The Price Illusion

Choosing a builder can be a little like playing the dating game. Some builders will work hard to make a great first impression, but you might be disappointed to find out things aren’t as they seem as time goes on.

Where many come across this dilemma is the issue of price. It’s easy to produce a low quote, while all those add-ons keep, well—adding on.

What to look for:

As a buyer, it’s important to know what your quote should include. 

  • Does it account for all the products and systems that will go into your new home? What about the costs required to build your home—the permits, warranties, insurance and certifications? Any exclusions should be clearly noted.
  • Upgrades are another area to pay attention to. Are the products and systems quoted the cheapest of the cheap? Chances are, you’ll want to make at least a few upgrades to your house plans. When a builder quotes in the mid-range instead of the low range, you’ll get a more realistic price.
  • Is the builder quoting according to the National Building Code of Canada’s standards—the bare minimum—or above code? Building above code is recommended for a better-quality home, though it might cost more upfront.

What else to consider:

An accurate, detailed quote should be between 20-30 pages in length. Once signed, it becomes part of your contract. No further change should be made without an approved change order, detailing the change to be made and the cost to do so.

Your quote is also used to direct the trades working on your home, so an inaccurate quote could lead to more inaccuracies as your home is built.

The bottom line is, a quote that’s produced simply to hook you on a low, unrealistic price does no one any favors. From the dating world to the homebuilding world, if something seems too good to be true—it probably is.
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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I am still amazed at how this house came together. This house was simply a design I had sketched on paper, and your team made it a reality.



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