How much does it cost to renovate a house in Brisbane?
How do I get the lowest quote on my home renovation?
Are you looking for the lowest quote to choose your renovation builder?
by Peter Davis
In my Project Management days the owners Quantity Surveyor would check the tenders for a large development in minute detail to make sure everything required was included. But more importantly the surveyor would not recommend the owner accept a tender if it didn’t include a sufficient profit margin for the builder – to focus the builder on getting the project built quickly (to get his profit out) – or else the builder may instead be forced to look for every variation he can get to improve the bottom line. Those projects for commercial clients were many millions of dollars in value.
Substantial extensions and renovations are probably the biggest expense home owners will ever make in their lifetime. Yet they rarely, if ever, employ a Quantity Surveyor to advise them. However the same rules apply as to the large commercial projects – just on a smaller scale.
The house renovation ‘end cost’ is most important
For a substantial renovation/extension or individually designed new home the most important cost is not the starting cost but the end cost. Most renovation quotes are written to cover ‘starting costs’, not the fully finished end cost.
All home renovation builders buy their materials for very similar prices, they also pay similar wages for the skilled carpenters they would need to complete this complex work and employ reliable subcontract electricians, plumbers, and tilers etc. who all quote keenly for the work.
And all builders need to include a similar gross profit margin to cover overheads and a small net profit to be able to stay in business improve their business over time.
It looks like all builders should quote renovation jobs about the same, doesn’t it?
So why do quotes vary so much based on the same drawings issued to each builder for quoting?
The answer to this question in this particular sector of the building industry lies in the detail or rather the lack of detail that the builder is quoting with. (Remember, the ‘starting costs’ versus ‘end costs’)
So why is this?
Well most owners seek quotes based on architectural drawings (either prepared by an architect or more often prepared by a licenced building designer) and the engineering drawings, which have been prepared for the purpose of obtaining building approval (BA).
These drawings will show everything in sufficient detail for the certifier to approve the BA application.
OK, so what’s the problem about asking for quotes based on the BA drawings?
Well it’s the total lack of detail on the drawings covering everything that the owners want to be included in the quote and what they want to do themselves.
Most drawings do not include enough detail about what the owner wants
Another way of explaining this is that here at P&S Davis Builders we prepare a very detailed quote of approximately 10 pages for the smaller jobs and 15 or more for the larger ones that records all the necessary detail. This detail is prepared and agreed upon with the owner after many meetings to determine exactly what they want included and excluded for all the items that are not shown or specified on the drawings.
We do all that just to provide an accurate quote!
There is no other way to do this safely and avoid misunderstandings and arguments later. This way we can also avoid the potential cost blowouts for problems or items not included for. Or cost overruns from inadequate allowances being included that don’t come near to the real cost. There are many details of the build to account for.
Renovation quotes on BA drawings will rarely be accurate
Quotations based on BA drawings only will vary widely depending on the guesses/assumptions of what the owners may want made by builders who are quoting.
So if you want a quote in 7 days do not call us as we will need some weeks and have many meetings with you and communicate via phone and emails back and forth between us to be able fill in all the details on every item before we can complete our quote.
Want a reliable renovation builder in Brisbane?
However if you are looking for a builder who will spend the time and effort with you to build up in detail what you want included or excluded in your project so you can be sure that the end cost of the project is under your control… please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.