Life can deliver some pleasant surprises. Things such as a gift from your spouse or an unexpected windfall are welcome surprises that we all enjoy.

But then, there are the unwelcome surprises with consequences that can range from a minor setback to outright destruction of our hopes and dreams.

Sadly, we often hear about customers who have already signed a contract with a builder then being told that they need to come up with another $1000 here and another $10,000 there for things that ‘weren’t allowed for in the contract.’

At Bundy Homes, we don’t think this is right.

However, we also understand that if you are going to build a home, you are probably going to talk to a few builders to make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting and who you are dealing with.

With that in mind, here are a few key areas you should discuss with your builder before signing a contract.

The Soil Type On Your Block

Quoting based on assumptions can mean the quote is well short of what is actually required to prepare the pad and the foundations.

How to avoid this nasty surprise:

Make sure either a soil test has been done prior to the contract being prepared OR the builder is prepared to make a guarantee on what the soil test will show based on experience having built other homes in the same area.

Code Compliance

Depending upon the location of your new home, there could be several codes over and above the standard building codes that you need to comply with. Bushfire codes, noise corridor codes, and cyclone ratings are things that need to be considered before a quote is prepared.

How to avoid this nasty surprise:

Ask the builder for evidence that they have checked all codes that are applicable before preparing the quote or contract.

What’s Included Room by Room

Make sure all the essentials are covered room by room when you go through your contract. You’ll probably think we are joking, but we have heard of people being handed the keys to their new home only to discover there were no doors on the built-in wardrobes.

How to avoid this nasty surprise:

Don’t make assumptions even if something seems obvious.

Are Prime-Cost (PC) Items Appropriately Costed?

PC items are a common trap for first-time home builders. Typically, an allowance will be made for items that you will later choose.

Let’s take floor coverings for example…

Feeling excited, you head off to the builder’s supplier to choose the tiles for your new home. Your excitement builds when you see the fantastic range of stylish tiles on display. However, your excitement soon turns to disappointment when you are taken to a back corner and shown the two drab-looking tile ranges you are allowed to choose from, and which are nothing like what you saw at the display home. In the end, you pay extra to get the tiles you really want.

How to avoid this nasty surprise:

Make sure the allowance for PC items is realistic based on your wishes and expectations.

The Price is the Price. End of Story.

When you get two quotes that are significantly different, rather than the price driving your decision, the price difference should trigger alarm bells that prompt you to investigate more carefully what you are actually getting from each builder.

If a contract has been prepared thoroughly to cover everything you need, the price should be the price. End of story.

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