Owner Builder Costs Calculator [2021]

What is an owner builder? | How do I estimate building costs? | Average building costs in Australia | The cost of building a house per square metre | The cost to build a duplex | Normal builder’s fee | Owner builder insurance cost | Calculating the replacement cost of your house

Have you always wanted to build your own homes, imagining designs of both the interior and exterior of your future home? Well, if you have, then we have an amazing career suggestion for you – an owner builder! We have learned a lot about being an owner builder and we would like to share my knowledge with you.

If you think that being an owner builder is a simple job then think again as custom builds can get complex quite quickly. Owner-builders have a lot of responsibilities and duties that could last for years. It all starts with taking permits before beginning with the construction process, calculating the building cost, then overlooking the building process and making sure that everything goes according to plan. Once the building work is completed, you could also have certain obligations regarding the sales of the building. However, it is all worth it when you get to move into your home or when you see the smiles on the faces of people moving into the home you have built.

If this all sounds interesting and you want to learn more about what being an owner-builder is all about, read through this whole article to learn all the important details regarding this profession and the costs that come with it!

What is an Owner Builder?

Owner builders are people that take on the responsibility of working on a domestic building project, from taking out the needed permits and certificates to overlooking the entire building process, and ensuring that all workers are safe and respected in their place of work. These people also take care of insurance policies in case they are planning on selling the property after the construction work is complete.

Owner builders who work on projects in Australia that cost more than $16,000 also need to get a certificate from the VBA to be able to do their work without any restrictions. In certain places, owner builders can create only one house in five years and they have to stay in the house once it is finished. If you are looking into this profession, make sure to check the requirements and restrictions in your area so that you can avoid any future misunderstandings.  

How Do I Estimate Building Costs?

If you are planning on becoming an owner builder then you may sometimes need to calculate the construction costs as part of the role. Calculating or estimating construction costs is not easy, but there are some methods that you can use to make it easier.

First of all, you will need to determine the floor plans, determine which materials you will use and how much will they cost, look into the labour costs since you will need a group of workers to do the construction and the tools that you need to provide them with. As we have already mentioned, you will be in charge of getting all permits and they can cost a certain amount of money, so that is something to keep in mind as well. Once you have all this, you will have to think about the costs to prepare the building site, the foundation, prepare the framing, install all the major systems, and then also put the finishing touches on the house.

After you have a rough idea of how much the construction costs will be, you can divide that number by the total number of square feet to see how much the project will cost per square foot. You may also budget for extras such as a site, structural & quantity surveyor as part of the construction cost calculator.

Average Building Costs in Australia

If you are thinking of building your dream home in Australia, you have to take into consideration several facts that can impact the cost of your project. First of all, there is the size of the home. Then, you have to consider the location and whether you have available resources to work with on that location. Last but not least, you should think about the fixtures and fittings and their quality, as they can also contribute tremendously to the cost of your project. Even though it could be hard to determine the average building costs of a home, since so many factors go into it, we will try to give you a rough number of how much you will have to pay to build a home in Australia.

For comparison, we will talk about a property that is roughly around 150 to 170 square meters. If you are looking for something more budget-style, then building costs will be anywhere from $160,000 to $190,000. A standard 3 or 4 bedroom house will cost anywhere from $180,000 to $200,000. If you want a more luxurious home, then the costs can reach up to $220,000. These costs are for one-story homes – adding a second story will usually cost around $100,000. These costs will also vary between different locations – construction projects in Adelaide and Peth generally cost a bit less than construction projects in Sydney and Melbourne, so keep that in mind as well!

How Much Does It Cost To Build a House Per Square Metre?

In Australia, the average cost to build a new house can differ depending on the style of the house and the location of the construction project. We will mention the average costs per square metre depending on the style and the location:

  • In Adelaide, building a new home can cost anywhere from $900 for basic style to $2700 per square metre for luxurious style.
  • In Perth, building a new home can cost anywhere from $950 for basic style to $2600 per square metre for luxurious style.
  • In Brisbane, building a new home can cost anywhere from $1200 for basic style to $3000 per square metre for luxurious style.
  • In Sydney, building a new home can cost anywhere from $1190 for basic style to $3100 per square metre for luxurious style.
  • In Melbourne, building a new home can cost anywhere from $1180 for basic style to
  • $2900 per square metre for luxurious style.

* The prices above are estimates and you should talk to a local builder for your own custom quotes

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Duplex?

A duplex is basically a house with two living units, meaning that it can serve as home to two households. If you are looking to build one such property in Australia, you will have to look into the land cost, the site, materials, and the labour costs in order to be able to determine how much it will cost to build it.

Usually, building a duplex can cost anywhere from $550,000 to $1.3 million. This type of construction project is becoming even more popular nowadays because it is a good investment option, it is great for beginner owner builders, it is somewhat affordable and the maintenance does not cost that much. Once you finish the project, you have the option to occupy both unity or rent one or two to tenants.

What Is a Normal Builder’s Fee?

The fee or rate of a normal builder can differ depending on the type of project, the building services requires, as well as the location of the construction project. If you are looking to hire a normal builder in Australia, you should expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $120 per hour.

Keep in mind that this hourly rate applies to normal builders only – if you need the services of a plumber, electrician, tiler, carpenter, painter, or any other type of worker, you will have to look into their rates as well. However, their rates should be similar to the ones of the normal builder, if not the same or lower.

How Much Does Owner Builder Insurance Cost?

You should definitely look into the cost information for owner builder insurance because this is a very important part of your construction project. Depending on the project and the value of the project, you could determine what the cost of the insurance will be. You could expect the insurance to be anywhere from $1000 to $2000 annually.

How Do You Calculate The Replacement Cost Of Your House?

If you are not familiar with what replacement costs are, we will briefly explain what it is – replacement cost is the cost of rebuilding your home in case it is somehow destroyed. As an owner builder, you might work on a construction project that requires an estimation of the replacement costs for the project. In such a case, you have to take into consideration the size of the home, the number of rooms and the age. You can also consider the architectural style, materials used during construction, foundation type, number of stories, roof type, and any renovations that you have done to the home. All this can impact your home’s replacement costs.

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