Starting a home renovation project? – it’s really important to make sure you get the best bang for your buck! Whether you’re giving the kitchen a simple facelift or planning a big home extension, getting the best value all around is a must.
Getting a quote from a builder (or two, or three builders!) is one of the most important parts of your project. And comparing quotes and making sure you’re comparing apples with apples might seem a bit tricky.
Whether it’s for a complete house build or a job undertaken by an individual trade, gathering quotes is a time-consuming but necessary part of your project. Simply accepting the first price you get from a general builder is a dangerous game because there’s a raft of reasons why prices can vary.
There will always be a difference between quotes for the same work, regardless of what kind of scheme you’re tackling – be it a new home or a simple extension. In this feature, I’m looking at how to approach the process to ensure that you get the best possible value for money.
Back to basics: it all starts with research. Nowadays, a few clicks of the keyboard will bring up a long list of builders in your area! But don’t fall into the trap of just choosing the builder one on the top of the search results – if you want your project to be 100% successful, you need to do your homework thoroughly.
Research builders and renovation teams online. Look at reviews. Talk to family and friends who have successfully completed renovation projects. Visit showrooms and display homes.
Once you’ve whittled down your list of options, it’s time to get quotes for building work. The rule of thumb is to get three builders' quotes from the UK and compare them – a bit of a laborious process maybe, but it’ll be worth the effort.
Contact your chosen builders via the internet or phone. To avoid confusion and ambiguity, list out your requirements clearly. If possible, meet your builders on site: a face-to-face meeting allows you to assess each builder’s professionalism and approach to your project.
Ask each builder about their insurance policy – what are they covered for? Also, what warranties/guarantees do they offer for their work?
In simple English, an estimate is an educated guess; a quote is a fixed price. To avoid costly budget blow-outs, we recommend getting quotes where possible. Ensure that the builder spends time on the detail of your project and clearly sets out each stage of the project and relevant costs.
Remember, when you’re renovating an existing property, there’s likely to be extra unexpected costs that may only be discovered once demolition has started. Make sure your builder allows a buffer amount for this in his/her pricing.
When you get your quotes back, (this might take anywhere up to 3 weeks) go through each of them carefully. Make sure you understand exactly what the builder is quoting and how much detail is included for each stage of the project.
Beware of builders that quote ‘ballpark’ figures – it’s quite likely that he/she hasn’t accurately costed the job, so you might be in for some nasty surprises once the project is underway. Read the fine print. If you have any questions regarding the quote, don’t be afraid to contact us and ask.
Don’t fall into the trap of simply opting for the cheapest quote. Yes, of course, the bottom-line counts, but a quote that is far too cheap to be true should flag a warning: how much detail has the builder gone into in the quote? Is the builder being realistic with the cost of materials and/or hours of labor? Nobody works for nothing, so where are they cutting the corners?
Similarly, if one company’s price is far higher than all the rest, take a good look at why – is the builder quoting for more extensive works than is necessary?
Quality home renovations don’t come cheap, so be realistic about the costs when getting a quote for building a house or remodeling an existing one. Treat your home as an investment and remember that cheap renovations won’t help its resale value down the track.
Talk to your renovation team about areas where you can save a penny or two, and areas where it’s best to spend a little extra – they understand what counts when it comes to ensuring that you add real value to your home.
If a quote looks reasonable, well thought-through and you’re happy with the price, why not accept it? Similarly, and notwithstanding the risk of the single quote route, you may know a good local trade who is the go-to person for a particular type of work, such as ceramic tiling. If so, it’s likely they’ll give you a decent price because local clients will be comparing notes and word will soon get around if someone has been treated unfavorably.
If you’re looking for a realistic and affordable home building project, Get in touch with us now! 020 7916 2087
We offer affordable home builds in London. Visit our website Property Contractors 247 and get your free quote.
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