Home Extensions & Home Renovations

Tips for House Extensions & Home Renovation Costs

House Extension Costs In Melbourne

How much is my Melbourne house extension, home renovation, new home going to cost me? This is the question most frequently asked when people reach out for our services.

An estimate of building costs from a quantity surveyor or experienced building estimator can prove extremely useful once you have a concept design, soil report and description of materials and fittings & fixtures. Naturally you do not have this documentation at the beginning however it still makes sense to obtain an estimate of building costs before you commit to pay fees to a building designer, draftsman or architect.

An estimate of home extension costs can be provided by a reliable source based on current floor area rates for ground and first floor extensions plus demolition costs, builders preliminaries, builders margin then add GST then compared with building costs from previous projects within the last 12 months and averaged out. This combination of costings can be used to help determine if your budget is close to the mark before you commence paying a building designer, draftsman or architect.

How do I know if the cost estimate is low?

Can they tell you what works have been estimated and from where they obtained their figures i.e. what is the origin of their figures for the estimate they have given you?
For a home extension did the works they estimated include more than just the cost of the new build portion – new construction – of works? Did they include the deck or any changes to the existing roof, are windows double glazed or linen and storage cupboards included as well as built in robes, demolition of existing part of your home, consideration on whether your existing home is on stumps or a concrete slab, the ground slope, materials, the builders preliminaries and profit margin.
If your project is a house renovation then what works were included – i.e. new flooring – timber, carpet or a combination of both, the restumping of how many rooms, internal walls removed or newly constructed, windows removed and/or repositioned, bathroom and or kitchen renovation, are any plumbing fixtures moved and is the home on stumps or a slab, new fittings & fixtures, plaster repairs, painting etc?
Be aware that you get what you pay for. If you obtain an estimate free of charge then you may not be getting a reliable estimate of building costs. Anyone who has the time to offer a free estimate of building costs cannot have much work or they may be very busy because they offer a low estimate of building costs in order to convince you to work with them. Be cautious of a low estimate as you may end up paying fees to your building designer, draftsman or architect for a house extension you cannot afford.

Who can offer a reliable estimate of building costs?

No reliable source in the industry will offer you a building quote for construction because it is impossible to quote without finished working drawings, engineering, a list of materials, fittings and fixtures and other items also. However a reliable source can offer a reliable estimate.
If you pay for the estimate and they can tell you what works will be estimated and from where they obtain their figures then you can place more trust in what you are receiving.
Many people approach builders seeking an estimate however most good quality builders are extremely busy working on current projects and quoting projects from architects or building designers who have given them the finished working drawings, engineering etc. A good quality builder will tell you to get drawings prepared by an architect or building designer.

A superior estimate is based on different square metre rates for:

  • Home extension ground floor
  • Home extension upstairs including the stairs
  • House renovation
  • Building a new home

It should also include:

  • Demolition costs & builders preliminaries
  • Fittings & fixtures
  • Builders profit margin

Building costs for house extensions or home renovations can vary considerably depending on a number of criteria.

  • Choice of building materials- slab versus stumps, metal roof versus concrete tiles, lightweight cladding versus brickwork, fittings and fixtures – bathroom and kitchen tap fittings, tiles, window frames, double glazing, heating & cooling, lighting
  • The size of the extension obviously affects the cost
  • The extent of client involvement – does the client choose to perform any of the building works such as painting
  • Commencement and duration of the building works – does the project extend over the Christmas holiday break or during seasonal busy periods – this will add to any interest cost and/or rental costs if you need to move out
  • Seasonal building market conditions – the number of rain affected days – this will add to any interest cost and/or rental costs if you need to move out
  • Town planning delays – this can result in additional costs and potentially add months to your home extension or house renovation.
  • Access to the building site – no parking or access to the rear only through the front door will increase labour costs
  • Size and competence of the selected building firm or builder – the bigger the business the more overheads and, by necessity, will pass this cost on to you and increase the builder’s quotes
  • Each builder’s quote will factor in a different profit margin at anywhere from 10-30% or more.
  • Soft landscaping
  • Varying professional fees – architect, draftsperson, town planner, structural engineer, soil report, building surveyor, etc.
  • Abnormal ground conditions requiring additional site costs – a sloping block and/or the need to dig deeper to reach solid ground and so concrete pours will vary.

Consultant Home Extension Costs

Don’t forget consultant fees. As a rough guide, the following fees may be charged by consultants. Based on a home extension estimated at $250,000 requiring a planning permit, you will typically be looking at:

  • Architect (creative design as per planning and building regulations): $25,000 – 45,000 depending on experience
    Building designer (creative design as per planning and building regulations): 9,500 – 12,00 depending on experience
  • Draftsperson (draws what they are given – no design involvement): $4,400 – $6,500 depending on experience
  • Land Surveyor: $800 – 3,500 depending on the scope of work
  • Geotechnical engineer (soil reports): $300 – $550
  • Private Town Planner: $5,000 – 10,000
  • Structural Engineer: $2,100 – 3,000
  • Building Surveyor: $1,900 – 2,200

With extensive experience, RFT Solutions Melbourne building designers can provide an estimate of home extension costs based on floor area rates and building costs from previous projects in the past 12 months.

