We realise and understand the huge amount of questions you have and through 2 decades in the industry we have also seen the many mistakes made and the traps along the way.
Avoid the 'Design Treadmill'
Most people when starting an extension for their home contact an architect. While this seems a logical starting point, it can often be a poor choice. Architects will often jump straight to an agreement that includes detailed working drawings. These can regularly cost well over $12,000-$14,000.
Consider this common scenario;
You give the architect your brief and budget. You work closely with them on your design and detailed refinements, and finally settle on a design, often weeks down the track. The architect will then arrange engineers to complete structural plans, costing you another $5,000-$7,000. You finally then send the plans to builders to quote and weeks later you receive a quote, maybe 2, only to see that you are tens of thousands over your firm budget. Naturally, you go back to the architect to fix, only for them to ask for yet more money. More often than not, the many unwanted compromises and changes to the design are still not enough to bring you back to your budget. By this stage you could have spent well over $20,000 for what often becomes nothing more than very expensive paper. This can be heartbreaking.
At Haven advocates we utilise our buying power to negotiate fixed price concept design agreements with a range of architects and drafters. We are able to guide you through this design stage to ensure your budget expectations are in line with what is being designed. We then have the designs independantly costed and if they are over budget, we are able to revisit the concept designs and bring them back in line with your budget. All of this before you invest in expensive technical drawings and plans.
This service alone could save you many thousands of dollars.
Obtaining quotes & Selecting builders
Getting quotes from builders can be far harder than you might think. Builders are sent sets of plans to quote on every day! You are often asking them to invest many hours, just on the hope that you give them your business. Many builders will even ignore the quote requests, leaving you with very few choices of quality builders and virtually no negotiating power. You could end up paying tens of thousands too much without even knowing it!
At Haven Advocates we have a network of quality builders wanting to quote on your project. We also save them time by providing them with a full breakdown of quantities in your project. Often they just need to calculate the margin and your quote is done! We can also negotiate on your behalf from an informed position meaning we know what it should cost, making sure you get the best possible value for money from quality builder’s that you can trust.
Paying too much for your extension
This may seem simple but it is all too common and when we are talking about contracts in the hundreds of thousands it can be extremely costly. The fact is that most home owners just don’t know how much things should cost. Simple price /m2 calculations really aren’t accurate and the variables are too great to provide you with any certainty. At Haven Advocates, our aim is to arm you with the knowledge, support, and confidence to ensure you are paying a fair and realistic price for your extension.
Progress payments and contracts
This is one of the biggest traps homeowners can fall into. Front ended progress payments leave you vulnerable to builders going broke and leaving you with a potential of “paying twice” to complete the job. It also allows the builder to drag out the completion by removing the financial incentive to do so. Haven Advocates will assist with the progress payment schedules to ensure you are only paying what you should, when you should. We can also arrange for inspections by independent builders to ensure the defined stages have actually been met.
Building contracts are also very complex. If you're like most and things like Povisional sums and liquidated damages are somewhat foreign to you, then that's where Haven Advocates can help. We cut through the jargon and give you the piece of mind of fully understanding what you are signing up to.