that.
Soil and contour tests
The average expense is between $1,400 and $2,000. These two tests are done before the building company gives you a fixed quote for building.
These costs can range from $10,000 to $70,000 but they are on average around $18,000. It’s the highest hidden cost there is and it comes with the largest variability, too. To the greatest extent, it’s based on the soil and contour tests, so the worse the soil and the larger the slope – the more you’ll have to pay.
Not every building quote includes flooring, so if it isn’t, you will have to decide which flooring you want (floorboard, tiles, carpets, etc.)
Many building quotes only include the building in the price, meaning anything belonging to the outdoor space (such as driveways) will have to be paid on top of the given quote. depending on what type of driveway you want or need, it could be very cheap or very expensive.
In short, the bigger the slope of the land is, the more it will cost you. If the fall is sideways across the block, then you’ll have to pay $9,000 for every meter.
3. How to save money
Luckily, building a house isn’t only about spending all your savings, and more. There are a few things you can do that will save you money in the process.
Focus on less populated cities
Affordable lots are the easiest to find in Adelaide, where the median price is $175,675 and an average price of one square meter is $413. Of course, bigger cities like Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne have more expensive lots but then again – sometimes you can’t choose where you are going to live.
Choose the right lot
You need a lot with just the right kind of soil, namely level bedrock – it won’t move with water runoff or slide. Still, loamy and sandy soil will work, too.
Another ideal precondition is that the lot is already connected to basic utilities, such as electricity and water.
Finally, the lot should already comply with state and federal building codes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to start with the work until you deal with it.
To ensure you are getting your dream house, do your homework and get yourself informed on everything. Only quality preparation and a solid plan will lead to a great house that won’t put you into debt in the end.