The first step to compare building quotes is to make sure that each builder you approach is given the same brief, plans and specifications.  That way you should be comparing apples with apples.

Focusing on just the bottom line may not be the best idea.  Quotes can vary quite significantly, so you need to make sure that there aren’t some big omissions in the lower quotes.  Ask questions to make sure you have the full picture.  What is and isn’t included in the quote?

To compare building quotes you need to go through each quote carefully.  The more detailed the quote, the less chance there is of something being omitted.  You can probably assume that if it isn’t in the quote, then it isn’t included in the price, but again this is when you need to ask questions to be clear on what you’re getting for your money.

What about the maintenance period?  This is the time frame the builder is liable to rectify any problems that arise.  (All builders are required to provide a 6 year structural warranty.)  This period may vary from 4 months to 12 months, so it’s something that should be considered.

There are many other  things to consider to compare building quotes in the right way:

What is the quality of the materials being used, both in the construction and the design?  Remember that kitchens and bathrooms are typically the most expensive rooms to build, so be sure that the materials you’ve asked to be included are actually there.  For example, if you’re expecting stone benchtops, make sure that the builder hasn’t specified for Laminex or similar (and vice versa).  Make sure everything you’ve specified has been included in the quote.

The Provisional Sum that will be included in any quote covers any item that you are able to select, like appliances, door and drawer handles, baths and basins, etc.  The higher the Provisional Sum, the higher the quality of these inclusions might be.  But this is an area where you can make savings if you’re prepared to compromise a bit.  It depends on the standard you’re wanting to achieve.

Ask what is not included.  Window coverings, floor coverings, landscaping, fencing, etc are typically not included in quotes, but some builders might do so.  Just remember that these are costs that obviously have to be covered at some stage, so check the quotes to see if they’ve already been covered.

Time frame is also an important consideration.  While you’re building, you might be renting and that’s an added and often forgotten cost.  Check the builders’ estimated start dates and construction times and whether they have a track record of completing a build on time.

Finally, getting referrals from past clients can be a great way of narrowing down the field.  Is the builder happy to provide you with a list of recent completed work and the owners’ names so you can speak with them?  Happy and satisfied past customers are one of the best recommendations.

We at Drake Home Consultants assist you through the pre-build process from concept drawing through to obtaining quotes for the build.  We then go through them to make sure they’re as comparable as possible so you can make an informed decision on who to choose to build your new home.  We’re here to help make sure it’s as stress-free as possible so give us a call on 1300 711 985 or email us at enquiries@drakehomeconsultants.com.au