What your quote means

Building a new house from the ground up can be an exciting experience, but it is also a pretty difficult process that can be rather bewildering to people who are not employed in the building professions. From obtaining council clearance to hiring a contractor, you will encounter a slew of difficulties that must be dealt in a timely and efficient manner if you want to keep the project on track.

A quote (short for "quotation") is a priced description of the work to be done, supplies to be delivered, or services to be offered in the construction and other fields of business. Typically, the price mentioned in the quotation is an estimate based on job details provided by the contractor to a client.

When you start looking at quotes from builders, it can be unclear if you do not know what to look for or where to start. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so we thought we would walk you through the elements of a quote and what you should be looking for when you start to compare them.

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Is the quote based on a square meter rate?

This is a simple way for builders to hide costs associated with your build. The most typical occurrence is that the building contractor requests more money than was originally quoted at some point throughout the project. The client is then left to acquire extra funding in order to finish the job. At the absolute least, they are in a dispute with the contractor, are over budget, and have a "shortfall" in their building bond; at worst, they are seriously financially constrained.

If you are looking at a square meter rate, check to ensure it includes everything required to complete your build? Often these quotes are cheaper as they do not have the earthworks or even the foundation slab. When your comparing quotes, it is essential to check all the quote details to ensure your builder is pricing all the work that needs to be done.

Does your quote include product specifications?

Many builders' quotes don't allow for quality products when quoting a job, thus influencing the overall cost. When you're looking at the specifications of a job, you want to be sure your quotes meet the expectations you have of a project.

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What about the electricals?

Has your quote allowed for the right amount of electricals to be installed throughout your home? Or has the quote left out the security system you assumed would be included? These are all small details that can be costly further down the line if not picked up on.

Many builders and their quotes are set in stone and don't allow for alterations later. However, what if you decide that you want the pink tile at 30% more than a white tile? Your builder should be flexible with you throughout your build to ensure your home is exactly how you wanted when you signed the contract.

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When you get a quote from 3C Homes, we will break down all the costs associated with your build and the work behind the cost. You'll be provided with a realistic provisional sum and will be allowed to make adjustments to your build as you go – this is to accommodate those new ideas you saw at the home show last week. We will work with you to ensure you understand each cost and what level of craftsmanship you'll receive for your home.

If you have a cheaper quote from another builder, we are happy to sit down with you and help you understand what the quote might be missing and why comparing quality is essential when it comes to building your dream home.