Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How long should my quote be for my new custom home?

I got a quote to build my new house from a contractor and other then the price there wasn’t much more detail, when I questioned them they said that this was standard in the industry. Is this true?

Giving you just a price with no information, this was the standard in the industry 2 decades ago. Two decades ago a handshake between the two of you would have satisfied both parties. But times have changed and so has the industry standard.

Reputable contractors today will give you an extremely detailed quote.

Let me put this in perspective; If your contractor does not give you a quote that is longer than 3 pages then they are not giving you enough detail. Village Builders routinely gives house quotes that are 10 pages long, this is because we realize how complicated houses have become.

Today’s houses have so many different details and options that a contractor that doesn’t go out of his way to add them to their quote is asking for problems later once the construction process is under way.

An old trick in the construction industry is to give as little detail as possible so that the contractor can give you the lowest price and win the job. What they do later once they have started building the house is they then start trying to make more money on what they call “extras”.

Now there are legitimate extras when building custom homes, then there are extras that should have been included in the original quote but because the contractor failed to give you a detailed quote they are able to charge for extras that should have been in the price to begin with.

I have found that contractors that underbid us by a a large margin end up charging the homeowner the same price that we quoted in the end. The difference is that we were honest and told them upfront what the cost would be because people have the right to know how much their new home is going to cost.

So when dealing with contractors you most demand detail in your quote. Any contractor that refuses to give you more details is a contractor that you don’t want to deal with. Remember building a house is probably the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, you need to be sure that you can trust your contractor and the price that he is quoting.

Thanks for the question,

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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