As custom home specialists in Warrnambool, we understand the unique nature of building a home, and all the costs that come with it. One of the most common questions we’re asked is ‘how much should I pay for my custom home?’

The easy answer to this question is there is no answer! Every custom home is just that – custom – and therefore, is full of individual selections that make providing a ballpark figure impossible. It’s just one of the reasons why we don’t advocate for quotes based on square metre rates.

When looking to build their dream home, many fall into the trap of opting for the lowest quote, which is often based on a square metre rate. This is calculated on how much land your home is going to cover – not what’s inside it. This only opens you up to problems down the line, with additional costs and extended timelines.

The square metre rate was born out of a desire to compare apples with apples – it was the easiest way to compare quotes from different builders to check you weren’t being ripped off. However, it introduces so much room for error that it is actually an inaccurate representation of the true value of a build.

The square metre rate doesn’t take into consideration the fixtures, fittings and finishes of your home, or any other construction requirements, such as the slope of the site, access needs or drainage requirements. What’s more, a slightly more expensive flooring option, or a different type of tapware can add up to thousands of dollars in difference.

A custom home quote should include all of these factors and therefore, only be considered once a site visit is completed and all selections have been decided upon.

How should I compare quotes?

Every quote will be different, as every builder will include different things. For example, some may only quote on the house alone and disregard landscaping and fencing. Others may include these components, but then make an estimate on measurements or prices on certain items (otherwise known as a prime cost).

Finally, certain builders may quote on the simplest design when quoting, only including one power point in the lounge room, or just a couple of downlights in the kitchen. This under quoting will result in significant cost increases further down the line.

Therefore, when it comes to choosing a builder, always take the time to read through the quote carefully, making notes on what’s included and excluded. If the builder hasn’t taken the time to at least visit your site, consider your unique requirements, or quotes on a square metre rate, it’s not worth the risk.


To find out more about why we don’t advocate for square metre rates, or to enquire about building your very own custom home, get in touch with the friendly team at Bolden Constructions.