How A Quote Can Help You Choose Your Builder
IS YOUR QUOTE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
A quote for your dream home will be the most revealing document you get from a prospective Builder. Use it wisely to help choose your construction team – too many customers are only focused on price and have little knowledge of what their quote actually means, or what it tells them about how their build will proceed.
An honest Builder who is committed to professional work will provide a comprehensive quote in a timely manner. How can you trust a Builder to deliver a beautiful home on time if they draw up a lazy quote? If a Builder is unable to provide you with a detailed quote on time, what hope have you got getting the house finished on time.
While price is obviously a determining factor in customers choosing a Builder, many quotes have important information missing (deliberately lowering the price, just to win the job), meaning your build can wind up costing thousands of dollars more than you originally budgeted for. Help avoid this mistake by sourcing multiple quotes and know that if one is significantly cheaper, it is probably not an accurate estimate.
FIRST THING FIRST – UNDERSTAND THE JARGON
The most important two key terms that you need to understand to properly read your quote are Prime Cost (PC) and Provisional Sum (PS).
A Prime Cost will appear in a quote when a Builder is allowing for an item that is fixed, for example, the cost of purchasing a tap – it is an allowance for something that is definitely going to be purchased yet customers should be aware that a tap can range anywhere between $100 and $3000 each. A Builder is legally required to make a realistic estimate when listing a PC yet it is important to remember there will be variance from the budget regarding this.
Provisional Sum (PS) is an item in a quote that a Builder includes to estimate a part of a build. Whilst it is an educated guess on a contractors part, customers need to be aware that unscrupulous Builders are most likely to use very low PS’s to reduce a quote to win a job. A Professional Builder will make a true effort to quote PS’s in a realistic way. A quote laden with provisional sums should be questioned when choosing your Builder.
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR QUOTE?
The best way to know what has been left out of a quote to artificially bring a price down is to ask your Builder what is excluded. Whilst every quote is different, all customers should look for the following expenses and allow for these in any project. Avoid a budget blow out by choosing a Professional Builder!
APPROVAL AND CERTIFICATION FEES
Ask your Builder if approval and certification fees are included in your quote – these are fees usually paid directly to the Council or a private building Certifier and are often left out of a quote, much to the shock of the customer!
Even if they make an appearance, items such as approval fees can appear in a quote as a fixed-cost item, an allowance or a provisional sum. For the average person building their first or second home, these details can be confusing; a Professional Builder will be transparent about what costs are likely so be certain to ask the right questions.
SITE PREPARATION COSTS – THE GROUND BENEATH YOUR FEET
Are you planning to Knockdown & Rebuild? Does your block of land need excavating or soil treatment, extensive pillars or asbestos removal of an existing dwelling? Each build incurs unique site preparation costs and a Professional Builder will do their best to quote on these accurately. Skilled Builders have the knowledge to calculate details such as how much soil will need to be removed before your home can be started. Work such as excavating can vary dramatically in financial outlay and time spent, customers need to know look for this when reading their quote.
If your Builder hasn’t even visited the site they will not provide an honest estimate. A reputable Custom Builder can explain in detail what is expected from site preparation costs, saving you surprise expenses down the track.
STRUCTURAL COSTS, TEMPORARY SITE COSTS, ELECTRICAL COSTS
Ask your Builder about what structural costs are not included in your quote – these include additional expenses for engineering and structural steel or timber components.
The build of your dream home will probably include a temporary fence, a site toilet for the workers and temporary site permits. All of these costs add up quickly and are often excluded from an initial quote. Know what you’re in for before choosing your Builder.
Hidden electrical costs can be an unwanted surprise when building or renovating a home. A detailed quote should allow for relocating electrical points in renovations or rewiring older homes when new extensions are added. An educated customer will know to ask a Builder what to expect for these outlays.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CUSTOM BUILDER RIGHT FROM THE START
Holbrook Homes are committed to providing a quality customer experience in every step of a build. Assisting clients to understand how they can build their dreams – within budget – means providing a quality and transparent for all of our clients. We custom design and build with integrity so you can get on with living life.