The Problem with Square Metre Building Rates

9 Jul 2020

When choosing a renovation builder, many people ask about the ‘square metre rate’ as they wish to compare this cost between companies. Let us explain two reasons why this is a mistake:

Reason #1:

Think back to a time you bought something by the metre. Perhaps it was some carpet, material for a dress or curtains, or a length of rope at the hardware store. Let me ask you this question: when comparing different products did the per metre price vary much? Of course it did.


It’s obvious – different types of carpet (or material or rope… or houses) are very different in quality. One carpet may be made of wool while another is synthetic. One type of material may be handmade while another may come from an automated machine. And one rope may have a breaking strain of 1 ton while another can’t hold 100kg.

An average home contains hundreds of different ‘ingredients’ including carpet, bricks, tiles, taps, sinks, paint, timber, glass etc. And all of these materials come in different qualities. On top of that, the way in which these materials are assembled into a finished house differs in quality and attention to detail.

The variances are almost infinite. So comparing one builder’s price of $2,500 per square metre to another’s price of $5,000 per square metre is exactly like trying to compare an orange with a lemon. The differences are many, not just the price.

Reason #2:

Every renovation is different. Some houses are dilapidated or out-of-square, some houses modern yet access is restricted. While two different renovations may cover the same internal dimension (square meterage) the labour requirements and quantity of building materials that go into renovating these homes, will vary greatly.

Unfortunately renovation can not be compared by square metre rate. The variables are too great. And you may find you end up with a lemon when you really wanted an orange.

The right builder can give you great design ideas with your budget and level of fit-out in mind.

Addstyle Master Builders is Perth’s leading specialist home renovation company, having undertaken hundreds of home improvements across over 30 years. If you’d like to arrange a no-obligation discussion with our team, please contact us via this website or by telephone on 08 9345 2333.

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