Why Qld construction code change will jack house prices up another $70k

Cost of living concern? The Leftist government is much more interested in telling people what to do than they are in controlling the cost of living. They are authoritarians, not compassionate

Building industry leaders are fuming following the government’s announcement that Queensland’s adoption of the National Construction Code changes will only add 2 per cent onto the price of new home builds, saying their own calculations put prices up as far as $70,000.

The Courier-Mail on Monday revealed the price of building an average Queensland home would go up roughly $20,000, which Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni quickly refuted, claiming prices would only increase about 2 per cent.

But after speaking with various builders including Metricon, Brighton Homes and Plantation Homes, as well as Master Builders Australia and the Housing Industry Australia, The Courier-Mail can confirm house price will actually increase between $10,000 and $70,000.

Plans which show material changes to meet higher energy efficiency standards and spatial modifications to increase accessibility indicate costs to make homes more accessible will sit far higher than government estimates.

Builders say insulation alone would add thousands onto home designs, with further money spent on things like window glazing, window framing and fans to bring homes up to the seven star energy rating.

Industry stakeholders have argued accessibility and liveability measures should go ahead on October 1, but energy efficiency measures should be delayed until next year to give builders time to prepare, but also to allow energy efficient products to be manufactured in high volumes, allowing them to be purchased cheaply in bulk.

Here is a breakdown explanation of exactly how the two significant changes coming in on October 1 will affect both builders and future homeowner builders - including what exactly will cost more, and how long Queenslanders have to buy old home designs before prices skyrocket or they disappear altogether.

Examples of modifications made to Metricon’s single storey Freedom home include:

-Increase passage ways to accommodate wider doorways

-Raising floors for flush transition, levelling the home throughout

-Accessible bathrooms and toilets large enough for circulation space

-Hinged doors replaced by cavity sliding doors, including pockets and gliders

-Reducing window sizes, while also maintaining light efficiency and safety, for example, having four protection screens in second storey windows allowing them to be opened fully

-Using better performing glass

-Window frames with less aluminium

-Loose fill insulation

-Ventilation and air movement strategies like additional ceiling fans

Price breakdown:

Brighton Homes chief executive Brad Collins said high costs in Queensland were coming from insulation, tinted glazing and “fans in every room”.

“Some homes depending on block orientation will require further enhancements and, in some cases will not be able to be built, as the home will be unable to meet energy requirements,” he said.

“As a guide we would expect single storey to start around $20,000 and doubles up to $40,000 or more.

Mr Collins argued that energy efficiency measures alone would add a “minimum cost” of $20,000 onto a new home build

“The costs come from increased cost of glazing windows and increased use of insulation for walls and ceiling,” he said.

“(It) will far outweigh the claimed energy efficiency the home will produce. When you look at interest rates alone on extra borrowings to meet the requirements the customer is further behind.”

Metricon design director, Adrian Popple said the additional costs for Metricon were averaging $20,000 with their luxury homes expected to increase by $35-$40,000.

He said costings were due to the finer details, which all homes needed, but some more than others depending on size

“For us to redesign our homes to accommodate those larger areas takes a lot of time and cost to us,” Mr Popple said.

“It’s massive and they don’t talk about this but this is where the cost comes from.

“A 50mm difference between door sizes doesn’t sound like a lot but it means new doors will have to be manufactured, and they will add costs until they become the new standard.

“Giving the industry time to adapt and get their heads around it and procure these materials in a high volume will help reduce costs.”

Metricon has been busy redesigning their national portfolio for two years, splitting up which homes would remain available in each state and territory based on individual climate cost efficiency to keep them there.

“We build thousands of homes around Australia every year and are probably better positioned than most but the cost is the cost - it’s the same for any other builder,” Mr Popple said.


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