Additional costs to be mindful of when building your new home

When asking the question, ‘How much does it cost to build a new home?’ It can be hard to get a simple answer.

There are many different costs involved in building a new home—some are included in your build while others aren’t. Some costs may come as a surprise to you.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the hidden costs of building a house in Australia. Be sure to ask your sales consultant whether the following costs are included in your new build estimate.

Soil and contour tests

Before your builder can give you a quote for a new house build, they need to conduct two tests:

  • Soil test: Looks at the soil quality and rock content. Soil is graded to help produce a building cost estimate.
  • Contour test: Looks at the slope of your land. Sloping land requires more specialised building work.

How much does it cost?

These preliminary tests can cost up to $2000.

Site preparation

Your site costs will be determined by your block of land and what your builder will need to do in order to prepare it for building.

Site costs can include:

  • Tree removal: Your builders may need to hire an arborist to remove trees, trunks and roots.
  • Retaining walls: Your property may require a retaining wall to protect the home.
  • Site cut / excavation: Your builder may need to hire specialised excavators to prepare the land for construction.
  • Soil: Certain soil grades raise your building costs, especially if high in rock content.
  • Slope: The steeper the slope, the higher your building cost.

How much does it cost?

Site costs are highly variable, depending on whether you have a simple or complex block of land to work with. It could cost between $5,000 and $70,000. After the soil and contour test, your builder can give you a more accurate quote on site costs.

Land registration

Most builders selling house and land packages will probably offer registered land. But if you already own land that is not registered, you’ll need to pay the registration along with costs of connecting electricity, plumbing and sewerage.

How much does it cost?

Use Land Use Victoria Fee Calculator to get an estimate.

Temporary requirements

Your builders will spend several weeks on site constructing your new home. They may require a port-a-loo, temporary fencing and a skip bin on site while they work.

How much does it cost?

Ask your builder if temporary requirements are included in their cost estimate. If not, you could be looking at paying anywhere between $2,000 – $7,000.

Landscaping, Driveways, Flooring

Let’s not forget the things that make a house a home. Not only will you need quotes for the brick and mortar, but consider things like landscaping, driveway and flooring.

How much does it cost?

These might be included in your builder’s quote. Speak to your sales consultant and check your drawings and contract carefully.

If not included, the above items are highly variable in cost, depending on what you want. For example, if you want deluxe landscaping, you might hire an expert landscaper after the house is built.


Once you have signed your building contract, any changes you make will incur extra costs. Be sure that your drawings and contract are exactly as you want them before you sign.

How much does it cost?

The cost will depend on the type of modification. But you won’t just pay for the modification, you’ll also pay for extra man hours and materials required to make the change. Your builder may also charge a legal fee to change the contract and a penalty fee for modifications.

Wheelie Bins

Your new home is never complete without your rubbish, recycling and green waste bins. Don’t forget to factor in these easily forgotten extras!

How much does it cost?

Luckily, the cost for new wheelie bins is pretty straightforward. Simply go to your local council’s website to find out how much your bins will cost.

What is the cost of building a house on your own land?

If you have already purchased a block of land and want to know the price of building, you will still need to pay many of the above costs.

Conclusion: How much does it cost to build a house? 

Now that you know many of the hidden costs of building, you can get a more precise estimate on the cost of building a new home. Be sure to enquire with your sales agent about each of the above items for a clear and transparent quote.