Which is not to say that a quote isn’t a good thing to have: “[The] better the builder, to be honest, the closer they are,” Stephens said. “And a good professional builder should be able to get between 5% and 10% of a fixed price quote. So it’s a good indicator, but you just need to be aware they’re not spending too much time on this because it’s not a good investment of their time in the early stages.”
Still, consumers might be better off not making decisions on the power of a quote alone, he added. “The days of the cheapest quote or estimates are over,” he said. “You really don’t want to be making a decision on price. It was never a good idea – these days more than ever, with everything going on in the industry. You’ve got to be very, very careful now.
“It’s all about doing your research, just like you would with any other thing. If you’re buying a new car, you look at the various models and specifications, and then you start negotiating on the price of the car. It’s exactly the same with construction.
“You can’t compare different builders because no two quotes are ever the same. If you don’t understand what you’re looking at in the details of a quote, you’re not comparing apples to apples. Research your builder first – look at reviews, look at their clients, talk to past clients if possible. What you don’t want to be doing is playing with three fixed price quotes and then trying to compare them.”
Given the changing forest – the industry, we should say – consumers now need to have access to additional cash to cover potential spikes in resources. The cost of lumber, concrete paint and other home-building needs have spiked upwards and their trajectory is difficult to predict.