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Site Costs for Building Your Home in 2021: Your Quick Guide

Building a new home can be inspirational but also costly. Site costs – the costs you’ll need to pay to ensure your block of land is ready to build on – can vary depending on a number of factors. Unfortunately, they’re also the largest costs to pay, and can escalate up to $70,000 in some cases.

It’s important to understand what expenses you are up against at the outset so as to factor these into your budget, and to minimise the unexpected shocks. Below, we’ve outlined a quick guide to what site costs are payable when building your new home, updated for 2021.

What do site costs include?

Your site costs will be broken down into several types of charges. These will consist of:

  • Soil testing – this is done to determine what type of soil lies in your block of land – whether it’s stable or reactive soil. It will require a report so that approval for construction is given.
  • Connecting utilities – this includes connecting your home to gas, water and sewage. This is typically a fixed cost and won’t change even if you’re building a larger house.
  • Building permitsyou need official approval before building anything. Building permits, unfortunately, require the payment of some fees but they aren’t too pricey.
  • Termites – building permits often won’t be granted if your block has not been treated for termites. Especially important if you’re building with wood.
  • Site prep – this involves everything done to make sure the land is ready to build on: clearing trees, moving rocks, ground leveling, etc.
  • Security – if you want your building site to be secure, consider investing in some form of security. Perimeter fencing is a must and then add sensor lights and a surveillance camera or two.
  • Materials – building requires materials, and this can form a substantial part of your site cost budget. It will often be determined on the design and size of your home.

Also make sure to check out our guide on what to look for when choosing the perfect block of land for your home.

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What will impact my site costs?

There are a range of factors that will determine how expensive your site costs will be, including:

  • Location – if you’re building in a rural area, chances are your site costs will be higher. It takes more effort to ship the materials to the construction site, so higher prices will be charged.
  • Terrain – The more slope in the land, the more you’ll need to pay. Slopes create instability, and uneven terrain will need to be leveled, which all comes at a cost.
  • Soil – Blocks are classified according to the type of soil that lies beneath. Sandy soil is generally the most stable and will cost you less. Clay soil is the opposite, being highly reactive and expensive to address.
  • Building size the larger your dream home, the more you’ll likely have to pay. A house with a grand design and/or multiple stories will require more materials and possibly deeper excavation to ensure stability, driving up your site costs. Read our guide on whether you should buy a single or multi-storey home.
  • Slab – there are waffle slabs, raft slabs and suspended slabs that are used to construct houses. Which one is used will depend on the type of soil, the terrain and the house you’re building. Your waffle slab is typically going to be the cheapest.

If you’re unsure what size block of land to buy, make sure you read our size guide.

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HomeBuilder Grant – 2021 extension

The Australian Government has announced an extension to the “HomeBuilder program”, which will now operate until 31 March 2021.

This allows you to enter into a contract between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 to build a new home, or buy an off-the-plan home, and be eligible to receive a $15,000 grant.

An application for a grant must be submitted before 14 April 2021.

You can read more about the HomeBuilder grant here.

Site Costs

Concerned about site costs for a Hunter Valley home? 

We understand that site costs can be daunting and unpredictable, with prices ranging anywhere between as low as $5,000 up to a hefty $70,000.

If you’re looking to build a new project home in the Hunter Valley, anywhere from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to Maitland and Wyong, our sales consultants are experienced in this area and can walk you through the processes involved.

Please get in touch with us today to start building your new home.

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