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Congratulations! You’ve decided to build your own home. You may have already imagined the kids playing in the pool or your neighbours coming over for a backyard barbecue, but before you get too carried away daydreaming, there’s the small matter of building the house first. Sure, it can feel a little overwhelming at first, but you can lessen the stress and make the experience easier on yourself and your family by being on the lookout for signs of a DUD. DUDs are Dishonest, Unethical, Deceitful tenders. That’s right, tenders that are misleading about what’s included and what’s not. Keep your eyes peeled for these red flags which can alert you to a DUD.

Provisional allowances

Also known as PA’s, you’ll want to see as few of these as possible in your contract or you could end up paying a lot more down the track. Typically included as ‘allowances’ for work, materials, or both, PA’s are costs that can’t be determined at the time of entering the contract. For example, a block of land may look like there will be minimal siteworks required, however the discovery of concealed rock foundations could quickly cause your budget to blow out.

Routine site costs

Savvy buyers do their homework and know what site costs a builder must legally include in the contract. If they’re not all there, you’ll want to know why. Sad but true, some builders ‘forget’ to include mandatory site cost information to make their price look more attractive. Beware - it can be very inconvenient, sometimes impossible, to obtain further finance during construction.

Put it to the test

Until a thorough contour, soil and site survey of the block has been conducted, you’re not going to have a clear picture of the pricing. Costs can’t be fixed until a thorough investigation is complete because, until then, you simply won’t know if you’re about to build on rock or sand. Don’t believe it if you’re told otherwise.

Free site surveys

Known in the business as a ‘drive by’, that’s pretty much what a free site survey entails for some less than exemplary builders. A fixed price cannot be determined from this kind of exercise; it’s imperative that the builder has accurate information of the land - and that means getting out of the car for starters.

Added Essentials

Has fixed piering or drop edge beams been included in your contract? Ensuring your home is perfectly level and stable from the outset could save you a landslide of costs later on. It’s also worth checking whether your contract includes a price for spoil removal as builders will often ask clients to remove their excess spoil. Everything that’s dug out of the ground has got to go somewhere, so you’ll want to know in advance what those costs will be.

With so many pitfalls to avoid, it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to build with Eden Brae Homes. That’s because our upfront pricing during the tender stage means you’ll be fully in the know about build costs and we ensure there is no more to pay during construction so there are no nasty surprises. Our house and land packages are also a true fixed price, so all site costs - the driveway, home finishes and fixtures, even a BASIX certificate (guaranteeing your home benefits from better energy and water efficiency) is included. In other words, we give you the confidence that you can keep within your budget. When you build with Eden Brae, you really can’t go wrong!

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