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18
Jun

The cost of building and extending

What is the cost of building a home extension?

Building is expensive. Whenever we speak to people who are just finding out about the costs of building, invariably we perceive a drawing of breath and a lengthy pause.

Prospective clients will often conceal their surprise but think to themselves, ‘builders are rogues’ or worse. That is until they speak to the next builder and get a similar story. If you are comparing builders on the same set of plans and specifications you won’t find a huge variation in prices.

As a rule of thumb, if you get 3 to 5 builders quotes they won’t vary by much more than 20% from the highest to the lowest. If you get a drastically to low a price, chances are the builder is desperate, going broke, is not including a whole lot of things, does not know what he is doing or all the above. Live by the rule: ‘if it’s too good to be true, it is. ‘If you end up stuck with a builder that’s going under before or during a build, you end up paying what its really worth, in time and money wasted, anyway. And totally get the wrong impression about most builders.

Generally, all builders buy from the same or similar competing suppliers and pay their trades very similar industry rates. So the only way builders can be cheaper is by keeping their overheads low and managing better than competitors. Builders who survive for 10 years or more are the ones most likely to know their stuff. Also, only Registered Building Practitioners are legally permitted to build and warrant all their work for a minimum of 7 years. Always ask for your builders Practitioner Registration ID card.

A typical example of an upper extension costing (fictitious and as at 2013)
consisting of two bedrooms, a living area and one bathroom as follows. Keep in mind since the introduction of GST building prices have increased by approximately 5% per annum.

Item: These Prices are indicative only and include GST:
Cost per m2 – 65 K based on approx. 50 m2 weatherboard extension and scaffold
Bathroom – 14 K
Robes – 3 K
Stairs – 7 K
Electricals – 3 K
All admin. )
Permits)
Plans)
Engineering)
Soil tests, Insurances etc.) – 22K
Demolition and min. alteration
at ground level – 11 K
Painting – 7 K
Flooring/Carpets – 5 K
Total approx. – 137 K

This is a bare bones costing and includes only what is on the list.

A reputable, straight up and down design builder should be able to give you such a list for your particular project. Remember only once you know what your requirements cost do you know if you have the budget and the inclination to go ahead with the design of your new house or extension.

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