Subdivision Costs



From: Bruce & Helen Cairns

This is my first post. Have spent a few days reading the messages and going thru the archives. My husband and I are looking to buy our first IP. We want to be a property that can be subdivided. Could someone give us an idea of ALL the costs involved, no doubt there are some we haven't thought of and some hidden ones as well.
Any info would be appreciated.
Last edited by a moderator:
Reply: 1
From: Manny B

Hi there,

good to see you are making a good decision... subdivision costs you will need to consider are (I hope I cover them all, I have been through it a year ago):

1. Architect fees, cost me $1200 then, which included plans of the new dwelling
2. Council fees, if I remember right around $200 or so for permit then another $500 when we subdivided
3. Once we built up the unit, we had to pay for the surveyor to subdivide into 2 titles, which cost $1000
4. Conveyancer fees around $400 to put it on 2 titles
5. Utility companies all wanted their share, Melbourne Water cost me around $3300 (they wanted their money before we can start building the unit) & Powercore around $700 (they wanted their money at the time of the subdivision, which is extra to the standard connection fees)... If I remember right, in our case the Citi West Water wanted another couple of hundred dollars, but it wasn't much...

As you can see, there are quite a few expenses to subdivide, but the benefits you gain with this whole process far outweigh the benefits ($$$) you gain from such a task, using up dead land & making it work for you...

I hope the above helps, but I must note that I went through all of this around 1.5 year ago (pre-GST) & I think I haven't forgotten anything...


Last edited by a moderator:
Reply: 1.1
From: Ian Parham

G'day Manny
Thanks for the info.
Wondering if you would be kind enough to also elaborate on the 'processes' involved ie: problems or hiccups with respective bodies (council, neighbours, water corp, elect., Lands Titles or whoever)?
Things you would watch out for 'next time' and so on.
Thanks in advance.
Cheers Ian
Last edited by a moderator:
Reply: 1.1.1
From: Manny B

Hi Ian,

well the process was as follows:

1. you need to approach an architect (preferably one that is local & has dealt with your council) and tell them what you are trying to do & what you would like to build. The architect will then get measurements of the available land & look at the easements on the property & sketch out a plan based on your initial preference (ie. 3br single story, single garage, open plan, etc.)

2. When happy with the sketches he will come up with the final drawings that he submits to council. You then need to place a sign provided by council to post on your property for 14 days indicating that you are in the process of adding an additional residence to your block. In my case there were no objections by any neighbors which was good. The council though, while the sign is up, sends a letter to all adjoining property owners.

3. If no objections are received by the council they move on to look at issuing a town planning permit. As my architect had dealt with the council before, he knew what they needed included, so it passed through first go.

Once I got my town planning I searched for builders & got got prices based on my list of inclusions I wanted & the plans I had. When I found my builder, I proceeded with the Engineering drawings (which are done by the architect that are followed by the builder).

I must say when I was about to get the plumbers in to prepare for the slab, I hadn't paid the "Melbourne Water" subdivision costs (I can't remember the exact term), so until I paid the $3300 & received the letter from them I couldn't even get the plumbers in, so that delayed me by a few weeks...

The rest I must say went well, just received the bills & paid as I went along. Also, when the surveyor came out & measured up & came up with the subdivision drawings, it was all quick & just paid for the few bills that were raised & sent the paper work to the Conveyancer (who delt with the titles office) & I had the 2 new titles within a couple of months... I must say it all went well with me, the only thing I would do different next time I take on such a project (which I am hoping to do soon) would be to be a little stricter with the builder on the completion time, as he did drag on a little too long & the penalty clause amount I had put in the contract was too low...

Good luck though,

Last edited by a moderator:
From: Bruce Sutherland

A couple of points I can think of:
1. certain Councils require specified storage areas (not just a shed). In my area for example they must be 5m2 floor space & constructed of similar materials to the existing house
2. fencing
3. appropriate access to the second part of the block - this might involve construction of some sort of driveway.

I note you're from Perth, a quick look thru the local paper will give you quite a number of builders advertising unit/strata/duplex developments, give them a ring & do a bit of fishing
Last edited by a moderator:
From: Manny B

I agree with you Bruce, you do need to research based on your council's requirements & the best way to fish this out is by speaking to the townplanning division of your council (as I did prior to actually hiring the architect) to see if my plan was feasible, they didn't charge me anything for this advice & was re-assuring to know I was on the right track...

I didn't mention fences & driveways as I did them as part of my building, but it will all be part of your permit...

Note: you may want to find the "good design guide" that applies to your state, as it will give you an indication on your local requirements, ie. if you need a visitor's car spot, carport/garage, 50 square meters courtyard, etc...
Last edited by a moderator:
From: Ian Parham

G'day Manny, Bruce & All.
Thanks for the feedback. Just what I was looking for.
Cheers Ian.
Last edited by a moderator: