Why you shouldn’t rely on a square metre rate price for a new home

05 Jul

So often the first question I hear people asking is, “what is your square metre rate”?  The answer is, “what do you want for your new home’. You see, a square metre rate is actually different for every new home and is derived from back costing at the completion of a build, not at the beginning.  Builders all over are freely throwing around square metre rates just to get you interested and maybe committed to them without any real information on the design, inclusions, fixtures and fittings or any site information.  This leads many people being tempted to compare the square metre rates they are given to decide on a builder. Let me give you 2 reasons why this is a BIG mistake…

Reason #1:
Think back to a time you bought something by the metre. Perhaps it was some carpet, material for a dress or curtains, or a length of rope at the hardware store. Let me ask you this question: when comparing different carpets (or materials or ropes… or whatever) did the per metre price vary much? Of course it did. Why?

It’s obvious – different types of carpet (or material or rope… or houses) are very different in quality. One carpet may be made of wool while another is synthetic. One type of material may be handmade while another may come from an automated machine. And one rope may have a breaking strain of 1 ton while another can’t hold 100kg.

An average home contains hundreds of different ‘ingredients’ including carpet, concrete, tiles, taps, sinks, paint, timber, glass etc. And all of these materials come in different qualities. On top of that, the way in which these materials are assembled into a finished house differs in quality and attention to detail.

The variances are almost infinite. So comparing one builder’s price of $1,000 per square metre to another’s price of $2,000 per square metre is exactly like trying to compare an orange with a lemon. The differences are many, not just the price.

Reason #2:
Every house design is different. Some houses are square, some houses are ‘L’ shaped, and others have many different angles and shapes. While 3 different houses may all have the same internal dimension (square metres) the quantity of building materials that go into these homes will vary greatly in quantity depending on the shape.

Compare these two designs…








Both have an internal area of 200 square metres. But the house on the right has 78% greater wall area and will require more guttering, more blocks, and metres more plasterboard. It will probably have more windows and doors. And it will need at least several litres more paint.

So don’t be fooled into trying to compare house prices via square metre rates. The variables are too great. And you may find you end up with a lemon when you really wanted an orange.

The right builder can give you great design ideas that add impact and style without increasing the price.

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