Our team has been restoring and renovating homes around Brisbane suburbs since 1989. Today I want to share some of this knowledge with you and talk to you about why you need a fully detailed proposal from a builder to make an informed decision.

The fatal mistake

I hear this fatal renovation mistake quite often. Statistic’s from building industry associations have proven that a majority of custom renovations have surpassed their budgets by an average of 24%! How does this happen?

The Building Industry is famous for providing sketchy quotes at the best of times – two pages long for major renovations, imagine it’s one of your largest investment’s in life and you’re handed two pages of scribble outlining what the builder is going to provide. Unfortunately, some owners make a fatal mistake, thinking everything is covered. This is how the ‘low ball’ quotes are able to price their projects so much lower than the professionals, they simply leave details out.

It’s all in the details

Ever hear the saying that the evidence is in the detail, well, you better believe it. How can you make an informed decision without proper detail? Evidence has shown if it isn’t listed in the quote as a specific item or product you can be assured it won’t be supplied. Take for example demolition, clean up or asbestos removal, if it’s not listed you can be sure you will find it as a variation to the contract. It’s deceptive business practice and should be stamped out.


So you decide to run with the cheapest quote, the one that’s two pages long and short on detail, and that’s where your disaster begins. Now what happens is the builder has quoted the project price using low-quality trades and materials and is counting on variations to ensure survival – that’s how they stay in business. This is how the problem starts we’re all too busy to take the time to go over the details to determine whether a builder is actually qualified to take the job.

The real solution

Your most practical solution to this problem is to take the extra time to make comparisons and ensure you’re receiving a fully detailed quote. The quote should be fully detailed, itemised and most of all a fixed priced quote ready to be used into a building contract. Not a quote that’s full of surprises like prime costs [PC’s] and provisional sums [PS’s]. Watch out for quotes that have these figures to make up the overall price, it’s your first warning sign the builder has prepared the quote to take full advantage of marking up his variations whilst under construction.

So the type of quote you’re receiving should be fully itemised, detailing every product with brand name and model numbers along with a price for the item. Also every service should be included as a line item, such as clean up’s, demolition and asbestos removal. This is how you’ll have confidence knowing you’ve made the right choice selecting the best builder on offer.

Talk to Constructive Homes so that you can find out about our professional quoting process.

5 Things You Should Know Before Renovating

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