Where to start? Budget.

Money, money, money… the age old dilemma. How to figure out a budget for a home is tough and can vary depending on what you are trying to achieve. If you are flush with cash, great! You’re most likely not too concerned with monitoring your budget and saving all your pennies for that Instagram worthy kitchen. But if your not cashed up or you have been saving for ages but don’t know what you can actually afford, I’m here to provide some basic and generalised guidelines that I work with when designing.

I’m an architect so aesthetics are important to me as well as function, so I really get it. I understand the dream and the desire to have all the beautiful finishes and things, but I also understand that it’s an unlikely reality to have this throughout a home. I also understand having a budget (don’t worry not all the rumours you hear about architects are true, we know what a budget is). Choose the spaces to spend money in and reduce back in others, not every space has to be completely finished or up to the same level as somewhere else in the home. So lets get down to budgets and home sizes.

I start with an approximate amount of $2,000.00 -$2,500.00 per m2 minimum for the construction (including finishes) of your home for my clients. This allows for some flexibility and options for them during the selection stage (fixtures, floor finishes, lights etc.). I then take the budget of my clients and divide it by the $2,000.00-$2,500.00 and get a starting point for the projects overall area size. The minimum price per m2 will vary for different designers, architects and builders, therefore you can discuss your project more specifically with your chosen professional, however it’s often a good place to start for most clients. You may need to allow for earthworks/retaining for your project, so consider this when working out your budget, this will be a separate amount from the $2,000-$2,500. The more difficult your site, the potential for more earthworks increases.

It is always a good idea to have a contingency amount set aside as well. If you can afford 15-20% of your overall budget then that’s great, but if not, having any extra money set aside just incase is a good idea.

This budget is for a new house construction, if you have a reno then its worth going in and discussing your project specifically. You never know what you are going to find with an existing home.

If your budget comes in a bit tight for the dream, don’t loose hope! There are so many options and ways to bring your home to life. Think of spaces as being flexible, and having a really big home is not always the best idea. We should all be trying to reduce our impact anyways and allowing yourself, as well as your home, to grow with you can be a great option. You can work towards an overall masterplan of your home, plan for future additions at the start and build your home in stages.

Hopefully this has helped you start thinking of how much you may need for your new home. As always thank you for reading, any questions send them through.