Cyclones blowout building costs

BUNDABERG home-builders might be getting a good deal when buying land, but regulations mean building costs are tens of thousands of dollars higher than in Brisbane.

Houses in the Bundaberg region must be built to withstand cyclones, adding to the cost, while houses built south of Woodgate have more relaxed regulations.

Dynamic Homes general manager Shane Schneider said the cyclone rating had a significant impact on the cost of constructing a home.

“You have to have things like cyclone rods, how the trusses are made, how frames are made as well, the rating of the timber would be higher and the windows would have to come up to a higher rating,” he said.

Mr Schneider said he was unable to calculate how much more construction would cost.

But Bundy Homes director Michael Randall said it could blow out the cost by 30% to 40% compared to the price of building an identical home in Brisbane or Hervey Bay.

“Everything from the amount of concrete in the footing, to the glass in the windows, to the way we put on the roof is entirely different to places down south,” Mr Randall said.

“But Brisbane gets far more severe weather than Bundaberg does — it’s as if they have drawn an arbitrary line across from Woodgate.”

A Department of Infrastructure and Planning spokeswoman said Queensland was divided into three “wind regions”.

She said region A covers inland Queensland, and region B begins at the border and extends from the coast and inland for 100km until just south of Bundaberg — both are considered non-cyclonic.

But region C, which begins at Bundaberg and extends north along the coast and inland for 50 km, is in the cyclonic event zone.

However, Bundaberg might not be the cut-off zone for long.

After a study presented to the House of Representatives last year called for the cyclonic event zone to be extended even further south, the Australian Building Codes Board began examining the boundaries.

The board’s findings are expected later this year.

Mr Randall said it was lucky the cheaper land in Bundaberg kept housing affordable.

“People call me from Brisbane and they are just astounded when they hear the price of building a new home — they’re astounded,” he said.

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