What is a Builder’s Estimate?

A Builder’s Estimate is often used at the very early stages when conducting a feasibility on the property to see if a certain path in construction or renovation is worth pursuing. An Estimate is a very rough calculation often using limited information regarding specifications, measurements, plans etc to calculate the value or costing of a stage of work. It is important to note that an Estimate is usually not entirely accurate and can vary between Builder’s opinions due to the lack of information attained. Therefore it is not advisable to compare Builder’s Estimates to make your decision on who to select as your Builder.


What is a Proposal/Quotation and what is involved in preparing a detailed Fixed Price Quotation

A Building Proposal is a detailed quotation detailing all aspects of the works discussed with the clients.

When putting together a detailed quotation there are many components and vital pieces of information that contribute to a Job Specific Accurate Quotation. Some aspects which we include are:

  • Viewing the property/plans and assessing the design. Assessing the site conditions, any conditions that may impact the work proposed, and location of current services
  • Discussing with the client any challenges with the project, why the work is getting done and understanding their situation, what the client is hoping to achieve, any time and budget constraints
  • Obtaining all architectural or draft plans, engineering plans, any specification documents, schedule of finishes and fittings, any other document relating to the project.

Once all the information has been attained, many hours will be spent compiling the information and building an accurate quotation involving:

  • Studying all documentation received from the client and any council documentation
  • Assessing a the project and proposed schedule of completing the project
  • Detailed measuring and calculating materials and labour components. Pricing of materials and labour to match the market rate.
  • Calculating and including supervision required, managing client expectations and project management off site
  • Submission to the client of a job specific accurate price proposal


How to Compare Proposals/Quotes

When comparing Builder’s Quotations it is essential to compare apples with apples. The below may assist in what should be looked at when comparing:

  • Quotations are built from the same scope of works
  • The same amount of work has been included in the quotation
  • Have Provisional Sum allowances been included and compare the values to each other for both trade base or materials
  • What are the exclusions
  • Level and quality of detail/materials and description outlined per area of works
  • Inclusion or exclusion of GST
  • Other factors specific to the individual Builders may also come into consideration at this stage. Such things as punctuality, references, delivery of quotation deadline, licence check, industry association affiliation, communication skills


 Always be wary of a quotation that comprises the following:

  • Minimal information and detail
  • Areas to charge extra at a later date
  • Allowances for the majority of the work involved. May indicate lack of research and will end up costing more the build
  • Lack of ABN and Builder’s licence number and insurances
  • Overly cheap totals in comparison to others in the marketplace

Note: Make sure a builders quotation/proposal is not pricing based on an estimate or based on a rough square meter rate, that it is an actual calculated proposal


We hope this information has helped and made the initial stage of the building process a little easier . Should you require any further  information or assistance with your quotation, please do not hesitate to call me direct on 0401 284 808.

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