Your Guide To Comparing Building Contracts
Comparing contract costs between builders is not something that should be taken lightly. While the lure of a lower initial price tag may seem appealing, it’s important to understand that this may be a tactic used to lock you in, before hitting you with unexpected costs later. Before you sign the dotted line, take the time to consider exactly what is and isn’t included in the contract price. This is likely to vary from builder to builder – once you understand what to look out for, you’ll be better placed to evaluate the worth of your new home. To ensure the process is 100% transparent, here are the basic things you must know about building contracts.
The standard cost provided by a builder does not include every single cost involved in building a finished home. To complete your home, there will be internal and external finishings that you will need to pay for. Some of the finishings you may need to add to the build price include:
- Internal painting and external render
- Lighting packages
- Letterbox, landscaping, pools, water features, fences and clothesline
- Air-conditioning, heating and window treatments
- More premium fixtures and fittings than what is quoted for (like upgrades in tapware, benchtops, floor coverings, door handles, cornices, etc.). This list could go on and on, depending on the builder you choose.
Some builders rely on ‘smoke and mirrors’ to win you over. By setting unrealistically low allowances, your final contract value appears lower than it will actually turn out to be. Make sure you have your contract’s allowances checked by someone in the industry to ensure they are fair and reasonable estimations. At Webb & Brown-Neaves, we provide generous allowances for selecting premium fixtures and fittings. For example, we have one of the largest tiling allowances in the industry ($60/m2), and even include an allowance for porcelain tiling, which is more challenging and costly to lay.
3. ‘NOMINAL’ INCLUSIONS
Beware of builders that offer ‘free’ inclusions like air-conditioning or kitchen appliances. They may seem like added benefits, but can sometimes be misleading and may not be of the quality that you desire. Often they lead to a drop in quality elsewhere in the build to compensate. Remember, it is rare that a free incentive is really ‘free’.
4. STANDARD INCLUSIONS
A good indicator that your builder is being upfront with their contract is when they offer the same premium inclusions with every home they build. This shows they are not trying to lure you in with a one-off special offer – they pride themselves on delivering upfront value at all times.
To give you a benchmark to compare to, here is what Webb & Brown-Neaves always includes as standard:
- In-house architect/design services
- Surveying and re-pegging of the site before construction (an essential building process)
- Full internal wall painting
- Full external acrylic render including garage
- Stone benchtops to kitchen and bathroom
- 900mm rangehood, oven and hotplate
At Webb & Brown-Neaves we pride ourselves on not only including more in our contract price than other builders, but also being entirely upfront with all costs before you sign the dotted line. We also understand that busy homebuyers want to know a finished building cost upfront, to save the time and hassle of coordinating themselves. That’s why we created WB+ a turnkey building experience that will save you from added expenses and the stress of managing different suppliers. There are five WB+ designs that include absolutely everything in a single price under $650,000 (from site works and floor coverings, to your clothesline and letterbox).