In order to start working out the scale and cost of a project, you need a plan.

Getting a plan drawn up and then getting a detailed quote for the project is a huge amount of work. If that’s not done properly, you’re off to the worst kind of start. And, unless you’re Usain Bolt, you’re not going to end up with a good finish if you don’t have a good start.

The Problem With Quotes

It became obvious to us that clients embarking on a building project often find it very difficult to get realistic and competitive quotes that were easy to understand and compare against other quotes. It also became evident that many clients felt out of their depth when undertaking a building project and were worried about costs blowing out and generally felt overwhelmed by all the decisions they had to make.

But if you tell a builder that you’re not 100% sure if you’re going to do the project or, that you want a free quote to help you decide, then you should not be surprised if the builder does not want to spend the necessary and considerable time preparing a good, well thought out quote. Working for free is not a good way to stay in business, so inevitably you will get a ‘guesstimate’, which is worse than useless. In other words, the builder may set your quote up with hidden surprises that become apparent only when you’re under construction and unfortunately, it’s too late then!

In some industries its common practice to provide free quotes or estimates, however, what you should expect from your builder is a lot more than just a free estimate for renovations. You should expect them to provide sound long-term advice about the value and worth of your property, also best maintenance-free materials for the job and spend the time helping you through the various options. You are buying a service from the builder that involves careful preparation and considerable time. Wouldn’t you like to know from the start you could have paid 25% more for an alternative material that would stand the test of time, rather than after 7 years having to replace it because you weren’t given the right advice at the start? Have you considered what a plumber or electrician will be charging you in 7 years’ time?

Independent Advice

If you are paying for the consultation process, it becomes independent and disconnected from the renovation process. This allows the builder to provide independent advice, and sometimes the right advice means doing something else or nothing at all. Why pay for plans only to find out you can’t afford it, or worse, build an extension that over-capitalises your investment? Sometimes it’s worth paying for a small investment before you start so you don’t lose hundreds of thousands later?

So, what is the cost of avoiding this outcome? For a small initial investment, you can get a well-prepared, itemised proposal, which will be refunded if you hire the builder. If you don’t hire the builder, then you still have a proper proposal to use as a benchmark for other builders. It’s money well spent and definitely one of the most sensible things you can do if you’re undertaking a complex renovation project.

Remember, for most people, the family home is the single biggest investment in your lifetime, and if you get it wrong, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in resale value? Is it really worth it to rely on free or cheap advice?

Talk to Constructive Homes so that you can get your custom renovation under way with the assurance that you are working with a Certified Professional Builder.

5 Things You Should Know Before Renovating

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