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?