Save on Builder and Kit Home Company Mark-Ups!

Why Owner-Build?


Owner-building not only saves you a lot of money, but can also be a very rewarding experience. In rural areas, owner-building may be your only option.


Most people looking to owner-build will go to a kit home company to purchase a kit. However, TORRENS Building & Property Consultants offers a better way to owner-build, allowing to to save even more on kit home mark-ups and purchase the materials yourself. 

If you have obtained your owner-builder permit, we can work for you through the entire process - from design and approvals, to the building stages. 


     1. Concept: We produce your Preliminary Designs (basic floorplan, elevations, site plan). We also produce 3D images, video and VR.

     2. Pre-Lodgement Check: You liaise with your certifier with a pre-lodgement advise to ensure the home can be built without issues.


     3. Obtain Site Tests and Reports: You obtain all required site tests and reports for your block. These can include soil tests, percolation design, slope

         stability report, bushfire reports, noise corridor reports and may also require an MCU. 

     4. Working Drawings: We apply all the site reports to your Preliminary Designs to produce your Working Drawings. 

     5. Engineering: We send your Working Drawings and site reports for structural engineering and foundation design. 

     6. Inclusions and Estimate Break-Down: We will provide an estimate break-down of the components. This will give you a guide of the total build

         costs. You may need to negotiate with suppliers to ensure these allowances are met, which is normal for any builder. If you are engaging a

         carpenter to build, we will provide a detailed Inclusions list so they know what they are building.  

Painting Wall

Benefits and Downsides of Owner-Building


There are many benefits of owner-building:

     1. you can save a lot of money

     2. you have complete control over the build

     3. you can be assured of quality-control - something that has gone downhill in the building industry over the years

     4. full choice of inclusions - you are not locked into set inclusions and can choose what you want

However, there are also downsides to owner-building:

     1. finance is difficult to obtain. This is usually because kit home companies have payment structures that do not match the usually building 

          payment stages. Also, banks like to see the stages completed before they make payment. Kit home payment stages are pre-paid. Usually a large

          deposit or equity is needed. 

     2. time factor: building takes a lot of time. If you are working full time, this doesn't leave a lot of time to spend on the job and progress can be very

         slow. Many owner-builder will engage a carpenter and project manage the build. 

     3. dealing with the approvals stage can be a nightmare, especially when you have a lot of overlays on your block. You may have to go back and forth

          with your certifier making changes to the plan and obtaining more and more site reports and engineering. Many requests may seem ridiculous,

          and sometimes they are, but they are required nonetheless. 

     4. the build process can be difficult to manage. Site supervisors and project managers often use a range of tools to organise and track progress of a

          build. Owner-builders do not have access to these tools, or the experience, so managing dozens of aspects involved in building can be very     



How Much Can You Save by Owner-Building?


Generally, builders will put between 25-30% or more mark-up on the materials and trades. Then they will add 10% for GST. 


          All the materials and trades totals to $200,000

          The builder will put a 30% markup on this = $60,000

          The builder will then put 10% GST on this new total = $26,000

          That's $86,000 you can save by getting in all trades yourself. 

On top of this, there is usually an allowance for a carpenter, which can be $120-150/sqm+ for a raised home. So you save another $25,000+ owner-building. 

How Much Can You Save by Purchasing Your Own Materials?


Most owner-builders will go to a kit home company and purchase a kit. However, kit home company mark-ups are generally more than builder's mark-ups - ranging from 30-40%. The price can seem 'cheap' because the materials are only around half of the total cost. Kit home companies will rarely provide assistance on obtaining build quotes, and won't produce engineering until after you have signed a contract for the kit - so you can't see the total price. 


Why not purchase the materials yourself and save 30%+?


TORRENS Building & Property Consultants works with you as the owner-builder through the Design and Approvals stage, and the Build Process, including obtaining final quotes, negotiation on pricing, ordering materials and when to engage trades and certifier inspections.