Price Versus Value

It can be tempting to go with the builder offering the lowest quote, but the lowest quote doesn’t always mean the lowest final price or the best value.

When one builder gives you a quote that’s much lower than another, it’s important to ask yourself – “What is the quote missing?”

Here are a few things to look for or discuss with the builder:

Realistic Product Prices

In the early stages of the building process, it’s understandable that you don’t know every product that will go into your home. For that reason, some builders will quote on the lowest-priced products available, rather than quoting on average product prices. With good, better and best options available for most products, a quote that incorporates only “good” products isn’t necessarily realistic.

Provide the builder with as much detail as you can about what you’d like in your new home, and ask the builder for a range of product options so you can get a clear idea of what your preferred products cost.

Whether the Quote Meets or Exceeds National Building Code Standards

The National Building Code is the minimum standard for new home construction. A good builder will build above the code, to produce a higher quality home.

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Established Brands and Energy Efficient Products

Trusted brands often perform better and have more extensive warranties than lesser known brands. Spending more for quality products could mean avoiding the hassle and higher cost of repairing or replacing a poorly made option. When it comes to home products and systems, the old saying “you get what you pay for” is often true.

This applies to energy efficient products and practices, too. While you might pay more for an energy efficient product up front, you’ll actually save money in the long run and just as importantly, increase the comfort of your home.

Reputable Trades

Don’t be afraid to ask a builder about the trades they use. You’ll want to ensure your builder is working with reputable trades who will do quality work on your home.

Positive Testimonials

Before making your final decision, it’s a good idea to talk to the builder’s past and current clients. A builder should readily provide client testimonials and offer to set up meetings with clients, so you can discuss their building experience. This will help you feel confident that you’ve chosen a builder who focuses on value and not just price.

Take the time to review your quote carefully. Ask questions if you don’t fully understand the products and systems the builder has included in the quote. An accurate, detailed quote should be 20 to 30 pages long and must form part of the building contract.

When you focus on quality rather than the lowest price, you’ll not only receive a more accurate quote and a higher quality home, you'll receive an enjoyable home building experience as well!

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Keith Sawlor Sawlor Built Homes Custom Home Builder in Nova Scotia

Keith Sawlor

Keith Sawlor is the second generation Owner of Sawlor Built Homes. With more than 35 years experience building custom homes in Nova Scotia, Keith has built a team that mirrors his professional knowledge and values.

Keith is a Certified Residential Builder who is also certified with many leading industry organizations. He is a Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified Builder, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Certified Builder, a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) R-2000 Certified Builder, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Keith is a Board Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program as well as the Canadian Home Builders' Association Nova Scotia. He is involved in many other industry programs and associations, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National, Safety Services Nova Scotia and Better Business Bureau.


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We are very satisfied that we chose Sawlor Construction Limited to build our new home.The craftsmanship and high quality of workmanship is quite evident throughout the house.

Dave & Gerri

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