Knowing which builders quote is better value for money comes down to the ability to compare apples with apples.

Having spent months (or more) finalising plans to build your new home or renovation, there is often hast to get started on the build; the first step to seek quotes from builders. 

However when the builders quotes come in, how do you know which is offering the better value for money?

The answer has a lot to do with the information that is provided to the builder/s when you ask them to quote. 

Whilst plans can contain a lot of detail, they don’t always have the level of detail required to ensure quotes are comparable.  It is best to have specific details and specifications clearly outlined in dedicated documents; namely a building schedule and scope of works.  These documents clearly outline not only the materials you have selected, but what works you are wanting the builder to quote on, and will enable you to better compare quotes more accurately; apples for apples. 

What is a building schedule?

The building schedule specifies material selections and will enable the builder to accurately quote and not make assumptions.  Where you haven’t made all your material selections, eg bathroom fittings and fixtures, you may consider advising all builders to allow the same value for these items.  For example; request all builders allow $220 for a bathroom vanity basin.  This means you are certain that the allowances for these selections are consistent across all quotes, enhancing your ability to compare them equally. 

What is a scope of works?

The scope of works will outline what work should be included in the quote.  This is important for renovation projects or projects where there are stages of work proposed over time.  It is also important where you may intend to do some of the work yourself.

Simply, the more information shared, the better the builder can understand requirements and the more accurate and comparable quotes will be.

Architects, building designers or drafters can provide building schedule and scope of work documents as part of their design service.  The additional documents may come at added cost and time; however the investment will enable more accurate and comparable quotes from builders and assist you to make the right decision.  The investment will ensure that when quotes come in you are comparing apples with apples; not oranges and apples. 

Once you are able to make an informed and accurate decision based on price, you are able to also take into consideration other factors such as proposed start date, environmental awareness of the builder, quality of work, and how easy the builder might be to work with through the build.  All important considerations for what might be a significant and long term investment in your family home.