helping you to make decisions on your next project......
Timber Frame Builders Perth
Building and designing a home is a long and complex process that requires careful planning and execution. From the initial stages of conceptualising the design to the final touches of selecting the interiors, every step requires attention to detail and a clear understanding of the homeowner's needs, preferences, and budget.
The design stage of a home often does not include input from a builder until the "DA" design stage is completed and plans are being prepared for council Development approval. Sometimes, we receive inquiries from homeowners ready to submit their building permits and are still waiting for a builder's price! Let alone having zero consultation with a builder on the constructability of their design.
The industry has experienced considerable change over the last two years thanks to record building starts due to the State and Federal government grants in Perth. We also experienced significant supply issues with trades and material suppliers, including price increases of up to 15-20% on overall building costs.
Couple all the above together, and this is the reason I say to all of those who call Distinct Building Company enquiring about their potential new build or home renovation to ensure they get a builder alongside from the start of their design phase to ensure they consult with them regarding design, constructability, and cost of their home project.
At Distinct Building Company, we charge our potential homeowners a fee for consulting throughout this initial design and consulting stage.
Sometimes people will shy away from our service as they can get FREE quotes from other builders.
As this blog suggests, buyers beware of free quotes!
I have heard many horror stories, especially of late, about people's budgets being blown right out of the water due to variations throughout the build. All new builds or home renovations aim to finish the build and move into a functional home designed to the homeowner's lifestyle.
If a builder offers free quotes, you need to understand what is included in that quote and, more importantly, ask questions about what is NOT included. You also need to be aware of what items are an allowance.
It is worth noting that even though you have plans drawn up and specifications written down, the builder’s quote generally takes precedence over all documents!
Even if no allowances are noted, you must understand the specifications included in the new build or home renovations. Everything you wish to change from the builder's price will become a variation to the contract. There are builders that I have heard of that will charge $500 just for a variation fee, let alone the cost and the builder margin on top of the extra cost, hence why budgets have blown out!
So, you may be wondering how can all of this be avoided to ensure that when you start construction of your new home or renovation, you are equipped with a full fixed price quote from your builder and all the knowledge and confidence that you need to understand that your build will run smoothly and on time.
It is simple and has been working for us for the past three years- Pay your builder to consult with you from the initial design stages.
What Does A Building Consultant Agreement Include?
At Distinct Building Company, we put together a consulting agreement once you have selected your designer and have a good idea of what you may wish to build- whether a home renovation or a newly built home.
You must read and understand the agreement, and once signed and completed, we are on board to help you through the design stage.
The initial part is a rough ballpark, and the project progresses to the development approval stage plans. Once the initial plans are drawn, Distinct Building Company will provide the homeowner with the initial estimate, which we call the shopping list. The Shopping List/ Initial Estimate lists all your allowance based on your budget. This initial estimate can, in most cases, be much more detailed than the "FREE" quote you may receive from other builders; it is generally around 20 pages long.
From this stage, until the final price is compiled, you have time to consult with your interior designer or head out to the shops to make your selection on materials, fixtures and fittings and send those to us to include in your final quote. That way, the final price includes all the specifications YOU want for your build, not just the standard ranges from the builder!
Also, during the stage between DA and the final Building Working Drawings, you will deal with engineers, energy assessors, and the designer. All parties involved will ask questions and need more information from the designer and yourself. Distinct Building Company are there to get involved on your behalf to ensure that whatever is designed or specified aligns with the project budget and end goal of a lovely functioning home.
Once all plans are complete and all required reports compiled, you will also have a full fixed-price quote and a suggested schedule of works.
Also, you would have worked with one potential builder building a relationship and understanding how they operate, giving you confidence should you choose Distinct Building Company as your selected builder.
However, at this finishing-off design stage, the ball is in your court to decide whom you wish to build with for your home project. Distinct Building Company do not tie you into any contracts stating you must build with Distinct, nor do we have copy write over any plans or documents. We are solely there to help you design the best home to build or renovate.
How Much Does A Building Consultant Agreement Cost?
The hours we put into this agreement can be between 20 and upwards of 50 hours for some home projects. Therefore, we cost these agreements accordingly to ensure we are paid for our work, and you are not overcharged. The cost for these agreements generally ranges between $3,000- $8,000.
However, following this procedure, you should make that money back in cost savings.
While it may seem crazy to pay a builder throughout the design phase of your home renovation or new build project, initially, when you consider what is involved and the time and cost savings you will gain by doing it this way, you then start to understand and see the value in paying a builder a consultant fee.
I have seen one or two variations from other builders costing above and beyond the cost of our agreement. While the upfront cost may be more when paying a builder to consult throughout the design phase, the homeowner’s end price should be less due to better planning and designing.
And more importantly, you WILL get your project built rather than be left deflated with a great set of plans for your potential home build, not enough cash to build it!
If you are considering a new home project and like the sound of the above and want to get a builder on your side early on, reach out to us here at Distinct, and we will be happy to discuss the next steps!
Timber Frame Builders Perth