Checking over the 'Not Included' list
Every tender that you request from a builder will contain a ‘not included’ or excluded items list. This list outlines everything that has been excluded from the price. This list is the most important part of your tender. The excluded items list is most often the place where additional or hidden costs come from later in the building process. Here is everything you need to know when it comes to not included lists for your new home.
Review & Understand
It is essential that you understand the entire tender and all of the inclusions… and for most home builders this is the focus. It is equally important, however, to fully understand the items on the not included list. There are two main things that you should look out for: items that may be essential to the build, and items on your wish list.
NOT INCLUDED: ITEMS ESSENTIAL TO THE BUILD
The first thing to be warey of are items that are critical and cannot be gone without during the construction process. These are items that required by law when certain conditions that effect your block. These include salinity in the soil, where the dwelling will reside within certain proximity to the ocean, or if there is a high fire danger. These vary from block to block and some lots of land are not even be affected by these conditions. This is why builders often exclude these items, especially if they’re not aware of them applying to you.
Here are some items you should look out for (as they may not be included in the price):
- The ‘Class’ of slab
- The type of bricks and cladding
- The type of glass of the windows and doors
- Flyscreens, and
- The quality of door seals and weather guards
- Section 94 Contribution (Dual Occupancy only)
- Section 73 Contribution (Dual Occupancy only)
If you are unsure if you block has any special conditions, talk to your builder. They will be able to advise you if it is worth ordering tests or reports to check for these special conditions.
It may also be necessary to check through any ‘Site Costs’ sections of your tender. If a builder has been very specific in the details throughout their tender, they may not have a need to put these items on the ‘not included’ list. In every case, also check the type or identified quality of materials. If you have any questions about the quality of materials listed, ask your builder.
NOT INCLUDED: ITEMS ON YOUR WISH LIST
There are also items or features that are more close to home that you should look out for. Every individual and family will have different items or features in their home that are essential or normal to them. Because they are normal, we often forget that they might not be included in a normal Tender.
In the lead up to requesting tenders it is important to pay close attention to the features of your home that you have become accustomed to and the features that you really would like to avoid this time around. There is no list of things to look out for – these are purely personal preferences. Here is a list of some of the most common preferences we see in our office:
- That the bedroom is either specifically at the front or back of the home
- That the laundry is a particular shape or size and contains a certain amount of cupboards
- The look and colour of the Ceasarstone (not everyone realises that while Ceasarstone is included, they are still required to select from a range)
- The type of front door that is included (not just the size!)
- Floor to ceiling tiles in the bathrooms
- Mirrored splashbacks to the kitchen
- Freestanding bath
- Higher ceilings
- Driveway (or the style of driveway allowed for)
- Kitchen cupboard handles (the style included)
- The style of doors to the robes
While these items may be included, your personal preference may not be included.
WHAT DO I DO?
Before you receive the Tender, make a list (and yes, I mean actually write it down) of all of the little things that you need to ensure your house is a home. Go into as much detail as possible because you will refer to this once you receive the different tenders. What you want to be included, what you don’t mind to be excluded, specific features and elements, and points that you have identified need to be reviewed (such as slab, piering, brick range, floor coverings, etc.).
Do not give this list to you builder just yet!
Each builder has a different process and will add your preferences in at different times. At Simone Homes, the tender you have requested will determine when in the process we discuss all of your personalisations. Sometimes it is in the first scoping meeting, other times it is after the first Tender is presented. Either way, we will work with you to ensure that we get every little detail included for you.
Once you get the tender, take time to review all of the points and make a single list of questions for your builder. Use the list you made originally as a checklist for what you want your tender to include. Organise a time to sit with your builder and address each of the questions that you have. This will make it easier for both you and the builder to keep track of any changes or concerns that you have. At Simone Homes, we find that this way is easier for everyone and that our clients feel more reassured.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY BUILDER CAN’T ANSWER SOME OF MY QUESTIONS???
There are heaps of instances where the builder may not be able to give you an answer. This is because there are so many elements and considerations that go into building each home.
If you have questions that the builder cannot answer, ask the how they can go about getting an answer for you. Sometimes it is a simple as your builder wanting to double check something with your local council first or they might require testing to be complete. Make a note of the questions that are pending and ask your builder to follow them up for you.
The building process is incredibly detailed! Do not be afraid to make notes about the different things you have discussed with your builder so that you can reference them later down the track. However, things do change throughout the building process. Sometimes an answer may be correct one day and several weeks later the answer has changed.
When discuss a change with your builder it is only official once it is in a signed document. This is why we suggest keeping notes and making one question list per tender – to ensure that nothing is missed when doing variations.
HAVE TRUST IN YOUR BUILDER
You should feel comfortable talking to your builder about what is and is not included. We really don’t like when hidden costs pop up during a job. Unexpected things happen. But we do whatever we can to ensure each client has a tailor made experience.
Trust your builder and work with them, and before you know it you’ll be living in your dream home!