Your Guide to Understanding Site Costs
by Carlisle Homes
Site costs vary depending on where you choose to build and understanding them is an important step when planning your dream home.
Two empty blocks of land might look, to the naked eye, like they’re exactly the same – just flat rectangles of soil waiting for your dream home to be built on top. Often, that’s not the case. There are countless factors that need to be considered all of which mean that the cost of building the same house on two different sites can be quite different.
The two words to consider when you’re planning to build your home, are “site costs”. As Carlisle Homes’ Group House and Land Manager Nicole Dowling explains, Site costs include “a range of variable costs that are unique to your specific site.” It’s vital that you understand them when researching builders, to ensure that you are best prepared to manage your overall budget and truly compare builder prices when it comes to site costs.
Generally, site costs have an influence on your overall budget which are often not taken into consideration. They relate to the topography of the land, and what lies underneath, particularly the specific characteristics of the soil.
In the first instance, a site survey is completed to establish your block dimensions, and measurements of your block’s levels. “While an elevated or sloping block gives character and a beautiful outlook, it can also substantially influence your site cost outcome,” says Dowling.
A soil test must also be completed before you start building. “A geotechnical engineer will take samples from your site to understand how ‘reactive’ the soil is, which refers to the likeliness of it expanding and contracting,” Dowling explains. “These results provide the classification of concrete slab needed for your specific site.” For example, if the soil is particularly reactive, the slab may need further measures such as the installation of bored piers, or deepened beams to ensure structural integrity, as determined by engineers.
Other associated requirements/costs
Other site-specific costs that you need to factor into your budget stem from the requirements of your local council. These include measures that have to be taken during construction, such as temporary fencing and sediment control, which prevents soil from the worksite from washing away into the storm water system.
There are some locations where protection from termite attack and bushfire risk have to be taken into account when building your home. “Every new home built in a bushfire-prone area (as determined by government) must undergo a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) assessment. This determines the requirements for the construction of any dwelling to improve protection of building components.” says Dowling.
Developer requirements, intended to protect the integrity and overall aesthetics of an estate, can also add costs to the final design of your home. Examples include things like external materials to your facade, your roof pitch and facade articulation.
Confidently managing your budget.
For many people, the uncertainty of site costs can be unsettling. However, there is a way to begin your exciting new journey knowing you won’t incur additional costs. By electing the option to fix your site costs with Carlisle Homes, you can rest assured that your site costs are fixed* from the day you pay your deposit. Our estimators use their technical expertise together with Carlisle’s 15 years of construction history to provide our customers with fixed* price surety.
“Fixed* site costs provide our clients peace of mind because you know up front just how much your brand new home and their associated site costs are going to be,” Dowling explains. But she warns that not all builders offer the same fixed* site cost options. “While some builders claim to cover 100% of site costs, they’ll often include confusing disclaimers she says. “At Carlisle Homes, our Fixed* Site Costs option means that they are 100% fixed* in price, guaranteed. We take on the risk, so if we then discover any unknown conditions on site, we will cover it.”
*Pricing based on developer engineering plans & plan of subdivision and Carlisle standard floor plan with preferred siting (without alterations). Package Price does not include any costs associated with Developer's Corner Facade treatment requirements (which will be priced by Carlisle Homes by way of Post Contract Variation), stamp duty, government, legal or bank charges. Carlisle reserves the right to withdraw or amend pricing, inclusions & promo without notice. Bushfire (BAL) requirements will be credited back to the client if Carlisle Homes receives confirmation that the house is not being constructed in a BAL designated area. This cannot be confirmed until site survey and property information from relevant authorities is received. See a Sales Consultant & visit carlislehomes.com.au/disclaimer/ for further details. Registered Building Practitioner CDB-U50143 ©2019 Carlisle Homes Pty Ltd.