Compare & Understand What’s Included In Your Building Quote
One of the most difficult parts of deciding on a builder is trying to work out what is actually included in the quoted amount. Generally, most people look at 2 to 3 builders and can end up frustrated by not being able to have a clear line in the sand on exactly what is and, what isn’t, included. Some factors that can contribute to this confusion are:
- Differing quote setouts
- Differing specification levels
- Omission of preliminary cost items (engineering, Geotech etc.)
- Level of available selections
Residential building, like most industries, is highly competitive and with such large amounts of money being invested, a quote that is 10% cheaper can be hard to look past. Once the building process gets underway, if the builder’s quote is incomplete or has not made adequate provisions for the works involved, that 10% saving can quickly evaporate. One common way that this happens is when a builder provides a very detailed quote with a lot of separated costs, quantities and rates per m2 etc. Most people view this type of quote as fantastic because they see it as being transparent and in-depth. However, issues can arise when the building gets underway and the quantities required to actually construct the home are insufficient compared to the quote.
A couple of examples where this could occur are:
Concrete slab that is specified as a certain “class” or “m3” of concrete allowed. Both of these ways could allow the builder to charge additional cost if the selected class of slab is inadequate for the site, or if they have simply under allowed on the m3 of concrete required. What a builder should instead provide is to build the house as per plan and to the required Australian Standards. It is up to the builder to investigate and properly understand the site before providing a contract price and commit to delivering the homeowner a finished product for the contract price.
Kitchens play a pivotal role in modern homes and builders will often allow a provisional cost for this area. The issues start right about here. You spec up your kitchen with all the bells and whistles you could imagine and get a quote back from the builder’s nominated kitchen supplier and the cost is far in excess of the provisional allowance. Simple, you can just shop around and find a more competitive price, right? Wrong. Many contracts state that you must use the “builders nominated supplier” or “builders nominated range”. So, you are stuck having to use a supplier that is costing more than they should and you can end up paying handsomely for a less than overwhelming result.
Driveways are an absolute must for a finished property and are often needed to obtain an Occupation Certificate at the end of a job. The trap here is that many builders will include a nominated m2 of driveway in their contract. People look at this allowance in their contract and think, great, my driveway is sorted. Without further investigation and studying of their plans, the actual driveway size is sometimes double in size as to what has been allowed for. The extra charge to a client here can be in the thousands.
Ask yourself, does your quote include the following items?
- Consultant Fees (Engineers, Surveyors, Geo Techs, Town Planners)
- Council Fees
- Home Warranty Insurance
- Service disconnections and connections
- Site Preparation (demolition of existing home, excavation, landfill)
- The above items are just a snippet of items that, if not properly accounted for, can have a big impact on the final price of your build.
When building a new home, what are the expectations?
To be able to live in the home as a complete and finished home. Sounds so simple but many quotes don’t allow to complete the home to the point where it can be used. Any builder that provides a cost for your home should be making a commitment to include all the items required to allow you to live in and use the house. Anything short of this would be like buying a new car without a motor. It may look ok from the outside, but it can’t be used for its’ intended purpose.
The Occupation Certificate
Will your builder provide this on completion of the home?
It seems like a formality or so far away, at the quote stage, that many people think they will worry about that later. And, very often, it is a worry later on. Repeatedly records and certificates aren’t kept or appropriate inspections aren’t followed during the build because the builder is not taking responsibility for the complete process. You then find yourself in a very unenviable position as, months down the track, you discover that your new home can’t get an Occupation Certificate. The flow on effect is quite enormous. Your new home will have great difficulty selling and, you may even lose several hundred thousand dollars in value, without this certificate. All of this will make that 10% saving at quote stage insignificant.
Peninsula Homes commits to providing an Occupation Certificate on completion of all our homes. We work closely with our Private Certifier to ensure that each stage of your build is certified and signed off so that when the end of your build is near, you have total peace of mind that the job has been done properly and your Occupation Certificate can be issued.
The message is clear when obtaining quotes for your home. Really understand who you are dealing with and what they are including, or better still, what they are not including. If in doubt, ask questions and keep asking questions until you are 100% satisfied. That 10% saving at quote stage may seem like a deal breaker, but if you don’t truly understand what’s included in your quote, you may well pay heavily for it through the course of your build.
Here’s a little guide to our building quotes:
It’s understandable that navigating the complexities of the construction process can be overwhelming. The web of quotes, allowances, and potential pitfalls mentioned earlier may give you pause. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that each element of this process, from allowances and upgrades to understanding inclusions and exclusions, has a significant role in shaping your future home. Even though the road may seem treacherous at first, with transparency, planning, and careful consideration, it can lead to a rewarding result. The trick lies in fully comprehending these components and how they contribute to the bigger picture, guiding you toward an outcome that seamlessly aligns with your expectations and lifestyle.
Allowances are an essential component of the building process. They represent the budget allocated for particular segments of the construction, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or driveways. It’s important to be aware that these allowances are provisional and can change based on specific choices you make during construction. By understanding allowances, you can strategically plan for any variations and ensure that your home is crafted to your specifications without unforeseen expenditures.
When you opt to enhance elements beyond the contracted offerings, you’re delving into the realm of upgrades. An upgrade could be anything from superior-quality benchtops to the inclusion of smart home accessories. We value the importance of personalisation in making a home truly yours. Therefore, we provide the flexibility to select from a wide range of suppliers, ensuring that the materials and finishes align with your preferences and lifestyle requirements.
Inclusions and Exclusions
It’s crucial to be well-informed about what is included in your building quote. The building process encompasses various aspects, and knowing what’s included helps in setting realistic expectations and budgets. Inclusions are typically elements that are part of the construction, while exclusions are aspects that are not covered and might need to be handled separately. Peninsula Homes practise transparency, ensuring you are fully apprised of all inclusions and exclusions, making the journey smooth and pleasant.
Site costs are expenditures associated with preparing your land for construction. This involves ensuring that the site is stable, accessible, and meets all the requirements for building. Factors such as the nature of the soil, slope and ease of access can impact these costs. Our expert team carries out a thorough site assessment and communicates the particulars with you. This rigorous approach ensures that the foundation of your home is robust and reliable.
Lead times pertain to the duration required for different phases of the construction process. It’s crucial to consider that certain materials might need to be custom-ordered or imported, and this can have an impact on the timeline and costs. Our skilled team works closely with suppliers and maintains efficient communication with you to ensure that the project stays on schedule. We strive to deliver excellence within the agreed-upon timeline.
We take immense pride in the craftsmanship and quality of our builds. To ensure your peace of mind, we offer comprehensive warranties that cover structural integrity and materials. Structural warranties focus on the essential construction elements of your home, ensuring its longevity. Material warranties, on the other hand, cover interior fixtures and fittings. This dual approach ensures that your home continues to be a symbol of quality and elegance for years to come.
Finishing touches are the elements that elevate your home from a structure to a living space imbued with character. These elements include landscaping, fencing and window treatments, which may not typically be included in the initial quote but are vital in completing the aesthetic and functionality of your home. Allocating part of your budget to these elements can dramatically enhance the ambience and living experience.
Understanding each facet of the building process is fundamental to achieving a home that is not only structurally sound but also resonates with your individuality. Our team is eager to work with you in crafting a home that is both luxurious and distinctly yours. Contact us and let’s embark on this incredible journey together.