Step-by-Step guide to compare price quotes of builders

It’s no secret that the turnkey construction market in India is very unorganised. Every builder or contractor quotes the price in his own way. The main issue which emerges and which was also initially experienced by a lot of our current clients is that how do you compare a price quote given by an organized player like Shree Sharda with other builders and contractors. We have tried to put our thoughts into words which have also helped a lot our clients till now and we hope that it will help you too. Here’s a step-by-step guide which you can follow to compare the price quotes given by different builders and contractors.

Step 1:

Ask for the home construction price quote in writing with clear set of inclusions and exclusion.

Whenever you ask a builder or a contractor for a price quote don’t accept a quote which is given by him verbally. Ask the builder to give you the quote in writing and clarify whether this estimate could change in the future or not. Also, ask for a clear set of specifications in writing which the builder promises to deliver within the price quote.

This will have two benefits for you:

1. A lot of local builders and contractors give a low cost per sq. feet for construction initially and then escalate the prices in the middle of the timeline. So getting the price in writing will give you the right idea from the beginning itself.

2. You get a specification sheet clearly specifying the inclusions in your home which you can use to compare different builders.

If the builder or contractor is not ready to share the detailed specification sheet and the construction price quote in writing then it makes no sense to even consider them to build your dream home.

Step 2:

Find the differences between the specifications given by different builders and assign monetary value to the extra items.

Suppose you find that one builder is costlier than the other. To pinpoint the price difference compare the specification sheets provided by both the builders. You can follow the below-given steps to compare the specifications on a broad level:

1. Check what Brand of UPVC windows are provided by both the builders. It might happen that Builder A is providing Fenesta UPVC windows while another is providing local UPVC windows. Now you know why Builder A is expensive than Builder B.

2. If both Builders are providing Fenesta UPVC windows then compare the technical details of both. Builder A might be providing you with a particular model of Fenesta UPVC windows with integrated bug mesh while the other might be providing the same without the bug mesh. This shows why Builder A is expensive than Builder B.

3. Suppose that both Builders are providing you with the same model of Fenesta UPVC windows then it might be the case that Builder A is providing you with large sliding windows while Builder B is providing small windows in the rooms. This pinpoints the reason why Builder A is expensive than Builder B in case of windows.

*Actual Project pictures.
We provide large Fenesta UPVC windows inside our homes to allow ample natural light and ventilation throughout the day.

This is just an example. In real life, there can be numerous such items and the comparison activity might require some effort on your end but considering the fact that it’s a big investment don’t ignore this step. Also, if you’ve collected the specification sheets from multiple builders then please feel free talk to our home consultants and they’ll be happy to do the comparison activity for you.

Step 3:

Go beyond the specification sheet. Try assigning a monetary value to the quality best practices which are used by a builder.

Comparison of the specification sheet should be a mandatory step in your research process. But we want you to go one step beyond the specification sheets while comparing the builders. To take an example, a car having good engine capacity, horsepower, boot space, mileage, etc. might seem to be a great car as per the specifications but might not last for years to come because quality assurance procedures were not followed during the manufacturing of the car.

Similarly, just because a builder looks good on the specification sheet doesn’t mean that he can build a home which can last for generations. This is because, overall quality and life of a home doesn’t merely depend on the things mentioned in the specification sheet but also involves a lot of small things and procedures which are not mentioned in it. This is exactly the reason you will find a lot of homes in Delhi NCR which are built with great specifications on paper but look like they’re years old just after a year of being built and develop issues like cracks, seepage, etc. That is exactly why small things not mentioned in the specification sheet also might matter a lot in determining the age and quality of construction of your home.

To explain in more detail let’s take examples of the procedures we at Shree Sharda Homes follow to provide with a superior quality home which are not mentioned in the specification sheet:

1. Soil testing:

Not many builders/contractors conduct soil testing of the plot before starting the construction of a home. However, soil testing is a very important step and in most international markets you are not even allowed to begin construction before conducting soil testing. Even though it is not mandatory in India still we at Shree Sharda conduct soil testing as the first step to ensure that your dream home is safe for years to come.

*Actual Project pictures.

2. Use of curing compound:

Using curing compound on concrete structures replaces the traditional process of tarai where water is sprinkled on the concrete for 7-15 days. Tarai causes quality inconsistencies being a manual process with no quality specifications defined. We use high quality curing compound to preserve the moisture in concrete so that it obtains its required strength planned during structure design.

*Actual Project pictures..

3. Use of shuttering oil in slab casting:

Your builder may be using a good quality concrete for slab casting but that doesn’t ensure good quality surface finish. We coat our stuttering with high-quality oil before the slab is cast, to get a good quality finish in the slab surface after shuttering is removed.

4. Use of ply based shuttering for slab casting:

Even though using ply based shuttering is expensive we still use it because it provides better quality finish in the slab as compared to using metal shuttering.

