Home Extensions & Home Renovations

Tips for House Extensions & Home Renovation Costs

House Extension Costs In Melbourne

How much is my house extension, home renovation going to cost me?

This is the question most frequently asked by our clients. At the start of a potential house renovation project it is impossible to quote builder’s quotes without working drawings and a list of materials, fittings and fixtures.

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

  • Choice of building materials, fittings and fixtures – bathroom and kitchen tap fittings, tiles, window frames, heating & cooling, lighting.
  • 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 building project or house renovation.
  • 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 will factor in a different profit margin for a professional builder’s quote.
    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.

An estimate from a quality builder can prove extremely useful at this early stage as a guide to what you can spend on your new house, house renovation or extension. An estimate of home extension costs can be provided based on floor area rates and building costs from previous projects. It is not possible to provide an elemental estimate (as provided by a Quantity Surveyor) at this stage due to the preliminary nature of the documentation available to work with.

If a builder’s quote gets submitted without listing the scope of work, then you will need to examine each quote vigilantly to ensure nothing has been left out, and be wary of unrealistically low prices as you may be the victim of a budget blow out further into your building project. Base prices for building projects can blow out with understated ‘Optional Extras’ once you have signed up.

Estimating House Extension Costs

Some real-world costings on the price of extensions and additions to your home.

If you decide to use a Design & Construct Builder, in addition to your plans they provide permits, soil report, engineering as well as construction in their pricing. While their designs are not necessarily architecturally creative, their prices generally end up being the lowest. You may choose to use an architect or designer/draftsperson to draw up plans for builders to quote on. If you want something creative or different from the majority of extensions in your street, this option may be for you. However the final cost is likely to be greater than a Design & Construct Builder. You may also end up with a wonderful set of plans that cannot be realised without exceeding your budget. Some builders are prepared to comment on your house plans as they’re being drawn. They are in a good position to make suggestions regarding design and materials to keep your costs down or at least to give you costs before your plans are finished. When you are seeking quotes on your plans, they may be able to submit a very tight price due to their familiarity with them.

As a rough guide, the following fees may be charged. Based on a home extension contract costing $150k requiring a planning permit, you will typically be looking at:

  • Architect: $9,000 – $15,000
  • Draftsperson: $3,200 – $6,500
  • Land Surveyor: $800 – $1,850 – if required
  • Geotechnical engineer (soil reports): $300 – $550
  • Private Town Planner: $1,000 – $10,000
  • Structural Engineer: $750 – $1,400
  • Building Surveyor: $1,500 – $2,250

Your costs will also be influenced by the following factors:

Choice of materials, fittings & fixtures;

  • seasonal fluctuations;
  • delays – town planning, weather;
  • builder’s profit margin
  • how much you can do yourself – eg painting
  • soft landscaping
  • abnormal ground conditions requiring extra concrete poured or site costs

For more information on how to save, read about our drafting services in Melbourne.

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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