Home Renovation Blog
Expert renovation tips and information about Home Additions and quality Renovations
Building Quotes and avoiding hidden costs is possible if you know what to look for. Unfortunately, not all Building Quotes are created equal.
If you are embarking on a home renovation project and have received a quote from multiple builders, there are some very good reasons why the bottom line varies between them.
Learn to spot the hidden costs behind quotes and discover why cheaper quotes will usually cost you more in the long term.
This seems obvious, but it is important to ask what has been excluded from the Quote. Do not assume that everything that you think should be included, has actually been included.
Common items to be excluded may include window treatments, floor coverings and painting. Maybe these are items that you are happy to complete yourself? However if they are not, you must insist on a price to be included in the quote. Their exclusion will have a significant impact on the real total cost, potentially adding thousands of dollars to your total project cost that you may not have budgeted for.
Houses built prior to 1980 usually have asbestos somewhere in the home. Abestos is a deadly substance that is now banned as a building product. If you are renovating you should be expecting thave there will be asbestos that will need to be removed. Asbestos can lie hidden in all sorts of places in your home such as eaves, cladding, ceilings, fences, backing on vinyl floors and more. It is important that the removal is done by a licenced asbestos removal specialist.
It is not uncommon for builders to leave this cost off a builders quote. Sometimes the asbestos can be concealed and this is an honest omission. On other occasions, builders may leave the cost off the quote to keep the total cost of the quote down in order to be competitive. Then once the job commences you are hit with an unexpected variation.
If you have asbestos in your home – or suspect that you have – ask your builder to make an allowance for the removal in your building quote.
Building prices can vary due to different types and grades of materials specified. If a Builder is very cheap, and their Quote seems significantly low, you will need to ask more questions about the materials supplied.
Ask whether the quote includes treated pine or untreated pine. Amerex only recommend using treated pine to ensure that you have maximum protection against termites and borers.
Another example is when a Builder allows a small budget amount for items such as door handles, bathroom fittings and kitchen appliances. In a quality home renovation project, budget fittings do not usually apply (budget fittings are more suitable for project homes and first home buyers), and as such you will be hit with a large number of variations that will very quickly add up to thousands of dollars.
Poor quality fittings and building materials will not stand the test of time as they will break or wear out easily, and the future capital gains in your home may be affected as a result. By contrast, a home that has had a quality home renovation and addition using quality materials and quality workmanship will appreciate at a greater rate and hold its value within the market.
Has the Builder specified what they charge as an Administrative Fee for Variations? If this is not specified then you need to ask. ALL renovation projects have variations – don’t believe anyone who suggests otherwise.
Most Builders charge anywhere from $250 to $1000 Admin fee per Variation. In our 25+ years of experience, we have found that it is not unusual to have between 10 to 20 variations on a large renovation project.
The types of variations that occur can include small items such as adding in extra electrical points, to changing your alfresco ceiling from plasterboard to cedar lining, or simply deciding that you would like to have custom built-in shelving in your new linen cupboard after all.
Whatever the reason, we can assure you that from experience there will be at least 10 Variations. If you are someone that changes your mind a lot, there will be more. Consider the cost then if you have 10 Variations, each with an Admin Fee of $1000. This would add $10,000 to your project straight away. So, 20 Variations will add $20,000! You get the picture, and it is not pretty!
Amerex does not charge an Admin Fee for Variations, so you can be assured that on an Amerex home renovation project that you will be protected from this type of budget creep.
If you are renting during your home renovation project, it will cost you considerably more if your project runs over time and you need to pay a hefty amount in rent each week/month.
How can you safeguard against this? Find out if the Builder has a track record of delivering on time.
Ask the Builder if they have completed similar projects in your area and how long they took to complete them. Ask if you can talk to the homeowners. Will they provide a reference?
Then most importantly, ensure that any dates promised will be written into your Contract.
Every building quote should contain a list of exclusions. Typically this might include items such as fencing, landscaping and security. If you have a building quote that does not clearly listed what is excluded you need to ask further questions.
EVERY building quote should have a section that outlines exclusions. If your building quote does not clearly list what IS included and what IS NOT included you need to ask more questions.
Before your project starts you want to know that you are building with a builder you can trust. Make sure they are being honest and transparent with you from the very start. After all, you will be trusting the builder with your home, make sure you are comfortable your home will be safe and trusted hands.
