Comparing building quotes is not an easy thing to do. Each Builder will provide you with different levels of details and use a different structure for their quote layout. So let’s break things down and take a look at how to compare them fairly.
If you simply look at the bottom line and compare the total cost, you are about to make a big mistake. By looking at price only, you are assuming that each Builder has covered the same scope, will build using the same standard of quality products and does not have any hidden costs.
- It is very important to start the quoting process off by not handing your plans to anyone and everyone. Too many quotes will just confuse the process. We suggest talking to several builders and qualifying two that you feel comfortable with and then continue the quoting process with them. Please make sure you provide both builders with the same drawings and selection details. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and even the playing field somewhat.
- Does the building quote lack detail? For example, if you are building a new home and you receive a one page quote, this is a major red flag. Everything listed on your plans and listed in your selections must be included in the quote. If the quote does not include everything requested, then proceed very carefully. If items specifically listed are not listed in the quote, then chances are they have not been costed into the final price.
- If one quote is very cheap, be sure to ask more questions about the quality of materials being supplied. For example, what type of tapware is being used, have they allowed for stone bench tops or laminate etc.
- Check the provisional sum items. Has the Builder only allowed for budget level selections? For example, has he allowed for tiles costing $40 per/sqm, when in fact the quality of tiles you are wanting are going to cost $80 per/sqm. Be careful, quotes with budget level provisional sums come in cheap, but will unfortunately end up costing you more in the end.
- Does the Builder charge an administrative fee for variations? Most Builders do charge fees for every variation, so this is definitely something that you need to ask about up front. You don’t want any hidden surprises after the contract is signed.
In the end, your final decision should not only be made on price alone. The most expensive builder, could easily be your best choice if everything is included in the quote. Don’t forget how important communication is. If you don’t like them and can’t communicate properly, then there’s a good chance you won’t like the finished product.
Make sure you ask questions, I can’t stress this highly enough. If you are not sure about something, ask! After all it’s your project, your money and your home.
We hope that the above has been informative and helpful.