Why You Shouldn’t Go to a Builder Who Offers a Free Quote

We as human beings want the best deal on everything we purchase, and that may mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about finding the lowest price possible in the market. For others, it might be getting the best value for their money. Either way, we do not want to pay for something that we can get for free – especially when it comes to building a custom home or renovation project, where our investment is quite high.

So, when it comes to finding a builder, we might be tempted to go with the one who offers a free quote. Who doesn’t love free stuff, right? You can get all of the information you need about a project without spending any money.

Unfortunately, in this case, a builder offering you a free quote could end up costing you more in the long run, because preparing accurate quotation requires a lot of effort and time.

In this blog post, we will discuss the various reasons why you should avoid builders who offer free quotes and instead choose the one who has a proven track record of success, not only in terms of the quality of homes they deliver but also in their pricing, transparency, and integrity.

Preparing Quote Consumes a Lot of Time

When quoting a home, there are numerous factors to consider to calculate the final price. These factors vary greatly depending on the location of your home, the type of home you want to build, and the inclusions that you want to put into your new home.

Quoting a home involves a number of processes and it starts with you meeting with the builder to determine what you would like to be included in your home. Then, the builder will need to assess the land, review the plans, and consider all the materials that will be required to build your home.

After that, the builder will need to provide you with a list of inclusions and exclusions with a price breakdown, so you know exactly what is and isn’t included in your quote. To get an accurate quote for you, a builder also needs to factor in the cost of materials, labour, permits, and other associated costs.

This whole process takes a great amount of time and effort from a builder’s perspective, and they need to be compensated for their time, just like any other professional service provider.

However, if you hire a builder who is offering you a free quote, this could lead to various problems down the track during the construction phase. We have listed seven reasons you should be wary of free quote offers from builders:

1) A free quote is a foot-in-the-door (there must be a catch)

We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” So why would you believe that there’s such a thing as a free quote? In most cases, builders who offer free quotes are actually only providing a g’estimate and just looking for a foot in the door. They’re hoping that once they provide you with a number, you’ll be so impressed with their price that you’ll sign on the dotted line and have to deal with the hidden costs later. 

Don’t be fooled by a free “quote” – it’s not really free. The builder is just hoping to get your business without having to put in the same amount of effort as a professional builder – builders who charge for preparing design documentation and detailed quotations. They may give you a low-ball estimate for free to get the job and then start adding on charges once they’re already working on your project.

A free g’estimate is not worth it if it means that the builder is cutting corners to save on costs. You want a professional builder who is honest and transparent about their quotation process, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

2) They might use low-quality materials

When a builder cuts corners on the quote, it can also be true that they’re using lower-quality materials. They might not tell you this upfront, but you’ll likely find out once construction starts and you see the materials they’re using.

It’s important to remember that a home is a long-term investment, so you want to be sure that it’s built with high-quality materials that will last for many years to come.

3) They may not be licensed or insured

If a builder is offering you a free quote, it’s important to make sure that they’re licensed and insured. You may probably know this, in most states and territories, builders need to be licensed in order to carry out construction work. A licensed builder must also have the right insurance in place to protect you.

If a builder is not licensed or insured, you could be left with a half-built home and no recourse if something goes wrong. Make sure you ask to see the builder’s license and insurance papers before you agree to anything. For example, if a worker is injured on the job, you won’t be held liable if the builder has workers’ compensation and public liability insurance.

4) They may not be reputable or qualified

Another reason you should be wary of the “free quote builders” is that they may not be reputable or qualified. If a builder is willing to provide their services for free, it may be because they’re not experienced or qualified enough to charge for their work.

You want to be sure that you’re hiring a builder who is reputable and has the experience to build the home you desire. Ask around for recommendations or check out online reviews before you make your decision.

A free quote is not worth it if it means hiring an inexperienced or unqualified builder to work on the biggest project of your life.

5) They may not provide a fixed-price contract

When you’re hiring a builder, you want to sign a contract that outlines the scope of work and the price. This is called a fixed-price contract, which makes sure that both you and the builder are clear about what’s included in the project and the line-by-line costs involved for each part of the construction.

However, some builders who offer a free quote are less likely to provide you with a fixed-price contract. They include open ended allowances such as Provisional Sums and Prime Cost items, to save time when quoting know for well that if the allowance is too low the homeowner has to pay the difference, not them.

6) They are more likely to rush through the job

When a builder is not being paid for their quote, they’re more likely to rush it to get you to contract as soon as possible. As a result, things may be left out that cost you later during construction.

7) They may not provide guarantees or support

Finally, builders who offer to do things for free are less likely to provide guarantees or support once the job is completed. If there are any issues with the workmanship or materials, you may have to fight to have them rectified.

Why Should You Pay for a Quote?

When you work with a professional custom home builder, it’s more likely that they have not built the same home twice, so there is no chance of copying and pasting from a previous quote.

On average, a custom home builder spends around 30-40 hours on developing a formal quote for a home. Do you think a builder who puts this much time into something is going to give it away for free? No, because this is their livelihood, and they deserve to be paid for their time and expertise that has been built up over 30 years. Would you work 40 hours for free? Most definitely not.

Paying for a quote also shows that you are serious about working with that particular builder, you are willing to invest in the project and you value their time and expertise. And in the same way, the builder will value your time and be more likely to provide a professional quote, professional processes, and a professional service throughout your building project.

Want help with a quote for your project?

At Live Construction, we always keep things transparent and ensure you are getting the best value for your money. That is why we work with a true fixed-price contract, so you don’t have to worry anytime about budget overruns during their build.

If you are planning on building your dream custom home in Townsville and want it completed within the agreed time frame and without any unexpected costs, then feel free to contact us today at 07 4724 1964 or you can book a 30-minute free consultation with us here.

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