What Does ‘Fixed Site Costs’ Actually Mean?
by Carlisle Homes
A fixed site cost offer may sound appealing, but to avoid any nasty surprises it’s crucial to check the fine print!
You’ve heard the term ‘fixed site costs’ before, but what does it actually mean? Here, we break it down and explain how choosing the right fixed-price offer can give you peace of mind when you’re building your new home.
What are site costs?
After the base house price and the cost of purchasing land, the next major component in your new-home budget is site costs. Site work is the labour required to prepare your land for construction. Site costs vary, depending on what exactly work needs to be done. If little work needs to be done, your site costs might be low. But they get more expensive if large equipment, such as tractors, excavators and cranes are required to prepare your land, or if experts such as tree fellers are called for.
What about fixed site costs?
To give you some certainty around the cost of your new home, many builders offer ‘fixed site costs’. This means your site costs are fixed from the outset.
But signing a fixed site costs contract still requires some good research or you may end up with some nasty – or expensive – surprises. While a fixed site costs offer can sound very attractive at first glance, these offers can come with conditions that mean your total site costs could still be subject to significant variation. So, it’s imperative that before you sign any building contract, you know exactly which site costs are – and are not – included.
“Often it’s only once we break down site costs in detail with a customer that they realise they’re not comparing apples with apples, and that their seemingly low quote for fixed site costs from another builder has a long list of costs that aren’t covered and could potentially be added to their build contract later on,” says Carlisle Homes Group House and Land Manager Taylah White. “By contrast, when Carlisle Homes says we offer fixed site costs, we really mean it. And they’re fixed from the moment you pay your deposit.”
Carlisle’s fixed site costs guarantee: how we’re different
With Carlisle’s Fixed Site Costs offer, the price you’re quoted for your new home is what you’ll pay.
Unlike many other builders, the list of costs we cover as part of our Fixed Site Costs option is comprehensive. There are the costs that relate to the preparation of the building site, such as earthwork, rock removal and drainage, as well as additional engineering requirements, like slab upgrades, bored piers, and deepened beams. There are also council requirements for managing construction, like temporary fencing and timber footpath crossovers. And developer requirements, such as specific facade treatments and roof pitches, and fibre optics.
Questions to ask about fixed site costs
Carlisle’s Fixed Site Costs are so comprehensive it means that your quotation from us provides an excellent checklist for comparison with other builders’ fixed pricing offers. So, an important question to ask any builder should be, “Does your fixed site cost cover all of these items?”
Carlisle Homes also supplies details of the Fixed Price in a quotation, which states our agreed cost. The quotation is printed, and your Carlisle sales consultant will sign it in front of you, to formalise our commitment and provide you with assurance. You should ask other builders if they’re also willing to provide this level of detail. If they won’t, perhaps the site costs aren’t really fixed.
It pays to be meticulous when comparing builder quotes. Because starting your project knowing exactly what you’ve committed to spending not only brings peace of mind, but it gives you options for managing your finances. If the total project cost comes in below your allocated budget, you can choose to pocket the savings, or you can reallocate those funds to things that will enhance your home, such as a premium kitchen upgrade – a much nicer scenario than starting a home build not knowing if an unforeseen site cost could blow your budget altogether!