Important Things to Consider when Building Double Storey Homes

One of the biggest advantages of building new double storey homes is that customers can choose a floor plan that perfectly suits their requirements. However, block size, lifestyle priorities and budget all play a factor in the final decision.

For example, when buying a smaller block of land for double storey homes buyers are often forced to choose house designs that add an extra room to the house, or else save it for more yard space. In this regard, block size plays a huge role in the decision-making process.

Many buyers will choose a double storey home design to maximise living space on a small block. This will allow fitting more floor space onto a smaller block. Having the option to build vertically can open up a world of possibilities for those building double storey homes in Victoria and other parts of Australia.

Before beginning construction of a two storey home, here are some important factors to consider:

Our budget for double storey homes

Setting an effective budget prior to building double storey homes in Queensland and other Australian regions can be difficult for the inexperienced. A good best practice to follow is to use a ‘budget planner’ system that compares the total cost of building your new home (including the land) with comparable homes for sale in the same area.

Budget planner calculations can, therefore, give you a broad idea of what your new home may be worth when it is finished. It’s a tremendous feeling to know that your initial investment is a sound one, and also one that will pay off over the long term.

When planning a budget, be especially careful of these two common mistakes:

  • Underestimating expenses: overly optimistic finishing costs associated with completing the home can really mount up, leading to needless pressure as the project nears completion.
  • Overspending: be careful of splurging on luxuries that add aesthetic appeal without raising the value of the finished home. Luxury material buys that are not valued by others can result in a loss when it comes time to sell the home.

In addition, factor the following to be essential components of your budget plan:

1. Purchasing the land

Land prices have risen steadily over the year. For example, double storey homes in New South Wales often see as much as 50% of the overall budget going towards land costs.

Make sure to factor in the ratio of land to house price. Traditionally, house prices depreciate in value over time, while land values consistently increase.

2. Site preparation costs

This refers to the cost to prepare the site to be ready for construction. Possible costs may include:

  • Demolishing an old home on the property
  • Clearing away trees, boulders or other structures
  • Setting up retaining walls and levelling blocks
  • Laying water, power, gas, phone and sewer connections

To keep home building costs low, choosing the right block to build on is essential.

3. House construction costs

This part can be tricky: most build contracts come with a list of inclusions regarding design features and build specifications. However, buyers often get dazzled by display homes laden with costly add-ons.

Make sure to pore over the contract precisely, so that you understand exactly what you will get for your money.

Finishing expenses

Expect internal and external finishes to take up at least 15% of your overall budget, and as much as 25% for more luxurious work.

Typically, the following items get excluded from standard builds and should be factored in as part of the finishing costs in your budget plan:

Internal finishing items

  • Window treatments
  • Wall painting
  • Air conditioning and heaters
  • Additional lighting or power points
  • Upgraded items (such as appliances, water taps and door handles)
  • Floor coverings (such as timber, tiling or carpets)

    External finishing items

  • Landscaping, pools and water gardens
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Decks or paved lanes
  • Fences and gates
  • External sheds or workshops

    Ensuring effective climate control for your region

Traditionally, house plans in Australia come with heating and cooling systems that consume huge amounts of electricity. In particular, ensuring adequate climate control for double storey homes has been difficult. This is because hot air rises. However, the best double storey home builders in Australia can achieve perfect climate control with effective planning and cutting-edge design.

When discussing climate control specifications with your builder, consider the following:

  • Window placement: avoid windows facing west, to help keep the sun at bay. Main living areas should be north facing, and kitted with eaves to mitigate the hot summer sun, while still allowing sunlight to penetrate during the winter.
  • Cross flow ventilation: place windows on opposite sides of the room to increase airflow. Also consider evaporative cooling in conjunction with fans, to help keep air conditioning costs at a minimum.
  • Effective insulation: in Australian double-storey homes, insulation between the ground and first floor can reduce energy loss. In addition, floor joist heights can be maximized to accommodate ducts.

Choosing the right builder

It’s a bad idea to choose the first contractor you interview. A good building team can make the difference between getting the luxury home of your dreams and a very expensive money trap. Keep these factors in mind when choosing a builder:

  • Experience: choose a custom home builder with plenty of experience designing and constructing energy efficient homes.
  • Credentials: good custom home builders are generally participating members of industry associations that hold their members to a higher standard.
  • Insurance and licenses: at the very least, your home builder should have appropriate licenses and liability insurance coverage.


This guide explains details about setting a budget for a new double story home plan. After setting the budget, making considerations for energy-efficient climate control and choosing a builder, the real fun begins.

Two storey home designs for narrow blocks.

With all the hard work done, it’s simply a matter of choosing the perfect block of land, and then going wild with creativity to design the perfect home for today and tomorrow.

Stacey Crommelin

Stacey loves exploring the great outdoors. When not among nature she can be found decorating and making improvements to her recently built family home.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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