Your home extension, house renovation, new home will be one of the largest financial investments you will make therefore it makes sense to engage a reliable professional.

RFT solutions can help with your building cost estimates, so get in touch.

How do I know if I will need a Town Planning Permit?

Before hiring an architect or draftsman to draw up plans, town planning issues need to be considered as they may affect the design you are considering. You may need to engage a professional town planner (if your architect or draftsperson is not performing this role) to obtain a planning permit. A planning permit can sometimes add thousands of dollars to home extension costs but generally, home and house renovations do not need a planning permit.

A planning permit could be necessary to address issues such as building height, overlooking neighbours property, infringement of neighbour’s amenity, the amount of open space on your land, and planning overlays such as a heritage overlay.

This process of obtaining a planning permit can easily take 12 months!! You need to establish which town planner at your council that you will be working with and organize a pre-application meeting. The planning permit is simply an acceptance of a design. You will still need working drawings and a building permit before construction commences.

What locations does RFT Solutions service?

RFT Solutions operates within the state of Victoria servicing all of Melbourne’s inner and outer suburbs including such as Alphington, Burnley, Carlton, Clifton Hill, Hawthorn, Toorak, Malvern, Werribee, Box Hill, Camberwell, Collingwood, Fairfield, Fitzroy, Richmond, Caulfield, Elwood, South Melbourne, etc. including the Mornington Peninsula.

We deal with any operational issues working with ALL Melbourne municipal councils and shires such as: the City of Darebin, City of Knox, the City of Maribyrnong, the Shire of Melton, the City of Wyndham, the City of Moonee Valley, Brimbank City Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Casey City Council, Frankston City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Greater Dandenong City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, Hume City Council, Kingston City Council, Manningham City Council, Maroondah City Council, Melbourne City Council, Monash City Council, Moreland City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Port Phillip City Council, Stonnington City Council, Whitehorse City Council, Whittlesea City Council!

Are we better off to extend, build a new home or move?

There are advantages and disadvantages linked to all three options. Finding a new location means you and your family will need to re-build their familiar network of friends and services. Costs associated with stamp duty, relocation, and legal fees should also be considered.

Building a new home may also disrupt your family’s normal routine for months as you find a place to live while the builders construct your new home. However building a new home removes the restrictions of your existing house and gives you the freedom to build your dream home.

A home extension allows you to maintain your current lifestyle without the major disruption of changing location. If you are seriously considering a house extension, it is a good idea to have your existing house valuated before you decide to go ahead. While there has been much cautionary advice regarding over-investing, some properties are actually under-invested in. It is more likely that your current house has the capacity to absorb the costs of the extension and you will recoup the cost in the next five to seven years. So it’s normally worth asking for builders quotes.
Owner builder home extensions can be a sure recipe for family conflict and stress. Choosing to work with a quality builder can lessen the impact on your family life, and maintain the harmony in your home.

What type of building projects does RFT Solutions manage?

RFT Solutions is happy to help you save on builder´s quotes, building costs, time and stress when deciding to build your new home, investment properties, house renovation, house extension, townhouse development, outdoor living area and alfresco area, granny flat, holiday home, bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations or other building projects.

How can RFT Solutions assist me to ensure professional quality and lower building costs when choosing and managing building professionals?

All building professionals charge for their services – architects and draftsman, soil engineers, structural engineers, builders. RFT Solutions ensures that you have access to the best quality building professionals. RFT Solutions handles the important tendering process to secure for you building professionals who will provide quality workmanship that will fit within your budget.

RFT Solutions will reduce your home extension costs or house renovation building costs. RFT Solutions will work with a builder who will make suggestions regarding design and materials so that construction costs will not exceed your budget.

At RFT Solutions we check builders’ registration and references to offer our clients the opportunity to select an experienced professional based on the best combination of quality, price and availability.

If required, RFT Solutions can negotiate with building professionals at all stages of the building process, to protect your best interests.

We help you to protect your investment by negotiating the building contract with the builder on any issues concerning contractual inclusions and exclusions, special conditions, the length of time required to finish your new home or house extension, and the staging of payments to the builder.

We can provide you with more information on architects, draftsmen, and builders in Melbourne, building costs and builders’ prices, as well as the quality Design and Building Solutions that RFT Solutions offers. RFT Solutions will inform you of the various stages of the building process and will assist you during the construction of your new house, home extension or house renovation.

You can Contact RFT Solutions by calling us on (03) 9421 2222 or quickly send details of your building project via our Contact Us page. You can also find details on our house renovations, house extensions, kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations pages.

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