Cost Control

Most Affordable Way to Build a Home in Sydney on a Budget

Dev Kunasagaram
22 Mar 2024
5 min read

Building an Affordable Home: Smart Cost-Saving Strategies

Constructing your dream home is a significant investment, but keeping costs under control from the start can prevent budgets from spiralling out of control. With rising land, material, and labour costs across Sydney, it's crucial for homeowners to make cost-savvy decisions throughout the construction process. This guide shares top tips on the most affordable way to build a home in Sydney while keeping expenses in check.

1. Nail Down the Land Costs Upfront

The land purchase is typically the biggest single expense, so buy strategically. Look for flat lots to avoid excessive grading and excavation fees. Research Section 88B instrument restrictions like easements, offsets, and bushfire attack levels (BAL) that could add construction requirements and costs down the road.

2. Keep the Design Simple and Functional

Steer clear of overly complicated home designs with excessive corners, roof lines, and high-end customizations like curved staircases or built-in shelving. Simple, rectangular footprints are the most cost-effective to build. Use a qualified architect's skills strategically - you may only need an architect for the concept design, then have a draftsperson complete the construction drawings.

3. Choose a Reliable, Affordable Home Builder

Get quotes from multiple budget home builders and check their ratings/reviews, but don't just go with the cheapest quote. An experienced, organized builder who purchases materials and manages trades contractors wisely can save you from costly mistakes and delays.  

Negotiate a Fixed-Price Contract Make sure your contract spells out a firm, fixed price for the construction - not an estimate that leaves room for costs to balloon. If possible, negotiate having things like site costs and soil tests included upfront.

4. Opt for a Project Home or Custom Build?

Project homes from reputable affordable home builders can save with their pre-designed, streamlined building process. However, a custom build allows tailoring the home design to maximize your land's potential when re-selling. Weigh whether a project or custom build makes more sense for your block and budget. With the right know-how, such as ours, it is possible to secure a custom home at a similar price to a project home.

5. Simplify Structural Choices to Save on Cost to Build a House

Minimize high-end exterior finishes like face brick in favour of more affordable render. Consider cost-effective structural materials like Hebel over double brick. Avoid design elements that require expensive structural steel additions like a wide sliding glass door or aluminium bi-folding doors.

6. Plan Finishes and Fittings Early

Avoid extensive customizations - stock materials, fixtures, and finishes will always cost less than custom orders. Resist going overboard on upgrades and specialty items.  

Lock in your internal finishes, fixtures, and fittings early and communicate the layout for electrical, plumbing, etc., in the design docs. Any revisions after construction starts will mean delay costs. With electrical, ensure you have an adequate power circuit layout to avoid variation fees down the track.

7. Choose Cost-Effective and Green Options

Select finishes, fittings, and building methods with an eye towards energy-efficiency to maximize Basix compliance. This can save on long-term running costs but also help you meet the required Basix requirements. Properly insulating and sealing the home envelope is a cost-effective way to enhance energy efficiency.

8. Avoid Delays During Construction

Every day of delay will inflate costs from contractors and rentals. Stick to a tight timeline by promptly completing any selections, revisions, or approvals your low-cost home builder requires. Makre sure to understand the build process and timelines, and have your finances lined up with a construction loan to keep cash flowing smoothly. Small delays in correspondence of a few days to a week add up during a construction project – adding to your interest repayments while the not able to occupy the property.

In a Nutshell

With careful planning and ordering of priorities, completing a high-quality, affordable new home build without costs blowing out is possible. Focus on smart land, design, contracting, and construction management choices - and avoid expensive customizations where possible. An investment of time upfront will pay dividends in lasting home value and keeping your cost to build a home as low as possible.

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Dev Kunasagaram
22 Mar 2024
5 min read

Meet Dev

As a Civil Engineer with over 30 years of experience in commercial, mega and residential construction, Dev is our lead consultant. He has a strategic understanding of local planning laws and building best practices, and works directly with each of our clients to plan and execute their home building project. Your independent guide for peace of mind!
Dev Kunasagaram
CEO and Lead Consultant

"The most expensive thing you will ever do is build a home. It's worth doing it right"
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