Most buyers are unfamiliar with the building process. Many of you have carefully shopped around and finally selected the most affordable base quote, only to accidentally fall into the trap of the builder’s low price, not taking into account the costs not included in the quote. Although the low quote is eye-catching, the final price may be higher than your budget with the addition of hidden fees. Today, I’ll cover some of the hidden costs that many builders don’t write into their quotes.
1. Soil testing and contour survey
As we’ve covered in previous articles, soil testing and contour survey are essential parts of the building process. The builder needs to determine the overall quality of your land before building and thus determine the cost of levelling the ground and the foundation of your home. Many builders will not give a fixed price for construction until the owner has obtained the soil test report and contour survey.
2. Site Cost
The site cost is high and unpredictable, usually not included in the builder’s base quote. The builder will provide fixed site cost after soil testing and contour survey completed. Site preparation includes excavation and filling, removal of vegetation, removal of rocks, sewers, etc. Many volume builders will charge up to $100,000 for site cost after giving a low base quote.
3. Floor Covering
After visiting a fancy display home, you may assume that the flooring is included in the price of the quote – but it isn’t. Not all builders’ quotes include flooring. You could pay significantly more than you’re expecting after made a flooring and carpeting selection.
Many building quotes only include the building. That means anything outside the building, such as a driveway, will cost extra. You can choose to put money aside for your driveway or ask your builder to include the driveway in the overall cost.
Landscaping is another cost that builders often exclude from their quotes. Some builders don’t even offer this service at all. Those who are handy can complete the garden landscaping work themselves after the house is delivered.
6. window blinds, blinds and screens
Even the most basic curtains can add up when you are dealing with an entire home of windows! Make sure you have a budget for curtains, blinds, and screens.
7. Traffic Management Fee
If the house is on a major road, the builder may charge a significant traffic management fee. If traffic is interrupted during construction work, it will trigger a bill from the local government. Traffic management costs for construction on busy roads can exceed AUD 10,000.
I have written about the hidden costs of building a home, not to dissuade you from the idea of creating a home, but to remind you to pay attention to the details of the terms and conditions of the quote and contract. If you are not sure, you can get a professional to go over it. Feel free to contact me for advice.
2. 平整土地（ Site Cost）