How Hidden Site Costs Can Cost You A Fortune

By now, you should be aware of how picking the wrong builder for the job at hand can result in lengthy project delays and hike up your costs, and how crucial proper house plans are in saving your hard earned cash while embarking on your home building journey. But after 20 years of building luxury and custom homes in Melbourne, there’s one obscure cost we know of that can cause your budget to suddenly skyrocket before you know what hit you. These sneaky bank breakers are known as site costs. Many people opt to build their first home because in many cases it’s cheaper than buying, but piling up excessive site costs will leave you wishing that you took the easy route.

You’re probably familiar with the name, but what are these costs exactly, and how do they relate to home building? Site costs are the costs associated with assessing and preparing a block for the upcoming build, such as surveying, retaining, and levelling the land. Typically, they are not included in the base quote from your builder, meaning you can be hit with some surprise costs before a single frame can even be erected.

What are the most common site costs?

Before a build commences, the first thing you’ll have to fork out for is a soil and curve test. These will give the builders an idea of the quality of the block’s soil, and also how sloped your block is for foundation purposes. If you’ve got a block that resembles Uluru, we’ve got bad news: you’ll likely be paying a substantial amount for extra retaining and cut and fill costs to level out the block so that it’s suitable to build a foundation on. In the same vein, if your block currently looks more like a forest more than a future home site, removal of trees and large rocks must be done by a professional team as per government regulations, which is yet another hefty cost that you must be aware of.

Another commonly overlooked site cost is block’s connection to utilities. If you’ve found yourself with a block that hasn’t got utilities already connected, it can be quite a costly endeavour, depending on the distance and effort required. If the nearest sewer and stormwater lines are quite a trek away, the cost of the extra drilling, boring & connecting can be in the thousands, so it pays to do your research on the block beforehand to determine if the hard yards are already taken care of, or if the bill is on you.

There are also some costs that must be factored in for the build itself: the site must comply with safety regulations, which means appropriate fencing on the perimeter of the site, adequate access points for workers, and assessing and ensuring nearby structures aren’t at risk. Your home may also require additional drainage and retaining due to the way that the block falls and to mitigate flooding and structural collapse based on your home plans, all of which will have to be prepared pre-build and can cost a substantial amount.

How do I reduce site costs?

By choosing a trustworthy builder with extensive experience in the industry. Throughout our experience in building luxury custom homes, we’ve developed the knowledge needed to expertly and effectively survey land and build sites. At Hylton, we not only help you identify and understand what your site costs will be, but aim to come up with strategies to mitigate them as much as possible. We avoid charging huge premiums for site costs, and we make sure to underline every aspect of your build in the contract so that you aren’t caught out by additional costs.

If you’re ready to take the first step in 2020, we’ve got you covered. Hylton Constructions has been proudly building custom and luxury homes in Alphington, Balwyn, Doncaster, Eltham, Greensborough, Hawthorn, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Kew, Northcote, Rosanna, Templestowe, Thornbury, and surrounding Melbourne Northern suburbs for over 20 years.

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