On Sunday my brother asked to come over and discuss building houses with me. He was just starting out and wanted to know some of the key considerations he should be aware of prior to starting on the journey. Having just started to go through the building process again, everything was fresh in my mind and so we were able to provide him with a lot of really good and relevant information.

After running though all the difference things he needed to consider with both the land and the subsequent building process, one thing was very apparent, and that was that builders advertise one price, but there is almost no way you can actually build your house for that amount when you consider all the different rules and regulations you need to adhere to.


As an example – many builders will tell you that they can build you a house for $150,000, but when you look at what is included in that $150,000 you begin to realise that there is almost no way to actually get a livable home for that price. Often builders will not include things like:

  • Driveway
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping
  • Air conditioning

Plus many of the standard inclusions are either really undesirable, or not allowed under some of the local area covenants that are supposed to be adhered to. As another example, the covenant for our new area states that we must render our house – that’s a cost of about $12,000 that the builder hasn’t factored into building the house, but something that must be done if you want to build in that area.

Then there are all the fees, solicitors, government, council, banks and builders all have their own sets of fees, and none of them are cheap. When everything is all said and done we will have paid almost $10,000 in fees and charges before we even have a concrete slab on the ground – crazy!

Anyway, I think it was good that I had a chance to chat to my brother prior to him entering into anything, as most of the sales people will never tell you anything about the fees involved until they are handing you the bill, and by then normally it is too late.