Many projects involve spending significant amounts of money and understandably you need to know where you stand when you enter into an agreement with a builder.
When asking for a price be sure to appreciate the following..
A quote is generally a fixed price for the work as described and is based upon the existing building situation as it is known to the builder at the time of the quote. There are a couple of factors however that can still cause the price to vary.
1. The customer varies the details or extent of the work. If this should happen, discuss it with your builder immediately and give him as much clear detail and information as possible. you should then be able to get an accurate quote for the variation – in writing if you feel it’s necessary. Note: The ideal situation for both builder and client is a clear , accurate quote before starting, which allows the builder to plan and organise in advance, keeping the job on time and on budget. Changes can cost builders money and time which also has a knock on effect to the following customers. Contrary to popular myth, we builders don’t go looking for unnecessary extras.
2. Previously unknown items are found which need rectification. A good builder will try to anticipate what’s hidden, explain the situation and give options if possible. We do not have x- ray vision or clairvoyance in our toolkits though, so you should always allow for this possibility and have a contingency fund for it.
In the case of significant variations – by the customer , or discovery of unknown items, it is best to agree a quote at that time to cover the variation. If there are several smaller items, for which it isn’t practical to stop work and give a written quote for on each occasion, then a pricing structure can usually be agreed consisting of a day/hourly rate for staff overheads plus third party costs e.g. materials, equipment hire, subcontractors etc.
When we give you a quote, it will be based on a careful consideration of the facts and what we believe is necessary to do a good job; we may not always be the cheapest but we prefer to work up to standard rather than down to a price. If there are aspects of our quotes which are unclear we always welcome further discussion but we do not haggle once agreement has been reached. Just as you would be outraged if we tried to change the price for no good reason, we don’t take too kindly to it either.
Beware of the builder who allows quotes and estimates to become confused. An estimate is an educated guess, no more than that.
If a job is relatively small and/or open ended, then an estimate may be the practical option. It is reasonable to ask the builder how the price will be arrived at and generally a pricing method similar to small/multiple variations of quotes ( see ‘quotes’ above ) will be used. Some smaller jobs may be estimated verbally but we’ll endeavour to give you a brief, hand written estimate if you’re not comfortable with this.
If you decide to contact us to call in and discuss your needs, we look forward to the opportunity to understand your needs and work on creative, cost effective solutions with you, always feel welcome to call for a chat.
The magic formula for a successful project is clear understanding, good communication, quick decisions, minimal variation unless strictly necessary and a little mutual respect and good faith on both sides. Put these ingredients together and even the most challenging of jobs can be run smoothly to a satisfying conclusion.