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Are You Comparing Apples to Apples?

July 8, 2014

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While there are various things to consider when selecting a builder, some people end up basing their final decision on PRICE. This can mean securing bids from multiple builders. While various quotes play an important role in making your final decision, there are other things that should be kept in mind and investigated.

Keep in mind that every builder will likely be calculating on a different level of quality, service and have different methods of estimating. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the bids are as descriptiveas possible. Some builders may undercut other builders by “shortchanging” allowances or making substitutions that only a very experienced builder would recognize. When the plans are given out to bid, an outline should be given to each builder, breaking down the project in the same way.

Different builders quote prices using different specs. If you receive an estimate that is noticeably less than another, you may want to dig deeper into the QUALITY of the materials being used to build your future house. For example, you may have decided that you want to use vinyl siding on the exterior of your new home. However, one builder’s standard features might include a higher grade of vinyl siding versus another builder’s that includes a typical builder’s grade. Significant differences in price are usually a tell-tale sign that the same or similar features have not been accurately priced.

Builders also offer allowances so that clients can make selections after the building process has begun, rather than making every decision up front. You should have a clear understanding of what these allowances will be able to get you. For example, a quote might include a $5,000 flooring allowance, yet not offer any other specifics. You are then left to decipher if there’s a sufficient amount allotted based on the products they wish to use (eg. hardwood, tile, etc), what the price is per square foot, and how many square feet are needed.

Choosing your home builder should never be based on price alone, however the more clarity and details you can obtain about how the bid prices were reached, the better chance you will have of making the right decision. Take the time to research and understand these differences. After all, you are about to make the largest investment of your life. QUALITY will remain long after price is forgotten.

At Lexis Homes we will make it easy for you to compare Apples to Apples or in our case, Oranges to Apples – and start your project off with a more accurate quote that can only be provided by an experienced builder.

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