Square Meter Rates – The Doorway To Budget Blowouts

Trying to work out what you can afford to build can be daunting!

It’s why we live in a world where the square meter rate has become the “standard” method of working out the cost your home.

Today we talk about why working on a square meter rate sends you on a trip down a very rocky road and share our experiences.

Let’s start by talking about recent projects we were invited to tender on in Adelaide.

All of these homes, had one thing in common.  They were sized to suit a budget, based on a square meter rate.

One example is a 225 square meter home brought to us to price.  This was designed to suit a construction budget of $550,000, meaning a square meter rate of roughly $2450 had been used to size the house.

As this was a tender project, there were three prices done by different builders.  All of the prices where within $10,000 of each other and came in at an average of $950,000.  This is a square meter rate of $4220.

As an aside, this shows you that all custom home builders, charge roughly the same amount of money for the same home when the real costs are compared, “apples for apples”.


So why was this the case?

The reason is that no two custom homes are the same, and this home included a tonne of addition items that just aren’t catered for in a $2500 per square meter budget, in this case, these were items such as;

  • Stone facades
  • Rammed Earth Walls
  • Split level slab
  • Significant site works
  • Premium joinery
  • Premium doors and windows

For the home owner, this was a disastrous outcome as there was a lot of compromise and change required to get the home to a lower (although not their original) budget.

As a professional builder, we always recommend looking at the cost of what you want to build from the point of view of what you want built…this means that often the square meterage of your home is a final outcome, rather than the first thing we work out in order to establish budget/design fit.

Building a 250sqm could cost anywhere between $1500 and $5000 per square meter, dependant on what you want included in the building contract!

So when you are calling potential builders, the best question to ask them is exactly what a home with similar features to what you want has cost to build for someone else in the recent past.

This enables you to gauge how many things were included in the price and if they are things you planned to have in or out of the building contract.

When you build yourself a new home, it’s one of the biggest investments you may ever make, so you want to make sure that you are getting real, honest advice, based on what similar homes actually cost, rather than “starting prices” and “square meter rates”.

To find out more about a building a quality custom home beginning with being realistic about cost with your builder, download our guide on 5 things to know about building a custom home in Adelaide

To download, simply fill in the form below!

5 Keys to Efficient Homebuilding

Enduro Builders is South Australia’s most sought-after builder, designer, and construction company. We are ready to create your unique, modern and high end luxury Energy Efficient homes.

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