*Actual Project pictures.

5. Use of ready-mix plaster:

As ready mix plaster comes in bags directly from the manufacturing company, mixed with a set ratio of water and applied on the walls it gives consistent results and gives no chance to anyone to tinker with the quality.

6. Structural design by renowned structural consultants:

The structures of all our homes are designed by renowned structural consultants who are thoroughly experienced. Mr. Wathe is a B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D from IIT Delhi and have designed a number of prestigious residential, commercial and industrial projects for renowned clients such as Ansal API, Parsvnath Developers Limited, CPWD, Fortis Healthcare Ltd., Tata Housing Development Company, Emaar MGF, etc.

*Actual Project pictures.

7. Use of Chicken mesh in walls:

To increase the durability of the walls we put chicken mesh on them before putting the plaster. This ensures that the walls do not develop cracks and there are fewer chances of water seepage in the future. Walls built with mesh will be stronger and will require less maintenance than the ones built without it.

8. Flexible Pipes > Lesser joints> No Seepage:

Everyone promises good quality plumbing and even mention the brand name of the fittings in the specification sheet. But we are constantly on the lookout for better alternatives to existing items. As a result of our efforts, we discovered Jindal MLC pipes in the market which are produced with the latest German Technology. The pipes can be easily bent at different angles, unlike CPVC pipes which cannot be bent and require joints for changing direction. Due to lesser number of joints chances of leakage/seepage is very low.

Similarly, there are hundreds of other small points which define the quality of construction of your home. Going for excellent quality of specifications can ensure that your home looks good on the outside but the inherent strength and quality of the home depends on such small points as discussed above. Talk with your builder today and understand how he ensures good quality of construction of your home.

*Actual Project pictures.

Step 4:

Compare the move-in dates provided by different builders and factor in the extra rent too.

If the builders you’ve been talking to have given a completion date on your home then how confident are you on their promise? Moreover what monetary value do you ascribe to getting your dream home delivered on an assured date? Because any extension in the move-in date will mean that you’ll have to pay extra rent plus deal with the hassles of living in a rented house. Therefore, it makes no sense to choose a builder just because he’s quoting a lesser price for construction at the risk of late delivery. Shortlist a builder who is ready to sign a turnkey home construction agreement where he mentions the exact date of delivery. At Shree Sharda we take just 14 months to build and deliver your home and mention the exact date of delivery on the turnkey agreement we sign with you.

*Actual Project pictures.

Step 5:

According to an article in Times of India, 45% of the cases in consumer forum are against builders. Assign a value to the trustworthiness of a builder/contractor too to save yourself from legal, financial and emotional hassles.

It’s a good sign that your builder or contractor is ready to sign a turnkey agreement with you. It increases the chances that the builder will deliver on his promises but it still doesn’t give you a 100% surety. What are the chances that your builder will honor the agreement if anything goes wrong? Just to explain to you the seriousness of the issue, according to an article in times of India, 45% cases in consumer forum are against builders.

Many of these people would have also signed the contract, but it’s clear that the contract alone doesn’t bind the builders to their promises. Moreover, another leading news and media website mentions that the cases in consumer court can take an average three to four years normally to get resolved. This can be an emotionally and financially devastating period for your family where not only you will have to wait to live in your own home but you’ll also have to fight a legal battle against your builder.

*Actual Project pictures.

Therefore, it’s always better to go with a builder who is professional, trustworthy and someone who really cares about their brand and reputation in the market. The best judge of all these factors are the existing clients of the builder. Make it a point to talk to at least two previous clients of the builder before finalizing him. Doing this will give you confidence in the promises of the builder and might save you from the legal, financial and emotional hassles later on in your journey towards your dream home.

Step 6:

Assign a value to the warranty provided by builders before comparing.

Another factor which you should consider while comparing builders it that whether the builder is giving warranty or not. Also, confirm on which aspects of the home is the builder giving the warranty on. This is necessary to ensure that you don’t face undue hassles after you’ve started to live in your home. Shree Sharda gives you a 1-year Functional Warranty thereby providing you with a hassle-free experience both during and after building your home. What monetary value would you give to the warranty after all?

Step 7:

Assign a monetary value to your time. Choose a builder who values your time and provides a completely hassle-free home building experience.

There is a general sentiment in the market that home building is a complicated process and full of hassles. This is because most of the builders make the process very difficult and cumbersome for their clients. Your home building experience totally depends on the professionalism of the builder and the procedures he has in place to make your life easier. Make sure that when you’re comparing builders you ascribe some value on this aspect too. Your whole family will be involved in the home building process and imagine what will happen if you choose a builder who quotes the least price of the lot but makes lives difficult for your whole family for the next 14-18 months. We at Shree Sharda have carefully created a lot of procedures which will save you time and make your home building experience a completely hassle-free one, some of them are mentioned below: