The cost of your siteworks can vary considerably depending on which part of Perth you have purchased your land.
The main purpose of this article is to give you a basic overview of the core site-work components no matter where you build.
The additional costs of building a custom home will vary depending on many different conditions and is very dependent on your individual block.
Not all costs listed here will be applicable for every project, so use this list as a comprehensive guide only.
Summary of Costs
There are four main cost components when building a new home, which you can read about in the article, 'How Much Does it Cost To Build a Home in Perth?
The cost of your land
The price of your home
The cost of your finishings
The site-related costs (usually referred to as site-works)
What are Site-Works?
One of the greatest forms of frustration for new home buyers is when a builder doesn't tell you the full story of costs up-front. Instead, some builders apply a figure for site works, sign you up and then correct those figures and add in additional costs at contract presentation stage.
Not only is this a source of great stress, but it could also stretch you financially beyond your means - and at worst – cause you to have to cancel your entire project due to the inability to obtain your finance.
The actual site-preparation (or earthworks) is just one part of an overall list of items that you need to consider prior to the construction of your new home.
The most common core components are listed below. These approximate cost allowance can vary so be sure to ask your home builder about your specific blocks requirements:
Site Preparation - From $2500
Your block of land will need to be prepared in readiness for the foundations and concrete slab to be laid. A clean flat block will ensure minimum cost.
Site preparation includes the clearing of all structures, vegetation, trees and stumps, bores, rock, and any other items that may impact on the foundations of your new home. It also involves leveling of the land, forming the sand pad, engineers site inspection and the supply of a compaction certificate.
Approvals - Planning fees - $1000 to $3000
Most councils now require plans to be submitted for approval prior to applying for a building license. This is called a DA (Development Approval) and is often referred to as planning approval.
Service Connections - Cost Nil to Many Thousand
In most new land development estates, all of the services, including natural gas, electricity, sewerage and telecommunication wiring will run across the front of your block. Older areas may have a variety of situations to deal with.
Each of these services will need to be run-in to your new home.
Some builders have allowances built into the price of the home for you, but these can vary from builder to builder.
Survey Re-Peg - From $600
As part of a good builder's quality standards, a survey and re-peg should be carried out to ensure that the location of your home is correct before construction can begin.
Any retaining walls also need to be confirmed that they have been located in the correct position in regards to your boundaries.
Construction of Driveway and Crossover - From $3,000
An allowance is usually included in the price of your home for a brick paved driveway up to the front boundary.
However, there is the additional portion of land between the front of your property and the street itself, which is referred to as the council verge or the crossover.
The amount of paving or concrete required to complete this section will vary from one block to another based on the length of the crossover; whether a footpath is installed on your side of the street; and any other requirements relating to your particular Council.
Council Bonds and Fees - Cost Nil to Many Thousand
Kerb / Verge / Footpath - During the construction of your home a large amount of heavy machinery and vehicles will need to access your block.
If you have the footpath installed on your side of the street, then this can often result in the path being cracked or broken, and this will need to be reinstated to its original condition.
To cover the cost of these repairs a bond or fee is incorporated into your siteworks, and if it is not required will be refunded as part of your final building payment.
The cost of repairs to existing paths will also need to be considered.
Street Tree Protection - If your block has a tree in front of it the council may apply a bond and the tree must be fenced off to ensure it’s protection during construction.
Installation of Soakwells - Average $3,500
The majority of Council Building Departments throughout the Perth metropolitan area now require soakwells to be installed as one of the conditions of your Building License approval.
Depending on the level of access, these will usually comprise 2 to 3 large wells in a suitable area to remove excess rainwater from your property.
The price shown here, also incorporates taking sand away from your block if required, once the holes for the soakwells have been dug.
Treated Roof Timbers - $500
The European House Borer is a flying insect which can get into the roof cavity of your home and bore holes into the timber frame that supports your roof.
The Western Australian State Government has established Restricted Movement Zones to combat the spread of this insect, however, if your property is in or near one of these zones, then your local Council may insist upon your roof timbers being treated to provide added protection to your home.
Coastal Zone Conditions - From $1500 to Many Thousands
If your property is located within 1 km of the ocean, or close to a moving body of saltwater (ie an inlet) then you may need to incorporate additional requirements to your home to prevent the effects of the salt in the air. This includes items such as epoxy / galvanized lintels, stainless steel components, galvanized roof hardware and possible mortar upgrade.
The cost of this will vary depending on whether you install a Colorbond metal roof (this is the cheaper option), or a concrete or clay tiled roof (this is the more expensive option).
Wind Zone Upgrades - From $750
In locations which are more exposed to high-wind conditions, the engineering certification for your home may require additional elements to be incorporated into the roof construction, such as stainless steel straps and roof ties, and additional fixings for the actual roof cover. Window frames and Glazing may also require upgrading.
Bushfire Zones - From $750 to Many Thousand
If your land has any bush or parks in close proximity a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) report may be required which in turn may result in upgrading of your home to withstand a bushfire.
Safety Scaffolding for Roof Workers - From $1500
In many of the new land developments, extensive limestone retaining walls are constructed to create a level block environment.
This sometimes results in the distance from a rooftop to the ground level on the adjacent block being over and above the normal Worksafe Requirements for roof trades.
Where this occurs, then an additional cost will need to be included for roof scaffolding to be installed along the affected roof-line.
Hard Digging Allowances - Costs can vary dramatically
One of the first tasks undertaken once you proceed with your home is to complete a soil report to determine what is actually under the top level of soil that developers include in their land estates.
Depending on which part of Perth you are building in, this could include limestone, normal sand, clay or even rock.
If it is determined from this report that there may be difficulties in digging down to the required depths for the installation of house foundations or service trenches, then a hard-digging allowance may need to be included in case additional machinery needs to be used to complete this work.
This is usually a provisional sum, and if it is not required during construction it will be credited back in your final progress payment.
Additional Site Cleaning Due to Restricted Access - $1200
As block sizes become smaller and smaller, and local Councils impose more restrictions on what can be loaded onto the verge of your block, it is sometimes necessary to carry out additional site cleans to your property during the construction process, in order to make room for the next delivery of goods.
An amount is always included in the base price of your home for a standard number of site cleans, so additional site cleans will only be included if your block has restricted storage and access.
This covers most of the main expenses that could impact on you.
Be sure to ask your builder for a complete breakdown of all associated cost for the construction of your new home.
If you’d like some help with your specific project please don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of our new homes sales consultants will be in touch shortly.