Adelaide's Home Addition & Renovation Specialists


Why You Should Pay for a Quote and Why Builders Should Charge for One

We all want the best price, and that may mean different things to different people. For some, that means the best value for the price they paid, for others, it simply means the cheapest. Either way, no one wants to pay for a service they can get for free – especially when it comes to pricing a large project like a home addition or new build. But what some may fail to realise is that an accurate quote requires time.

Pricing a large project is more than just a few measurements, it requires an in-depth on-site assessment with clear knowledge of the vision, complete with plans that are detailed enough to be able to be understood amongst all trades & suppliers. Without a clear scope of works, specification and selections schedule, generally, most builders will simply assume their client’s expectations and offer a low, inaccurate price to avoid losing to another builder. This then eventuates into the term that we all hate to hear, variations.

But surely, we can give a ballpark estimate? Well, how long is a piece of string?! Your question may seem reasonable enough but there are so many variables that can affect the cost. But still, all you want to know is what you’re up against, will it be $20,000, $60,000 or are you in over your head? Most builders will be able to offer an estimated range (i.e. between $20,000 and $60,000) but it really is just a guess based on their experience. Some builders will use this guess along with a square metre rate to quote your project, but this is just asking for trouble.

Here are a few good reasons as to why you should pay for your quote and why we charge for one:


When you’re prepared to commit to a small cost in order to receive a quote, you are showing us that you’re invested, and therefore, we will invest in you. At the end of the day, no one wants to have their time wasted so when you are prepared to part with your time and money, it shows that you’re as serious about your project as we are about your quote.

Also, if you’ve paid for your quote, you’re no longer a prospect, but rather a customer which is crucial for the progression of an honest and trusted builder/client relationship. If we are being paid to put together your quote, we will allocate time to thoroughly investigate every aspect of your build, which brings us to our next reason…


Without a clear scope of works, it’s easy for some items to be missed in a builder’s free quote and it’s these unexpected variations (yep, it’s that word again!) that are the cause of too many builder/client disputes. A clear breakdown of everything involved with your project will avoid any conflict long term but we can’t be expected to provide a comprehensive quote without being compensated, especially when they can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

Realistically, if you are paying us for your quote, it will not be underquoted. The price you see for our fixed price quote may come back more expensive than a free quote but, in the end, it will cost you the same. All the minor details and variations that you’ll eventually have to pay for with a free quote are stated upfront and defined in ours. This way, it removes the elephant from the room from the beginning to avoid any conflicts down the track and you’ll be more satisfied upon completion of your project, than if you were to be hit with variation after variation from the builder who gave you the one paged, free quote.

And wouldn’t you rather know exactly what your project is going to cost you in the end?


If you want a quote for a project that can take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete, you want to make sure you know exactly what you’re going to receive. So, a simplified quote that’s one page long doesn’t really give you any room to move if you’re unhappy with the price. If you’re paying us for your quote, you will receive a comprehensive, in-depth scope of works with all inclusions and exclusions, our company guarantees and project expectations, along with above board requirements such as council approvals and all the appropriate licensing and insurances. This of course, means you can consider which things you’d like to add or remove and you will also have a clearer idea of what the final result will be.

With the amount of information needed to provide a comprehensive quote, we will consult with you and talk through your proposed plans and ideas. We can provide expert knowledge gathered over many years which can possibly save you thousands of dollars simply by having these in-depth discussions. Plus, with us, you’re only charged for the quote if you don’t go ahead with your project. If you decide to go ahead, the cost of our quote is deducted from the total project price anyway, so it’s a win-win!

We all know trades are a busy lot and for too long, we’ve been regarded as unprofessional. Sure, like any industry, we still have some who ruin it for the rest of us, but we feel it’s about time our hard-earned knowledge is as respected as any other professional. And paying for a comprehensive, in-depth quote is one way to do that. If more clients were to actively seek out builders, like us, who charge for quotes, you would be supporting and encouraging professionalism in an industry that’s viewed otherwise.

Some of you may not agree, and that’s okay, but to us, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

1 thought on “Why You Should Pay for a Quote and Why Builders Should Charge for One”

  1. Some reasons why I wouldn’t pay for a quote unless the quotation service was fully specified and transparent;

    1. You should already have a detailed design and specification ready for the builder to price so there is no ambiguity in what you want built. Include geotechnical report and landscaping design.
    2. You should seek at least three quotes. By having several quotes you can determine if there are uncertainties in your documentation and the quoted price is “about right” and a builder has not under quoted or over quoted. If all three builders come in about the same price then that reflects a fair market value. If one quote is significantly cheaper than the other two quotes then that builder has missed something and a dispute over the contract could be just around the corner. If a builders price is significantly higher than the other two then that builder doesn’t want the work. Do you want to pay for a quote that is high and you wouldn’t accept anyway?
    3. If you are paying for a quote then the quote should include a full bill of quantities and rates, subcontractor quotes and the declared builders margin, not just the same lump sum quote with fixtures and fittings that all other builders will provide anyway.
    4. Beware people turning quoting into a business, with no intention of winning the job. Remember, building is a competitive industry and there is no such thing as “the price”, every builder will charge differently because it is made up of the all their subcontractors and suppliers prices. One builder may have a subbie(s)/suppliers who charge cheap and this gives them the edge. One builders overheads maybe lower than others and this can give them an edge on pricing.
    5. There are alot of factors to determine what gives the client “value for money” and you should be seeking value for money and not the lowest price and not from a single select builder.


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