Shortcuts Builders Take
Before you sign a contract, have you clarified what you're actually getting in your new home?
Building a home is an exciting but sometimes daunting adventure. But what are you actually getting at your handover? Is it what you imagined and knew you would receive or is it missing anything?
When thinking about building a new home, it’s important to understand the level of inclusions so that you can reasonably compare what each builder is offering. Every builder will present their standard inclusions a little differently, which can sometimes be confusing and difficult to interpret.
It all lies in the details, so it’s important to read slowly, carefully and seek clarification on items that appear vague or ambiguous. Building your new home can be a complex undertaking so it’s best to not leave anything to chance. If an item appears to be missing from an estimate and inclusions schedule, then it is likely not included.
We’ve put together some common items to look out for and query on an estimate:
- Air conditioning: Whilst most builders will include it, determine if each unit are an adequate size for the home and if it’s a reputable brand with low running costs.
- Landscaping: There can sometimes be an allowance for turf and fencing but not necessarily for your block size. Ensure there is a sufficient allocation of funds or you have a fixed quote for your block.
- Retaining walls: While there may be an allowance for this, is it something that might be increased later, depending on excavation costs?
- Soil type: What costs have been allowed for the soil type and can this allowance be reasonably expected? Is there a contingency for hitting rock?
- Floor coverings: Sometimes builders will only give you a small allowance for tiles and the like so it’s important to get an idea of exactly what tile selections are included as standard.
- Ceilings heights: Standard heights can vary between builders, you may actually want to walk through a home to know what you feel comfortable with before you commit.
- Letterbox and clothesline: It’s the essential smaller items that can be forgotten but it’s best to have builders put these in for you.
- Storm water connection and other site related costs – Ask exactly what your estimate does and does not include to avoid potentially being stung for additional costs during the build.