So you are super excited to receive your first quote from your builder? Normally we advise clients to drink at least one glass of whiskey or wine before they read the quote. It is usually more than you expect! To us it sounds easy… just add a room or two. How difficult can it be? However, there are hundreds of little things they need to add to the price that you don’t even know they have to use. So what is included and what not? I have no idea! What I do know, is that many times very obvious things are not included and you need to check that they are. Even if your drafter, architect or interior designer has drawn them on the plan, the builder might not include it in his quote.  Do not assume that the following items are included in your quote:


It might be shown on the plans as full height, but check if your builder has quoted for tiling half wall height or full wall height. Did he make provision for your fancy decorative tiles in the shower, or does he quote an average tile price and you need to pay in the difference as you go? This can add thousands to your price.


Most builders only provide for one central light per room, and one power point per room. Make sure all the light fittings & power points on the plans are included in his quote. It’s a good idea to give the builder a separate electrical layout plan, drawn by your drafter or interior designer. Remember to ask for USB plugs too!


Your plans might show your expensive timber floors or tiles, but the quote might only provide for carpets. Read the fine detail!


If you’ve chosen a heavy stone bath, you might need extra support if it’s installed on the top floor. If you have extremely heavy chandeliers, make sure your builder adds a few extra strong beams where needed. If you want to wall mount your TV or very heavy art work, check that the builder adds additional timber beams in the wall in the right position. This is why it’s important to work closely with your drafter, builder and interior designer.


This is a very dangerous one… Joinery disputes lead to a lot of headaches. Just because your plans show your beautiful “Sex in the City – theme” walk in robe, it does not mean the builder will quote all that detail. He might just allocate an amount for your walk in robe, and you have to pay in if it exceeds the amount. Does your quote specify vinyl, timber or glass doors? What internal hardware is specified? Many quotes are done according to general cost allocations, as the builder knows that clients change their minds and designs during the project. So make sure what the builder allocates, are in line with what you designed.


Don’t forget the little details outside the house. Does the quote provide for outside taps, includes the decking and water tank installation? Do not assume!


Make sure the builder includes the insulation in your roof. It is not a given that it will be installed.


A few other items to check if they are included and specified in your quote: Fly screens, Gas connections to your house, automation of garage doors, Data & TV points.

We are not builders. So our advice is just little things we learned through the Interior Design projects we’ve done over the years. Building is a stressful period, that’s why you need to choose a good team to assist you. You get what you pay for, so cheapest is not always best. Be ready to commit yourself to your building project, make sure you have that extra time besides your already busy life. You should commit to your project with passion and obsession. Don’t forget to read our previous blog about “Ten things to check before you sign the contract to your new home!”

Good luck!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann


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