What to budget for when you're building


So, you’re just about ready to find a new block of land so that you can build a new home. What do you need to budget for? There are so many variables that contribute to the overall cost of building a new home. It’s easy for the costs to creep up so we’ve put together a list of the different things you should factor into your budget.

What to budget for…

There are 5 main areas that will contribute to the cost of building a new home: the block, the house, landscaping, driveway and furnishings.

The Block

The block that you purchase is super important – not all blocks are the same! You need to go into purchasing the block of land with a bit of an idea of the home you expect to fit on it. For example, if you want to build a home and granny flat you should avoid very narrow blocks. This ensures there will be adequate access to the main home and the granny flat. Also make sure that the block is actually large enough to fit the granny flat on with the home. If the block doesn’t perfectly fit the home you want then you might be in for a little extra cost to make it work.

The slope of the block will also have an impact on your budget. When you purchase a block of land in a new estate, the developer will provide you with estimated levels (what they plan to make the slope of the block). The developer will develop the land until it’s within a certain percentage of the estimated levels so your builder can give you a reasonable estimation of how that will affect the cost but will need to confirm following registration of the land. Generally, the flatter the lot the better.

If there is some slope on your block, the builder may need to cut and fill to level the area out. This means using the the excess dirt they remove from the high part of the block and using it to fill in the lower parts. In an ideal case, the amount removed would perfectly fill the lower space. More often than not more dirt is required or the excess is removed. This bumps up the cost.

The House

As mentioned previously, you have to consider the type of home that you want to build. It is important to ensure that you expectations match the type of home you can realistically afford. Be careful when getting early prices from builders. If you’re getting ‘base prices’ they might not include essential items that will need to be added later down the track.


It’s important to consider what you want to do to the outside of your home once you move in. Do you want gardens, turf, features, footpaths, a letterbox, clothesline? These items are generally costs you will need to add on top of the build price. Things like clotheslines might be required straight away but it might be easier to delay the non-essentials.


Your average driveway costs around $5,000-$7,000 and in most cases it will not be included in the cost of your build. This means that you’ll be up for that cost not long after you move into that new home. Make sure that you take this into account and allow for this cost when putting your budget together.


You need to consider what you will fill all of those brand new, empty rooms with. If you’ve already got some furniture – great! But even still, there will be bits and pieces that you’ll need to buy after you move in. We recommend factoring into your budget some extra cash for furnishing expenses. Even if you don’t end up needing it, it won’t hurt to have the extra money saved away.

Expect the unexpected

Last but not least, it is important to go into the building experience expecting that there may be extra costs. We don’t like extra costs during the building process. We try to avoid them because we don’t like passing them onto you. The fact of the matter is that no two jobs are the same. There are so many different scenarios that the site might present us (the builder) with. Heavy traffic around the worksite, asbestos in the soil, and adverse weather are just a few examples of things that we cannot control.

The cost of building a home is detailed and complicated. Get an understanding of the costs early on and budget accordingly. In our opinion, it’s always better to slightly overestimate at the beginning to give yourself some room to move at the end.