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The Ultimate Guide: How Much Does it Cost to Build a House?

Who would not want to have their own house? Many of us dream of owning a home close to our hearts. Having a space to call our own, where memories are made, and futures are built, is undeniably appealing. But let’s face it – the road to homeownership comes with its fair share of questions and considerations, and one of the biggest elephants in the room is the cost.

So, you wonder, “How much does it cost to build a house?” Trust me, you’re not alone. This is the most frequently asked question on every client’s inquiry. There are no specific numbers that would fit to answer this question.

I get it – we all want that magic number, that clear-cut figure that tells us what it costs to turn our aspirations into bricks and mortar.

In this blog, I will do my best to answer your questions. While I can’t provide a one-size-fits-all answer to the cost of building a custom house – because, let’s face it, every dream home is unique – I can certainly guide you through the factors contributing to the overall expense. Luxury custom build houses - Rycon Building Group

Factors Affecting the Cost of Building a House

Building your dream home is an exciting venture. Still, when it comes to the cost, it’s crucial to consider a myriad of factors that can significantly influence the overall expenses. Understanding these variables can help you navigate the financial landscape more effectively.

Here are some key factors that play a role in determining the cost of building a house:

Location and Site Conditions

The location of the site is critical in Australia. Varying rules among states and territories and various urban and regional dynamics can influence costs. As builders, we must understand different considerations, such as soil quality and slope. For example, building in flood-prone areas may necessitate additional precautions, increasing overall costs.

Compliance with Materials and Standards

Australia has strict building norms and standards that must be followed. Quality materials that fulfil these standards may be more expensive. Still, they are critical for assuring the structure’s lifespan and safety. With hundreds of projects we worked on, we know right away that clients frequently select high-quality, durable materials that meet Australian Building Codes, contributing to a higher overall cost.

Labor Costs and Availability

Skilled labour is a significant cost component, and the availability of qualified artisans can impact prices. Carpenters and electricians, for example, maybe in great demand, impacting labour costs. Building during peak construction periods can also result in higher labour costs. Evaluating these aspects and planning building timelines is essential to optimise labour costs.

Bushfire Regulations

Australia is prone to bushfires, and construction in designated bushfire-prone zones is subject to strict regulations. Implementing fire-resistant materials and ember protection systems is necessary for safety and can also increase overall building costs. Navigating and maintaining compliance with these standards is an important part of the planning process for a builder.

Energy Conservation and Sustainability

The emphasis in Australia on energy efficiency and sustainability might have an impact on construction prices. We often hear clients frequently request solar panels, energy-efficient insulation, and rainwater collection systems. While these expenditures contribute to long-term savings, they can initially raise construction expenses.

Council Approvals and Development Contributions

Obtaining council approvals is a vital step in the construction process. Local authorities in Australia can levy development contributions or infrastructure charges, which vary by location. These fees pay for communal infrastructure such as roads and parks. Navigating the approval process and factoring in these contributions is critical for correct budgeting as a builder.

Unique Design and Customisation

The desire for distinctive and customised elements is popular among Australian homeowners. Creating a custom-designed home or adding distinctive architectural aspects frequently incurs significant costs. We work closely with our clients to understand their vision and translate it into a practical, cost-effective plan. Customisation may result in increased material and labour costs. However, it’s a key aspect of delivering a home tailored to your preferences.

Custom house build front design - Rycon Building Group

Custom Build or Buy – Which is Much Better?

The decision between custom building a home and buying an existing one is deeply personal and influenced by various factors. Both options have advantages and considerations, depending on your preferences, lifestyle, and financial situation.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision:

Custom Build:


  • Tailored to Your Preferences: The option to design a home that completely suits your needs, interests, and lifestyle is one of the most significant benefits of a custom build. You have complete control of everything, from the layout to the finishes.
  • Energy Efficiency: Custom homes frequently allow for incorporating cutting-edge energy-efficient technologies and environmentally friendly materials, saving you money on utility bills in the long run.
  • Newer Design and Technology: Building a bespoke house allows you to incorporate the most recent technologies and design trends, guaranteeing that your home is current and up-to-date.
  • No Renovation Hassles: Avoid the headaches and expenses of renovations frequently accompanying purchasing an existing house because everything is constructed to your specifications.


  • Time-Consuming: Building a bespoke home can be time-consuming, including design, permits, and construction. There may be better options than this if you need to move in quickly.
  • Potentially Higher Initial Costs: Because of design and building costs, custom builds can be more expensive upfront. This can be compensated, however, by avoiding the need for renovations and updates.

