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Building your home /06.11.19

How much does it cost to build a house?

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the price to build a house varies quite a bit from project to project. But in saying that, it’s not too difficult to work out your likely cost to build a new home.

To get a rough idea of what you can expect to pay, go through these five questions:

  1. How many bedrooms do I need?
  2. How many storeys do I want my house to be?
  3. What is the average cost of building in my state?
  4. Do I already have land organised?
  5. What condition is the block in?

1) How many bedrooms do I need?

The first question is simply a matter of what you need to meet your living requirements.

But before we get into that, it’s important to remember you’re going to get quotes from companies such as Clarendon Homes and private builders. Each have solid pros and cons, but the benefit of Clarendon Homes is the number you’re quoted is the number you’ll pay. Builders have a knack for charging extra fees as the project gets going, including the home design, material costs, project manager fees, and labour costs.

So when it comes to the average cost to build a house, we’re going to give you the numbers quoted from the outset.


You’ve no doubt seen that a 4-bedroom house can either be a shoebox with walls or a palace boasting its own gym, theatre, studies and more. That means we’ll need to cover the cheapest options out there, a reasonably comfortable 4-bedroom home, and something luxurious.

Arabella 17

  • 160sqm
  • From $153,100

Apollo 28

  • 264sqm
  • From $196,400


You’d be surprised just how little a fifth room adds to the cost of the home.

Arizona 34

  • 320sqm
  • From $255,400

Madison City 40

  • 374sqm
  • From $298,500

*Our builder numbers have been taken from independent research from Onproperty, but they don’t include a lot of the other costs.

2) How many storeys do I want my house to be?

You probably already know whether you’d prefer a single-storey or two-storey home. But if you’re sitting on the fence, here’s our general list of pros and cons.

Single Storey


  • Easy access
  • Slightly cheaper.


  • Requires a larger block for similar floorspace
  • Significantly limits the potential size of the house.

Double Storey:


  • Far more space for the size of the block
  • Including land, usually costs less to buy and build for comparable floorspace
  • Higher resale value
  • More impressive facades.


  • Less accessible for the physically impaired.


A double-storey home will set you back more in the cost. But keep in mind that you’ll save on the size of the block required.

Consider the Maitland 40. Beautiful home – a single storey 5-bedroom house, offering over 386sqm of floorspace. It starts from just $267,500, but it does require a block that’s at least 32m across.

Then you’ve got the Armadale 41, a double-storey 5-bedroom house with around 377sqm of floorspace. Its cost is a shade higher (starting from $305,100), but it only needs a block that’s 13.5m wide.

We’re comparing apples and oranges here, but the moral of the story is that double-storey homes aren’t the hit on the pocket most people think.

3) What is the average cost to build a house in my state?

The cost to build a new home itself will only vary slightly, but it’s land that really changes from town to town. Thankfully, Queenslanders have it pretty good when it comes to buying.

Data from Domain has shown Brisbane’s median house price (with land) was around $563,666 at the end of the March 2019 quarter. That’s well over $200,000 less than either Sydney or Melbourne, and within 10% of Adelaide, Perth or Darwin.

If all you’re chasing is the cheapest build possible, Hobart is your best bet. But all in all, Queensland offers a good mix of climate, culture, build price and career opportunities.

4) Do I already have land organised?

Land can be the tricky bit, but if you have the home you’re looking for already decided, it makes finding land easier. All you need is a property with the dimensions to suit the home.

You’ll normally have three options when it comes to finding that perfect block:

  • Find your own land – This simply means buying a vacant block and building on it. It’s not a bad option, but it takes a lot of research and generally forces you into new estates.
  • Demolish an existing home – It no doubt adds to the cost, but it potentially means you’ll be buying a bigger block in the exact area you want to live.
  • Home and land packages – If you’ve decided on the home and area you want to live in, you can leave the rest to Clarendon Homes. We’ll go and find you a block that suits, so you can kick back and relax while your dream home takes shape.

Find out more about Clarendon Homes’ house and land packages.

5) What condition is the block in?

This is a massive factor in determining the price to build a house. Buying a lumpy and bumpy lot means retaining walls and earthworks – and that adds up to more than you’d think.

Onproperty offers a pretty fair guide to the costs you can expect. For every metre your property slopes on the front-to-back angle, that’ll usually cost $6,000 to resolve. So if the back of your property is 4m higher than the front, you may end up parting with $24,000 to flatten it out.

On the side-to-side front, it’s a bit worse. You’ll usually end up parting with $9,000 for every metre of slope going across your block. Even a 3m slope from left to right means you could be paying $27,000 before any building starts.

Most blocks have slopes, so don’t feel you need to avoid them. It’s just an important point to consider when you’re valuing potential land.

How do I get started?

The first step is to find the home – that’ll really help you refine your list of land. And the best way to find your ideal home is to check out your local Clarendon Homes display homes. You can wander through, get a feel for each house, and find the one that suits you best.

Check out our display home locations, and find your dream house today.

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