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5 tips on comparing builders quotes? - Property Unravelled

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Have you just finished finalising your new home plans?  Have you started getting builders quotes and just don’t know where to start? Are you confused about comparing builders quotes.

Comparing builders quotes can leave people confused, frustrated and really not knowing what the actually quote includes.

When we built our 2 strata villa’s last year I was determined not to be ripped off.  I decided to go to suppliers and pick out my fittings and fixtures and then go to builders with my list.   We received three quotes and when I look through each one of them it was like comparing apples to oranges.  Every quote was different it had varieties of  bricks, frames, windows and so on.

So the hours and hours of analysing began with a excel spreadsheets before we could determine which was the best value for money.  Finally after putting together our spreadsheet and looking at the price differences we decided on our builder.

Here our our top 5 tips to save you time when you are comparing builders quotes:

1. Providing a copy of clear plans

If you have had your home designed by a architect or building designer then get all fittings and fixtures included in the plans.  Ask the architect to include electrical layout’s, types of flooring, fencing and landscaping. This plan will be the basis that all builder’s will then quote on.

2. Writing your must have’s  (schedule of finishers)

Sitting down with your partner and going through each room and deciding on flooring, air conditioning, cabinetry, driveways, watertanks, landscaping and everything else in your home.  Make a list and provide this to builders with your detailed plans.

3. Get professional advice

There are some great online resources now that can assist you in comparing quotes. Check out Quote my plans which is a online service where you can upload your plans and get quotes. If you want to get even more detailed there is another online service called ProSpex. ProSpexis an online service that helps you create a specification for your building project, simplying the quoting process and eliminating hidden costs.  I wish I had of know about these services when we were going through the process.

4. Get a list of exclusions

Make sure you ask for a list of exclusions from each builder that you are getting a quote from.  A friend of mine was looking at buying a  home off the plan recently and she asked me to look through the contract for her.   I could not believe some of the exclusions included landscaping, side paths, no fencing,air conditioning and the list went on.   We added up the total of what these would have cost and you could have easily added another $30,000 on top of the asking price.     You can go back to the builder and ask if he will include these and then get another quote.

5. What are builder’s administration costs and variances

Builders charge for any changes that you make throughout the builder.  For example if you decided to change the design slightly or upgrade your allowances then the builder will charge your a administrative fee and a variance.  We negotiated with our builder that there would not be any administrative charges.

This stage of the build is imperative to your final budget.  Make sure you go through the quotes with a fine tooth comb.  Come and join our House to Home Hub and chat to others about their builder’s quotes.


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