May 22, 2007 3:55 pm
Just wondering whether anyone on the forum has designed their own place, and then built it.
I'm interested in the cost (per square is ok), pitfalls, how you selected a builder, etc. etc.
I've done the owner builder thing, and I'm not really psyched up for that again. We have come up with a preliminary design which will suit our block using My Virtual Home (thanks Matt!).
I know of someone who is building a custom home in Geelong, and it's costing them about $20K a square. Ouch! There are other builders who advertise prices around $5-6k per square.
Soon it will be time to take the next step!
Re: Building a custom design2
May 22, 2007 4:54 pm
I spoke to a builder today who quoted roughly $10K per square. But there are so many variables regarding flooring, roofing, services, layout, site etc etc etc that I don't believe there's any definite useful figure anyone can give without knowing the details.
I began modifying a project home, but the more I modified it, the more it resembled some rough custom plans I've already done. So I asked the builder what difference in cost there would be between a modified project home (which he builds), and a purely custom design.
It all depends on the details (again), but he did say that he almost never builds a project home as per the standard plan.
Re: Building a custom design3
May 22, 2007 9:31 pm
Great to see that you stuck to your guns with Porter Davis. I'm surprised they didn't bend over backwards to keep your business...
I'm also glad to hear that you are going down the custom design home route since that is what I'm doing and the more people doing it the better. I also have a design that I've put together. I'd like to run it by an architect for a critique and suggestions for improvements, but essentially I think it will be roughly as it currently stands.
We bought our house to demolish and build our dream home in December last year. If you had asked me back then how much a house would cost I would have had very little idea. I've since spoken to many custom home builders and it looks like the range of prices is $12k to $17k per square, with $13.5k being the most popular figure. These figures are for full brick and suspended concrete slab and you should be able to reduce these figures by $2.3k for a brick veneer house. Also these figures are for Sydney, but Melbourne should be similarly priced.
The level of finishes are very nice, but I’m sure you can spend more if you want and can.
Anything above $18.5k per square is moving into the prestige category. Or you’re using an architect to drive the show, which mean you’ll pay 60% more and get exactly the same level of finish
I look forward to following your journey.
Keep us in touch.
Re: Building a custom design6
May 22, 2007 10:24 pm
Way to hang in there Perry.
Everyone has one of these stories.
But I've got a good mate that designed his own home and owner built, morelike owner supervised. He tendered out the whole job and then ran it himself. Saved a packet and still got a fantastic finish. He got three or four quotes for each area and then contacted their references to help make his selection.
Took him roughly 22 weeks to build a 29 square house.
Would you consider doing the same?
Re: Building a custom design7
May 22, 2007 10:49 pm
Wow. At $13.5k per square, building a 30 square home will cost $405k.
That's waaaay over the top. Looks like we might be buying established if that's how the prices pan out.
Remember the $13.5k figure is for a full brick house. For a brick veneer, which is what I think you were considering, it would come to $336k. Still a lot of money, but the quality will be very good.
Re: Building a custom design8
May 22, 2007 11:57 pm
The thing that my research hasn't been able to pin down is exactly what areas are the main cost variables.
For example, is it the level of finish; the complexity of the build, roof area, site prep, complexity of wiring, plumbing etc etc. The easy answer is "everything", but then some areas must be more open to smart design (and therefore lower costs) than others.
If I knew the answer hopefully I'd be able to better craft my design.
Anyway, am hoping to meet with another possible builder in the next week or so, and will try to eek out more useful info.
Re: Building a custom design9
May 23, 2007 12:13 am
Here's a strategy I'm planning to use. I'm going to start by asking for a building to my design using the same fittings and finishes as a display home and ask, how much?
There would be builders out there that should be close to the display home price. Once I have this base I will selectively ask for items to be replaced to meet my preferences. I would want to know what credit I would get for the item that is being removed and how much would the replacement item cost. I should be able to find out the recommended retail price for comparison. The labour cost should remain unchanged as I am only changing selections and there is no extra work on the part of the builder.
I would do all this before signing the contract and get several builders to competitively bid.
(Would like to know what the typical builder discount is but I'll assume 33% until I get a better handle on things.)
This way I should get a competitive price and know exactly how much each of the extras are (and determine if they are justified on a case by case basis).
I’m sure you can end up paying much more than you should just by not being careful, signing too early, not having competition or just rushing things.
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