Insights

The Importance of Detailed Quotations in Custom Home & Cottage Building

Building a custom home or cottage is an exciting journey. It gives you the opportunity to choose the features that you like, from building style to number of bedrooms, home layout, the way your home is finished, and property features such as landscaping and outbuildings. The result is a space perfectly tailored to your needs and desires.

One crucial step along the way to domestic bliss is obtaining a detailed quotation from your home builder. It’s important because you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, with nothing left out. 

The role of an inclusive build quotation

The scope of work surrounding a job will impact the pricing. Do build quotations include all trim and finishings? How about driveway paving? 

A detailed quotation is not just a document; it’s a service that adds significant value to the construction process

An inclusive builder quotation goes beyond just listing the primary costs associated with building your home. It includes peripheral items such as paving, landscaping, walkways and patios, storage sheds, gazebos, boathouses or whatever you might want to complete your property. Knowing what is and isn’t included in the quotation from the start allows you to think holistically about your project and the costs associated with it.

Avoiding the pitfalls of lowball home-building quotations

A good builder will include a complete list of items in a home-building quotation. It can be scaled up or down, depending on your preferences and budget. Providing a comprehensive view of all potential costs involved is just a smart way to start. Many contractors will, however, deliberately not include peripheral items so that their build bid comes in lower than others. This practice often leads to a big ‘upsell game’ throughout the construction process, where clients are constantly hit with additional costs for items (nicer trim, patio construction…) that should have been included from the beginning.

A detailed and inclusive home building quotation helps avoid this pitfall. While one quotation might appear higher initially, that may be because it includes all relevant finishes and options, including landscaping and outbuildings, ensuring that no surprises costs arise during the construction process.

Quotations that build peace of mind

Inclusive home quotations build trust between you and your builder, knowing that there will likely not be any unexpected expenses. Creating a detailed and inclusive quotation is, however, not a quick task. 

We Provide Detailed Quotations that build peace of mind

Initially, builders typically provide a high-level home building estimate to see if the client has a realistic understanding of the costs involved. This estimate is usually provided at no cost and helps determine if the project is feasible within the client’s budget.

Once the initial estimate is accepted, the builder will move on to a more detailed estimate. This process involves consulting with subcontractors and material providers, and often includes design work. It can take between 40 to 60 hours to complete a detailed and professional home build quotation that defines all variables and specifications. It will include (in consultation with you) selecting finishes, determining the type of heating system, foundation, roofing, siding, and more. By the end of this process, you will have a comprehensive quotation that will serve as a roadmap for the entire project.

Once the initial estimate is accepted, the builder will move on to a more detailed estimate

But homes and cottages require maintenance, so a detailed quotation should also consider regular long-term maintenance. Do you want someone to handle your water filtration needs? How about other types of servicing? Including ongoing maintenance costs in the initial quotation will help you decide on a strategy for keeping your home in excellent condition for years to come.

Building confidence, eliminating disputes

A detailed quotation is not just a document; it’s a service that adds significant value to the construction process. Because of the many hours of work involved, builders typically charge to produce it. While this might seem like an added expense, it provides legal and binding reassurance. 

In legal situations, a paid quotation holds more weight, as it reflects the detailed calculations and research that went into its creation. This transparency and accuracy can prevent disputes and misunderstandings down the line. Charging for the quotation ensures its reliability and validity, protecting both you and the builder.

Detailed quotations also serve as a confidence builder for clients. They provide a clear framework to track the project’s progress, with line items often listed in chronological order. Creating familiarity with the building process fosters trust, helping you gain comfort with the construction journey. A well-prepared quotation shows the builder’s commitment to quality and transparency, distinguishing them from competitors who might offer less detailed and inclusive quotes.

Final thoughts

Building a custom home or cottage is a significant investment. Knowing what your home is going to cost, right down to walkways, landscaping and outbuildings, can be crucial. The careful planning that goes into building a detailed and inclusive quotation is essential to provide clarity, prevent cost overruns, and build confidence and trust between you and your builder of choice.

While producing a detailed quotation has many advantages, not every DeCarli Contracting Contractors client wants to start that way. Some of our customers enjoy the creative process of making the many choices required as their home or cottage takes shape. It’s not the most efficient way to work, but we are happy to accommodate. If you are planning to build a new home or cottage in the Southern Georgian Bay area, we hope that you will consider working with our team.