Building with G.J.

8 Considerations When Comparing Quotes

Building a new home is an exciting journey, but it’s crucial to approach it with caution to avoid unexpected expenses and hidden costs. Here are eight things to keep in mind when comparing build quotes from any builder.

1. Deposit & Pricing

Be wary of low deposit amounts and unrealistic pricing. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions regarding deposits and any potential refunds.

  • What is the required deposit amount, and are there any conditions or penalties associated with it?
  • Can the builder provide a breakdown of the pricing to understand what is included and if there are any potential additional costs?
  • Is the quoted price fixed, or are there possibilities of price increases during the construction process?

2. Land Suitability

Ask about additional costs for site preparations and make sure the builder provides a clear assessment of your land’s suitability for construction.

  • What site preparation works are included in the quote, and are there any potential additional costs based on your land’s characteristics?
  • Can the builder provide a comprehensive assessment of your land’s suitability for construction, including any potential challenges?
  • Are there any specific requirements or considerations for your land that need to be addressed in the quote? (i.e.. tree removal, site access, power lines)

3. Plan & Design Flexibility

Look for builders who offer flexibility in plan modifications and transparent pricing for custom designs to ensure your home fits your needs and budget.

  • How flexible are the standard plans offered, and what are the costs associated with customising them to fit your needs?
  • Can the builder provide examples of previous custom designs they’ve completed, and what was the pricing structure for those projects?
  • Are there any limitations or restrictions on modifications to standard plans, and if so, what are they?

4. Energy Efficiency & Sun Orientation

Consider the long-term energy costs and comfort of your home. Ask about energy-efficient features and how orientation choices may affect utility bills.

  • What energy-efficient features are included in the quote, and how do they contribute to long-term energy savings?
  • Can the builder provide advice on optimising sun orientation for your home design to maximise energy efficiency?
  • Are there any additional options or upgrades available to further enhance the energy efficiency of your home?

5. Standard Inclusions & Technical Specifications

Scrutinise the inclusions listed when comparing quotes. Watch out for vague terms and ensure all essential features are clearly stated to avoid surprises later. Pay close attention to technical specifications such as materials used and essential features included. Ensure the quote is detailed and transparent to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Can the builder provide a detailed list of what is included in the quote, including both structural and cosmetic features?
  • Are there any items that are not included in the quote but are essential for the completion of the home?
  • How transparent is the pricing for additional upgrades or changes to the standard inclusions?

6. Builder Knowledge & Reputation

Research the builder’s reputation, certifications, and testimonials. Look for builders with a solid track record and satisfied customers to ensure quality workmanship.

  • Does the builder have knowledge of the local regulations and the community?
  • Can the builder provide references or testimonials from previous clients who have built similar homes?
  • How long has the builder been in business, and what is their  track record for completing projects on time and within budget?

7. Construction Process

Enquire about communication channels during construction, review the builder’s insurance coverage and guarantees carefully. Ensure you’re protected against unforeseen circumstances and understand the extent of coverage provided.

  • How will communication be handled throughout the construction process, and who will be your primary point of contact?
  • What types of insurance coverage does the builder carry, and what specifically is covered under each policy?
  • Are there any guarantees or warranties provided for the construction work, and what is the process for making a claim if needed?

8. Contractual Considerations

Thoroughly review the contract terms and conditions. Seek clarification on any unclear points and ensure all verbal agreements are documented in writing before signing.

  • What are the key terms and conditions outlined in the contract, and are there any areas that require clarification or negotiation?
  • Can the builder provide a timeline for the construction process, including key milestones and completion dates?
  • How does the builder handle changes or modifications to the contract once it has been signed, and what is the process for resolving disputes?

Remember, building a home is a significant investment, and it’s essential to take your time and compare quotes carefully. By being vigilant and asking the right questions, you can make informed decisions and avoid costly surprises down the road.