The Hidden Costs of Building a House

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The Hidden Costs of Building a House

Building a house could cost a lot more than the quote your builder gave you, if you’re not aware of hidden costs, says Dom Cassisi from Funding Options.

So what are the sneaky expenses you need to be aware of?  

You may be surprised to find out what’s not included in the building quote. This list will help you prepare and get a clearer idea of how much you’ll have to invest in the project.

Building a house: The hidden cost list


This may seem like such an obvious feature, but details such as a driveway are often not included in the build itself. If you want a driveway, that will probably cost you extra. Otherwise, you’ll just have to do without one until you can afford it after the house is built.


Your new home will automatically have concrete floors, but there’s no guarantee you’ll have them finished the way you want. Talk with your builder for a quote on the flooring finish you would like.

Making Changes Along the Way

Changing your mind part-way through the project will cost you a pretty penny. Your quote and contract are based on a specific calculation of the cost and labour required to build your house. Any modifications will result in changes to those expenses, as well.

Legal and Other Fees

Taxes, local building regulations, Lender’s Mortgage Insurance, interest repayments, stamp duty, conveyancer fees and more are all in addition to the cost to build a house. Of course, a good mortgage broker will help you work through this.

Soil and Contour Tests

These two tests are to evaluate the quality of your land before planning to build the house. It costs money to have the surveys conducted and the cost of building your home may also go up if the land is difficult to work with (i.e., very rocky, steep slopes etc.).

Site Costs

You can’t forget about the cost to connect utilities such as gas, water, electricity and a sewer system to your home. You may have other site costs if there are trees to be removed from your property or a retaining well is needed. Building in an area prone to bushfires or flooding can incur other costs for properly preparing the site.

Fluctuating Quote Amounts

You may try to get quotes from more than one builder before deciding who to select for building your home. If you’re sitting on a quote while waiting to find a better deal, keep in mind that the price probably won’t stay the same.

A quote may have a limit of how long it’s good for, like a month or 45 days. After that, it will need to be re-quoted due to changes in the cost of building materials. Stay alert for any potential changes in your quoted price before you sign the contract.

Prime Costs

There are some projects for which the final cost can’t be accurately estimated. You may be required to pay out an extra allowance for a job, just in case. If it’s not done or is completed under budget, you’ll get the funds credited back to you.

However, the opposite is also possible. You may wind up having to pay out a little more over the course of the project to get something done, such as the benchtop finish.

Talk It Out

At the end of the day, clear communication with your builder will likely make the biggest difference. You want to know exactly which services and features are included in the quoted price and which you should expect to pay extra for.

Sit down with your builder to review a list of absolutely everything you’d like to have done. Find out right from the start how much the extra services will cost so that you can avoid any unpleasant hidden fees.

Good organisation, careful planning and clear communication will help you get your house built while sticking to your budget.

Getting the right loan is absolutely crucial. Funding Options will find you the best possible deal, and handle the process from start to finish. Contact us for a no obligations discussion about your building plans.

Dom Cassisi, Managing Director

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