Building a new house is exciting, if not a bit frightening. So many variables are at work in home construction: legal issues regarding zoning and permits; design issues related to floor plans and materials; and practical issues regarding timelines and final occupation. Meanwhile, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the subject of cost.
Will this project be affordable when all is said and done? Or will its primary legacy be a mountain of debt from which escaping seems impossible? These questions beg yet another one. Is the quote I receive reliable? That depends on where the figure comes from. A prospective customer can go from contractor to contractor, comparing and contrasting services and quotes. Alternatively, buyers could check here.
The Traditional Method
The standard advice to people looking to build their own house is to obtain three quotes. Each bid should convey the following information:
- The scope of the project — including the various sub-contractors involved in each component.
- The estimated dates of commencement and finish.
- The terms of payment — i.e. installments, due dates etc.
- The costs of both materials and labor
- The costs involved in procuring all necessary permits
- The necessary credentials — contractor’s license, worker’s compensation, liability insurance and any bonding, where applicable
Certainly three quotes are better than one. Yet getting them is time-consuming and even three may not present the best option for the customer. “The internet has made the process of seeking contractors a lot more transparent, however you should be wary of fake reviews and other tactics used to paint a false picture,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of Property Solvers in the UK.
Problems with Contractor Quotes
Sometimes, either the owner or the builder make assumptions that the other party does not share. This leads to miscommunication and cost overruns. Meanwhile, bids do not always address important matters like neighborhood relations. Workers should be sensitive to neighbors when playing music or discarding lunch refuse. How well a contractor deals with local utilities can also facilitate — or delay — necessary disconnections and connections. Thus, a typical contractor bid with all of the standard elements does not always give an accurate prediction of how things will pan out.
Needless to say, there are many factors that can change a quote — for better or for worse — that are difficult to anticipate. Recognizing this, however, does not mean there is no way to mitigate surprises and other unwelcome developments. One avenue is precision regarding those things that are anticipated. To gain greater precision, the customer and contractor should be on the same page with regard to the various elements that constitute the new house: dimensions, fixtures, flooring and electrical systems, e.g. In short, the new owner should see what designs, materials and topography that the contractor is working with. This is best done before any building takes place.
Another option for blunting the pain of unforeseen occurrences is immediate notification. Operating from a single platform, contractors and owners can determine how to address a problem in real time. This could mean upping the estimate; changing an aspect of the home design; scrapping an originally planned feature; or all of the above. Using technology to stay abreast of the building process helps buyers to understand why quotes change. It also aids contractors in providing prompt customer service.
Construction Quotes in the 21st Century
You can go from builder to builder in search of the most reasonable and promising home construction quote. If that is too cumbersome and time-killing — and it often is — you can now take advantage of a modern, online platform that connects interested new home buyers with the optimal contractors that provide a satisfying experience for everyone.