How Your Land Will Impact The Cost Of Building

When building a house, your block of land will influence the type of house you can build and the additional costs that are triggered on your block as compared to building on a block of land with the perfect conditions. There are so many variables that have an impact on the final price of construction. Different blocks pose various challenges whether it is established or greenfield, inner city or remote, flat or sloping, all of which can have a varying cost impact to the bottom line when building a home.

Knowing you Land

There are various online tools available to give you some insight to the condition of your block and the parameters you must follow when building a house.

New Estates

If your block is in a greenfield estate (a new housing development, generally in the growth corridors), then you will need to contact the developer of the estate or view the estates website to get a copy of the Design Guidelines, Memorandum of Common Provisions (MCP), Plan of Subdivision (POS) and Engineering. These documents will help you understand all the nuances and limitations when building your new home. The Design Guidelines and MCP tells you the rules around building in that estate. The POS and Engineering tells you about the dimensions/size and orientation, if there is any easements or overlays and the amount of fall and/or fill on the block of land.

Established Suburbs

If your block of land is in an established suburb, then a great free resource for Victorians is VicPlan. This site will give valuable information about your block, including how much fall is on the land, if you have any council overlays and how they impact what you can do on your site, from the existing home to the trees, on that block and neighbouring properties. Also, when purchasing a property, you would have a copy of the ‘Section 32’ in the Contract of Sale which would have the POS and any other important information or limitations about the block.

Impact of soil and site conditions

 Another factor that can add tens of thousands to the build price is what is happening underground. Things like the condition of soil and if rock removal is required, (is still an unknown until you start excavating), but you can get an indication of what is going on with a geotechnical report and an even broader indication with some free geotechnical maps basic overview and a detailed overview.

If making sense of all of this information starts to become overwhelming, please feel free to contact one of our experienced designers for some guidance moving forward.

Impact of Location

Inner City Costs

With established areas, they possess a lot of desirable benefits like, established public transport networks, various options for schools and shopping centres etc. These conveniences do come at premium though as the more established the area is, the less likely it is to find a vacant block, the closer it is the CBD to busier the traffic and more frequent the public transport will be. All of which equals dollars, as the construction period will inherently take longer, forcing trades to charge more and potentially requiring traffic management throughout parts of the build.

Access can also be an issue, triggering surcharges for deliveries, double handling of materials and trades having nowhere to park their vehicles making it harder to access their tools. All these unknowns become expenses that owners generally don’t consider, (nor see any value or benefit from) but are required costs when building in an established area.

Urban Fringe Costs

If living closer to the CBD is not a priority, but getting away from the hustle and bustle is, then you will be likely looking for the serenity and beauty that a remote site offers. Land is cheaper per m2 but generally the further you go out the larger the portion of land is on offer which can mean, the overall land cost can still be the same. Other factors to consider are surcharges from suppliers and trades if your land is outside their metro zone and due to the travel, this can also create extra costs and longer build time.

Bushfire Zone Costs

You will also find that the further out you go the greater the risk of bush fires causing higher Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) which requires the home to be more resilient to the threat of fire, this is imposed on the property by the home council. You may find the more rural you go the less infrastructure there is available such as; sewerage, town water and even power from the grid. These can all be overcome but they have a significant cost element to consider when deciding on the perfect block.

Demolition Costs

As vacant blocks are rare in established areas, it generally means you will need to buy a property with an existing house on it, which means a larger investment price to purchase the desired block, just to be able to do a Knock Down Re Build (KDRB). This obviously has additional cost associated to it such as, the capping of services (water, gas, power, sewerage and stormwater), the demolition/removal or relocation of the existing home, leaving the site disturbed which causes additional costs to create a new foundation for the new home and consideration for existing and neighbouring vegetation.


Sloping Land Costs

No matter where you decide to build, the terrain of the land can vary from a functional flat block to an extreme slopping block with picturesque views or anywhere in between. Traditionally volume builders will reject blocks with more than 2 meters of fall over the site which means you will need to allow for additional costs of dealing with a custom designed home purpose built for these challenging conditions. Most custom builders though, will work with the lay of the land by designing you a split-level homes that complements the terrain and captures those breathtaking views, giving you the best possible results.


When deciding to buy land or build on the land you already own, please consider all these unseen unknown costs that are required to build your new home. Here at Busby Homes we pride ourselves on providing honest advice and guidance from our experienced Designers that are passionate about helping clients through this once daunting process.

We also believe in transparency with our customers, which is why we have a price guide to help our customers have a better understanding how much it will cost to build a home.

We are here to help so please feel free to book an appointment or have a conversation with one of our expert designer staff today!

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