There is no such thing as a standard construction tender or a template that every builder uses.  So essentially, you are looking at a very different document every single time.

Tring to compare these documents so you can understand the builder’s inclusions & exclusions is a very difficult task.  It’s so confusing – almost like these bank documents or your private health policy documents.  They are almost designed to confuse you with all the fine print and terminology.

But fear not, there are lots of builders out there who do present very clear and concise tenders.  You just have to find them.

While we are not going to compare every tender out there, we are going to discuss 3 tricky words in your building tender in this blog.

It would work for you to really understand them, their relevance and consequences.

Keyword 1:  Provisional Allowances

A Provisional Allowance is an allowance that can increase or decrease at anytime, and you can do NOTHING about it.  Therefore a Provisional Allowance is the opposite definition of Fixed Price.  Please refer to my blog on Provisional Allowance for more details.

You want to be careful of these words because you are essentially writing a blank cheque to your builder and telling him:  “please name your price!”.

Now some costs can only be a provisional allowance however a lot of costs do not need to be a provisional allowance.  It’s important that you understand why the specified costs are provisional and verify that they have to be through your own research.

Keyword 2:  Please Note

I see these two words in a lot of tenders.  Honestly, they even confuse me.

Are you noting something that is included or not included?  If something is included, then write “included”.  Transparency is key when it comes to tenders.  If you come across any builder who is not 100% transparent, I would suggest that you walk away immediately.

If you want to let me know about something, then write the statement and state next to it whether you have accounted for that note or not in your final build cost.  Most tenders I come across in my research have this “Please Note” next to an exclusion.  I know it’s an exclusion because I work in the industry however it is so cleverly worded that would have any mom & dad clueless.

Keyword 3:  Terms & Conditions

While most builders stipulate their inclusions & exclusions in their tenders, terms and conditions generally contain items the builder has not included or not included enough of a particular items.   For example:  if a builder does not include sufficient piering in their tender, they will make a note regarding the cost of extra piering should they need to charge you extra.

Their Terms & Conditions section will generally include notes (“please note” notes) that you want to be aware of upfront and make sure that you are comfortable with before proceeding any further.

A Note

The whole idea behind this blog is to make sure that you have certainty around your tender document.  Whether builders use the above words or other variations; you have to make sure you understand their inclusions or exclusions.

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