The Budget

Everyone is on a Budget, some people may have more in the kitty then others but there comes a point in everyone’s building journey when a line has to be drawn and the words “We can’t afford that” come out of your mouth.

Keeping a track of what you will spend is the key to remaining within budget.


We did this via a spreadsheet. It listed every single cost we came across and has grown to over 367 lines in the past 9 months. Some pricing is easy to find out, for instance, the electrical department at WOS are very open about their costings. Other areas such as the kitchen options are a lot harder to find out because it is priced up after your WOS appointment with Kitchen Culture.

Whenever we found out a cost on something we noted it in our spreadsheet, whether it was old pricing off the Home One forum, something a Sales Consultant had mentioned in passing or an approximate pricing from a WOS assistant.

Piggybank and calculator

If you want to know how to blow out a budget, I can help you. We spent $40k more than we originally intended, however, it was all tracked and accounted for along the way.

Tips for your spreadsheet

We had 4 columns beside the name of each item, Green, Blue, Orange and Red.

This meant that we could prioritise our wants and our needs. Everything we needed and decided would definitely be in the house was coloured green. The things that we really really wanted but were not 100% certain of were blue. The things that would be nice to have but didn’t need, such as underfloor heating in the master bathroom were coloured orange and items we had decided against were coloured red.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 7.51.55 pm

What this meant was that we could look at the total at the bottom of each colour and say, ok we can afford the green and blue column and if we find an extra XXX amount, we can include that orange item as well.

Also, it meant as our priorities changed, we could easily move things from one column to the next.

Having now completed Contract stage, the Blue and Orange columns are now empty and everything is either Red or Green.

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We broke the spreadsheet up into sections and the order is the same as the PD quote,  tender document and contract document.

This meant that when we went to tender and the contract meeting, Dave pulled out his laptop and followed along, line by line. This allowed us to spot the few times when the pricing had changed and no one had advised us that an item had gone up or down in price. A few times there were pleasant surprises as an item we had questioned earlier came up as a credit.

It also meant that the contract appointment was not so daunting. These presenters move at quite a pace, they do it every day for a job and understand what they are saying and what it all means. However, most of us are not used to being told line after line of numbers and items, with no time to think, react or double-check our own notes.


porter davis office.jpg
Offices on the left that the Contact and Tender Meetings are held in


We now have a new tab in our spreadsheet for all the costs that will come in post-handover. This only has preliminary costs and items in it so far but it all needs to be kept a track of, the coffers are not bottomless and you cant keep saying “We’ll just find the money later.”

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I’m not sure if Porter Davis has a clause in their contract about sharing pricing, I don’t know if it falls under their IP. So I won’t post the whole spreadsheet up on this blog, however, if you would like to know some line pricing of what we paid for certain areas please feel free to private message me and I’ll share what I know.

Our pricing is all from 2017, PD often goes through price rises, they have a small one coming up at the end of January 2018 and their main one for the year will be in August 2018.


porter davis docklands.png
More PD Office’s at Docklands that Client meetings are held in.


Below is the totals page from our contract. We had a House and Land package so our site costs and Estate Covenants requirements were all included in the “House type” price. Because we then picked promotional packages that included items that were already in our H&L package, we were then credited these back, hence why the Estate Covenants section is a negative amount.

This is also why the first line on the spreadsheet is different to the first line on the summery house type below, the spreadsheet has it all broken down.

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Remeber the bank will only loan you up to 95% of what they value the house to be. This is if they had to sell it as a mortgagee sale prior to completion. Not what you spend on constructing it and not what the valuer will value it post hand over when everything is completed and you have time to sell it at your own pace. Be prepared for the bank to value your home a lot less then what you are paying to build it. You will be fine in the end but getting there can mean extra finances and deposits that you didn’t account for.


Do your research on what houses are currently selling for in the area that you are building. What price are people getting for the same house style as yours on . Ie. an already built house with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a 2 car garage in Tarneit will cost you $900,000 at the moment.  But that’s not what our bank valued our land and construction at when they told us how much we could borrow to build our dream home.

