Looking for something?

In Standard

Preliminary Agreements – Why They Can Work For You

Preliminary Agreements – Why They Can Work For You

There are many different ways to get to the point of being ready for a quote on your new build or your renovation, but what happens if you speak to your builder before you have plans? An estimate can most certainly be given, but if you are ready for a firm quote a preliminary agreement will often be drawn up, allowing plans to be made and a thorough quote to be done. Like to know more about a preliminary agreement, read on.

Preliminary Agreements the Nuts and Bolts

Quite often The Builder and I will attend a quote where the client has firm ideas in mind, though no plans. These ideas are enough for us to prepare you an estimate on the cost of your extension, renovation or new build, however they will not allow us to prepare a detailed quote.

It is recommended that clients seek 2-3 quotes to ensure they chose the right builder for them. This is difficult to do without plans, and the solution we often suggest is to have our clients sign a preliminary agreement. This provides the opportunity to have plans drawn up, by our (the builder’s) architect who will work closely with yourself as the client and us as builders to ensure they provide you with a quality set of plans, including all the details you wish for, while working with us to ensure we are close to the budget you had in mind.

A preliminary agreement can also provide for the soils tests and engineering to be done during this phase of your construction process, hence allowing for a clear quote to be done on all involved. The more information able to be provided, the clear the quote and greater the opportunity for all builders to quote on apples for apples.

preliminary agreements

Architects and builders work very differently, and when working together often provide the best result as far as practical well thought out spaces, within the required budget. It’s like working with an architect with a builder’s professional advice thrown in for free.

There are a few points to keep in mind though, like any industry, not all builders are the same. It is imperative for you to own your own plans at the end of the process, with this in mind be sure PRIOR to signing the preliminary agreement, that there is a clause that allows you, the client, to own your own plans at the end of the process. We have heard stories whereby clients go through this process and the builder has craftily kept the plans. Before signing any contract be sure of what is involved.


What are the benefits of using the process of a Preliminary Agreement?

Builders and architects create better results when working together. Builders are NOT architects, though do have practical ideas on how to create a space within a tight budget. Architects are NOT builders and are best at designing spaces with creativity, and understanding of how a client lives in a home. Together they create plans best for the clients individual requirements, while working within the budget.

An added bonus is the opportunity to work closely with your builder before signing the contract for your renovation or extension. Can you imagine having an opportunity to ensure that you are able to work together effectively, to ensure you are both able to communicate in a way that suits you the client before going into the building phase of your construction? A great way to be truly confident before you invest large amounts of money with something you find you just can’t communicate effectively with.

Have you worked with a builder and architect to have your plans drawn up? What space would you most like to change in your home?

Nicole xxx

This post was written from the prospective of a builder based in Queensland. Other states may have differing conditions for use of a preliminary agreements.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

8 Comments 3821 Views

Related Post

Signing Out For 2019

Signing Out For 2019

Simple Christmas Table

Simple Christmas Table


  1. I’m up to the architect stage and wondering when to get a builder on board (the good ones are in such high demand!). This is really helpful, Nicole. Thank you. x

    1. So true! Good builders can be hard to catch. Good luck, and please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you. xx

  2. I happily left all of this in my husband’s capable hands. He built and designed our house. I know he had quite a bit of back and forth with council about heritage restrictions in our street. He did a wonderful job and was always so patient. #teamIBOT

    1. The bits I have seen of your house are amazing! Isn’t it wonderful to be able to trust someone and leave it with them? So much more to be worrying about xx

  3. Not something we’ve had to worry about yet, but it’s good to have information for the future. Who knows what might happen?

  4. So true Jess, thanks for dropping by xx

  5. Hi
    So if I sign a preliminary agreement and the builder does all these things, soil test, plans etc, and I pay the amou nt asked, will I own the soil test and plans, or will the builder?
    The wording in the agreement can be a little daunting to understand.

    1. Hi Melinda, I’m sending you an email now ?

Leave a Reply


Hungry for Inside Secrets on How to Give Your House A Makeover
Without Breaking The Bank?

Subscribe to The Builders Wife and Get Our Top 10 Makeover Hacks Now!
Great Work!
You'll be redirected in a second to download your free ebook!