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Hidden Costs to Look For in Your Melbourne Building Quote



One of the biggest reasons behind budget blowout when building your dream home is the hidden costs within a construction quote. It’s important to read your contract carefully, ensuring you understand exactly what is included and what you should expect to pay for down the line.

So what are some of the most common hidden costs to look out for?.


In order to build your new home, you’ll need approval from your local council. These vary state to state, but can include Development Application (DA) fees, building approval fees and a construction certificate fee. You may also be liable for long service levies, capital works fees and road opening fees.

It’s best to check that your contract includes all of these costs, or if they aren’t included, investigate how much these will set you back in your local area.


Site preparation has the highest variability, as it’s hard to investigate until the ground is cleared and soil and contour tests are completed. It includes anything required to get the site ready for construction, including excavation, demolition and the removal of any debris.

Your construction quote should take into consideration the service locations, slope of the land and design of your new home. Some quotes will include a generic cost for this, so it’s important to ask exactly how this price was costed and ensure the builder has been out to see your site so they can build an informed cost.

It’s also worth checking that the costs for connecting and maintaining utilities are included. This includes water, electricity, gas, telephone, sewerage and fire control.


Every building site needs to have a portable toilet, erosion control barrier and temporary site fence for the duration of the build. The cost of these amenities should be included in any quote and not written off as a variation down the line.


Structural costs vary based on the complexity of your design, and can include structural timber and steel, the floor slab and footings. The cost is dependent on engineering design, but this usually hasn’t been completed when a quote is drawn up.

As such, the quote will usually include an estimate, based on your architectural plans. One way to reduce the risk of blowing out is to have your builder organise engineering drawings prior to signing on the dotted line. There is a cost to this, but this small piece of information can save you money in the long run!


An incredibly simple way to figure out if there any hidden costs in your quote is to ask about exclusions. Once you understand what isn’t being included in your quote, you can start to ask the right questions about what is and what other costs you may need to consider during your build.

Start by asking about what costs you may need to consider during or after your build. For example, is the crossover included? If yes, is it single or double? You should also ask about the driveway, landscaping, sheds, antennas and letterbox to name just a few additions.

To learn what a comprehensive construction quote should include, we recommend downloading our free construction checklist booklet.


To learn more about construction quotes and what is and isn’t included, get in touch with the expert team at Edina Building Group today.

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