Preparation is the KEY



29 thoughts on “The Budget

Add yours

  1. Hi Charlotte, What other items could you get credit back for? Im only building a single storey and the base is higher than your double storey. My site cost is also slightly higher and they have found a way to sting me extra by this n3 wind rating… means extra $$$ to upgrade windows but not double glazed. Were you also able to negotiate a sales incentive / discount?


    1. Hi Vermont
      If you would like to send me your email address via the contacts page, then I can send you a soft copy of our budget spree​d​ sheet, this will show all the credits we got and also has all our pricing on it.



      1. Hi Charlotte,

        Thank you so much for sharing your PD Journey with us. My god it has been so helpful. If you dont mind could you please send us your excel worksheet so we can follow the same process. When we go for our appointments with PD. Thank you again.



      1. Hi charly6s,

        Best wishes for your new house and thanks for posting which help me alot in decide thinks to consider and ignore in WOS appointment. Can you please email me full spreadsheet.



  2. Hi Charly6s,

    I was looking for these kind of information and finally, I found it today. Great work and help. I’m planning to build a waldorf 44 and really wanted to get an idea of the end cost. I haven’t signed up any contract with PD yet. When I see the inclusions of lifestyle and base price, I tend to think that it has covered everything that I need but, I fear that it will not covering everything that I need to move in or live in!. Would you able to advise me that what are the other basic things that I must need it. Then I can go for some upgrades… Thanks.


    1. Hi Seb
      I am happy to help, if you send me your email address via the contracts page, I will email you a copy of the budget spreadsheet listing all our costs and upgrades.


  3. Hi Charly, did you pay extra for plumbing and why 31k for cabinetry. My sales Consultant told me 13k will be enough for good kitchen in lifestyle range. Bit nervous now.


  4. Hi Charlotte! We find your blog very useful. We’re thinking of building the Forsyth 35 as well with alfresco in Truganina and its good to have something to refer to. Can you kindly email me your spreadsheet so we can study it further? Thank you so much!



  5. Really like the idea of the spreadsheet. If you are ok to send it out, I wouldn’t mind a copy. I am pretty analytical so enjoy understanding the numbers even if we don’t always stick to them.


  6. Hi Charly
    It is going to be our first build and we chose Porter Davis. We are nervous but excited and i believe your budget spreadsheet would definitely be a great help to guide us.

    Would you be able to email be a copy to me? Thank you in advance. My email is


  7. Hi Charly,
    I’m so grateful that you generated this blog. Began reading your notes as i was searching for anyone’s personal experience on home builds, not to mention finding pros and cons of hebel / brick. You’re a big help that i began listing questions to discuss with my Sales Consultant, way more than I had prepared myself. Truly appreciate too if you can share your excel sheet?



  8. Hi Charly6s, woahhh….I should say you have done an excellent job by writing all these blogs and providing such detailed information. I cant imagine the time and efforts you must have put to write this up. Even though we have built a Porter davis (Places homes) house before, we still would have not thought about the budgeting spreadsheet the way you have done. We are thinking about building ‘The Plaza grange 51’ and are in early stage. Its basically a knock down rebuild. I will be going through all your blogs to get some insight….thanks again…Do you mind if you can email me a copy of the spreadsheet.


    1. Hi Charly, Your blogs are very informative and I am following these for my build. Can you please send me the soft copy of spreadsheet?

      Thnx Rita


  9. Hi Charly,

    I am in love with your blog. We are going to be building our first home soon and I find this place be amazingly helpful and well researched. Makes the whole prospect less daunting for me.

    I would be really thankful if you could send over a copy of your spreadsheet my way too. My email is


  10. OMG this is by far the best blog for building with PD. So much details. Could you send me the spreadsheet so we can do what you did?


  11. Hi Charlotte, thanks a lot for a very informative blog. Could I please have your spreadsheet if you dont mind please. It would help so much for my budgeting. My email address is
    Thanks a million


  12. Hi Charly, what can I say…your website is AMAZING…thank you so much for putting this together. May I please get a copy of the budget spreadsheet? My email address is

    Thank you in advance.

    Your biggest fan,



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