How to Compare Building Quotes for your Home Renovation project

Have you got plans and are shopping around for a Builder for your Home Improvement project? Perhaps you are going to get Quotes from multiple Perth Builders to compare? Each Builder provides a different level of detail, and uses a different structure for their Quote. There is so no ‘one-size-fits-all’.

So how do you compare one Builders Quote with another?

If you simply look at the bottom line and compare the Total Cost, you are about to make a big mistake. By making a comparison on Price alone, you are assuming that each Builder has covered the same scope, does not have Hidden Costs, and will build using the same standard and quality of products.

So where do you start? How do you compare Building Quotes and ensure that you make the best choice? Read on….

Tip 1 – Start by providing all Renovation Builders with the same brief and the same drawings.

To ensure that you can fairly compare quotes from multiple Home Extension and Renovation Builders, make sure you provide each with the same brief, the same plans, and specifications. This will even the playing field and make it easier for you to compare.

Tip 2- Are you comparing Apples with apples?

That is, do the Building Quotes that you are comparing include the same items? Is it clear what is included and what is excluded? Sometimes all the inclusions have been listed, but it is not clear what is not included. If you are not alert, you may find that some items have not been included and this will end up being unscheduled costs for you later on.

This is definitely something to look for if the total Quote to Build from one Builder is much lower than the other Builders. Chances are there are significant items not included. Be careful and ask questions.

Start by asking about landscaping, asbestos removal, fences, paving and painting – these are common exclusions.

Tip 3 – Is the Building Quote lacking in detail?

If a Builder’s Quote is lacking in detail, or if doesn’t list everything you have requested then proceed VERY carefully. If an item from your Brief is not specifically listed then chances are it has not been costed into the Quote.

For example: has the new Garage been left off the Quote? This means that a nasty and expensive surprise lurks further down the track.

Tip 4 – How long is the Maintenance Period?

All builders will provide a 6 year structural warranty, however according to legislation, they are only required to provide a 4 month maintenance period after handover.

So, if your home renovation is finished in summer, your maintenance period is finished before winter comes around and any maintenance that is revealed thanks to rainy weather is potentially done at your cost.

At Amerex, we provide a full 12 month maintenance warranty so that you get to live in your home for an entire year. During that time, we happily undertake any maintenance. If the maintenance period is not specified in your quote, you can bet that you will be getting the minimum.

Tip 5 – Building prices can vary due to different types and grades of materials specified.

If a Builder is very cheap, and their Quote to Build seems significantly low, you will need to ask more questions about the materials supplied.

Example 1: Amerex only uses treated timber and includes air-cell insulation as standard in the cavity in double brick walls. This is not standard with all Builders.

Example 2: Does the amount allowed for a new Kitchen seem realistic? This is an area where budget blow-outs and under-quoting are common. Has the Quote allowed for laminate bench-tops or stone? What insulation has been included – roof space, walls? Check the details across all fixtures and finishes and don’t get caught short.

Tip 6 – Check the allowance for Provisional Sum items.

Quotes with budget-level provisional sums come in cheap but cost you further down the track. Many builders will low-ball provisional sums and you will get hit with variation costs during your build.

Amerex aim to deliver quality, and do not take short-cuts in products, or in our Quotes. We allow for mid-range quality fixtures and fittings.

What do we mean by Selections and what is a Provisional Sum? For every item in your project where you can make a Selection e.g. plumbing, appliances, door handles, etc… the Builder will have allowed an amount in your Quote referred to as a Provisional Sum.

If the amount allowed is low, and you want your project to achieve quality results, you will paying extra in Variations to the contract along the way.

At Amerex, we assume that you want a quality result right from the very start. We allow for quality fixtures and appliances in your Quote to ensure that it is as accurate as possible, and the Quote will match the actual cost to build so that you can manage your budget and avoid cost blow-outs.