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Average Cost Of Building A Home In New Zealand

Looking at building your dream home, or taking the first step in your property investment journey? The most commonly asked question we get is, “How much does it cost to build a home?”

We at Farrell Build aim to educate you on the basic costs of building a home in New Zealand and all the tools required to calculate these numbers.

Price per m2

Note: A Square meter (m2) is a 1m by 1m square box. The area should be measured from the exterior of the wall framing. Excludes eaves, decks, driveway etc. For two story homes add the downstairs m2 to the upstairs m2. If you need help with these calculations, please contact us and we will be more than happy to work you through the process to find this out.

The most common method is a price per M2. This involves working out the square meterage of your home and multiplying it by the figure supplied by the us. This figure on average in 2020 is $2,800.00. This will give you a good ‘ballpark figure’ to start working out what you can and cannot afford.

Now before you go and start jumping for joy with that figure it is important to understand some things. This price per m2 is used as a good price indicator from the floor up. This means it covers you for everything thing inside the building envelope once the foundation/floor has been laid. A big reason for this is that the earth works and any potential retaining of land can provide a big sum of unforeseen cost. A foundation may cost anywhere between $10,000.00-$100,000.00.

Geotech Report

A good way to navigate such a massive unforeseen cost is engaging a Geotech engineer to perform a Geotech test and deliver a detailed report on your site. We strongly recommend spending the $2,000.00-$3,000.00 for this report as it has the potential to save you a $100,000.00 headache down the line.

It is also important to note that $2,800.00 per M2 is only good for a standard home on the flat. Anything that is of a bespoke design or on the hill can drive the cost up to between $3,000.00-$4,000.00 per M2 Things that are covered in a M2 Price

· Architect, council, and any other administrative fees

· Everything that has been specified in the building envelope

· Basic kitchen, & bathroom

· Basic floor coverings

· Decks

Things that are NOT covered in a M2 Price

· Driveways

· Paths

· Landscaping

· Furnishings

· Earthworks

· Retaining of land

· Sediment control

· Water tanks/stormwater control (generally for rural properties)

Good ways to reduce the cost of your build

· Think about reducing the size of your build. For example, downsizing from 200m2 to 180m2 will reduce a significant amount of cost and allow you to spend the money saved in other areas.

· When consulting with your architect in the preliminary design stages put an emphasis on a simplistic/modular design. This does not mean your home has to be ‘boring’. A smart design can save a lot of hours in labour and material costs during the build. Farrell Build like to be involved right from the preliminary design stage as we have a good practical viewpoint to offer design advice from.

· As mentioned above preliminary testing such as Geotech reports are a really good tool when it comes to understand the extend of work required for your site.

Things that will inflate the cost of your build

· Light fittings & fixtures

· Tiled bathrooms

· Tapware & Shower fittings

· Bench tops & kitchen upgrades

· Floor coverings

All the above are extra costs added to the build by you the homeowner. Naturally, we tend to be attracted to the shiniest most expensive thing in the showroom. Sometimes the most expensive is not always the best. It pays to do your market research when choosing these things and make sure you are getting the best value for money. Farrell Build can offer plenty of advice on the best and most trusted industry suppliers as we regularly deal with a range of different products.

What Farrell Build can do for you

It is very important to have a detailed list of all the costs/potential costs that may arise during your build. The best time to accumulate this is during the Pre-construction process. The team at Farrell Build put a big emphasis on this part of your project. We believe it is just as important as the build itself. This is the time to be upfront and 100% transparent about the cost for your project and for you to discuss any extras you may want to include in your build. Now have a better insight into the potential cost of building your home. If you have any further question or wish to talk about your project with the team of industry professionals at Farrell Build contact us today and we will be more than happy to help.


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Farrell Build is a Christchurch-based construction company that brings over 30 years of experience to residential and commercial projects of all sizes.

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