I can never understand why buildings cost so much to build in Australia. The technical requirements are a long way behind Europe with residential construction and yet it seems to me that the basic construction here (clad 2 x 4 frames) is on a par with much more complicated systems abroad. I was hoping that the design would be around $350K but it is important to get early sketches costed by an outside estimator skilled in this kind of work. So we sent the drawings to get costed, to do this costs around $1500 but I’m convinced that the report that comes back prevents people going ahead with over budget designs or allows owners to manage there costs. In our case the cost estimate, at about $450K, stopped us in our tracks. I discussed the design with the cost estimator and he suggested reusing the existing locations of the bathroom and kitchen and reusing their walls. My wife (I want to keep some level of anonymity but using ‘my wife’ all the time is irritating me so from now on let’s call her A) was evfen more shocked and she was pressing for a single storey extension. So it was back to the drawing board. The image below shows a single storey version that tries to retain the palm tree on site. My view was that it was a pity to miss out on the site potential that this site had, A agreed in part.