Why is there a 50% difference in my building quotes?

Why is there a 50% difference in my building quotes?

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question I’d probably be writing this blog post from my new holiday house in Byron Bay…

While this is a malaise of many industries, rightly or wrongly it is an accusation more often than not levelled at the building industry and associated trades.quotes

So why can building and building maintenance quotes vary so widely and what can you do to level the playing field?

Do your homework

Rule number one is to always get three quotes, but make sure to do your research first.  You need to be comparing apples with apples.  If you have three builders quoting for a job that are very different sized firms or have different specialisations, chances are there could be a big different in price.

Know what you want and communicate it effectively

Rule number two is to take as much of the guesswork as possible out of the equation.  As the customer, you need to know exactly what you want and be able to communicate this effectively to builders tendering for your project.

By producing as detailed and accurate specifications as you can covering everything from the end result you are looking for, types of surfaces, finishes and fittings down to the detail of how you would like the site left at the end of the job, you are more likely to get three quotes that are representative of a fair price for the job.  And always, always put it in writing.

Include a cover sheet with your job specification detailing when the quotes or bids are due, how you would like the quotes presented or broken down along with all relevant contact details for follow up questions.  This simple step should ensure that if there were a variation in price, you would be able to see where.

Current references

Rule number three, and I are constantly surprised at how many people don’t do this – ask for the contact details of each builder’s last three customers.  Why the last three?  You need to know what each bidders current reputation is, not all about that great project they did for a friend of a friend five years ago.  If they are unwilling to provide this information, it is a fairly sure bet that this isn’t the contractor for you.

In over twenty years in the building industry I have worked with some great building firms with well-deserved reputations, and also come across some real cowboys.  More the former than the latter thankfully.

From the outside looking in it can be difficult to tell what kind of firm you might be about to entrust your renovation or building project to.  Taking the simple steps should ensure that you end up working with the right firm for you, that you are able to compare similar and realistic project quotes, and that you go in to your project comfortable that you have made the right decision based on all known facts.

All the best, Martin

Categories: Home Repairs and Maintenance

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