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Every builder has different inclusions – there is no such thing as a “standard” set of inclusions across all builders.
Every builder builds slightly different and finishes his / her homes in a slightly different manner. So it’s safe to say that you cannot categorically (and to a 100% accuracy) compare builders apple-to-apple.
However you can get pretty close.
Now some (not all) builders can be very clever with what they include / not include as part of their “standard” inclusions. They may include items in a specific section of the home that are incomplete. For example: they may include a kitchen (they kind of have to) but they may not include the overhead cupboards.
Fun Fact: one of the major builders actually don’t include overheard cupboards to their kitchen as part of their “standard” inclusions. How scary is that?!!!
So here are some “clever” inclusions that you have no choice but to “upgrade” to get the full or at least consistent finish to your home. The reason they do it this way is to
- make their inclusions / promos look great by highlighting what little they include and
- keep the price down upfront and have you upgrade once you are locked in.
It’s also worth noting that you should look at my blog on the 3 tricky words in your Building Tender which is very much relevant to this topic.
So let’s have a look at 5 of these tricky builder inclusions that you need to be aware of!
Tricky Inclusion #1: Soft Close
A builder may include this: “Soft Close to all cupboards to your Kitchen”. Now this is great, but what about the drawers? What about pantry doors?
So you get to your selection sessions and they tell you “oh by the way, your kitchen cupboards will be soft close but your drawers will not. That will be $5,000 (or whatever the cost might be)”.
Tricky Inclusion #2: Kitchen Stone
Oh this is my favorite inclusion: “20mm stone to your kitchen island”. Excellent, how about the rest of the Kitchen? No??? Ok then, what about my butler’s pantry?
You have to really read the inclusions list properly otherwise you are asking for trouble. If you are lucky enough to pick this up, leave whatever moneys you paid the builder and just walk away. If they do this, what else are they doing???
If you are going to include stone, do it to the entire Kitchen or don’t do it at all. Or at least be clear and transparent with it, point it out so people do not make assumptions about it.
Tricky Inclusion #3: High Doors
This is another one that lots of builders use. Their inclusions would have: “High 2340 doors to all of your bedrooms”. Ok, so what about my bathroom doors? How about my theatre room or robe doors? Surely you will include the linen doors, right?
Like you are upgrading my bedrooms and you will leave the rest of my home with shorter doors? So my home will look like the picture below… I don’t know about you, but that is NOT a good look. Wouldn’t you agree?
Tricky Inclusion #4: Vanity Stone
I have seen this numerous times: “Upgraded 20mm stone to your ensuite vanity”. Ok so what about my bathroom vanity? Powder room? Surely you will include the stone to my ground floor ensuite?
If you cannot tell my sarcasm, but this makes me mad and it should make you mad too!!!
Tricky Inclusion #5: Full Height Tiling
Another inclusions to be aware of is: “Upgraded full height tiling to your bathroom”. As in singular bathroom…
What about my ensuite? How about the powder room? So you are expecting me, Mr Builder, to have ONE bathroom with full height tiling and the rest with basic tiles to skirting level? Oh common now Jack!!!
Now you may decide that you are ok with that and you don’t have to have soft close to everything in your kitchen or only have a 20mm stone to kitchen island but not the rest of the kitchen. You are looking at the price tag and you are going: this is a pretty awesome and cheap deal.
But let me ask you this: if they are willing to compromise like that in your inclusions, what else are they willing to compromise on?
It would be worthwhile to check their terms and conditions at this point to make sure you do not miss anything!!!
Tricky inclusions are massive red flags and the builder providing them should be automatically excluded from your shortlist.