The building industry is complex and often misunderstood. Tradesmen speak "tradie." By this, I mean that tradesmen understand one another, have their ways of doing business, their way of speaking and generally just "get" one another. In this section, I hope to be able to translate the way of the tradie by clarifying things that tradesmen forget to tell you.
Uplift Building Pty Ltd is a fully licensed and insured company. All the tradespeople who work for Uplift Building are all qualified in their field and have the appropriate certifications and their own insurances. I fully trust all my tradesmen and would happily leave them in my home alone to get their work done. They are reliable and honest and I'm privileged to have such a great team of subcontractors to work with.
Plans are an integral part of the build as it is the way you communicating what you want built to the builder. It is like a map. Without plans the builder does not know where he is heading. The best way is to employ an architect or draftsman (or if the job is small you can easily draw something up yourself) and include as many details as possible - measurements of floor spaces, ceilings, materials used, number and location of power points, light switches, drains, taps, etc.
Obtaining architectural plans is an area where many people falsely feel they can save money. Plans are prepared in the initial stages, before any work has been done at all. This is the time you choose EVERYTHING. If you want to save money, pay for a good architect who knows the cost of the building they are designing for you. Click here to discover how decent plans can save you even more time and money.
All quotes are free and obligation free, so please don't hesitate to call or email about a free quote!
However, quotes do take a lot of time. I became a builder because I love building, not for the love of paperwork. Quotes need to be collected from many different trades and suppliers, collated and prepared as accurately as they can be for you. The more information you provide me, then the more precise I can be with the quote. Architectural plans, electrical layouts and engineer’s specifications can all help to provide me with a more accurate quote. If you have already chosen products to be fitted out (eg tiles, lights, toilets, hardware), then the quote will be even more accurate.
Many people collect 3 quotes and go with the builder that has either the cheapest price or the one they trust the most. Naturally, the 2 other builders miss out on the job. This is life in business and is not personal. Most clients will notify the builder who has won the job but neglect to call the other 2 who have spent many days (weeks even) preparing the quote for you. If Uplift Building provide you with a quote but do not want our services for any reason, I absolutely understand, just give me a call and let me know.
When both you as the client and myself as the builder agree on terms and costs, we can sign a contract. Your plans and my scope of works will also be a part of the contract. The contract will specify start and completion of work dates. This is a promise between us that we will negotiate and both agree to before commencement of work. After contracts are signed by both parties you will need to pay a deposit and then work can begin! I source my contracts from Housing Industry Australia (HIA).
Provisional Sum Items
When I quote, I include every item that I can. One trick that some builders do is to simply leave out items and charge them later as extras. They do this to keep their prices low so that you will hire them. As a Christian, I value integrity and honesty very highly, and so the quote that you receive is as accurate as possible. Often there are items that I cannot include prior to commencing the building work, usually because of the individual nature of the items (baths for example, range in price right up to $2,000). These items will be included in your quote as PROVISIONAL SUM ITEMS and the price given will be the expected price of the item.
Anything that hasn’t been included in the original quotation is considered an ‘extra’ and will incur additional charges as agreed upon in the contract, usually calculated as Cost + Builder's Margin.
Extras are due to changes of mind, which are common and understandable but as they come later in the building process, cost more in the long run. This is usually because the building work that has been completed will need to be partially demolished to install the extras.
Plumbing needs to be laid at the initial stages so locations of all drains and outlets need to be specified prior to commencement. If it isn’t then the plumber often has to find pipes the expensive way - floorboards need to be removed or concrete pulled up.
Electricians have easy access to studs and walls prior to gyprocking. Once gyprocking and painting have been completed, moving or adding power points or light fittings can become difficult and is therefore more costly (and the gyprocker and painter may need to return!)
Cost + Builder’s Margin
Some smaller building projects are more difficult to quote than others, usually because there is so much of the existing building that I can't see. For the occasional job like this I do build using the "Cost Plus" method of payment instead of the fixed quoted price. The "Cost Plus" payment method is this: once a week I put all of the costs together and email the invoice to you the client for payment. The amount is calculated on a cost of each item and labour plus 20% builder’s margin. This is the same way that Provisional Sum Items are calculated. The risk is less for the builder as when things go wrong the client pays, but if things go right then the client can end up with a slightly cheaper job.