May 15, 2014 4:49 pm
Hi – we are first time builders and wish I knew back then what I know now! We started our house designs back in Nov 2012, submitted to Council in July 2013, only for them to reject it because of a R-Code issue with the garage. We have a ROW so the garage has to come off it – something the builder should of told us back when we first designed the plan with a garage at the front! We redesigned, submitted to Council again which they approved Jan 2014.
We are going through pre-start and are having some painful experiences, particularly with the PS quoted for siteworks which are now coming in much higher as fixed costs.
One issue is to do with internal balustrading for the staircase. We want timber balustrading which the builder’s supplier can’t do – they do stainless steel or aluminium powder coat. So we agree the owner could go out to get some quotes and we will supply. The builder would also provide a quote. This was agreed in March. Their quote was $7,700. We declined as we thought we could do much better. Our first quote from Company A was $5,700. We were waiting for our second quote from Company B. Just last week, the builder came back to say after an internal meeting that they no longer allow owner balustrading and they were going to provide another quote. I followed up with Company B, who said they had been contacted by our builder, and was told not to send us the quote, but rather send it directly to the builder and under no circumstances are they to send me the quote. They told me the quoted price to the builder was $4,800. This is what the supplier would have charged me to supply and instal. The builder came back a week later to tell me the price to supply the timber balustrade is $6,300 – that’s a 30% mark up. When we challenged them on this, they said Company B provided them with a ‘builders price’ which they shouldn’t have disclosed and that we were welcome to receive a ‘retail price’. I went back to them to tell them that the builders and retail price is the same. We did all the work for the quote, spoke to the supplier about our requirements, and all the builder had done is take the quote off us and add 30% markup for no work at all. I think this is extremely unfair. Can the builder do this?
Re: First Time Building (WA) - pre start issues3
May 15, 2014 5:09 pm
this is how they make money
out of that 30% there is Insurance, organizing for the stairs to been installed and other little things they cover.
They take responsibility if the stairs are damaged by workers too.
make sure that the stair's come stained or sealed. have them protect the stair with a cover and get that all in the contact
Re: First Time Building (WA) - pre start issues5
May 15, 2014 7:00 pm
Stairs are something thats in the house for a long time before handover. There not like carpet or floor tiles, there an integral part of the house. as pancakes said the builder has to take responsibility for them once installed. If he installs them and they are damaged he has to repair them. if you install them are you going to pay for the repair.
Re: First Time Building (WA) - pre start issues6
May 16, 2014 11:24 am
The supplier for the balustrade was going to install during construction, and the builder was going to charge us a $350 'coordination' fee for using our own supplier. But now our supplier is the builders supplier and they are charging the quoted price plus 30%.
Another experience we have had was our quote for Anticon. We were quoted $9,800. We challenged it and also spoke to other people who have had it installed. The updated quote was a more respectable $4098. They had mistaken the first quote for 50mm but it was actually 75mm. Hmmm...
Re: First Time Building (WA) - pre start issues7
May 16, 2014 5:02 pm
Pistol can I make a suggestion, i'm not sure how much you have already outlayed but it may be better for all concerned to walk away and find another builder.
Your builder is entitled to put a margin on top of what they pay for a product, yes you may be able to shop round and find something cheaper.
In most cases the builder will have one or two suppliers they can rely on. these suppliers may not be the cheapest but offer prompt delivery and good follow up service.
By all means question the builder on extra's as there may be some room to move on some things, but if you go into this build thinking he's trying to rip you off or he's incompetent you are going to have the most stressfull 6 mths of your life and move into a house that has a sour taste in your mouth.
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