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How to Compare Builders’ Quotes

Choosing a builder to work on your commercial property is not an easy decision, and there are many factors to consider. We’ll be going into those in detail throughout this blog post. But one of the first things you should do as part of your research process is to compare builders’ quotes.


Builders usually provide a quote before giving you an estimate or drawing up plans for your project. Keep reading to find out how a quote and an estimate differ, what variables are included in them, and how a quote can say something about the builders!


Price Estimates vs Builder’s Quote

A price estimate is a more basic document, which outlines the cost of a project. It includes a description of the type of construction that the builders will do and the number and type of workers involved in the job. It may also outline any additional fees such as VAT or permits.


On the other hand, a builder’s quote is more detailed and often includes an itemized list of your project’s materials and labour costs. When comparing prices from builders, always opt for a builder’s quote as it is more accurate!


What Should a Builders Quote Include?

Builders have their processes in coming up with their quotes. Commonly, there are quotes based on the size and type of your project.


They assess the location, condition of the property, history of renovation, and more to determine the past costs incurred for these items. Qualified builders will then apply a mark-up or profit margin to reflect their experience and expertise.


Commonly, builder’s quotes consist of the following:



The cost of building materials needed for the project will be a part of the builder’s quote. It includes things like lumber, metal, drywall, insulation, appliances etc.



Labour may seem obvious, but it is an essential item on a builder’s quote because it can account for up to 60% of the final cost. It includes engineering work, excavation, soil tests, and other services.


Your builder will only carry out the services written in the quotes. The ones excluded are either hidden or additional services that you have to pay outside the quote.


Therefore, before choosing your builder based on price alone, it is important to know and understand every detail to ensure you’re getting value for money!


How to Compare Builders’ Quotes

Based on the quotes, you can tell what kind of builder you’re dealing with, although these should not be your basis alone.


Three to four are the ideal number of quotes to request. If you receive a quote that’s almost the same price as the others, you’re most likely dealing with a good builder. It is a sign that your builder has taken time to research and investigate to come up with the quote.


However, be wary if their price is too high or cheap.


If the price is too high, it can mean two things.

  1. The builder has a lot of projects in his hands.
  2. You’re dealing with a large building company.

If the quote is too cheap, it can be an indication of one or both of the following:

  1. The builder is desperate to have work.
  2. The quote excludes a lot of details.

When comparing builders’ quotes, do not focus only on the details included. It would be best if you also determine what the builder has excluded from it.


Do not be afraid to ask for clarifications for parts that you don’t understand.


Signs That You Should Turn Down a Builder’s Offer Based on the Quote

Do not go for builders who:


Provides less information or details in their quote

It means that there’ll be hidden or additional charges in the future.


Have major work allowances

It usually means that the builder didn’t do much research before coming up with their quote. It could also mean that they’re desperate to get your business and are willing to cut corners to do so. As a result, you may end up paying more in the long run for shoddy work.


Have no license number

Some builders may not have the necessary license to carry out the work. It could lead to future problems and disagreements. Ensure that your builder has the appropriate license and is registered with the governing body.


Provides an unbelievably cheap quote

It is a sign that the builder is only after getting a deal with you. The quote may exclude a lot of details, or the builder is inexperienced and doesn’t understand the project’s true cost.


Provides a lot of prime inclusions

Some builders may include a lot of “prime” inclusions in their quotes. It could be things like the cost of materials, labour, and even permits that should not be included. It indicates that the builders are not aware of what they are quoting.



To make sure you’re getting a good deal from your builder, you must do some research about what is included in their quotes. You should also note what they leave out because these can significantly impact how much you pay for labour or materials.


In addition, there may be hidden fees that will be tacked onto the price if not caught early enough. Before making any decisions, take the time to ask questions and understand all terms involved.


It is vital to understand not to base your decisions on the builder’s quotes alone. When choosing a builder, hire the one with experience and known for transparency; choose MKJ Projects.


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