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The true costs of building a house

Posted 22 months ago | By Latitude Homes

Paved Driveway

Building a new home is incredibly exciting. For some, it's a once in a lifetime event, whereas others will build many homes in their lifetime. The joys and benefits of building a new home are many and varied but if there is one thing we can all agree on is that it will probably be the biggest investment in your lifetime.

The New Zealand housing market dominates the news and with so much focus placed on house price alone, the true cost of a build is often underestimated, you may very well find yourself asking, “what are the other costs I need to consider when building a house?”

Well, we’re here to help you out with that.

7 things to consider when building a home.

If there is one thing we love doing at Latitude Homes it's guiding our clients through the whole building process, making sure they understand the steps and the costs along the way. So to help you understand the true cost of a new build we’ve made a handy list of those ‘other costs’ to consider for a successful building project.

Before you dive into the list its important to note that you may not need everything on the list and the costs vary considerably. Also know that Latitude Homes are here to sit down with you and guide you through the processes and stages of your new home build. Remember Kiwi’s build with us every day, you can too. Should you have any questions about the below, be sure to contact us.

Now every building situation is going to be different, and so every project is treated on its own merits. So aside from house price alone, it's important to budget for the following costs of a house build in New Zealand.

1. Land - Prices vary depending on size and location but land can cost as much or more than the house price alone in some areas. Other than the land sale price there will be legal costs as well.

2. Building Consent Fee - This is lodged with your local council and pays for the permit to build. The plans for the home and the land are assessed as approved before building can commence. Consent fees aren’t standard and vary per council, they are generally based on a base fee + accreditation levies and also differ for the type of build and the amount spent on the build. Your Latitude Homes builder will assist with the consent process so you be sure that you are paying the correct fees for your build.

3. Soil testing (Geotech) and Reports - This is really important to understand the makeup of the land that you are building on, this report is part of the engineering of your home. Building on unsuitable land will only lead to potential disaster later and this necessary step is for everybody's protection. These reports may already be lodged with your local council by the previous landowner or developer.

4. Structural Engineer’s inspections - Again it's vital to adhere to governmental and building code standards to ensure that your new home can be signed off at various stages of the build. These fees also vary depending on the size of your plans.

5. Site excavation (subject to Geotech Report and engineer’s foundation design) - preparing your site for the style of house and foundations is one of the first visual signs that your build is underway and ensures your home will fit your section. Often referred to as ‘earthworks’ the costs involved will be based on the equipment and staff required as well as the materials required to form the land, i.e retaining walls for example.


House excavation

6. Connections to services e.g. power, water, stormwater, sewerage & phone lines - This brings the services from the road through to your new home and back the other way, lots of digging, lots of pipeline and lots of wires, all the things we take for granted that we utilise in our day to day life. If you are building in town it is likely that a town sewer connection will be easily hooked up, but should you be building rural you may need to consider a septic tank system. The distance of your home to the connection will also influence the cost.

7. Home Heating - What style of heating will you have in your home? Heat pumps? A fireplace? Underfloor heating or perhaps go solar? How you heat your home is a major consideration and an important one to consider the long and short term costs of. In some regions, you may need to apply for consent for a fireplace but not for other heating options.

The costs below help finish off the home and property

You have more personal choice over them and have more control over the spend but it is also important to think about:

  1. Curtains and blinds – window treatments
  2. Driveways, paths & patios or decks
  3. Fences
  4. Clothesline & letterbox
  5. Landscaping

There is no doubt that building a new home is more than just the house price.

With pricing so varied depending on where you build in New Zealand or what local body you need to get consents from it’s impossible to put specific figures on them. The best solution however is to talk to your local Latitude Homes builder, with local knowledge of the area and experience of submitting consents with local authorities under their toolbelt, they are bound to be able to give you a fairer idea of the true cost of building a home in your beautiful piece of New Zealand.


We decided to build with Latitude Homes after visiting the Showhome and meeting Debbie. We would definitely recommend the whole 'building your own home' experience to others - especially with Latitude Homes!
Shelley and Dave Power