Where do the $ go in a knock down rebuild?

Jun 9, 2019

cost to build a custom home

Building a house is one of the biggest financial commitments a person can make, so it’s reasonable to wonder where all the money goes, and how to minimise costs if needed.

In the case of a knock down rebuild, there are three significant areas that affect the cost before building commences.

They include:

A. Holding costs

If you have bought the house/land with the intention of doing a knock down rebuild, but cannot or do not want to start straight away, then you need to account for the incurred costs.

These might include interest on the mortgage, rates and other property expenditures and lost rental income.

B. Demolition

The cost of demolition is heavily dependent on whether or not you need to remove asbestos. Because most homes in the ACT that undergo a knock down rebuild were built before 1990, there is a high likelihood that the house contains asbestos.

Demolition with asbestos generally costs between $30,000 and $50,000, depending on the size of the home and the amount of asbestos found.

C. Excavation/Earthworks

The cost of excavation differs depending on the topography of the land and nature of the soil. Sometimes excavation unearths hidden problems such as large rocks or boulders that require more work to clear. Excavation ranges from $5,000 to $50,000 and covers the cost of hiring the excavator, truck to transport the dirt, and dirt disposal fees.

In addition to the above, there are also costs associated with government approvals, certification certificates, and so on.

Once you get to building, there are four significant areas that make up the cost of a house:

1. Structure

This includes the cost of materials and labour for the foundations and flooring, walls and roof frame. Structure costs are impacted by the size of the home, the design (which determines how the slab must be laid) and the materials chosen for the roof.

2. Joinery

Joinery includes everything from carpentry such as doors and window frames, stairs, cornices and skirting, to kitchen layout and cabinetry. The price of your home is impacted by your choice of materials, and the difficulty of the design. For example, will you have a stone bench top or melamine? How big is the kitchen, and what is the depth of cupboards and drawers? Will you have a pantry? Do you want a double industrial sink or a single sink?

3. Tiling

There is enormous disparity in the cost of tiles. Labour is paid based on square metres laid, so additions such as choosing to have floor to ceiling wall tiles in the bathrooms (rather than the standard 1.2m) costs more.

4. Electrical

Lighting is important, and can be difficult to change once a house is finished. But with every light switch, fitting, internet cable and television outlet, there is a cost involved.

Painting and installation of fixtures are much smaller costs by comparison however choices here can impact the overall price, such as multiple feature walls or high-end fittings.

If budget is a major concern for you, then you need to strike a balance between what you really want and what is achievable.

Ideally, you want to focus your attention on getting the best structure and layout for a home that will serve you for as long as you need it to. After that, inclusions can be altered to control the final cost and can always be upgraded at some point in the future.

For more information on the cost of building or doing a knock down rebuild in the ACT, please call Rosin Bros on 6247 4799 or email info@rosinbros.com.au.

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