Obtaining building quotes for a new home

White quote form on green clipboard with person writing on it inside houseHow to avoid disappointment when obtaining building quotes for your new home

Obtaining building quotes to build a custom home can be a daunting and time consuming task. Sometimes it seems the more building quotes you get the harder and more confusing the task becomes.

Selecting a builder goes beyond price alone. A custom home needs a builder that is able to deliver what you want, share your vision for quality workmanship and have the required skill and expertise to actually build your new home the way you have dreamed it. You'll also do well to choose a local builder who may have knowledge of the council requirements and history of the area.

Reading a building quote can be frustrating, leaving many people wondering what the final price actually includes.

When requesting  a building quote it is best to select three builders who are experienced in building the type of home you are looking for.

The problem that most people face when obtaining a building quote is that they fail to tell all the builders exactly what you want and where you want it to go. By leaving it up to the builder to advise you what he is including you will get large discrepancies between each quote. This leads to confusion on your part as the cheapest price might not actually include everything that you want. The end result is that you're not really comparing apples with apples.

Five Tips To Get The Best Building Quotes

There are a few things to consider when obtaining building quotes to ensure all builders actually price what you require in the home.

  1. Provide clear and complete plans. Without working plans there will be a lot of guesswork and allowances to cover for unknowns in your building quote.
  2. Provide an up to date soil report
  3. Provide full engineering plans (foundations and structural)
  4. Provide a completed House Energy Rating Report
  5. Most importantly provide a detailed inclusions list, preferably with models and makes to ensure all builders are quoting for the same items.

What To Put In An Inclusions list Or House Building Specification

The inclusions list or specification as it is often called, can be as detailed as you need to ensure everything you want is included in your building quotes. In the same way as the plans tell your builders what to build, the specification tells your builder what fixtures and fittings are to be included. Internally there is a wide range of choice when it comes to fittings for your home. The more specific you are the more accurate your building quotes will be.

If each builder provides you with a building quote based on their standard inclusions its going to be virtually impossible to compare each quote apples for apples.

Without a detailed specification you will get building quotes that contain many allowances or generic terms such as from “builders range”. Builders ranges can be very different between builders in terms of quality and price.

If you are building a custom home it is highly likely that you will want higher quality inclusions which will not be covered by the builders range.

The simplest way to ensure that all your building quotes are based on the same inclusions is to itemize each item that you want your building quote to include. Below is list which will help you put your specification together and make it easier for obtaining building quotes.

  1. Windows: Aluminium, Timber, Double Glazed
  2. External cladding: Brick make, cladding types
  3. Floor finishes type and which rooms you want them in
  4. Cornices: Standard, square set or profiled
  5. Doors: Hollow, semi solid, solid. Standard height or taller. Flush or profiled
  6. Robes: Sliding, hinged or mirror doors
  7. Door furniture: (handles)
  8. Door locks to which rooms
  9. Skirting board and architrave sizes: Standard or larger profiled types.
  10. Shelving in the robes: Standard or more customised
  11. Heating and cooling: Central heating, gas log heating, evaporative cooling, refrigerated cooling
  12. Kitchen cabinet materials: Laminex, gloss vinyl or 2 pac
  13. Stone bench tops: Type, thickness and which rooms you want them in
  14. Splash backs: Tiled or glass
  15. Butlers pantry: How do you want it fitted out?
  16. Stairs case: what material do you want it made from and what type of balustrades.
  17. Shower base type: Tiled or poly-marble
  18. Shower screen type: Pivot, semi-frameless, frameless
  19. Wall tiles: Ceramic, porcelain and how high on the walls
  20. Mirror type: Size, framed or polished edge and which rooms do you want it
  21. Sanitary: Baths, toilets, basins  etc
  22. Tapware: Type, colour, style
  23. Appliances: Size, make and models
  24. Electrical inclusions: Number of lights and points, type of lights
  25. Power type (single or 3 phase) this is important if you are using refrigerated cooling
  26. Garage door: Roller or panel lift, make and style
  27. Landscape works: Paving, fencing, plants and mulch

If you find this a bit daunting you can request a generic building specification that we have produced for you to download and complete and issue with your plans.

Contact us here and in the message box of the form type in “request a building specification

Finally and most importantly make sure you request your builder to itemise what is excluded from his building quote as well as itemising all of the services and allowances included in the price.