Lowest Quote Versus Best Value

When Builder A provides you with a quote that is much lower than Builder B, you might think you’re getting a great deal—but a great deal doesn’t necessarily equal great value.

In this situation, it’s important to ask yourself, “How did Builder A come up with a price that is much lower than Builder B?”

Commonly, the answer is either:

  • Discrepancies in plans and specifications: Plans and specifications do not always clearly state every single product the homeowner wants in the home. In the early phase of the building process, it is understandable that you don’t know everything that is going into your home. For that reason, some builders will choose the most cost-effective products for their quote, rather than quoting on average product prices.
  •  Quoting as per the National Building Code, rather than above the National Building Code: The National Building Code is a minimum standard for new home construction. A good builder will build above the code, to enhance the quality of your home. Almost all products and systems have a good, better, and best option, which can vary significantly in price.

To get the most accurate quote, you should communicate very clearly with the builder about what you want in your new home. Provide the builder with as much information as you can at the time, and ask any questions you have.

Then, be sure to review your quote very carefully. Ask questions yet again, so you fully understand the various products and systems the builder has incorporated in the quote. If necessary, ask for more details before you say “yes.” An accurate, detailed quote should be 20 to 30 pages and must form part of the actual building contract.

Finally, before making your final decision, it’s a good idea to see what past and current clients have to say about your potential builder. Client testimonials offer great assurance that the builder is reputable and committed to finishing the job. Your potential builder should not only provide you with client testimonials, but should also offer to set up meetings with past clients to discuss their building experience.

The more information you have available to you, the more prepared you will be to decide which quote offers the best value, even if it’s not the lowest price.

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 were not only looking for a contractor, we were looking for a partnership. Lana and I feel very thankful to have found that partnership with Sawlor Construction.

Claude & Lana

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