Budgeting is one of the most important parts of building your new home. Between the materials, trades, labour and other costs, making sure you work within your means requires lots of forward planning and estimations.

One of these estimations is a square metre rate, a common tool used by those in the industry to provide a ballpark figure. They are most often used on standard home designs with a certain set of inclusions.

With custom homes, this idea just doesn’t work. A square metre rate doesn’t allow for the builder to go through the plans, visit the site, liaise with contractors or suppliers or discuss materials and finishes with you, making it a pure guesstimate.

As every project is unique, with different blocks, clients and designs, providing a square metre rate does a disservice to both our team and you as the client. Firstly, it doesn’t allow for variations that you would expect of a custom home, leaving little room for unique additions or design features. Secondly, it sets an unnecessary expectation early on in the project and leaves both sides scrambling to make the figure work. It also fails to acknowledge the possibility of delays or unexpected costs, such as difficult excavations and additions such as landscaping.

While we do offer the option of a square metre rate quote, we always preface that it is a rough guide, as it doesn’t account for all the variables in a project.
Instead of relying on this, we always suggest that you engage a builder as early in the process as possible, ideally at the same time as an architect. With two expert opinions by your side from the very beginning, you’ll be able to make informed design choices, including size, materials, fixtures and finishes.

This process will result in a much more accurate figure down the line as both the architect and builder can advise on costs as you go. With a buffer for any last-minute costs, you can rest easy knowing that your dream home is a unique project that won’t break the bank.

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