FAQ's

WHAT GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS DO WE SERVICE?

Although we can work all over Sydney, we prefer to work within the Inner West of Sydney (IWS). If we work outside of this area, additional transport time costs may apply.  See the map below for the coverage range of IWS.

Inner West Sydney Service Map
DO WE NEED INSURANCE?

For work to the value of 20k or more including GST, you will be eligible for Home Builders Warranty Insurance. This provides the property owner with 6 years warranty on major defects and two years for other losses from the date of completion of work.  

As a homeowner, you can read more on HBC here.

Sydney Circle is eligible for this insurance and as part of our contract phase, we will provide an estimate on what this insurance will cost. No matter who you work with, you should always ask for proof of this insurance cover before the work commences. 

DO WE PROVIDE FREE QUOTES?

Yes, we do. However we do ask you respect that quotes do take time to prepare; particularly on large renovations, it can quite literally be days of estimations if multiple trades and supply is required i.e. windows etc..

In order to get a quote we will need:

  1. To do a site inspection - including taking photo's.
  2. To have any architectural plans/drawing, including those submitted for any relevant and approved DA's and full schedules.
  3. A clear understanding of how you would prefer to work the project i.e. you are buying all items such as the toilets, accessories, tiles and we are doing the structural and trade work. However you want to work it, we can help, however setting these understandings early will certainly help on the quoting process. 
  4. Your expectations on timelines for beginning the project and desirable end dates. 
DO WE PROVIDE CONTRACTS?

For work over 20k, best practice is to have a contract in place to protect both parties which includes home builders warranty insurance. You can only get this insurance if you are working with a builder who is licensed and eligible for it. 

There are two types of contracts that are typical, as outlined below. 

Fixed Price Contract

A "fixed price contract" typically is just that, a fixed set price based on your original plans and decisions. It includes some allowances for unforeseen time blow outs and the positive to the home owner is it ensures you are aware of your progress payments and final cost. Lots of homeowners prefer this contract as they feel a sense of security and comfort, particularly if they do not fully trust their builder - which is an issue in itself.

The common fallacy around the fixed price contract is that clients feel that it will give a sense of guarantee around the project running on time, as the builder would be losing money on the job if it ran overtime. But this is completely untrue.  Of course builders wish to achieve or come under targets for time, as its in the best interest for everyone. But if there job is delayed due to weather, client variations, and unforeseen issues; they typically have other work at various stages to keep them going.  

The negatives for the homeowner with a fixed price contract also include: 

  • If you change your mind along the way on any of your original decisions, this will require a contract variation which may slow the project down and cost you considerably more.
    • For example; the standard Fair Trading contract for building allows an additional 20%+ margin on variations that are made by the client. This is a considerable margin - but it acknowledges that the variation comes at a cost to the builder, other trades and their other work. The project must cease while a variation contract is made and signed, adding time and cost to all involved, including ofcourse the client. 
  • If the job goes under schedule and sees savings, the builder still takes this fixed price.  
  • It limits the flexibility you have with your builder when the project is underway.  They may wish to recommend practical cost saving approaches or improvements that are not in the original plans, but they may feel challenged to do so if it involves more variations paperwork and holding up the project.
Cost Plus Contract

"Cost plus" contracts are what most builders prefer to work with. 

The positives are:

  • You will still of course receive an estimate on the project final costs, but gives more allowance for cost and time savings. You get charged for what is done and reap the rewards on savings that can be made along the way. 
  • Sometimes there are long time gaps between approval and starting your project and you may want to have the option of changing your mind. Cost plus arrangements mean there is flexibility to work with the homeowner along the way, adding in features they may not have considered with less stress and delay that you would experience in the fixed contract approach. 

This type of arrangement does require you to trust your builder, as they will charge you their time and supplies plus an agreed margin in increments as agreed.  So you won't always know the EXACT final price  but you will have a ball park, be involved in changes, control decisions and spend and everything is still under contracted agreement. 

We can show you both options and talk you through them in more detail and we will respect which ever way you wish to go on your project.