• Helsby Construction Group


Size doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

Whether you’re building a new house or extending an existing dwelling, the floor space involved is only one factor affecting the price.

Other factors such as materials, site location and condition, design, and labour costs have a huge impact as well and need to be given sufficient weighting when building up your budget.

This is why you shouldn’t trust a quote purely based off cost per square metre. These are likely to be very inaccurate and lacking in adequate detail, which means you’re more likely to end up going over budget or being unhappy with your results.

Let us explain….


When it comes to pricing, the details of the design are much more important than the overall size.

A relatively small 25sqm extension can vary wildly in price depending on design, for example:

· You could require a simple box with one entryway and one window, or a long, narrow L shape that fits around the house.

· The design might include changes to the existing roofline or simply adding a lean-to.

· It could have a double-height ceiling or huge picture windows, multiple internal walls or none at all.

All these variations will obviously change the price:

· More internal walls mean more materials used.

· Changes to the roofline mean a longer build and higher labour costs.

· Large windows are more expensive, and trickier to install.

Getting a professional builder involved at the design stage, or using a company that has one on board, can help you avoid spending thousands on a design that could end up being way out of your price range.


Even if you choose a very simple design, costs can increase depending on your choice of material, for example:

· 25sqm of wooden floorboards will be exponentially more expensive than 25sqm of linoleum or vinyl flooring.

· For bathrooms or kitchens, the quality and even size of floor tile can have a dramatic impact on your costs. Then there are endless choices of fittings: a single bathroom tap can cost anything from $60 – $1600.

Some material choices will be up to you, which means you can choose to keep the cost down if you need to – although choosing the cheapest possible option often ends up costing you more in the long run.

Others will be non-negotiable, eg where you need to use the appropriate wall and flooring materials in a new bathroom to avoid water and/or steam damage.


Labour is one of the biggest costs in any build. The more complicated and detailed your design, the longer it’s likely to take. For example, where you are looking at changing the roofline or adding a new level to your house will be both complex and time consuming.

That’s not just for the builders either, the more complex the project the more time involved for any other trades or specialist contractors.

Again, this is where working with builder or building company experienced in your specific type of building project comes in handy. Rather than giving you a simplistic quote based on square meterage, they will have the knowledge and experience to be able to consider things like labour and contractor costs, and factor those in from the beginning.

Whatever your building dreams, it’s important to have a realistic view of costs right from the start. You really don’t want to spend thousands on plans and then have to scrap or downgrade them later on. Avoid disappointment, and don’t trust simplistic, square-meter based building quotes – the truth is much more complicated.

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