Buying an Existing Home:


  • Faster Move-In: When opposed to the time-consuming process of building from scratch, buying an existing home usually provides for a faster move-in.
  • Faster Move-In: Existing homes are frequently found in well-established neighbourhoods with well-developed amenities, schools, and infrastructure.
  • Cost Predictability: When purchasing an existing property, you usually have a better sense of the overall cost upfront, including the purchase price and any potential renovation needs.


  • Limited Customization: The main disadvantage is the restricted capacity to customise. While renovations are doable, they may provide their own set of difficulties and expenditures.
  • Possibility of Hidden Issues: Older homes may have hidden faults that need to be immediately obvious, necessitating additional repairs and renovations.
  • Specific Preferences May Not Be Met: You may need to make some compromises if you have very particular specifications not matched by available properties.

Modern custom build houses, custom house build - Rycon Building Group

House Builders vs House Flippers – Who Should You Trust?

It all comes down to personal preference and timeframe when choosing between house builders and house flippers. House builders are the way to go if you want a customised home fitted to what you want and are willing to commit time and a greater upfront cost. They allow you to design a new place to your requirements, ensuring a long-term commitment.

House flippers are your best bet for a rapid move-in with a low-cost choice. They quickly transform existing homes, delivering a ready-made appeal emphasising aesthetics. However, when going on this path, it’s critical to be mindful of hidden issues and restricted customization possibilities. Finally, it is determined by your priorities and the situation.

So, How Much Does a House Build Cost?

To give you a clear vision of how much to expect a house build will cost you, let’s say we tell our client to prepare a budget of $1300 – $4000 per square meter. Again, this is just an estimate. With all the factors we have provided above, you have to understand that the cost of building a house is a multifaceted puzzle. The $1300 – $4000 per square meter estimate is a good starting point but comes with a few asterisks. This range encompasses a variety of factors, including the location, materials used, design complexity, and level of customization.

Remember, this is a rough estimate rather than an exact science. The key is open communication with your builder, recognising the factors that determine costs, and having a contingency fund to deal with unexpected twists in your home-building experience. Your dream home is definitely within reach with smart planning.

Pro tip: We thoroughly enjoy answering questions, and consultations are often provided free of charge! Feel free to jot down all your inquiries and talk with your trusted builder in the local area. We’re here to help and guide you through the exciting process of building your dream home.

Luxury custom build house in Melbourne - Rycon Building Group

Things To Consider Before Building a House

Building a house is an exciting endeavour, but several crucial factors must be considered before diving into the world of blueprints and construction.

Here’s our checklist to guide you through the key considerations before embarking on the journey of building your dream home:

Comprehensive Budget Planning

Make a detailed budget that includes all aspects of construction, such as permits, materials, labour, and probable eventualities. Be realistic about your financial capabilities and budget for any unforeseen costs that may develop during construction.

Research and Select a Reputable Builder

It is critical to hire a reputable and skilled builder. Investigate builders extensively, check references, and look into their previous work. Clear communication and a strong working relationship with your builder are critical to the project’s success.

Understand the Local Building Codes

Learn about the local building codes and restrictions. Ensure that your design and construction plans conform to these criteria to avoid delays and issues during the building process. If necessary, consult with local authorities to clarify specific regulations.

Carefully Plan the Design

Collaborate with an architect or design specialist to build a well-thought-out design that fits your lifestyle and future requirements. Consider aesthetics and practicality to ensure that your home is visually appealing and functional for daily living.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I keep my custom-built home within my budget?

Communication with your builder must be open and honest. Discuss your budget restrictions, be realistic about your demands, and set aside money for unexpected expenses.

What are the hidden costs of building a house?

Site preparation, permit fees, and unexpected structural concerns can all be hidden expenditures. A contingency reserve is necessary for dealing with unexpected expenses.

Can I save money by using less expensive materials?

While adopting low-cost materials is an option, it is critical to balance affordability and quality. Choosing long-lasting materials can help you avoid long-term maintenance costs.

How long does it usually take to construct a house?

Building a house can take several months to a year or more, depending on design intricacy, weather conditions, and governmental permissions.


Building a house is dynamic and complex, and many factors affect the final cost. Even though we’ve given you a ballpark figure of $1300 to $4000 per square metre, it’s important to understand how complicated this financial calculation is. Your location, design decisions, and material selections greatly influence the final costs.

A careful approach to planning, open communication with your builder, and a budget that allows unanticipated expenses are all necessary to successfully navigate this complex terrain. Building the house of your dreams requires meticulous attention to detail and a proactive approach to any obstacles.

CUSTOM DESIGNED LUXURY... For custom home builders & in-house design and quote, call us today on (03) 9894 1500
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