There are thousands of floor plans available to choose from and it can be a very tiring process to go through all of them.  But choosing the right design, whether for your family home or investment, is crucial as it will be a very expensive exercise to change once you build the home.

In this blog, we will take a look at comparing floor plans and some pointers to identify different areas that can mean thousands of dollars in additional costs.

Wrong Assumptions

There are general mistakes and / or wrong assumptions that I see client do time and time again:

  • all 4 bedroom houses are the same
  • any 30 square homes should cost the same
  • a 6 bedroom house is bigger than a 4 bedroom house
  • site costs should be the same on your block regardless of which builder you build with
  • and so on…

These assumptions are very wrong.  It’s like saying that every 4 door car should cost the same, or every 4WD car should cost the same.


So let’s look at some designs and compare subtle differences and potential associated costs.  Before we do that, I want to declare the following:

  • none of the designs that I use here are mine, I didn’t pay for them, I didn’t design them and I do not own them.
  • any of the designs here are for illustrative and educational purposes only
  • I will assume, for the sake of the exercise, that every builder charges the same margin and gets the same cost rates – this will help make things a little easier to compare
  • this is for educational purposes only and you should always conduct your own due diligence

Space Types

There are generally different types of areas in your house – balconies, living areas, pergolas, porches, Alfrescos, wet areas (bathrooms / ensuites / etc…).  All these have different cost; so here is a general guide in terms of most expensive to least expensive.

Please note that this differs from builder to builder but it just gives you a general idea:

  • Balconies
  • Wet Areas
  • Living Areas
  • Porches / Alfrescos
  • Pergolas
  • this depends on the type of finish of course – for example: pergolas can cost heaps more than balconies if you choose a really expensive finish.
  • Let’s assume, for the purposes of this exercise that they are all relatively standard finishes.

It’s also important to note, for the purposes of this exercise and calculating costs difference, that we have not taken into account any associated site costs or authority costs.

Floor Plan Comparison

The above are two pretty much the same size designs (a couple of square meters difference, so negligible in the scheme of things).  However the differences can make one design THOUSANDS of $$$ dollars more expensive than the other.  This pushes most people to choose the cheaper builder – afterall, they are the same house right?!!!

I am going to use a series of illustrative pictures to show you some difference (not all) so you can get a better idea of how to better compare floor plans and it’s cost consequences.

And the list of differences go on…  The purpose of the exercise is not for to work out the costs of the designs, the purpose is to understand that NO two designs are ever the same unless they are actually the same design.

A Note

Your job is to understand why they may have different price tags and never say that they should both cost “pretty much” the same.  If that’s the case, then a 2-door Nissan 350Z should cost “pretty much” the same as a 2-door Ferrari 488.

The key, as I always stipulate, is selecting the right builder who can help you understand the differences between designs when you are comparing.

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