I need a builder! What’s next…

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I need a builder! What’s next…

You’ve had a concept design completed. Construction drawings & engineering has been done. You have development approval from your local council. You’re ready to begin construction. By this stage you may or may not have decided to engage a builder. If you’ve been working with a custom home builder you may have been working with them throughout the entire process. If you had your plans completed by a building designer or architect then now is the time you will need to talk to a builder about construction. At this stage most people are likely to get a few quotes from select builders. It’s important that you understand all the stages when it comes to building a new home.

Getting a formal quote

The quote stage is critical. It’s very important that if you’re getting quotes from multiple builders that you are comparing apples to apples. There is a major difference between an estimate and a formal quote. An estimate could be based on a square metre rate without taking into account all the details of the new home build. A full takeoff involves estimating the project and utilising materials and supplier quotes to get an accurate cost for the build. A margin will be applied to this cost, which incorporates the risk for the builder in undertaking the project and any applicable profit.

A formal quote should be documented and itemised and should incorporate a high level of detail in terms of inclusions and exclusions. At this stage you can work with a builder by reviewing a quote and understanding what things cost and why they cost that much. The quality of finishes at this stage can be a way to reduce the cost of your build. Before you rush into the cheapest price take the time to understand how the builder has quoted your home, what is involved and what value they can add to your project.

Signing a contract

Once you’ve found the builder you want to proceed with, the next step is signing a contract. Your contract should reference your construction drawings, engineering, specifications and quote. It should also be an industry compliant contract such as the Master Builders Association. It’s important that you don’t pay a deposit for your new home construction before you’ve signed a contract and arranged home owners warranty insurance. Typically a fixed price contract will show you the entire price for your new home build and the progress payment schedule that aligns to your construction schedule.


Once you’ve signed the contract and home owners warranty insurance has been arranged you will be in a position to commence construction with your selected builder. The construction stage is exciting. You finally get to see your vision become a reality in the form of your new home. Staying in constant communication with your builder at this stage is very important. You should get frequent updates and site visits. You will also be required to make selection choices and make decisions. Building a home is challenging and it takes a significant investment of time and money. Being engaged with your builder from the outset will ensure you have a smooth process from concept to completion.