Are you looking to transform your existing family home into your dream home? Have you outgrown your current space and need to extend? Or is it time for a fresh start somewhere else, where you can have the home of your dreams custom built? Before you go ahead with that ‘really cheap’ builder, it is important to remember that cost isn’t everything, and what you see in a cost estimation or quotation, may not necessarily match up to what you are going to get.
Let the buyer beware…
When you receive your tenders back from potential companies to undertake your dream home renovation or build, there could be a variation in prices. Some companies may price up to 20-30 percent more then another company. Surprisingly, it is not these companies you need to watch out for; it’s the companies that price drastically under any other tender. While it may be tempting to go with someone who appears to provide excellent ‘value for money’, it pays to check the fine print. If it appears too cheap, it is often too good to be true.
Fixed price contract
As mentioned above, it really pays to check the fine print. Some builder will often use provisional cost sums when costing your project; These allow the builder to change the sum as a project progresses, meaning your bill may be twice or up to three times more than it was on the tender document. While they are at times unavoidable and are usually justified, you need to be extra vigilant that the builder is not undercutting these sums to win your project. We have a full time Quantity Surveyor that ensures your project is priced correctly which gives us the confidence to provide you with a fixed price contract.
Due to the unforeseen nature of renovations, allowing for a contingency is critical above and beyond your fixed quotation. Unknowns such as leaks, rotting and subsidence are examples of common issues found after exploratory work begins on the project. Any reputable residential construction company will advise you immediately of these costs, and will provide you with a more up to date quote to see if anything needs to be changed to allow the project to come in on budget.
End to end? Or just the front end?
It also pays to check what is being included in the price you receive in your tender. Quite often, what you are receiving is literally just the bare bones of your project. This means there will be no soft furnishings (such as carpets and curtains), no fixtures (such as plumbing or lights) and even no paint or plaster on the walls. It may also mean that you need to become the project manager, and organise for tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, plasterers, water proofers, tilers, and kitchen installers) to be on site as and when needed. You may even be left to organise the portaloo!
Using the services of an end to end company like Next Level Construct means that you don’t need to worry about organising anyone or anything. We take care of everything for you because we understand that your time is valuable, and is better spent not having to chase rogue tradies. We work with you to make sure that your project is delivered on-time, on-brief and on-budget each and every time. We even throw in a consultation with an Interior Designer to make sure that carpets, curtains, splashbacks etc. are all exactly what you want, and what will work best for your home.
Because companies like us employ the skills of a qualified Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor, we know exactly what these costs are going to be upfront and will price accordingly. We aim to give you the best service we can, as well as a price that we are confident includes everything.
My one piece of advice for anyone considering a renovation; check the work of any builder you are considering and more importantly, check the fine print.
Brendon Sowerby is the Founder of Next Level Construct, an award winning end-to-end residential construction company specialising in renovations, extensions and new builds. Brendon has been working in the building trade for over 17 years, meaning he knows the ins and outs of the industry.