When looking at Builder’s Quotations it is essential to compare apples with apples. Although it is tempting to go with the cheapest price presented, it is so important to realise that comparing Quotes on monetary value alone may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because some Builders do not provide you with all the expenses and inclusions up front.

What is a Builder’s Estimate?

A Builder’s Estimate is often used at a very early stage when conducting a feasibility test to see if a certain path in construction or renovation is worth pursuing. An Estimate is a rough calculation often using limited information regarding specifications, measurements, plans or drafts to calculate the value or costing of a stage of work. It is important to note that an Estimate is usually not entirely accurate and can vary between Builder’s opinions due to the lack of information obtained. Therefore, it is not advisable to compare Builder’s Estimates to make your decision on who to select as your preferred Builder.

So, what is a detailed Fixed Price Quotation?

A Fixed Price Quotation is what the Builder thinks the renovation or house is going to cost, EXCLUDING variations for things the Builder is not aware of or has no control over. When compiling this type of Quotation, there are many components and vital pieces of information needed in order to create an accurate Fixed Price Quotation. A site meeting is often the best way to address and expose important topics, opening them up for further discussion. Some aspects which should be undertaken include:

  • assessment of site and condition of dwelling
  • location of current services
  • finding out why the new work is required
  • discussing the history of any previous renovations to the dwelling
  • discussing time and budget constraints
  • examination of current Engineering, Architectural or Draft plans
  • viewing of Council forms and specification documents

Once all the information has been attained, a Builder will spend many hours collating the information to create an accurate Fixed Price Quotation involving:

  • the studying of Council documentation regarding constraints and limitations
  • devising a methodical way of completing the project
  • reconstructing the proposed work using foresight and experience
  • measuring and calculating materials and labour components
  • sourcing market rate materials and labour component Quotations
  • calculating and including supervision required and project management off site
  • managing client expectations

When comparing apples with apples, it is essential that Quotations are built from the same scope of work outlining the same level of detail per description, noting all allowances and listing all inclusions and exclusions. Asking your Builder questions helps you understand how the final figure has been produced. Always be wary of a Quotation that comprises one or more of the following:

  • minimal information and detail – this means you will be charged for additional areas at a later date
  • allowances for the majority of work involved – this may indicate lack of project research
  • no ABN and Builder’s Licence Number – this means they are unlicensed and uninsured
  • overly cheap totals in comparison to others in the marketplace – be prepared to spend more money

The best thing YOU can do is to make yourself aware of these factors so you can more accurately compare Quotes. Choosing the right Builder not only comes down to an accurate detailed costing, it should be someone you feel you can work with and trust. A Builder who is up front and transparent could actually end up saving you a lot of time, money and stress.

If you are looking for a Builder who takes the time to really understand your vision and needs, then call BCD Building today on 02 9487 5715.

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