What Should My Building Quote Include?

 In FAQs

Shopping for sales and finding the best price is human nature. I mean, who doesn’t love a good deal? This instinctive nature is great in some situations but can have the potential to leave you worse off in others…

Building or renovating is one of those ‘other’ situations and in this post, we’ll look into why. This is often new territory for many and if you are not properly prepared, the task of creating your dream home can be nothing short of daunting. It can feel like a game you just can’t win and that your opponent is much better at playing. Many builders will also take advantage of their client’s lack of knowledge and experience, which has the potential to become a very expensive mistake.

The solution is simple. You must do your research! Gain as much knowledge, information and understanding about the process as you can. Once you have your head around things, you can begin to think about getting involved with a builder. The more you know, the more you can question and the more open, honest and transparent your relationship will be.

In saying all this, accepting a quote of any nature should never be a straightforward decision. If you are getting multiple quotes and one is significantly cheaper than the others, it is more than likely something has been left out or forgotten. If you haven’t done your research prior to receiving a quote, you are potentially setting yourself up for failure.

Before making your final decision and signing on those dotted lines. The Homes by Elite team has put together a little list of key components to double and triple check with your quotes, before you consider taking one further.

Approval/Certification Fees

Depending on your location, there will be specific approvals and certifications required for your build. Generally, these fees should be included in your quote, but this isn’t always the case. Make sure you know what is required in your local council and ask questions if things aren’t entirely clear in your quote.

Site Preparation

What is required to prepare your site is an extremely important thing to be aware of. This is where poor communication and lazy quoting can result in huge budget blowouts. If a builder gives you a general allowance in your quote for site prep ensure it is a reasonable allowance, which includes soil removal if needed. Everything from soil type, slope, layout and location will all play a major role in your final cost and a $1500 provisional allowance is rarely good enough.

Prime Cost

Many quotes will include prime costs and provisional sums where exact costs can’t be determined yet. For example, a joiner may be needed for a range of tasks in your build but because you weren’t sure on what details you wanted at the quoting stage, your builder estimated an allowance for that cost before you signed.

This is where budgets can be blown due to miscommunication or lack thereof. If the joiner’s invoice is higher than what the builder allowed for, this will be added to your final invoice. It’s always best to avoid as many of these estimations as you can before your project gets underway. If you would prefer to finalise these items during the build, it is essential that you ensure the allowances are suitable for the specification you are after.


Good planning is key to minimising changes, which in turn will minimise additional costs. This is where you can lend your builder a hand in the overall knowledge and understanding of what you are trying to achieve from your project. The more research you do and better understanding you have of your project, the more organised you’ll be and the more efficient and streamlined your build will be.

Temporary Site Requirements

Be sure to ask your builder about temporary site requirements if there is no mention of them in your quote. Temporary fencing, portable toilets and erosion control can all add up and some, unscrupulous builders will use these opportunities to claim this cost as a variation, Coming straight out of your pocket…


Less of a thought for renovations but boundary fencing is a cost consideration your need to account for. Often left out of a quote, builders can use this as a way to sharpen up their quotes. Some builders will only include half the total needed to keep their quote price down as in most cases you will be sharing the cost with your neighbour 50/50. Be sure to ask the question to find out if this has been accounted for in your quote.

Exclusions List

This is a simple, but extremely important list to be aware of. Make sure you ask your builder what is excluded in your quote. Think of it like reverse engineering – sometimes you need to start from the end in order to work your way back. Making note of the exclusions will allow you to clearly understand and compare quotes, their prices and what you need to take into consideration before proceeding.

Here at Homes by Elite we take pride and care in our quoting to ensure we have thought about everything so you don’t have to. To learn more about what to look for in a building quote, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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