Please note - Due to the holiday season, builders and developers may be slower than usual in responding to any queries Close

7 Most Common Hidden Costs of Building Your Own House in Australia

How much does it cost to construct a new home in Australia? The figures will greatly depend on the type of structure you want to be built and the features and trimmings you want added. The bigger and more luxurious it is, naturally the more expensive. It all comes down to what you want and need, and whether you want to make any compromises or want all of the bells and whistles.

But it is a fact that there are hidden costs that could rack up the project estimate. It will help you to remain an informed consumer and understand these costs to avoid any unwanted surprises. Knowing the actual fees and charges instead of the dreaded “miscellaneous” will help you better appreciate where your money is going.

Here is a checklist of the costs that you need to include in your home building budget so you can properly organise your cash flow.

1. Soil and contour tests

Building companies carry out such tests to check the quality of the soil and the topography of your property. It’s their way of identifying the kind of work involved in levelling the slope if needed and in building a house on a rocky plot.

Understandably, soil classified as poor will make home construction challenging, requiring extra muscles and energy. The same is true with an extremely sloping property, with building plans needed to be adjusted to make your dream home come true. Whatever findings builders obtain will dictate how much extra costs your project will incur.

2. Site costs

Depending on the results of the soil and contour tests, site costs can add up, especially if there are additional features that need to be taken care of pre-construction. These include:

  • Lots of trees needed to be cut off.
  • Need for traffic interruptions or road closure management.
  • Need for retaining walls.
  • The area is prone to bushfires and/or flooding.

This particular hidden cost takes into consideration the overall pros and cons of a site and calculate them into the project estimate accordingly.


If you are constructing a property in New South Wales, the state’s government requires builders to comply with the BASIX (Building Sustainability Index), a set of regulations dedicated to improving the sustainability and eco-friendliness of your house.

So even if you didn’t plan to add a water tank on your property, for example, you would have to throw this into the equation for compliance reasons. If you think about it, though, a green-friendly home will work to your advantage in the future, with lower running costs of your home.

4. Missing essentials

Did you know that flooring and driveway may not be included in a quote? This means that once you have your home built, complete with a driveway and flooring elements, you could be looking at a different amount on the invoice. So make sure to check that flooring and driveway works are included in the breakdown before you sign off the estimate.

5. Add-ons and modifications

One of the reasons that you get an estimate with all the details ironed out is so you can set a budget. However, if you decide halfway through that you want something added, expect the estimated cost to change, along with a few extra costs, such as legal and penalty clauses. It’s only fair considering that the contract has to be adjusted.

7. Land registration

A new, unregistered block of land can incur additional costs. Talk to your building or real estate company to see if the location has already been registered. If not, you can use a titles fee calculator online to have an estimate of the charges or speak to our friends at Titlexchange.

Other fees

Wheelie bins, lender’s mortgage insurance, and interest repayments during construction can also affect the total cost of constructing a house in Australia. This is why there’s no such thing as one size fits all where construction cost is concerned.

But when you know what other things are needed to have your dream home built, you would not have a problem paying them off. It all comes down to knowing hidden costs upfront, making them hidden no more.

Make sure the quote your builder presents is comprehensive. Check it thoroughly and use this guide as a reference to see if some items are missing.

Want to save money early on? Speak to an expert at iBuildNew for free to help you compare all the options so that you get the most for your money. Call us today on 1800 184 284 and speak to our phone consultants or book a call . With years of experience in the building industry, they can answer any questions you might have, including those concerning hidden and upfront construction costs.

iBuildnew Advisory Team
Let us do the legwork for you.
  • We’ll ask the right questions to better understand your needs
  • We’ll create a recommended shortlist ideally matched to you
  • We’ll answer specific questions or concerns related to home building, land purchasing or financing


Ben is a passionate home renovator who is forever making improvements around the home and garden


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.

You may also like

Sep 07, 2017

The Design Guidelines For Land Estates

If you are building a new home in a land estate, then it is very likely that the design...
Read More
Feb 08, 2018

Subdividing Land: Why Would You Consider It?

When purchasing a substantial piece of land, it’s important to have a plan for how you ...
Read More
May 14, 2018

Best Areas To Invest In Property In NSW

So you have a yearning to invest in the New South Wales property market in some capacit...
Read More
Jul 17, 2018

The Land Development Process: Everything You Need To...

The land development process is an important process of building a new home or investme...
Read More
Apr 17, 2017

New home design – Tips to choose the best block

You’ve decided to build a new home, so what next? How you go through your journey comes...
Read More
Feb 03, 2020

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Buying Vacant Land

Buying vacant land is an exciting process. With vacant land comes the opportunity to cu...
Read More
Nov 01, 2017

Building a New Home? Affordable Land For Sale In Vic...

Thinking about buying land for sale in Victoria? Now is as good as time as any with the...
Read More
Dec 19, 2017

Cheap Land for Sale in NSW

As land value continue to grow year on year, there has never been a better time to jump...
Read More
Jul 26, 2017

Understand The Land Titling Process

Starting off on your new home building journey is the beginning of a steep learning cur...
Read More
Nov 02, 2017

Land Value Trends and Median Lot Sizes

The real estate landscape is constantly changing, and it is no different when it comes ...
Read More
Feb 27, 2018

Cheap land for sale in QLD

With increasing interstate interest in land for sale in Brisbane and across Queensland,...
Read More
Apr 15, 2019

What you need to know before buying a block of land

Buying a block of land...sounds like an easy enough process right? This is probably one...
Read More
Apr 27, 2017

Land for Sale – Find Land at iBuildNew

It's been over 18 months since the launch of iBuildNew - and we are excited to share th...
Read More
Oct 08, 2019

Titled Lots VS Untitled Lots: What Are The Pros And ...

As a homebuyer and when buying a block of land, it can be confusing and overwhelming wh...
Read More

Get more from

Browse New Home Designs