Can you believe in the 5 years I have been writing on here, that’s almost 900 blog posts, I’ve never written about what you can expect from your builder’s quote? It’s not a question I am regularly asked, and until recently we thought all builders quoted to the same extent we had. As usual in this industry, very little is regulated in this area, and the quotes you receive can be vastly different from others.
This post is about quotes you receive from a Builder, not quotes from a subbie like an electrician or painter. We will be discussing quotes for new homes and for renovations. If you’d like to know what to expect, read on!
What Your Quote Should Look Like
Some of the information or the quantity of information will vary depending on the scope of work. A quote for a deck will be substantially less information than a quote for a renovation, but this will guide you through what to look for to ensure you get all the information you need.
All quotes should be presented with the contractors license number and their ABN. It is not expected, but great practice for the quote to include all insurance details as well. Again this isn’t necessary and may be left until you reach the contract stage, but in many cases, it will be there on your quote.
Alongside the license number and ABN, you should expect to see your contacts name, the business name and or trading name of the company, and all contact details. Finally, a date the quote was given on and the time the quote is valid for, or a validation date.
That is where the compulsory information stops, anything after those details is at the discretion of the builder and why this post is so necessary.
On a weekly basis I am contacting by clients who have gone through the process of obtaining a quote, signing a contract and then halfway through the job finding out some of what they thought formed part of the quote, was based on assumption and not fact.
Quotes can be very ambiguous and what one builder quotes on, another may leave out, so here is a guideline of what to look for.
- You want your quote to be a minimum of 8 pages of information, but more is better. Obviously, this is based on the size of your job, a brand new home or large extension should have a lot of information accompanying it. Even as a non-tradie, you should be able to understand what has been quoted for.
- Look for as much detail as possible in your quote. If you have provided a selections list, your quote should show each of your selections as an allowance. Check to ensure that your PC and PS sums have been appropriately allowed for. (you can read about PC & PS sums here)
- The information should be stepped out in a clear and concise way, for example, broken up into stages of the job like site clearance and preparation, concrete, steel and foundations, partition walls and framing, insulation etc. This makes the information easy to compare to the other quotes you obtain. Each of these sub-headings should also have an explanation of what has been allowed for and what hasn’t.
Comparison of quotes is easiest when lots of detail is presented. You will want to be able to put your quotes side by side and compare what has been quoted on from builder to builder. Furthermore, your builders should be happy to meet with you and answer as many questions as necessary for you to be sure you have all the information you need to make a decision.
Remember, the quoting process is like a job interview for your builder, they are showing you exactly what you can expect for the rest of the process should you move through to signing a contract with them and building/renovating your home.
Very often we are shown builders quotes with not much more information than the total price, be wary of these, you have no way of knowing what it is you are going to get. If you’re unsure about something on your quote, just ask!
Quotes from a subbie to do a small job will be presented very differently than to what I have outlined above. It is quite usual for those quotes to only resemble a small amount of information, as that reflects the size of the job.
Have you had a quote for works on your home? Did it contain all the information you expected?