Why you should never go with the lowest price quote
I have heard and overheard quite a few comments offered as advice about building a home. Some good, some not so good, but the worst of all? It has to be the one where people say ‘Go with the lowest price builder’. Why is that the worst advice? You’ll see…
If you see a good deal, you grab it! That is what all of us do. That is why we love shopping on ebay and Aliexpress. One of my friends was thrilled when he discovered an unbeatable price for a Macbook on ebay. Plus, there was free shipping! While he was thrilled, I was wondering why the price was so low. Chances are, it is not the real thing. Turns out, it wasn’t. The laptop stopped working after a couple of months.
We all make similar mistakes – we buy something because it seems to be a good deal without recognizing its true value. These mistakes can be forgotten, unless it is an expensive one. Imagine building a house with the wrong builder just because he quoted a lower price, and then regretting it for the rest of your life! At least with purchases like laptop, you can hide it from your sight or throw it out. With a house, you are constantly reminded that it is a poor image of what you wanted. Because, in a house, it is not just the ‘looks’, it is the value and the emotions we attach to it that makes it a ‘home’.
A home builder who claims to build a house at ‘lowest price’ should immediately alert you of underlying issues. What is in it for them? Why are they offering low price? Often, these low prices are just baits to get you to sign the contract. Once you have signed the dotted line, reality is revealed. At every stage, the builder asks you for more money – there are additional prices you have to pay, for work to progress. These are the prices that your builder did not include in the original quote. The end result is a house that cost you an arm and leg beyond your budget, not to mention the headaches and stress.
Reasons for the low price:
- Missing elements or hidden costs: The quote that you receive might not have covered all the elements that should be there. If the quote is hardly one or two pages long, then you should look for another builder. The Fixed Price Building Proposal I provide is typically around 30+ pages long and covers the cost breakdown for our standard inclusions! These inclusions come with the base price of our designs – it means, we will not charge you extra for any of these halfway through the project.
Sub-standard materials: I am not saying that all builders who quote a low-price use sub-standard building material, but I want you to be wary. Ask your builder about what materials they are using and where they are sourcing it from. A professional builder should answer your questions without any hesitation.
- Low-quality workmanship: There is a possibility that the workmanship is of poor quality. Some builders will constantly squeeze their contractors to get a low price This usually results in them compromising on quality. They might also be only concerned with volume. If they do not have the right people to properly supervise your project, the quality will suffer.
If not cost, what should you look for in a builder?
- Professionalism – A professional builder will visit your site and discuss your ideas with you. He/she will not hesitate to tell you if something won’t work.
- Comprehensive quote – A quote, as mentioned earlier, should give you a clear indication of all the inclusions, approximate start and end date, project duration, etc.
- Ask them how they will communicate the project progress with you. Most efficient builders use a project management tool to manage their projects. There are many now which you can access to monitor daily progress, selections and financial details.
- True price indication – The prices that you see in brochures or ads along with the picture often do not represent the price of the pictured design. The design might have many elements that might not be included in the price. There are few builders who will include the price of a design as pictured. If your builder has any pictures in the brochure, ask him/ her how much that particular design would cost.