These last few weeks we have looked at the very beginning of the process of getting your new home or renovation/extension underway. We have explored what information you need to know before looking for a builder, and then finding a builder, this week we will discuss obtaining a quote and what to expect.
Obtaining A Quote – From Quote To Completion
This process will be a little different for each of us, as we all require something a little different from the builder we choose, however the fundamentals will be the same for us all. At the end of the process of finding a builder, you should have a few builders you would like to work with to obtain a quote. This is going to take a large investment in time from your builder, so it is important that you are reasonably satisfied these builders could be for you, before you begin.
We recommend to have no more than 3 builders quoting on any one job, after 3 the quotes become confusing and often if the builder gets wind of more builders quoting than 2 or 3 they will be reluctant to spend enough time to effective quote your job.
You will need to provide your builder with your plans and give opportunity for a site visit. It is extremely beneficial for you and your builder, if you have taken the time to create an inclusions list. Within this list you can give information around what exactly you expect from your builder including fixtures and fittings.
The more information you provide your builders with, the more likely you will receive a comprehensive and accurate quote. In our upcoming “Inside The Build” Masterclass series, we will look further into creating inclusion lists are the benefits that come with them.
It is not necessary to provide an inclusions list, however as the client you will need to be mindful when receiving your quotes that each builder will be quoting differently to the other.
Once you have met with your builder, you can expect your quote to take around 2 weeks, anything quicker than a week, is unlikely to be very comprehensive.
What To Expect In Your Quote
You should expect your quote to be a minimum 8 pages long. The more information you receive the better! Your quote should provide you with an end cost and a reasonable breakdown of how that price came to be.
Builders are able to break the quote up in any way that assists you the client to understand and compare with other quotes. Each will look very different though as there is no standard way to present a quote.
Look to the most transparent quotes, as the price is not the most important part of your quote. Be wary that less expensive quotes are often omitting details and prices that will still need to be paid for along the way. Likewise, don’t necessarily reject the most expensive quote, instead take time to compare the best you can.
Once you’ve had time to digest your quotes, make follow up appointments with your builders. You should prepare a list of questions about your quote and perhaps the builders process, to discuss at this time. This follow up should provide you with all the clarity you need to make a decision.
If you have further questions, make another appointment! This is the preliminary time in which you will get a good feeling for how you and your builder will work together. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as it takes for you to understand, after all, it’s your money and your home!
From here you can make a decision about who you would like to work with, and next week we will look at accepting the quote and moving forward with your contract.
I’d like to leave you with a thought about paying for quotes, this is something I strongly encourage the tradies I work with to do. We believe it needs to become an industry standard. It takes many hours of work to prepare a comprehensive quote, and builders need to be sure that you are invested in the process. Prior to charging for quotes, the Builder would do about 4 quotes a month, each quote would take at least 12 hours to prepare and of those quotes we would win 1 out of 4. That is a lot of wasted unpaid time, that unpaid time needs to be made up somewhere, and usually it would be made up by extra charges in the contract price, which directly impacts you the client. For our clients, paying a small fee for a quote actually meant they were saving money within their contract prices and that is the transparency you should be looking for.
Have you ever paid for a quote? Would you? I’d love to hear your reasons either way.
**Our upcoming Inside The Build Masterclass series, you will be taken behind the scenes of the build process from your very first builder contact through to the hand over of your job and everything in between. Your ultimate back stage pass to the building industry. You can register your interest by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org