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One of the most common ways for builders to price a build is by providing a base quote that covers the main parts of the process. Within this, they’ll make allowances for finishes and materials, basing the price on an average, or custom decisions, that fit into your budget.

However, as every home is incredibly different, there is always room for variation and upgrades. Understanding what’s included in your base price, and where you might want to upgrade, is an important part of the design process and can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your final project – whether it’s your dream custom home or a multi-unit development project.

Here are our best tips on what to look out for when starting out:


When signing up with a builder, it’s important to take note of what finishings they offer in their base price. You may have an expectation of something specific – like a tiled splashback or specific matte tapware – but it may not be included so you’ll need to pay extra.

A common example we see here at RODA is in bricks – you may have a certain style in mind, but that’s not always what has been accounted for in the base price. The same goes for flooring – often, hardwood floors aren’t included but you may want to consider this as an upgrade if it’s something you’ve always wanted in your forever home.


Should you find that there are a few upgrades you’d like to make from your base price, you may find that suddenly your outgoings are much higher than expected.

The best way to manage this is by coming up with a list of “needs” and “wants” and focusing on the needs first – these are the non-negotiable items you must have in your home. If you use this list as a guide, you can keep track of your budget while still achieving your desired look and feel. If your budget allows, you’ll be able to look to your wants list for inspiration.

Beware the promotion

Some builders will offer a building package for a certain value, and offer it for a discounted price as an incentive to have you sign up. This is a great way to secure some items of interest, however, it’s always best you research what’s included.

If within this promotion you see things such as ‘category 2’ or ‘builder’s range’, always ask to view these before signing anything. What’s on offer may not meet your requirements and therefore negate any perceived savings you may be getting as you’ll have to pay more down the line anyway.


If you’re looking to Design + Build a custom home or multi-unit development project in Melbourne, get in touch with the expert team at RODA today. We’ll happily walk you through the quoting and selections process.

For more information on our base inclusions and specifications, you can check out our specifications range here.

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