As an owner builder, you will have numerous responsibilities. One of these is contracting tradespeople to do some of the work. But how do you know the price you’re quoted is legitimate. Also, how do you know your contractor will do what you need them to do? Here are our top tips on getting a fair quote.
Specify what you want the tradie to quote on. List everything you want them to do, including cleaning the building site, if appropriate. Specify brand names and models of all materials, fittings, tiles, appliances, etc., or you risk the tradie providing the cheapest products and materials.
Factor in unforeseen problems that may affect the final cost of the job, such as bad soil, or rock that needs to be removed. If you’re dealing with existing buildings, you may encounter dry rot, termite damage, or hazardous materials. Ensure the quote covers how you will deal with any such issues, and how the end cost will be calculated.
Be sure of what you’re asking the contractor to do. It’s okay to change your mind while going through the quoting process, as quotes can always be amended. Changing your mind after signing a contract, however, can create huge problems, and blow out your budget.
Seek at least three written quotes. This will help you determine what’s fair, and what’s not.
Ask the contractors to write their quotes in similar ways. (This should be relatively easy for them to do if you’ve provided a detailed brief.) This makes it easier for you to compare one quote against another. Don’t skimp on the process. Regardless of how small the job or project is, always write a job brief and always seek several quotes. You’ll always be glad you did!
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