At Moorhouse Builders we believe in giving good advice to anyone building, regardless of who they decide to build with. The peace of mind gained by choosing a reputable builder is invaluable.
A builder’s price is a lot more than a headline figure. It is highly likely that the pricing you receive will vary significantly, unless you are familiar enough with the process to have prepared a detailed specification and schedule of finishes for your project to be read in conjunction with the drawings.
The absence of questions from your potential builder or of thorough detail in the quotation is a sure sign of trouble ahead. How can you be sure that your perceptions of the inclusions match the builders?
In the absence of a detailed project brief, a prospective builder should always supply a detailed quotation qualifying their price, demonstrating that they have thought out the process of building your home and are genuinely interested in working with you. This is however not always the case. In general, the briefer the quotation, the more caution you should exercise.
Below is a list of items to consider when comparing quotes.
INCLUSIONS – Ensure that you read the specifics of the quotation carefully and that you are comparing ‘apples with apples’ in areas such as the quality of fixtures and fittings, materials, professional preparation, tradespeople etc. What work is being be done that you may never see i.e. foundations, insulation, etc? If you are not sure, ask for an explanation of the price difference in a particular area of the quotation to ensure you are clear about the differences. Again be wary of the single page quote, as how can you compare the detail.
PC SUMS – These express the dollar figure that the builder has allowed for the purchase of certain fixtures or fittings. Look closely at the amounts allowed. Could you purchase the fixture or fitting that you would like for the sum allowed? If not the cost will escalate during construction. It is not uncommon for these amounts to be “underquoted” in order to reduce the headline price of the project. A simple comparison of the amounts allowed, speaks volumes about the approach of the builder to the project.
PROVISIONAL SUMS – These express the dollar figure for a portion of the works that includes both the supply of materials and Labour. These are potentially more problematic than PC Sums as they invariably involve larger amounts and have considerably more risk of cost over run. Provisional Sums should only be used by a builder when the detail of an item to be included is not clear, say for example shower screens or glass balustrade that have varying styles that can influence their price. Over use of Provisional Sums in builders’ quotations, is a sure sign that the builder has not taken the time, or care to calculate a cost and has just “plucked” a figure to cover something, knowing that if he/she is wrong, that they will pick it up when the item is adjusted.
ASSOCIATIONS –Membership of Associations such as the HIA or Master Builders Association, mean that the builder takes his role in the industry seriously and has access to ongoing training and development.
ENVIRONMENT – Does the builder understand the latest sustainability rules and have enough knowledge to suggest ways to save you money through energy efficiency? Do they operate in a clean and environmentally responsible manner?
PROJECT TIMING – Ask when prospective builders can commence and their required time for construction. Upon receiving this information check that they are happy for these items to be included in the Contract Provisions. Some builders will tell clients what they want to hear with respect of timing but balk at having it included in the contract.
If you find a significant difference in the building quotes presented to you there is almost always a good reason why. Please do not hesitate to contact us for free advice on what to look for in comparing price estimates for your particular job.