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How To Get Quotes From Builders

Want to avoid confusion & frustration when getting quotes from builders? Here's how.

We often make the mistake of handing our plans to, say, three builders accompanied only by a verbal overview of what we love and what we don’t. We might think that we’ve been really clear about what we want in our home, but a casual verbal briefing like this can mean different things to different builders. In much the same way that three artists will paint three different interpretations of a landscape, three different builders will give you three different interpretations of your new home despite the floorplan being the same. You might then find yourself throwing your hands in the air because you have no idea where the extra $40,000 here and $60,000 there have come from. On the surface the builders’ quotes look the same, except for one thing – the price. But it’s very easy to clock up $60,000 worth of extras in a home. The types of windows alone can clock up that kind of money.

Here’s where the Builder’s Brief makes magic. When you give three custom builders the same three things – your budget, your Builder’s Brief and your plans – you’ll be presented with each builder’s interpretation of what they can deliver for your budget. The magic in this process is that each builder knows exactly what you have to spend, what things matter to you most and the floorplan you want. Each builder then works separately to put together their own version of your best lifestyle.

The difference is that you’ve set the scene for the quote, not them.

What a beautifully simple way to compare apples with apples.


If you are using a volume builder, the principles are no different and your Builder’s Brief is just as valuable. Volume builders have systemised the whole process and they will guide you through the selection of every possible option. But what’s great about having a Builder’s Brief, even if you are using a volume builder, is it lets you feel in control from the very beginning. You won’t be going in there unprepared for all the options that might be thrown at you. When the options are offered, you’ll be able to make a speedy decision about whether you want them, because you have your priorities set down in black and white in your Builder’s Brief. Because we are all about making the journey as efficient and straightforward as possible, we want to save you time. Submitting your budget and Builder’s Brief to volume builders before you meet them will make your initial meeting a powerhouse of efficiency.

Completing this step empowers you to say to your builder, ‘This is how much I have to spend, I have prioritised my new home according to my needs, wants and desires. With all this information please present me with my best options.’

Some budgets won’t get past the ‘needs’ section. Others will have it all. Either way, this is a great time to know where you stand. If you make your budget your first step, and your Builder’s Brief your second, you’re on the right path. What’s more, if things aren’t shaping up to be what you’d hoped, you can jump out without having sacrificed too much time and effort.

in summary


Getting quotes from builders that compare apples with apples can be really tough. Use a template to ensure that everyone is on the same page and providing you with the same costings for the same items.




If you're not comparing apples with apples, you're not comparing anything at all.

- Natalie Stevens

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This information is of the nature of general comment only, and does not represent professional advice nor should it be substituted for professional advice. Whilst attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, we don't guarantee it's accuracy.  Any information we provide is not intended to provide specific guidance for particular circumstances and it should not be relied on as the basis for any decision to take action or not take action on any matter which it covers. You should always obtain professional advice before making any decision to purchase property of any kind.  We recommend you seek professional financial advice prior to entering into a contract of any kind.   Build In Oz disclaims all responsibility and liability to any person, arising directly or indirectly from any person taking or not taking action based on the information in this course.  Please refer to our privacy and disclosure statement for further information.

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