How do I get a true fixed price?

The basics of building

There are a number of underlying facts that will assist a builder to provide you a fixed price quotation. Whether you are building a single or double storey home in a new estate or a knock down rebuild of your current home, the caveat is that the builder must have all the parameters that influence your build and be able to control those factors.

Builder Reputation & Approach

Always approach a builder with a well-founded reputation of meeting their pricing commitments to clients.

Your builder needs to have an attention to detail second to none and be prepared not to cut corners in order to have a contract signed quickly. Some of these details are:

  • Your requirements must be as succinct as possible. Your builder will be able to determine what will work best for you based on your land and lifestyle needs.
  • The type of land including soil composition and the slope (if any) you are building on must be understood.
  • Your builder will need to be completely aware of any Council or State regulatory controls.

You should expect to be charged you a small initial investment fee to gather all the relevant information, outside of your specific home needs. The work completed for that fee should be made available to you and a reputable builder will not hold that in order to force you to build with that company.

Regulatory Approvals

Meeting all the regulatory requirements is a start and not diverging from those is a key element to obtaining a fixed price.

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) makes it easier to obtain a fixed price as the parameters are defined with no scope for amendments.

However if using a Development Application (DA) the council may impose certain conditions that may not be part of a builders’ original quote. Such conditions will be outside the builder’s control and could influence the price.

Site Information

Your builder must obtain all relevant information about your site before giving you a quote. A number of things can affect your site and your builder will need:

  • A Section 149 certificate provided by your local council that is based on the Local Environment Plan. This will define your land for residential zoning and among other things it will indicate whether the land is affected by bushfires, flood or future infrastructure projects such as road widening.
  • A site classification report or soil test is essential to understand the underlying stability of the land. For example is it predominantly rock, sand or clay? If clay what is the stability of the clay and its ground movement reactive classification? This will determine the type of slab you will need for your site. The pricing difference in slab type can vary greatly. You should never accept a quote from a builder without this knowledge.
  • A soil test will also assist in understanding the piering requirements for your block of land to support the slab to be poured.
  • A contour survey with a new build home primarily determines the slope of the site as well as other site features including boundaries. The slope is important to understand the extent of excavation & filling is required to ensure that the ground is level for the slab.
  • If the site is sloping your builder will need to know the size of drop edge beams required to help raise the natural ground level to that of the proposed slab. This will also determine how much spoil removal will be needed.

Prime Cost Allowances

Typically you will be allocated a budget for items such as taps, toilets, light fittings and other essentials for your home. To obtain a real fixed price, it is best for you to define the product types, brands and colours as specifically as possible.

Although this does require some work on your behalf up front, it provides both you and your building confidence that the pricing is accurate. Obviously, any changes during the course of the actual build will affect the PC costs.

Provisional Costs

Provisional costs typically occur if there has not been enough work carried out in have a clear understanding of the Site Information for your block of land. If your builder cannot estimate the scope of works, then a budget estimate will be provided.

ANSA Homes regards this as a mandatory requirement for providing a fixed price and will put great attention to this so that you do not have additional unknown costs.

hiding behind the truth

1. What is a Provisional Allowance?

A Provisional Allowance is exactly that, an allowance that can increase or decrease subject to a certain circumstance. Therefore a Provisional Allowance is the opposite definition of Fixed Price.
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2. How long is it going to take to build?

Building your home can be both an exciting and stressful journey. There are so many stages that influence your building process so it’s really important to understand what they are and how long each of them take?
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3. The 4P's When Choosing Your Builder

Choosing the right builder can be daunting and difficult. Simplify your selection and be confident in making the right decision by addressing the 4P's - product, people, process and price.
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4. Getting Finance

Getting finance to build your home can be quite stressful. One of the reasons for this anxiety is that most people think that getting pre-approval guarantees them the funds to build their home.
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5. How to Choose a Builder

When you decide to build a house, there are three major considerations outside of price. Most people look solely at the price but other factors such as the quality, process and the service builders provide in order to construct your house.
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