How to get a quote for your new home or renovation

building quote

Hundreds of new homes are built in Perth every year, but in 2017 we’re likely to see more new homes being built than the years past. Why, because the First Home Owners Grant has been raised from $10,000 to $15,000 this year.

In addition to the increase of new homes being build, recent figures indicate that Perth homeowners are also looking to renovate rather than relocate.

Whether you’re looking to renovate your home or build a new one, you’ll need to first obtain a building quote. If you don’t know how to go about this, don’t worry, I’ll explain everything you need to know.

Continue reading this post as I explain how you can get a quote for your new home or renovation. I’ll also explain what you should look for in a quote to ensure your renovation or build goes smoothly. So, listen up!

1. What is a quote?

Whether you’re looking to build a new home or renovate your existing home, you’ll need to hire many tradespeople. These tradespeople include builders, fitters, electrical and plumbing services and the like. However, before you go about hiring anybody for your project, you must obtain a quote first.

A building quote is nothing but an agreement regarding the services or goods that will be supplied to you by tradespeople. After you accept a quote that has been offered to you, you enter into a contract with your service provider. Typically, a quote should include a description of the proposed work and the cost of materials, labour and extras.

I’ve seen many people jump into building or renovating without obtaining quotes. Don’t make this mistake. By obtaining a quote before you start, you’ll make sure that the entire process goes much more smoothly. Also, you will avoid chances of a dispute with your service provider regarding costs.

So, now that you know more about a quote, let’s take a look at how you can obtain a quote.

2. How to obtain a quote?

Obtaining a building quote is a straightforward process. All you have to do is explain your requirements in detail to a professional tradesperson and request a quote. I recommend you get a quote from three separate service providers – they will be more than happy to offer you a quote.

In some cases, tradespeople cannot offer a firm quote without commencing work. In such cases, you should request an estimate.

When you’re requesting a quote, I recommend that you make some specific requests.

  • Request that you are consulted before any changes are made to the building schedule.
  • Ensure that the quote is fully itemised and that it includes a detailed breakdown of all cost aspects.
  • Request for start dates, end dates and dates of milestones for your project. Any progress payment schedules should be written clearly to avoid possible confusion.

Moreover, a quote should also include your supplier’s environmental commitments and proof of license, registration and insurance. You can even request or examples of work or references from your supplier.

If you’re happy with the quote offered and you’d like work to start off, you should put it in writing. This ensures that there no misunderstandings are created regarding agreement terms.

You will also be protected by Australian Consumer Law guarantees when dealing with quotes and service providers. Suppliers have to guarantee that their services are fit for purpose, provided with due skill and care and provided within reasonable time.

While all of this sounds great, there is still one big question. How do you know if a building quote offered to you is reasonable? For this, you need to talk to friends and family who have previously worked with service providers to get an idea of costs. As mentioned, you should obtain at least three quotes offered by different service providers and go through them thoroughly. Most importantly, do your research properly and know who you’re dealing with when looking at a quote.

When comparing quotes, you can also visit Home Improvement Pages and submit an online form to connect to three local builders. This way, you’ll find it easier to obtain and compare quotes and make a more informed decision.

Comparing quotes can be somewhat tricky, so let’s take a look at how you should go about doing it.

3. How to go about comparing quotes?

After you’ve obtained a building quote from three different service providers, you should analyse each in detail. A proper quote should also offer fair understanding of variables and extras and reflect your objectives. It should state the supplier’s availability, relevant experience, references, workforce and contact information. It should also include GST and any guarantees offered.

Now, when receiving a quote, I’m sure that the first thing you’ll want to look at is the final price. While this is one aspect of a quote, it’s important to dig deeper. Make sure that the prices are competitive and in accordance with market standards.

Also, I’ll advise you to stay away from any quote which looks too good to be true. I often hear stories from customers who were not happy with the end result, simply because they went with the cheapest quote.

If you’re already working with an architect, you can probably ask for their assistance in comparing quotes. Architects can understand and compare quotes much better than you and they can help you out. However, be wary because architects usually make personal recommendations, which may not always be affordable for you. Therefore, it is wise not to leave all the judgement to your architect.

As such, you should understand what to be aware of when looking at a building quote. So, let’s take a look at it.

4. What to be aware of in a quote?

When you start requesting quotes, make sure that you give all service providers the same brief and drawings. This way, you’ll ensure that you’re comparing apples to apples, not oranges.

Now, before you jump in and hire a builder, stop. There may be some hidden costs associated, which are not being reflected in the quote. Always check that your quote includes certification and approval fees. It should also include site preparation costs and site requirements, the builder’s availability, completion period and exclusions.

A quote should always be detailed and it should include variations and administrative fees. Provisional sum allowances must also be included in a quote. Hidden electrical costs and insulation costs are some other things that are commonly left off quotes. Also, check to see if all structural costs are included, such as door hardware costs, fly-screen costs, cost of fittings and fencing costs. Different builders present cost breakdowns in a different manner, so you’ll need to analyse in detail to check for all costs.

Apart from these, there are some definite red flags associated with building quotes.

These include:

  • Unusually low or high quotes
  • Incomplete quotes
  • Provisional costs
  • Incomplete license details
  • Poor communication.

If you see any of these red flags in a quote and it’s probably a good idea to stay away from the service provider who offered it. Once you’re happy with a building quote, you can go ahead and choose a builder for your renovation.

Now, you’ll need to start buying products for your new home and you’ll find it all here at Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We stock a huge range of kitchen bathroom and laundry products, including sinks, basins, vanities, cabinets and tapware. We also stock tiles, doors and windows, appliances and much more. Really, everything you need for your new home can be found right here under the one roof! Drop by our showroom in Guildford or check out our online store to find out more about what we offer.

Conclusion:

Whether you’re renovating your home or building a new one, you will need a building quote from service providers. When accepted, this quote will form the basis of an agreement between you and your service provider regarding your building/renovation project.

Obtaining a quote is relatively simple. You’ll need to contact multiple service providers, offer them the same brief and drawings and request a quote. Once you obtain your quotes, you’ll need to analyse them and compare them in detail to find the best service provider. You can talk to your architect to help understand and compare quotes better.

There are certain things to be aware of in a quote. Make sure that a quote is detailed, includes all hidden costs and includes all licensing details. Also, stay away from quotes that are too high or too low.

After you’re satisfied with your quote and you’ve hired a builder, go ahead and buy products for your renovation/building project. You’ll find everything that you need at our store at Ross’s Discount Home Centre.

We have over $1m worth of products in stock ready to walk out the door, so visit our showroom or shop online today!