• Ben and Lisa Meader

What's Your Budget - Why Builders Ask The Question

If you’ve ever worked with a builder, you’ve probably encountered the awkward- “what’s your budget?” moment. Many clients find this question confronting or even rude, but the truth is it’s absolutely necessary for your builder to understand your budget so they can create a home that fits your specifications.

Many people worry that if they reveal their actual budget to a builder, they will then increase the prices to try and make more money from your project. If you’re working with a reputable and trustworthy builder, this will never be an issue.

If you don’t trust your builder with your genuine budget from the beginning, you probably shouldn’t be considering building with them. It’s essential that you and your builder trust each other and foster a relationship build on honesty and transparency. Here are just a few of the main reasons your builder needs to know your budget:

1. Save Time and Money

Generating a quote is a lengthy process that requires your builder to thoroughly assess all facets of your project to provide viable options to fulfil your plans. A realistic quote can only be created if you are open with your builder.

Most builders these days also require payment for a quote, due to the amount of time and research that goes into creating one. By giving false information, you are essentially throwing away money that could be invested into your build.

If your builder doesn’t have any specifications to work towards or worse, you give them a misleading budget figure, the entire process can be a complete waste of everyone's time. Your builder will spend many hours developing a quote that suits your unique project, so if you haven’t been truthful in supplying the information that underpins this, there is really no point in beginning the process.

2. Trust is Essential

Bringing your project to life won’t happen overnight. The building process takes time which is why it’s important to establish a good relationship with your builder right away, based on trust and transparency.

Your builder will tell you if you have unrealistic expectations, but they will also work tirelessly to get the best out of your budget. By being upfront about how much you’re willing or able to spend, you can avoid delays, setbacks, frustrations and disappointments from derailing progress once the project has already commenced.

All of this, of course, relies on picking the right builder who has the right experience and is renowned for quality work. Sometimes that means investing a little more of your budget into finding the right builder but saves you in the long term. If one builder is charging significantly less than the rest, chances are high that you’re going to end up paying hidden costs down the line. Not to mention that a good builder will build your project to ensure that it will last for generations to come, using only the finest materials and employing quality craftsmanship at every step.

3. Prioritising Needs vs Wants

If you’re transparent with your builder about how much you can or are willing to spend on your project, you can ensure the budget you’re setting will meet your needs and desires.

A builder may also ask you to develop a ‘needs, wants and wishes’ list. Your ‘needs’ are the must-haves inclusions of your project that your builder will factor into your quote whereas, your ‘wants’ are things that arent 100% essential but your builder will work into your quote if the budget allows for it.

3. Alternative Options

Always take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of your builder, no one knows the construction industry like them. Supplying accurate information is a guaranteed pathway to maximising their potential.

The more your builder understands about you and your budget, the more likely it is that they can find you an affordable result that works for everyone. Also providing them detailed specifications to work off, allows them to bring you additional options and suggestions that may be suitable for your project. They can then offer material and design alternatives to help you cut costs where possible, which may allow the inclusions of additional items from your ‘needs’ list.

4. Value Add

If your builder knows exactly what they’re working toward and has a good understanding of the scope of your project, they can then lookout for ways to add value to your project. This could be something from your ‘wishes’ list or even something you hadn’t considered as an option. Any good builder should be on the hunt for ways to value add to your project from the very beginning.

5. Collaboration with a Common Goal

Your project is a collaboration between you and your builder. You should always keep in mind that both of you are working together with a common goal in place. To avoid disappointment and ensure everything runs smoothly, communication is key.

Your builder is there to help you oversee, coordinate and complete the project for you. By giving them your budget early, you are providing them with an integral tool to help them accomplish your dream.

Whether you’re planning a renovation or extension or a brand new custom home, it’s important to raise the topic of budget promptly to ensure a successful build.

In Summary

Share your budget upfront. Be open and honest about it. This way your builder can work with you to get the best outcomes. You’ll get the best advice this way, and save everyone time and energy.


At Meader Constructions we take pride in quality workmanship and honesty. To find out more about how Meader Constructions can create your project that falls within your budget, get in touch with us today.

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