How to Compare Building Quotes

Are you getting ready to build a new home, renovate or extend your existing home? When you receive quotes from multiple builders, like most people, the first thing you might consider is the price. But does this really tell the whole story?

There are many things to consider when comparing building quotes, and the price is just one piece of the puzzle. Let’s take a look at how to compare building quotes, and the top items that you should consider in your comparison.

What you need to consider when comparing building quotes

When you receive quotes from each of the builders, they may lay out their quote differently. So that you can compare them against each other equally, the first step is to make sure you have provided each builder with exactly the same plans and specifications. This allows for you to compare the quotes fairly against one another.

The main things you need to consider when comparing building quotes includes:

  • Read your quote fully and don’t just compare prices
  • Look at the list of inclusions and highlight any differences
  • Review the standard of finishes
  • Quality of products supplied
  • Does the quote provide realistic timelines?
  • Realistic PS and PC (provisional sum and prime cost) items
  • Fixed price labour compared to allowances
  • The process to correct any defect issues

When reviewing the quotes, you may be wondering if you can actually buy the taps, toilet, tiles or other items that you want, that fit in the amount allowed as a PC. If there are any items, such as the PS/PC items above that you don’t fully understand, please take the time to ask your builder for an easy-to-understand explanation.

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Are you comparing ‘apples with apples’?

After you have ensured that you are comparing the same plan and specifications from each builder’s quote, you then need to take it a step further to make sure you’re comparing ‘apples with apples’.

Are the list of inclusions the same? Does one quote specify a reverse cycle air-conditioning unit, and another quote include a ducted air-conditioning system? What are the quality of finishes included? If one quote includes chrome finishes, and another has matte black finishes, this can affect your final price. Do you have any appliances included in your quote? If so, consider the brand name and warranty included. For example, if you are renovating your kitchen and one quote includes Miele or Smeg appliances, and another quote includes Westinghouse, this will impact the costings.

Highlight any differences and decide which inclusions you would prefer. Then you can ask for your quote to be amended to match your preferences and be able to compare the inclusions, appliances and finishes ‘apples for apples’.

Read the building quote ‘fine print’

Your building quote will have come with a set of terms and conditions, which would include things such as variations. Variations to your build can quickly add up due to differences in materials, and increase even more, if you are charged every time you incur a variation to your contract. This can be a significant hidden cost, that many people tend to look over when signing off their terms and conditions. As many builders charge a fee for every single variation to the initial building contract, this means if you decide to change any items during the building process, this can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

Take your time to carefully read and compare your building quotes

At JSG Constructions, we encourage our clients to carefully read and compare building quotes. Every builder provides different inclusions as standard, so you should create your list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-love-to-haves’. Then take the time to compare your quotes ‘apples for apples’. Doing so when you are first starting on your building journey can save you a lot of money and time in the long run. 

If you’d like any assistance in understanding your building quote, our team will be only too happy to help you through the process.

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