Going back about 10 years ago, we would just talk about site costs and everything under the sun would fall into that category. Everything that wasn’t the house. Except for the ‘fluff’ like carpets, stone bench tops, nice timber floors and the like. Everything that wasn’t the fluff, we would sit there with clients and explain that these were site costs. In other words, these are costs of construction. But of course now, the language the market is using has changed a lot. Areas like 6 star energy ratings, occupational health and safety, council fees and permits, charges, retaining walls, drainage around the house, these were site costs. Now they are called, costs of construction. When people are talking about ‘your site costs will only be this much for your house’ all these other items have been excluded from the definition.
Inevitably when someone is building a house, they would of had to invest in those things any way, however at Long Island Homes, we don’t like people getting nasty surprises. When we are sitting with clients, one of the things that we do when we are asking questions, is that we talk about this part. The reason being is that land prices are moving up, we need to have money in our budgets to be able to successfully complete the houses. We don’t want to invest in the house, facade, finishes, etc. Then realise the client bought land on a 2 metre sloping block and we need a certain budget to be able to do all the site works that go with that. This might be retaining walls and other items. If a house has an easement at the back of it, where the council puts all their pipes through, and the house is built very close to that easement, we may have to do more reinforcement for the house.
It is pretty important that the process of someone looking at a house, regardless of the house builder, that is a process that happens over a period of time. Then when someone engages with the builder to get involved in the building process, to choose their house, choose their finishes, have their interior design meeting. That is a process that can take 2 or 3 months, or now because land is titling with a year in some instances to wait, this process goes on for a long time. We don’t like to drip feed information out to clients. That that it becomes so invested in the process, by the time they get that information at the end, it’s a bit of a shock. We like to try give as much information as we can, be as consultative as we can, and it was one of the things that we try to pride ourselves on is being that expert coach in the marketplace.