• Lauren O'Grady

What to Expect from a Builders Quote



It’s a fact – building a house can be stressful. When it comes to planning your dream home, you might find yourself biting your nails as you try to understand the process and decipher the hoards of information being fed to you. Maybe you’re making a checklist of the multiple businesses you need to contact, or perhaps you’re worrying about the cost?


First of all, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone in this process! Most people find building a stressful time, however with the right advice and a suitable builder, you’ll feel a hundred times better. This all begins with understanding the quoting process from the very start.


During the planning stage, ensure your budget is on track.


All too often we’re approached by clients with highly detailed plans including engineering and specifications. Once we do a little research, it’s clear that these plans don’t match the client’s budget…. The planning stage can be a time consuming and costly exercise, so for the client to then discover that they can’t build their dream home within their budget is very frustrating and upsetting.


Our suggestion is to engage a builder before the planning process begins. Your builder will be able to provide advice in regard to materials, floor plans and cladding options, to ensure your plans are designed within your specified budget.


Once your concept plans have been completed, send them to your builder first to check whether you’re staying within your desired budget. This is a non-binding quote, but just an estimate at this stage. Only when your builder says your budget is on track, should you continue with engineering plans and complete detailed specifications. Once this is all complete, send them to at least 2 builders for a detailed fixed contract price.


You should always pay for a quote.


The fact of the matter is, quotes take a lot of time to put together and the more time and effort your builder puts into your quote, the more likely this is to be feasible and realistic. Builders who charge for quotes are more likely to have researched your project in depth and take you and it seriously.


When getting a quote, you should be looking for an expert, someone who is going to put the time and effort into guaranteeing that the number you are quoted at the beginning is the same (or very close) to what you’ll pay in the end. This will save you from an unexpected and costly bill at the end of the process.


What’s included in a fixed price proposal?

Once your builder receives yours plans, a one-hour meeting on site or at the builder’s office should be arranged to discuss the project thoroughly. This will ensure both parties are on the same page in regard to the scope of works.


Then, the builder will send your plans and specifications to trades and suppliers in order to receive an accurate cost estimate. Your builder should shop around to find the best and fairest prices, so you don’t have to. Your builder should also communicate with a draftsman or architect to discuss the plans and specifications.


Fixed price proposals can take between 4-6 weeks to compile and produce. Throughout the quoting process a builder should communicate with the client continually as to where the quote is at and if they come across any issues which may need to be discussed further.

Any good quality builder will provide a hefty proposal of around 28-30 pages, with details on all fixtures and fittings, down to small things like the door stops. It should also include a list prime cost items including photos (this will not include installation costs). An example of this is bathroom fixtures, i.e. bath – $1,000 allowance.


Provisional sum allowances should also be included and should have the price of both supply and installation. An example of this is heating and cooling, i.e. refrigerated cooling and ducted heating – $14,000 allowance.


Here is a snippet of what a quote should look like:




To achieve such a detailed proposal takes a significant amount of time and after all, time is money. Beware the builder who doesn’t charge for quotes!


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If you’re looking to get a quote that’s done right, get in touch with the friendly and experienced team at L. O’Grady Constructionstoday.

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  • L O'Grady Constructions

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