Are you worried that your building project might end up being much more expensive than anticipated?

We’ve all heard stories about costs skyrocketing due to numerous changes and additions. These modifications often push the original budget aside, leaving you scrambling to find extra money to complete your house.

While some believe that these variations are unavoidable, there’s a way to prevent costly budget changes if you and your builder invest time in the initial stages. By thoroughly discussing and understanding your specific requirements and conducting thorough research and assessments, you can ensure a fixed price before committing to a contract.

This approach not only guarantees that the agreed-upon price remains unchanged, but it also gives you peace of mind, knowing that there won’t be any unpleasant surprises when you sign the contract.


Spend Quality Time with Your Builder

One of the main reasons for going over budget in construction projects is due to changes made during the building process. That’s why it’s crucial for builders to spend time in understanding exactly what you want, ensuring that it’s clearly stated in the contract.

At the same time, you need to carefully review the details of what is and isn’t included in the initial agreement. Once you sign the contract, any modifications or additions you request will come with extra costs that you might not have budgeted for.

If builders rush you into making hasty decisions without allowing you the time to evaluate your options, it’s unlikely to end well.

On the other hand, a professional builder will encourage you to list every single detail you want for your new home. If there are areas where you’re unsure, they will provide a detailed list of standard inclusions, clearly specifying the materials and finishes that will be used in your home. With a thorough preliminary services agreement in hand, you can have confidence that the price will only change if you decide to change your mind.


Do Your Homework

Before getting into any agreements, it’s important to spend time in researching and thoroughly understanding the details of what is included and what is not included in the contract.

Many people end up facing extra charges for changes because they didn’t have enough time to plan ahead before signing the contract. Whether you’ve built a house before or this is your second, third, or fourth time, you may have heard that variations are just a normal part of the process.

However, don’t be fooled by this misconception. Some builders may use it as a tactic to make their contracts appear cheaper. But once the construction begins and variations start popping up, that “cheap” builder can quickly become the most expensive choice you could have made.

To help you avoid dealing with one variation after another, here are my top three tips:

1. Verify the Information

The first tip is to carefully examine the cost estimation for the foundation of your building.

To determine an accurate quote, the builder needs to conduct a soil report. It’s essential that you request the engineer’s report before signing the contract to ensure complete assurance.

Unfortunately, some builders may intentionally offer a lower cost estimate for the foundation to entice you into signing the contract. They might then conduct the necessary tests afterward, leading to variations and an increase in the overall price even before any work has started.

2. Allocate Sufficient Time for Preparation

The next tip is to make sure you give yourself enough time to research and plan before signing the contract. This way, both you and your builder will have a clear understanding of your exact requirements, and everything can be accounted for right from the beginning.

Even a small change can result in extra costs for labour and materials. It might even affect the overall design or structure, requiring you to have your plans redrawn or the contract revised. These additional charges can quickly add up. However, if you take your time to plan ahead, a professional builder will gladly provide you with a detailed preliminary services agreement. This agreement will ensure that you know precisely what you’re getting, leaving no room for surprises.

3. Inform Your Builder if You Change Your Mind

Lastly, if you happen to change your mind during the building process, it’s important to notify your builder as soon as possible. This will help avoid delays and minimize additional costs. For instance, if you decide to switch the type of tiles you want, it may cause a delay if the new tiles have a long delivery time.

Delays in construction not only result in extra charges for changes but can also lead to increased expenses such as rent or additional mortgage payments while your home is being built.

Whether you’re building your first home or have experience in building before, there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions. To help you navigate through the process, we offer a free quick guide that provides all the essential information you need before designing your new home.

Simply click the link below to download our guide on The 7 Things You Must Know Before Designing A New Home. It’s completely free and will assist you in keeping your design within budget and avoiding any unexpected surprises that can arise during the construction of a custom home.