Comparing Apples with Apples.
All companies specify their builds differently which can be frustrating when clients are trying to compare quotes. Don’t be tempted to go with the cheapest price, you will end up paying for it down the track or making avoidable compromises because your build has gone over budget. When it comes to costing options, we look at two main areas…
The Specifications of the build
All companies specify their builds differently, which can be hugely frustrating when you’re trying to compare homes and pricing. Unfortunately, many companies don’t include critical construction costs in their estimates. This is great for them when they know they’re being judged on square metre rates or ‘build cost,’ because everything appears much cheaper than it will actually be when the build is complete. But it’s not so great for you, the client.
To avoid falling prey to hidden costs in any verbal or written build estimate, you MUST find out ‘what is NOT included in the price’. Once you have this list (and yes, it can be a long one), you’ll need to put realistic budget costs against each one, giving yourself a more accurate estimate of the total build cost. Some of the common things that may or may not be included in an estimated build price are: excavation and site works; drainage; decks; appliances; window coverings; scaffold costs; basic landscaping and fencing.
Another area of consideration is in the quality and quantity of fittings used. What are the company’s standard specifications? With spec home companies, upgrades can be very costly if you make variations to their fixed plans. Electricals are a great example of this. While just about all companies use LED lights these days, there are vast differences in quality and, more importantly in a new home, in quantity. If a company wants to reduce the electrical cost in its estimate, the easiest way to do this is to reduce the number of lights and power points. Worse still, they may choose not to include ‘as standard’ things like network cabling, outside power points and dimmer switches in main areas.
Find out what is NOT included in the price.
It’s very important to determine early on whether the proposed electrical layout will suit your needs. Companies typically charge large amounts to add electricals during the build, and they can be almost impossible or require lots of rework if you need to add them in at a later date. So, if one company’s electrical cost seems a lot cheaper than another, take a very close look at what is, and what is not, included. But it’s not just electrical costs you need to keep an eye on. When you’re looking at any estimate, the main items to focus on and compare are: electrical, carpet versus other flooring areas, garage carpet, the amount and size of windows, network cabling, exterior power and lights, and tiled showers.
Quality of products used in the build.
It’s certainly true that you get what you pay for. As with most things, if you opt for the cheapest option for your build, then more often than not you’ll get something that has been put together, quickly, cheaply and with inferior materials. These products generally start to wear faster, fail quicker or require much more maintenance to keep them functioning. So the cheapest option is unlikely to be value for money in the long run, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank either. At the other end of the scale, the most expensive option may well not be value for money either. Do you really need to pay for that designer fitting when there’s one of comparable style that is of quality build in the mid-level range?
Some areas to consider:
- Brands used for plumbing fixtures
- Stone benchtops vs laminate
- Flooring types
- Brand and quality of paint
- Joinery brand
- Door hardware
- Solid core or hollow doors
- Acoustic insulation
- Cladding type
- Decking timber
- Kitchen cabinetry
- Quality LED light fittings
Summary: The true cost of building.
It is common to take a lot of the above areas for granted and it is not until you are into the build that you realise you aren’t getting what you had envisioned. Using a design and build company like Home Design Company provides an end to end design and build service. There are no surprises along the way because we cover all of this off with you before your build begins