SITE COSTS: A look at the costs involved with building a custom home

Welcome to part two of our series on building costs. Throughout the series we are looking at all the different costs you may encounter when building a home.
Site costs aren’t the most glamorous topic, but they’re unavoidable when it comes to building. This blog post covers all the site costs you may encounter when building your dream home.



When you are looking at purchasing a block of land, there are a number of fundamentals you’ll need to consider as you design and plan for your new home. Some of these services and costs are best to be looked into prior to purchasing the block or very shortly after- this ensures you can build your dream home without coming unstuck along the way.

You can also check out our blog post on things to consider when purchasing land for more info on purchasing property.

Here at Life Home Builders, we coordinate the fees and services shown below. We communicate with our consultants and contractors to get the best outcome for you, so you don’t have to worry about liaising with a multitude of people.

We then provide you with a Drawing & Professional Fee proposal which will include any of the professional services required specifically for your property and proposed works.



Potential Knockdown
Demolition costs will be required if you have a home you plan to knock down, or part of a home which will be replaced.

If your build site is relatively flat these costs will be minimal. However, if you’re building on a steep or uneven block, excavation can become expensive. Retaining walls and drainage works may also need to be considered. Life Home Builders is able to provide you with a realistic budget for earthworks and outline where retaining walls may be required.

Driveways & Access Roads
If you choose to build on an area not serviced by an existing road or driveway it will be necessary to create new services. The majority of driveway expenses come from machine hire, road base material purchase and sealing of the driveway (if required). The sub base for the driveway is usually placed before the building work starts on the house. If the driveway is to be sealed this is done at the end of the project, except on very steep sites where it may be required for adequate access.

Not only should you check that power is available to the site but that the power available is sufficient for your needs. It is a good idea to do this before you purchase the land.

The Electricity Supply available in rural areas is usually limited. An assessment should be carried out by a Level 3 ASP prior to an ‘Application for Connection of Load’ being submitted to Endeavour Energy by the Electrical Contractor. Minimisation of major load items such as air conditioning and the use of gas appliances, gas heating and gas hot water systems will decrease the electrical maximum demand significantly. This will in turn minimise the maximum load calculations that are required to be submitted with the ‘Application for Connection of Load’.

This minimisation to an advised load figure “may” allow connection to the existing network without upgrades (potentially saving you a lot of money as power upgrades to transformers and other infrastructure can be very expensive).

If a power upgrade is a possibility, then additional fees and applications to Endeavour Energy may be required.

Check if a phone line exists to the boundary. If so, Telstra will provide the cabling into your build site and the first point free providing you have dug the trench. Normally the phone line is laid in the same trench as the power cables. Internet is available through the phone line, but if high speed ADSL or cable connection is required it will be necessary to establish whether it is available through the local exchange.

If town water is unavailable on your block you’ll need to be responsible for your own water supply. The most preferred option is the installation of water tanks, the cost of water tanks can vary greatly depending on the product, size and material chosen.

You may wish to include a dam on your site for either aesthetic or practical purposes. This figure is calculated based on machine time.

Sewage Treatment Systems
If your property is not serviced by the town sewer then you will need to be responsible for your own effluent disposal system. There are numerous types of systems available.

It’s not essential to fence a property but if you or your neighbours have animals you’ll need to check that fencing is in place and of the appropriate quality. This is a difficult area to put a figure on but fencing a large property can add up to a substantial figure.

Outdoor Accessories
Sheds, stables, pools, outdoor living areas, BBQ, outdoor kitchen, landscaping, and any other outdoor add-on will need to be added to the chosen home plan configuration and quoted as separate items and may require council approval prior to construction.



We really hope this list hasn’t frightened or overwhelmed you – it’s just so important to be aware of all the costs involved in building a home before diving straight into things. Lucky for you, when you work with a team like us at Life Home Builders, we take care of all that coordination for you, as well as provide expert advice every step of the way.

If you’d like to learn more about building costs, check out part one of our series on costs to consider when purchasing land!

Ready to build your dream home? Get in touch today to chat with our team about your plans for your home!

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