COMPARING BUILDER’S QUOTES – APPLES FOR APPLES TRAP
Most people feel that they should get more than one quote when planning on renovating or building. If you do not know a lot about construction or renovating and your objective is to ensure you will be getting a quality project at a fair price, then comparing prices seems the way to go. Plus, how many times have you heard, “Get three quotes for everything”. But here is what you probably don’t know. Builders’ quotes can be split up very differently so it can be difficult to understand what the other builders have included in their breakdowns and how they have spread costs. So, you end up with a comparison of apples and sour grapes. It is ESSENTIAL that quotations and proposals are built from the EXACT SAME scope of work outlining the same level of detail per description, noting all allowances, and listing all inclusions and exclusions. This is the only way you can be assured you are even close with comparing apples with apples. But with any renovation job, one builder’s method of what they are planning on doing and the materials they are planning on using are often vastly different from the next. You are investing in a project that hasn’t even been built or seen yet as opposed to buying a Toyota which you can try before you buy. If you are comparing quotes on monetary value alone, it may cost you more dollars in the long run. Some builders low ball their quotes to win the job and do not provide you with all the expenses and inclusions up front. They may only allow for budget level pricing in their breakdowns e.g., tiling at $20 per/ sqm when in fact the quality of tiles you want is going to cost $70 per/sqm. They may provide you with minimal information and detail and this means that you will be hit with variations and charged extra including the builder’s markup for variations later when you are already tied into the contract. It can be a VERY EXPENSIVE mistake. Homeowners, who consider acquiring multiple quotes believe that when they request three bids, they can then disregard the high and the low and take the one from the middle. They then feel like they’ve made a good choice – a choice based on price alone. Do your homework and don’t be influenced by a low price. Choosing the right Builder is the most important thing to do. The right builder not only comes down to being provided with an accurate detailed costing, but it should also be someone who listens and whom you feel you can work with and trust. If your concern is about getting a ‘’good deal’, then find a builder who is up front and transparent. Find a builder that has a great reputation for quality works and service. This builder could end up saving you a lot of time, money and stress. If a builder did not provide a great quality service and was ‘too expensive’ then they wouldn’t have a list of happy clients. Don’t wait until you’ve invested all your money to have the sinking feeling that you think you have made a mistake. Find a builder who has a great reputation and whom you are the right fit and get the renovation you deserve.