Comparing quotes will help you determine what is reasonable. Provide at least three contractors with the same information so you can easily compare the quotes.
Written quotations should:
- include all work to be done
- include all materials to be used
- reflect your specifications
- be checked that materials quoted are what you want, not substitutes.
No matter how small the project you should write a job brief. This can be anything from a few dot points to several pages and will help you clarify exactly what you want done.
The job brief should:
- be as specific as possible
- list the brand names and models of all fittings, tiles, appliances, etc that you require
- include everything you have in mind about the job you want done
- be attached to the design plans, if you need them
- indicate if you want the builder to take responsibility for cleaning the site. A good builder or tradesperson will always clean the site but you may want to do it yourself to save money.
If you don't specify exactly what you want in the beginning, the quote may only include the cheapest products and materials.
Changing your mind
Changing your mind before the quote is finalised is ok, as long as you provide the changes to each person preparing a quote so they can adjust the final price.
If you change your mind after the contract has been signed, you should discuss it with your contractor first.
Variations can affect the final price of the work.. For example, there may be rock beneath the surface which needs to be removed. To do this, the builder may need to hire someone to use a jackhammer to break up the rock.
All variations to the contract must be in writing and signed by both parties.
Check with your neighbours to see if they have experienced any unforeseen problems during building or renovation. If a neighbour had problems with rock under the surface, then you might too.