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  • Writer's pictureFiona Gibson

The Cost of Building: How DO you save up to 20% on your build cost without changing a thing?

How DO you save up to 20% on your build without changing a single element of your design?

You become the builder!

If you have the time and inclination, you can obtain an Owner Builder’s Permit and save 15-20% on the cost of your build that you’d otherwise be paying as Builder’s Margin.

You’re required to complete an Owner Builder Course, covering 5 key competencies (and taking 50-60 hours) as well as obtain a White Card (General Construction Induction Card) and then apply for a specific permit for your build. 

It’s up to you then to directly engage and coordinate licensed trades to complete the work.  Some people get the Owner Builder Permit, then engage a builder or project manager to run the build - usually paid hourly, and this still represents a saving on the builders margin you would otherwise be paying to your builder.

So while there is most definitely a significant cost saving to be made going down this route, you need to be able to commit the time and energy into the build, and be willing to be a lot more ‘hands on’ through the process, and ultimately be responsible for the end result.

Requirements differ depending on which State you live in, so if you're not in NSW you'll need to find the relevant info.

I hope you’ve found this series of newsletters helpful in providing some different ways to think about managing build costs, in this particularly expensive time to build.

And if you have any other creative ways to manage your building budget, we always love to hear from you.


Fiona and the Sanctuary Design Team

p.s. We've updated our website with new photos of some more recently completed projects - we'd love to hear what you think!

Project: NASHUA


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