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to choose a builder

to choose a builder

Posted 16 Oct '19 10:48 AM

Hi , First post. Find this forum helpful. We are in the process of planning a new house build in mission bay. site has a slope. Have engaged an architect and has a good design. Was initially planning to go with an independant builder who comes with good recommendations. Recently got the QS report for the build which is very much higher than what we anticipated. So got another QS from a well established group builder which is a few 100k cheaper than the independant builder's QS and will be a more achievable budget..Not sure why there is such a difference between the two for the same design. Would like to get the opinion from the wise hive as to the reason for this difference and whether we could still expect a quality house from the group builder.Really looking for some guidance before signing up one of them.

RE: to choose a builder

Posted 18 Oct '19 08:20 AM

When considering finding a building team for your building project, I've seen so many funny stories in the industry.

It could be bit a hard job to identify whether a pricing either from a QS team or a builder team, for a person who doesn't have practical expoure to the industry.

There was a similar story of yours happend a while ago, which was a private developer approached me asking me to review his quotes from different main contracotrs about building his apartment. One of the pricing is 350K lower than other, and obviously the owner (developer) preferred the latter one which did not suggest him to go on with, after reviewing the details of the quote, and ring the building team also physically cauth up with the leader of the team. Unfortunately, my suggestion wasnt taken. Quite a while later, the developer contacted me complaining about the trick of the team, like heaps of variations went on, unavailable material to be replaced, delayed completion etc, which were what I warned him about when suggesting me.

Highest doesnt mean the best, but you may wanna be very careful of a quote when having a bit different gut feeling about it.

Also when choosing a proper building team, there are whole lot boxes to be ticketed. For example, a owner can save up to $50k easily if there were 4 good builders on site instead of placing 1 builder and 1 apprentice (scaffolding rental cost is high, on site toilet rental, rental cost of family when their home is being built etc)

And also the timing of building your project can make big difference with regard to costing.

So suggestions are:

Check all the details of both quotes, quantity and quality of materials which you can find retail price, how much labour cost and how long it takes, also be careful of the lines of subcontractors, amount of margin, also highlight any tags.

RE: to choose a builder

Posted 19 Oct '19 05:13 PM

Hi Ritas,

Agree with Chunge and in addition ask a heap of questions, some of which may include (in no particular order). Ask the QS's why the prices are different. They will be keen to highlight the differences.

These are a set of generic questions, that should be really easy for a group builder, but with a group builder, you would also hope to have a bit more security.

1. Are they a Registered Building Practitioner?
2. Provide references from previous jobs and ask to see examples of them.
3. Check they have experience with similar projects.
4. Are they insured - with proof.
5. What builders guarantee is being provided?
6. Obtain 3 quotes.
7. As a group builder 'google' them. There may be lots of feedback - good and bad.
8. Check the QS estimates are like for like, and check for exclusions and what exactly is included. How will variations be assessed?
9. Number of years in business.
10. Who is managing the project - is this included in the figures you have been provided.
11. Whats the timescale.
12. How often can you inspect.
13. Payment methods.
14. Seek legal and professional advice on all aspects of the project before you commit.
15. What are the energy saving features?
16. Who will oversea the project?


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