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A Closer Look at Home Site Costs: 5 Determining Factors Explained

Home site costs are something that stumps a lot of people who are in the process of building their own home due to unknown home site costs. This leads to under-budgeting and related issues. To avoid any of that from happening, it is important to understand the scope of site work. There are five variables to consider. Here is a detailed breakdown of expenses to expect.

1. Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating

In Australia, a bushy location or a site that is near a national park may have a Bushfire Attack Level rating. If the property you are building sits on a declared bushfire area, you need to upgrade the house to BAL-12.5 (the minimum level), which will incur additional costs. This is to make sure that your building has the necessary adjustments to make it as safe as possible.

If you want to know the BAL assessment charges, it depends on where you are planning to build, such as a treed area. You may also need a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO), so check first with your builder if all of these apply to you. If you want to avoid this home site cost, finding land away from bushfire-prone areas is your next option.

2. Block Sloping

If you’re building on a flawlessly flat location, you don’t need to spend on this cost. However, if there are slopes in your property, extra charges may apply. This will depend on the results of the contour test to be conducted by a surveyor. Front-to-back and side-by-side slopes have different costs, so there is no standard estimate. There are also building companies who won’t be able to build on a site that has a slope of more than 3 metres, so you may need to consider getting a custom builder. This, of course, is another cost to consider.

3. Soil Quality

Having a surveyor conduct a soil test in your area will incur charges, depending on your location. The good news is, if the results show that you are building a new home on a soil that has an M-classification, it will help you save money. Otherwise, you will have to spend for extra costs if your builders will find it hard to construct your house due to a rocky surface or poor soil quality.

4. 1:100 Flood

Before building your property, see first if there is flood risk in the area. Surveyors are experts in the field, and they can come to your building site to determine the levels on your land.

If your block is a flood-prone location, the local Council may require you to apply for a building approval with specific conditions, such as the floor level. Thus, the 1:100 rule applies; it means that your builders need to design your house in a way that if a one-in-a-hundred-years flood comes, there will be no casualties. There is no standard price for this requirement because the amount will depend on the extent of the risk. Thus, it may incur additional charges, and it is best to have a separate budget for this matter.

Selecting a building site that is in a high position can help you avoid this cost. Otherwise, talk to a surveyor so you know what to expect.

Another matter that affects home site costs is connecting your property to necessary utilities, such as water, gas, telephone, sewerage, power, and fire control. Don’t forget to take these into account when calculating the overall site cost so you can prepare the appropriate budget.

Home site costs are often misunderstood to be a standard, set price. However, each case is completely unique, depending on the type of house you are building, the features of the location you have chosen, and the number of home site costs needed to prepare and construct your property.


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.

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