Questions about building? We’ve answered a few below, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us. Click on the question to show the answer.
• The block/section of land. What infrastructure is available to you – i.e. do you have a block that already has power, water and septic or does that all need to be included? Is the ground rocky, sandy or subject to flooding/liquefaction? These conditions all considerably change the cost of the substructure.• The location. Is it remote or in town? These are considerations both for transport and further infrastructure costs, and the siting also affects costs - such as running power up a 10m driveway vs a 300m driveway.
• The size. On a standard materials house, the larger you go, the cheaper the square metre rate generally gets. However if you have a large house with multiple levels and complex materials the opposite is true.• The complexity. Is your house a rectangle with a hip roof and 2.4m high ceilings? Or is it a H shape with full height windows and raked gable ceilings? A two storey house is always more expensive per square metre than single storey.
• The materials. Some materials are significantly cheaper than others. Brick vs weatherboard vs cedar vs stone cladding. Laminate benchtops vs marble. Budget kitchen vs bells and whistles. Your choices make a huge impact on the bottom line.These things change with each and every build, which it makes it hard to establish a per square metre rate that is fair and accurate to every build and client. If you are concerned about pricing and budget, we suggest getting in touch so we can organise an appointment to go through any queries you have. We can design a house for every budget, and will talk to you about what you can expect for your money, or how much you would expect to pay if you already have a plan.
If we are designing a house for you, we will keep the size of the house and materials selected within your budget. With renovation or extensions, we are dealing with existing structures that may have deteriorated or need additional structural elements added, so there may be money needed on structural work that you won’t have taken into account.Unfortunately building materials are also rising in price all the time, and sometimes people are shocked at how much renovations and new builds cost. This may mean that the budget you want to spend, does not cover what you want to do. We can work with you to come up with the best solutions and results for the money you have, and our quotes always show you where the money is being spent and why. The best way to know for sure if your budget is realistic is get in touch and we can book a meeting.
We always give a comprehensive quote, and if the other quotes don’t say what they are doing, or one has included items but the other quote hasn’t, then you should ask questions. Don’t ever assume that things have been included just because you have talked about them – if it is not written on the quote then it’s not real, and you could be up for additional costs to get the job done correctly.If it doesn’t say what is being done, or on the flip side what has been excluded, then you may end up spending more than if you had just gone with the more expensive quote. Or you could end up with an inferior job, with inappropriate materials that don’t last very long, which will cost you more in the long run, or worse, be non-compliant (which can affect everything from liveability, durability, insurance cover and re-sale value).
Budget. A rough idea will ensure that we are on the same page. We will be able to give you a good idea if that will cover what you want to do, and for a new house help us with the best design for you. Some people are reluctant to give out budget, as they fear that the builder will miraculously come up with a quote that matches that number. But it's not about that - we would rather be honest with you up front and say whether your budget is enough/not enough, than waste your time and ours pricing something that you can't afford. We also need to know if that budget amount is to include absolutely everything, or exclude some things.
Ideas. Bring in pictures of any ideas or features that you like the look of. This will help to know what you like, and will let us know if it will work within your budget.
Fixtures. If you want to do a bathroom renovation, have a look online or in person at showers, toilets, baths and taps. These items can vary hugely in price, and if you already know what you want it makes quoting much more precise.If you have been looking at our pre-designed house plans, let us know which ones have caught your eye. If you can, bring in the LIM report for your parcel of land. This will give us an idea of what the land is like and we can get a heads up if there’s going to be any surprises and what it will do to your budget. Again, there’s no pressure to have all of these. We are here to help.
To clarify - we have a schedule for each job, and we have quoted based on a set number of visits from staff, or a set timeframe of staff availability. Some clients (for example) elect to do the painting themselves, but if it then takes 3 weeks to do instead of the 3 days a painter would take, then this means we are onto the next job and cannot guarantee that we will come straight back to you to complete any outstanding items. Or if the painting is on scaffolding, then we have allowed for 3 days hire, not 3 weeks, and this would be an additional cost to you for the extra hireage, negating any savings.
We always work hard to keep our projects to schedule, however things can pop up during a build that results in delays. This could include adverse weather that restricts site access, or client design changes/choices that are made during the build. Either of those extends the completion date and cannot be anticipated. We try to combat this as much as possible by pre-ordering most products, and making sure the plans are exactly to your liking before we start building, to ensure that the build itself runs smoothly.We are currently facing the everlasting effects of Covid-19, where manufacturing and shipment of some products is taking longer than usual. We are aware of these issues and are doing our best to prevent any delays, however in the case of product changes (flooring is a good example), there may be up to a 12 week delay for new product to become available.
Ask yourself this – if a builder doesn’t enough care about their safety to include scaffolding, then what does that tell you about the care of job they are doing? If they are constantly worrying about falling, then they are not concentrating on the job they are supposed to be doing for you. And what happens if they fall off?
We are constantly checking the quality of workmanship; this is so that we know as a company we are meeting our standards that we hold up for ourselves and as part of Master Builders. We also allow time at the end of the build to ensure that all the finishing touches are up to standard. This holds us and our sub-contractors accountable for the work we have carried out, and anything that is not up to scratch will be resolved during this time.These systems may be small but it allows us to monitor the job and make sure that it is being built right, so that you have the best result.