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The myth of

Some building companies are fond of the ‘square meter rate’. It goes like this: a client asks, ‘How much will my new home build cost me?’ The builder suggests a price per square meter, and the client simply multiplies that figure by the entire area of the proposed house.

The arithmetic is quick and easy but doesn’t give a true picture of the real price of a new home. Or, at least, it should be used only as a very rough guide and taken with a truckload of salt. In reality, many factors affect the price. They vary, and they must all be carefully considered.

Let’s start at the beginning. We believe your home should be as unique as you. When we say ‘a home built around you’ we mean it. You’re at the heart of the whole process: your style, your practical requirements, your site, and your budget. Then we add architectural flair to delight you.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of those real costs. Firstly, as a general rule, the bigger the house, the lower the cost per m².

But what about the site? A sloping or steep site will need earthworks and carefully designed foundations. A budget for scaffolding must be included, and a longer construction period may be needed if access to the site is difficult for builders and equipment. On the other hand, a flat site can mean lower costs.

Another general rule is that the more complex the house is, the more it will cost to create. A simple home, rectangular in plan, will cost less than, for example, a more complex E-shape.

How about wastewater, electricity, and gas? If the site is already well-serviced, the costs can be less. On the other hand, adding services such as a wastewater treatment system or running a power cable longer than 50 meters can noticeably increase the budget.

The complexity of both plumbing and electrical services must be taken into account, such as the number of light fittings and electrical points in a house, as well as wet areas. These days, people are rightly keen on having plenty of storage space, and again, any bespoke joinery must be costed into the project.

You get the idea. From roof lines to landscaping, it’s important to look at the big picture, and the details. It’s not just the ‘square meter rate’. It’s about considering every aspect of the house.

Finally, some builders may treat items such as driveways, decks, window frames, doors, and taps as extras. This might make the price look good on paper – at first. But not when the bills for the extras keep coming.

Design Builders will go over everything with you, so you will know exactly what you’re up for, in advance.

For a general idea of how far your money goes, take a look at this informative gallery.

If you want to know more about the costs of a new home, please get in touch with a Design Builders partner near you.