The Myth of Standard Square Metre Rates

Here at Build7 our aim is to ensure that people get the help they need to achieve their dreams in finding their perfect home.


In one of our previous blogs, we touched on a potentially misleading and often unhelpful method of “estimating” the price of a home. Today, we’re writing to draw attention to how this practice oversimplifies the act of estimating or pricing a home and how that can negatively impact perceptions of decisions in the process of finding a home.

If you’ve been in the market for a new home, you’ve likely come across standard square meter rates in some form. A standard square meter rates offers what appears to be a neatly wrapped and boxed price for each square meter across the plans or designs of a set of homes. These standard square meter numbers are often calculated differently depending on the industry. If you’re looking for an existing home, chances are this number is a function of the dollar value of homes in a neighbourhood and the square meterage of the homes in that same area. If you’re in the home construction market, it can be a concoction of builder costs, materials costs, earthworks costs, land costs, in tandem with the aforementioned factors.


There are a few reasons why these numbers are often misleading: here’s a few of the key ones.

The numbers do not adequately account for the massive role of design in building a new home.

The numbers insufficiently address the unique needs of each and every new home buyer.

The numbers often assume an inaccurate distribution of building costs and materials.

Let’s use a scenario to help illustrate these issues in the context of a new home design.

In our scenario there are two home designs.

Each design is unique in its dimensions, but has the same calculated internal square meterage.

Home A has the dimensions 8M X 8M and an internal square meterage of 64 sqm.
The circumference is 32 meters.

Home B has the dimensions 16M X 4M and also a square meterage of 64 sqm.
The circumference is 40 meters.

Were a potential builder to provide a flat rate for square meterage applying to both layouts, they would overlook a crucial factor; circumference. While both homes share the same internal square meterage, the difference in circumference is eight meters; this introduces a significant amount of additional design considerations. The additional timber, trusses, cladding, siding or render, bricks, windows, gib and labour required to cover those additional eight meters could make the difference in price between these two homes a substantial one.

As we said above, the standard square meter rate fails to account for the design process, which for instance, would determine how much internal space is required, how many windows are needed, the configuration of the home etc. It’s no secret that buying an existing home constrains that process at best. Building new and pricing a plan specifically for a client is a superior way to ensure that not only the buyer receives what they need and want, while also ensuring that costs are strategically mitigated. Only then can accurate building costs be calculated and the home building process remain equitable for the buyer.

We believe that this is what great builders do; they build homes that their buyers love because the buyers themselves gave the criteria. Here at Build7, we never build the same home twice because everyone is different. Your home should be a reflection of you! That’s why we emphasise that process and provide drawings and 3D fly-arounds of our client’s designs at no charge. If you’re interested in starting your build, or need someone to come alongside you in the process, Jolanda and I are just a call or an email away.