After more than a year after deciding on a bit of a sea change for our family, and constantly searching the property market without success, we have decided to give up on the hope of finding an existing family home, and build instead.
We are trying to do the sums for our budget on what it will cost to build, after buying a block, but are finding it difficult.
Does anybody have any simple formulas (architecture, building costs, other costs etc) out there to help with planning a house build project?
Also, if you've built previously, what is your single best piece of advice?
This is difficult. We've found that you have to spend a reasonable amount of time and money to find out the answers to the questions you have asked. For example, you need to engage an architect, surveyor, geotechnical to get plans drawn up before you can get all the specifications of your project and a good estimate of the cost of building from a reputable builder or quantity surveyor. If then you find that you are already over budget, you obviously have to significantly change the plans and start the process again, or write off the loss and give up. After a couple of reno projects I do understand the appeal of house and land packages where they do everything for you. But there's nothing like a bespoke project where you create a unique home that is perfect for your individual needs.
Best tip is to take your time to find an architect who is really going to listen to your needs and budget, and deliver on both. You don't want one who is going design something amazing that you can never afford, nor design their own vanity project that doesn't suit your needs and tastes.
This might be useful - http://undercoverarchitect.com/how-much-do-architects-charge-why-do-they-charge-fees/
@Kim, unfortunately, I don't have an answer. I found a couple of calculators, but they're very simplistic & way too vague to be of any use.
I've seen generalised pricing done on Cost/SqMeter, but that's just as pointless, because you'll have to pay for every deviation from the basic spec to personalise it, & a budget could blow way out.
The sad fact, & I despise it, is that the block of land that you choose, will be the biggest hit on your pockets. It's gotten to the point where it's viable to demolish a roughy on a choice block of land, & start all over.
I recently stumbled upon Thermacell Australia, which is a great Australian building process that's so easy, the home owner to be, can legally build all exterior & interior walls, which would save a lot on labour. Other major pluses are that it's virtually a continuous concrete pour, giving it superior crack resistance, it also has great sound & thermal insulating properties, while electrical & plumbing first fixes are a dream.
Some good advice in this article for those building or renovating - Most common building mistakes and how to avoid them
Great article @Isobel, it's about client education, the real world, & tradie involvement/communication/gratification. I love the part where apprentices had shown off their build to their girlfriends, that's what true tradies are made of, they have pride in what they do.
I also agree that an accredited Master Builders Association builder, should be a must, & non-negotiable, if you want peace of mind.
The one positive from TV reno/building shows, is that if you respect/appreciate the on-site tradies, they may well go the extra mile (1.6Km) for you.