Builders quotes – How to determine the best one?


Once you have made a short list of the builders that you believe will be best for your project, and interviewed them, it’s time to start getting builders quotes.

Watch Why Our Past Clients Picked Maridale Construction


Firstly you may want to get some costings for the job before you start getting builders quotes. This way you will have an idea whether you can afford to go ahead. You can use a quantity surveyor to get an accurate costing before you put the job out to tender. This will give you a good basisto evaluate them the quotes once the start coming in.

Now, once you have a rough estimate of what the job should cost, it’s time to start getting the builders quotes.

It’s important to give the builders as much information about the project as you can. This can include the architects building plans, the location of the build, the type of building contract and that you are asking for multiple quotes.

Make sure you get more than one quote (usually three), but don’t be misled by the price variants of each – cheaper is not always better.

builders quotes Wellington

Ask the higher bidders to justify their quotes so you can determine if the lower bidders have failed to factor in costs. Without deeper analysis of the “cheaper” quotes, you may have unexpected costs along the way as well as substandard workmanship if you base your decision on the quote price alone. 

Although the quote is a significant determining factor of what builder you hire, you should also take into consideration the quality of workmanship, past client testimonials and how you feel the builder will be to work with. Don’t make this decision until you have personally spoken to the builder who will be on your site, day in and day out. 

If you are looking for a builders quote in the Wellington region, click here to see if Maridale Construction is right for you.

Tips for when you’re looking for builders

Watch what Stephanie, one of our previous clients had to say when we ask her:

“What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a building project?”

Things to remember when looking for builders

Once you have determined which of the 3 residential building contracts you want to employ a builder for –  it’s time to start looking for builders for your job.

Building a new home or doing house renovations is a huge financial and emotional investment and you need to take the time to do a thorough check on any prospective builder, their workmanship, references and credentials.

It is crucial you hire a builder with whom you feel comfortable and that you can trust. As challenges arise, you need to be confident that you will be able to express your ideas and give feedback that will be accepted and discussed. One simple way to discover this is with client testimonials.

looking for builders Wellington

Usually these can be found on the builders’ website or you may personally know somebody who has worked with them in the past that you can talk to. Also, when you visit a builder’s previous jobs, speak to the homeowners about the character and quality of the builder.

You can also determine a builders quality of workmanship through case studies of previous work and if they have any industry recognised accreditations, awards and affiliations.


What to ask builders?

Depending on the type of job you are looking for a builder to do, it will heavily influence the types of questions you will need to ask.

However, below is a list of questions for builders that will be relevant in most situations.

  • What guarantees can you give me?
  • What type of contracts do you work on?
  • What’s your work routine like?
  • What areas do you work in?
  • How and when do I make payments?
  • When can you start?
  • Are you insured?
  • How long have you been in business for?
  • Do you have other properties we could look at and possibly talk to the owners there as well?
  • Which trade bodies are you currently registered with?
  • What building awards have you won?
  • Can you help me with the design of my house?

To hear my answers to a number of these questions, just click here.


3 Types of Residential Construction Contracts

Once you know when to hire a builder in Wellington, the next thing you need to know is your different options for residential construction contracts.

Whichever way you go, there will always be significant costs involved for your new build or renovation project.

Watch what our past clients had to say about working through financial issues with Maridale Construction:

Three Residential Construction Contracts

1. full contract
2. labour­ only
3. managed labour­ only

Full Contract

A full contract is where the builder is the project manager and is also responsible for the entire new build or renovation. This option will relieve you of the majority of stress normally associated with a building project since there is one price that covers all the work and there is only one person to go to if there are any problems.

On this type of contract the builder is responsible for:

• managing the entire building project
• the builders labour
• all materials
• subcontractors
• working with the architect/designer
• arranging inspections

Brian managing the building project in lower hutt

With the full contract option it is especially important you hire a qualified builder who is experienced in project management and is someone who you will be able to work closely with.

Labour Only

Labour ­only building contracts is where the builder is only responsible for the building work and you are responsible to manage the rest.

This means you will have substantial responsibilities and will be liable for the compliance of the building work. Clear and concise contract documentation will need to clearly spell out the responsibilities for everybody involved.

Just some of the things you will be responsible for are:

• supervising the building work
• organising sub­contractors and materials
• the Health and Safety Plan
• precise communication of what is required and when

The time investment for you in this situation will be significantly greater than a full contract, so factor this time consideration into your planning.

Managed Labour­ Only

Managed labour ­only is a hybrid of the previous two types of contracts, where you have an independent 3rd party responsible for filling the project management role. This is normally done by your architect or designer or you may have an arrangement where your builder is the project manager and the designer takes on an overview role.

Again, whatever you decide, make sure each party’s responsibilities are fully spelt out in the building contract.
Note: As I mentioned earlier, some builders in Wellington can also help you in the design and planning process. If you require this service, please let us know here.

When is the right time to hire a builder?

Lower Hutt Building Job

Over the years we have been building in the Wellington region, a question we commonly get asked is “When is the right time to starting looking to hire a builder?

Since top builders are often booked well in advance, it is imperative you start looking as early in the building process as you can if you want to get the best quality builder to work on your project.

First of all, get a clear understanding of when you want your project to be completed and start working back from there. That way you can give the builder a rough indication of when your project is likely to commence so they can start factoring it into their work schedule.

For your start date, remember that planning applications usually take at least eight weeks to process.

When to hire a builder?

Generally speaking, if you want your builder to help you in the design process, you should engage with them as one of the primary steps. Not all builders will provide this service, so make sure you take this into consideration during your research for the best builder for your job.

If you have already decided your architect or draftsman then as soon as you have these plans finalised you should start engaging with your short list of builders to see if they will be available in the time frames you require. Without plans, builders are in the dark and may provide a higher quote.

Remember: You don’t want to be left unable to use the builder you want because you didn’t engage them early enough!

Want to see how we can help you? Click here to see what we do.