Quick tips to compare costs

Thorne Group's Peter Buck.

How do you recommend people realistically compare build price between companies? 

Compare with care. If you take one thing away from this article it should be this - don’t make a decision based on the bottom line number alone. There are many factors that influence price. Further selecting a builder is not just about price, the ability to execute in a busy market and deliver a quality home should be high on your judgement list too. There is a misconception that an exceptionally designed and built home must cost more. Our potential clients are thrilled to see how competitive we are relative to group building companies and yet their home is individually designed for them.

What things should they take into consideration?

Dig deeper into your build proposal to understand exactly what you are getting for your money, the quality of what you are getting and what potentially could be missing from your proposal. 

Here’s our top points for what to look for:

  1.   •    We see a lot of things omitted, such as earthworks allowance, build consent, concrete patios and fencing. 

  2.   •  Compare structural specifications such as height of ceilings, height of windows, foundation type etc. These items can have a large impact on the final price.  

  3.   •  Compare quality of items – lighting fixtures, door hardware, kitchen running gear, plumbing fixtures, appliances, carpets etc.

  4.   •  Compare ‘PC Sums’ - PC being ‘Prime Cost Sums’. These refer to an allowance that you can spend up to.  For example plumbing fixtures and fittings, kitchens, flooring, wardrobes and mirrors will often have ‘PC amounts’. Check that these sums are sufficient for you to get what you want.  

Why is the ‘price per square metre’ question a hard one to answer?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Unfortunately the answer can be very misleading. For example a smaller house will have a much higher square metre rate than a larger home as building consent, the kitchen and more are spread over a smaller area thus increasing the rate. 

Further, it may not even give you an indication of building costs as you need to have a good understanding of specifications. The only way to compare pricing is to have a sound understanding of the specifications - exactly what will be going into the build and how has design influenced cost. A good starting point is to find a finished home that you like and go about establishing the complete costs with the build provider.

As the largest family owned build company we combine our buying power with our in-house architectural team – procurement and design – which translates to value for money, whatever your budget.  


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