helping you to make decisions on your next project......
Timber Frame Builders Perth
Recently, I chatted with Louise from Perway Construction, another renovation company here in Perth. Louise's values align with ours when it comes to educating our potential homeowners first to ensure they are well aware of the pitfalls and things you need to know before building or renovating.
So here is a small exert from our conversation that delves into comparing builders quotes and what to look out for.
Louise: When homeowners first approach us for assistance with their renovation, some tell us that they have received two to three quotes from other builders.
So we know it's a cliche thing to do by receiving three quotes, but we're going to talk to you today about why this isn't always the best approach and why builders quotes are so different and what you can look out for instead.
So welcome, Jane, to the conversation.
So Jane, if homeowners are looking at various quotes from a builder, how can they compare the quotes and what do they need to look out for.
Jane: You know, it depends on how many hours you've got for me to explain it!
It's such an open-ended question, but it's such an important question.
So look, I think the key thing is first starting with, is your builder giving you an estimate, is your builder giving you a fixed price quote?
If they're giving you an estimate, do not compare that to what another builder says is their estimate because an estimate is an estimate.
A fixed price quote is what you should get, and you should wait to get it until you have complete plans, engineering, potentially even your energy and your CDC reports, which is the Certificate of Design Compliance (required for building permit).
We like to wait till we get all of those things before we provide our homeowners with a full fixed price quote; we start with a ballpark figure, then we'll go to an estimate at the initial design stage, and then we prepare a full fixed price quote.
So first, I think it's essential- are you comparing an estimate with an estimate, or are you comparing an estimate with a quote or vice versa?
Is one builder providing you with a full fixed price quote, and the other one's an estimate? That's important to get clear straightaway.
So that's number one; make sure whatever you're comparing is the same document in builder's terms.
The obvious thing when comparing builders quotes is that they're going to look different and feel different because every builder uses their own system or program.
So, you know, we use a particular program to do our quoting, whereas I'm sure you probably use a different one.
Therefore the actual look and feel are going to be different as well. I think the main things to look for are: is the builder being specific, and are they putting enough details and information in that quote so that you compare apples with apples. And they are not comparing "a chrome toilet roll holder" with a "Phoenix Chrome RA 5632 toilet roll holder".
Do you know what you're getting? Are you able to compare each individual material and fixture ad fitting, or is their important information missing?
Louise: There's lots of important points there, and even builders methods of how they construct your home or renovation can be quite different. And you know, obviously, you're going to get the end product at the end of the day, but one builder could use a certain type of building material, and another builder could use different building material.
But at the end of the day, you're going to get the end result of your home renovation or build. So it's really important that when you are researching builders to do pricing for you, that you are giving them a specific scope of work that every builder is going to price off.
If you're not specific either then, builder A is going to provide a price on bricks and single glazed windows, a standard budget bathroom. Then builder B may provide you with a price for a brick-build and a different glazed window and a higher-end quality bathroom.
So it's crucial, I think, for people to understand if you want to be able to compare apples with apples and make sure that you're able to really understand the individual builder's quotes that they all are working off the same hymn page. And they all have the specific items that you are after because otherwise, you're going to get skewered results.
Another thing I think, Jane, is that it comes down to allowances as well. Some builders will provide a provisional sum or prime cost item or an allowance for specific items. When preparing that proposal/ quotation for you, they may make an allowance because you might not have specified a fixture. Some builders may allow $20 per square meter for tiles. At the same time, you want to choose a $70 per square meter tile. So it's just important to be aware of the allowances for each of the items in the contract and compare those allowances to other quotes.
Jane: Yes, I think allowances are a really big thing. We try our hardest on our fixed price quote, so that's the final quote that we do. We try really hard to have pretty much no allowances, or if any, it will be something like site works because it's really hard to estimate this.
I notice builders out there that do a fixed price for their site works, and they promote it; we would just never do that. It's too much unknown. I mean, we've dug up all sorts of things underground, especially in Mount Hawthorn and those older areas in Perth.
So other than that, we try not to have any prime cost or provisional sums in our Proposals unless the homeowner has not selected items.
Louise: It is about putting that time and effort into the forefront of your pre-construction phase. I think that's nearly more important than the actual construction section, you know?
So homeowners need to be aware that if there's sufficient time and effort at the initial stages, it eliminates so much stress and frustration afterwards.
Jane, thanks so much for chatting with us today on that, and I hope that helps anybody following.
I hope you got something from our conversation about comparing builders renovation and home building quotes.
If you have any questions or want to know more about building proposals, feel free to reach out to Distinct Renovations for more info on consulting upfront on your next project's buildability and price.
Timber Frame Builders Perth