You want to renovate your home and you wonder “How do I choose the right design and construction company for the job?”
I’m frequently asked this very question at barbecues with friends and other informal and formal gatherings. Here’s my answer.
Let me begin by telling you a quick story. Way back in 1978, I obtained my Builder’s Licence 27370.
Up until 1984, I would source my work from local newspaper ads and from recommendations from architects. In those years, I had completed works for 26 different architects.
I got the jobs by tendering on various projects, so the price was always at the forefront.
Price Differences With Separate Designer and Builder Companies
When tendering on a job, the builder would not include the following cost items which were labelled “preliminaries” which were already paid for by the customer:
- Plan preparation
- Council and water board fees
- Structural Engineer fees
- BASIX certificate
- Survey Fees
- Home Owners Warranty Insurance
- Colour Consultant fees
- Long Service Payments Corporation Levy
What this means for clients is that they would spend $20 – 30k engaging an architect just to get them an approval. Then, they would then spend another $20 – 30k on preliminaries. Once they get the approval, they would then begin the stressful task of finding a builder to do the job for a very low budget.
Stressful times indeed. One common complaint I always hear from customers goes something like this: “You know when we first met the architect two years ago, we always said that our budget was $200 – $250k and here we are doing the job for $320k – you had the lowest tender we know.”
It was always the same story that’s heavy with disappointment, that I would hear before commencing the building job.
I would receive many inquiries from people who wanted to do a job but had no plans. To which I would suggest that they have a plan drawn up and approved before I could give them a quote for the building job.
The Birth of Add-Style Home Additions, Design and Construction Company
Around about 1983, Tim Hookins was introduced to me by a mutual friend. He was an architect who had just moved into the Manly area and was looking for work.
I immediately started sending Tim leads of people who would call me with no plans. He would then prepare plans and in some instances get the approval.
After a short time, Tim and I recognised that there was an opportunity to set up a Design & Construct building company, combining our designing and building expertise.
At the time there was little opposition. The largest company at the time was Westaways, but they had no design skills whatsoever, which put us in an advantageous position.
We started in about 1984 as “Handley Hookins Home.” In 1985, we changed the name to Add-Style Home Additions.
By signing us up to work on your project, you enjoy the following:
Honest estimation of fees
Since we have the capability from the onset, we know exactly where we are going and how much it will cost down the road. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, it’s easier to accurately determine how much the project will cost.
With a design and construction company, you get a clear specification and estimate of what the costs will be. And you can trust that we will work according to your budget.
Here at Add-Style, we accept fixed price agreements.
We are clear about what is and isn’t included in the project. You will not be forced to release funds until you feel confident and happy with the proposal.
There will be no surprises and you will not be caught off guard by ballooning costs.
Design and construction companies are transparent so clients easily understand the process and know what’s going on. We will involve you in the design process. We understand how much this project matters to you.
No surprise charges
We include all of the above preliminaries in all our proposals. We give so much more attention to pricing and scheduling early on in the design phase that there’s not much room for surprises.
No costly errors
For a design and construction company, errors are our responsibility and not yours, so you can rest assured that mistakes are caught and kept to a minimum if they even happen at all.
No passing the buck
Lastly, a design and construction company has a single point of contact responsible for the entire project. To have only one company accountable for everything means there is no passing the buck which happens more often than you think.
Going by the traditional route, there’s always someone blaming the architect or the engineer, and so on.
So, here we are today, 32 years later doing what we had set out to do way back, with the same spotless track record, an impressive portfolio, and client testimonials you can review.
Add-Style will simplify what could otherwise be a lengthy and stressful process of undergoing a home renovation.
We are dedicated to design and build a home that you envision, without stress, overruns, and multiple contractors.
Contact us now and see for yourself how we do things differently at Add-Style!