How much does it cost to build a custom home?

cost to build a custom home

How much does it cost to build a custom home?

The idea of building a custom home is both daunting and exciting. The process can take some time, with many steps and deviations along the way. Great planning, working with a knowledgeable team and having a good idea of what to expect are all elements that will help a project run smoothly.
Expectations around the cost to build a custom home are critical, and there are multiple factors that will affect the final price. Here, we break down a few:

Labour

Typically, a large chunk of the budget will go towards labour costs, and these will vary according to location and experience. Good quality builders that have decades of experience, know what they are doing and won’t cut corners may be more expensive than someone less qualified or diligent. Just as consultants and service providers charge for their expertise, so too will a professional builder.

Size

An obvious point, but one worth making – the bigger the home, typically the higher the cost. More rooms require more materials; a multi-story home will need stairs and potentially a suspended concrete slab; and a complex design will take longer to build. All are factors which contribute to the final cost.

Quality

There are many large home building companies that can build lovely houses quickly and cheaply. This may be because materials are not of a high quality, the home designs are easily put together and they can buy fixtures and fittings in bulk, resulting in the homes looking the same. This is not like a custom home builder where materials and fixtures are purchased for one building, not many. Quality in any form generally costs more.

Location

The location, condition and terrain of the land the home is being built upon can impact the cost. If the block is hard to get to, is sloping, or needs work to lay the foundations, this may increases the time and complexity of the project.

Demand

As we’ve seen through the pandemic, the Ukraine conflict and recent flood events, the supply of materials and skilled labour are short, and demand is high. The laws of economics kick in and the prices rise.

Depending on the level of finish and inclusions, a good starting point for your budget would be $2,000 per m2 and work up from there. It is also important to understand that the pre-construction phase of the build – where you will obtain design drawings, engineering designs, interior design advice, town planning consultation and certification – are not included in the build price.

Additional costs will also include items such as pools, fencing and soft landscaping which are typically not included in a home build price proposal. This website offers a handy construction cost calculator for estimations. The inclusion of a contingency fund is also advisable for unknown costs such a latent conditions which are generally those that cannot be identified during site inspection and following reasonable investigation such as soil contamination or asbestos.


It’s important for homeowners to have a realistic expectation of the cost to build a custom home as this will help make the process from planning and design and finally construction much smoother. It’s a good idea to work with a building team you trust from the very early stages of design as they can help you in that pre-planning stage to have an expectation of what elements cost more, and where money can be saved depending on your priorities.

To discuss your custom home project, contact us for a chat.

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