“ We completed our first home renovation in North Perth with Amerex last year. We were undertaking a large two storey renovation of our dream home and the decision to choose Amerex came down to the high level of professionalism, expertise, excellent customer service and vast knowledge that Steve and the team displayed in character home renovations.Laila, North Perth 'We thoroughly enjoyed the building process'
We had not renovated in the past and we were very unsure of the process however Amerex staff spent a lot of time assisting us with the design process, they were always available to answer our enquires, provided valuable suggestions, were extremely patient and completed our project ahead of schedule.
We would highly recommend Amerex as we have ended up with a beautiful home that displays excellent workmanship and a highly functional design. The home is exactly as we imagined it to be and our family and friends have all complimented on the amazing final result.
We thoroughly enjoyed the building process with Steve and the highly skilled Amerex team and extend a big thankyou to all the staff who helped us along the way!! ”
“ I was fortunate to have Steve, Kelly and the team at Amerex build my extension.Cymbie, Mt Lawley 'Professional, highly skilled, approachable with exacting standards'
They are a professional, highly skilled, approachable business with exacting standards and the ability to work with you from the planning stage to completion.
This professionalism extends to all who come on site. Kelly's capable and warm project coordination ensures that everything runs like clockwork and all your queries are dealt with extreme efficiency.
Very Happy! ”
“ We signed up with Amerex for a very big renovation, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom - the lot. We wanted to keep the look and feel of our character home in the extensions. Amerex were the right choice for that. They have an eye for detail and took the time to make sure things were done right. We've been very happy with the quality of their work.Ben, Inglewood 'They have an eye for detail and took the time to make sure things were done right'
We found Steve to be very responsive and professional. He kept the whole project moving along. We were complete novices going into the whole process and he took the time to go through the details so we could make more informed choices.
Would definitely recommend Amerex to anyone wanting to renovate. ”
“ From the first meeting with Amerex until the final check we have enjoyed the experience. Amerex have taken our words and ideas and built them into a quality finished home extension that is functional and everything that we had hoped for.Phil, North Perth 'Our extension has the "wow" factor'
The entire team at Amerex lead by Steve are friendly, reliable, use quality materials and produce a quality outcomes.
Our extension has the “wow” factor and guests comment on the exceptional open plan design that is built to entertain.
We are very happy with the final finish and would highly recommend them to anyone. ”
“ Steve and his team took our conceptual design and made our vision a reality in very quick time with practical completion of this major renovation within 7 months of the start date. The site supervision was tight which meant that the work progressed easily between the various trades.Christine, Wembley 'It was a real pleasure to deal with Steve and his team'
What is more, the estimated cost of the job was accurate with variations only to suit changes that we required. The outcome was a home that delivers so much more than we expected in terms of comfort, quality and our initial objectives.
It was a real pleasure to deal with Steve and his team. I would not hesitate to recommend Amerex to anyone who needs the services of a truly professional builder/renovator. ”
“ Amerex, lead by Steve, have clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance prior to, and during the build. They used skilled tradespeople and quality materials; no corners were cut and I felt confident that the build was of the highest quality.Rachel, Woodlands 'Steve has clearly been in the building industry a long time and offered valuable input and guidance'
Steve and his team communicated frequently with me along the way and I was involved at every step. I felt comfortable approaching him if I had any questions or concerns, he was always available and acted quickly to resolve any issues.
The team at Amerex were reliable, professional and a pleasure to deal with. In particular Kelly, who would often go ‘above and beyond’, was always positive, and nothing was ever too much trouble. ”
“ It was an absolute pleasure to deal with the Amerex team for our home renovation.Eric and Kris, Mt Lawley 'We received exceptional customer service'
From Steve Burke, to the office staff and all of the various tradespeople, we received exceptional customer service.
The skilled tradespeople were reliable, obliging & committed to the highest level of quality on our home.
Amerex came in on budget, they completed the work earlier than scheduled & they ensured our renovation ran smoothly throughout. ”
A member of the Amerex team will arrange a time to discuss your
renovation and additions project and assess what stage you are at in the building process.
PO Box 328, North Perth WA 6906
ABN: 67 009 252 680 Builders Registration: 10250