Adelaide's Award Winning Custom Home and Renovation Specialists


Frequently Asked Questions

Renovations will always vary in cost and it is impossible to estimate accurately without complete building plans. But building plans cost money and you want to know what it is going to cost before you invest any money… Right? This is why we always recommend planning your renovation or extension with a professional builder. We have years of experience and a proven process for design where we provide you with the most accurate estimates possible at critical stages throughout the design process. This can potentially save our clients thousands of dollars on construction costs just by working with a professional builder from day 1.
This is a great question to ask. In our opinion, builders who aren't using regular trades with a proven track record lose control of their projects and have major quality control issues. We have a detailed vetting process for our subcontractors and we only work with professionals. This is actually one of our guarantees that all of our trades are professional and keep within our strict company culture and values.
Specialising in major renovations and additions, we do have this question come up alot. Most of the time our clients choose to stay in their home while we renovate. This is not always an option as sometimes we are removing the only bathroom from the home making it unlivable so this is always taken on a case by case basis. We are also very safety conscious and keep this top of mind.
ZJ Building is a design and construction business. We offer a full service for all your custom home renovation and building needs. If you have big plans but no drawings, or maybe you have some sketches you've put together yourself, you can call us as your first point of contact. We have a process designed to fast track your ideas from conception, onto paper, and then eventually into full construction ready building plans. We work collaboratively with our architects and designers and can coordinate the entire design process for you - no stress! We are there every step of the way to guide and assist you in your decisions to suit your budget. Our number 1 goal is to ensure that your plans become a reality.
Because we collaborate with our design team and our clients, we build our preliminary agreement contracts with strict terms that copyright is owned by the home owner and not the architect or ZJ Building. This means that you own the drawings at the end of the process and if you choose to get other quotes, it is completely your choice. We take the position that if you are looking for choice number 2 and 3 for a price then we have probably done you a dis-service during the preliminary process. Our aim is to deliver so much value and confidence in us as your preferred builder that there won't be any question that we will deliver exactly what you want for the price you expected and you will LOVE the experience!
During our design process, once we hit a critical stage, we start gathering the pricing for all aspects of the build as the information becomes available. This means we are tracking the cost of your project as we are designing it and comparing it against our original estimate. We will be able to tell you what impact each decision is having on your budget backed by our experience and knowledge on construction costs. The point is that if the project cost is getting bigger, you will know about it before we get to contract, there are no surprises.
Commencing designs of any kind of construction project - custom home, large extension or addition, major renovation - it doesn't matter. The most important factor is that YOU, the homeowner, wants it built. You don't want to be stuck at the end of the design phase with a beautiful set of construction drawings. You could care less about them! You are after the finished product. The new master bedroom suite, the new ensuite, the new kitchen. The new lifestyle! Our job as a builder is to build your project. That is our #1 priority and goal for each of our clients.

This is why we need to know your budget from day 1. Most architects have little knowledge of building costs and will meet your brief rather than your budget, which isn’t always a bad thing, but having us present means we can advise you on what’s more financially viable. We are able to see the cost implications on architectural features, which means you can reference your budget and decide what to compromise on. Without advising us on your budget, you will be setting yourself up for failure and end up as a statistic in the 80% of people who’s designs do not commence construction.
PC stands for Prime Cost. The Sum part is referring to the dollar allowance placed onto a certain task. A PC Sum usually includes an allowance for labour and materials that will assist in completing the task. For example: a PC Sum of $3000 has been made for the tiler to supply the tile glue and any other materials needed to complete the tiling of the project.
Similar to a PC Sum but specifically refers to a certain product or item. For example: a PC Item of a 600x300 white tile has been allowed.

PC Sums are used when the price of a task is unknown during quoting and PC Items are pre-selections made by the building contractor to give you a more accurate cost of the project. An allowance is given without specifying exactly what it is or what is involved. Generally, the more PC Sums and Items within a building contract, the more power the builder has to charge variations.
Absolutely! We organise regular site meetings and inspections throughout the build and site access will be possible. If you want to visit the site outside of these meetings, you are more than welcome to, just call your project manager and we can arrange a walk through at a time that is convenient. If you are living in your home while the project is in full swing then you will be very close to the action. We do have a duty of care for all staff, contractors and homeowners and we need to maintain a safe work environment at all times so you will need to be accompanied by a ZJ Building representative at all times when visiting the project site. We are very aware of your needs and excitement during a renovation and realise that you will want to check it out regularly. We do our best to cater to everyone's needs and maintain a safe workplace for all!

Need Advice About Addition Or Renovation?