Cost Estimating


How much will my home cost to build?

This will show you upfront whether you can afford to build your project.
If you don’t cost your job then how do you know how much to borrow.
This is your roadmap to building within your budget. You should not start without it (the bank will want it). 


When it comes to securing Finance for an Owner Builder, it is not as hard as once thought. Australian Owner Builders can help. We have been providing home loans for many years, and in case, there are ways to impress your bank manager and improve your chances of being granted the funds. If you want more information complete our enquiry form.

What is a Cost Estimator?

Cost estimators collect and analyse data to estimate the time, money, resources, and labour required for your construction projects.

You may attempt to estimate costs yourself. This will require careful study of the prices of materials and the cost of labour, and will take a great deal of your time.
Alternatively, you might prefer to take your building plans, and the Building Specification, to a Building Estimator/Quantity Surveyor for a fee, he or she will calculate material and labour costs, plus other expenses, using computer software, and probably will complete the mathematics in one twentieth the time it would take you to work it all out on paper. The choice, however, is yours.

If you decide to use a professional, the quantity survey will give you a fairly accurate total (the indicative costs) of the amount of money you will need, and this should impress any lender being asked to grant a loan Armed with a professionally-generated cost estimate, you will have much more chance of convincing the loans manager that you are a responsible, methodical borrower.

However, it is almost impossible, even for the professional estimator, to be 100 per cent accurate when calculating building costs. Inevitably, cost-related incidents will force changes, e.g. a rise in the price of some materials, small mistakes on site, and minor (or major) over-runs of labour time schedules.

Using a Quantity Surveyor/Estimator brings other benefits to the owner-builder because the really helpful professional ones will offer tips and re-assurances BEFORE construction starts.

It is worth remembering that although owner-builders usually try their utmost to build as economically as possible (and so they should), they often fail by refusing to “spend to save”.

Using the services of a quantity surveyor/estimator will attract what at first seems a sizeable fee. However, paying a professional to do the overall estimate almost always saves money in the long run.

A professional estimate will impress your bank or other loan source. The banks will be more likely to lend money if they realize that estimated costs have been done by a professional, and presented in a business-like format.

A professional estimate is an investment in itself, and takes the stress away from the owner-builder who must inevitably guess the cost of some items – a dangerous practice because there are so many separate items that must be considered.

Professional builders use professional estimators; why should not you, as an owner-builder, do the same?

Once your detailed working drawings are available, take a copy of the plans, and the building specification, to an estimator.
The estimate, or bill of quantities, is your starting point. By calling for tenders from individual contractors and suppliers of materials, you will eventually come close to the estimate provided. As mentioned previously, even a professional estimate cannot be deadly accurate, but acts as an indicator of what you should be paying.

If you decide not to employ a professional estimator, you should research prices of everything that will need to be bought, including labour. This is done by rigorous homework, many phone calls, and obtaining price lists from suppliers (i.e., bricks, timber, tiles, windows, doors etc.), then listing them on your estimating chart.


Please note Cost Estimator Service Providers are Third Party and are not endorsed or affiliated with AOB. Please refer to Terms and Conditions.