When you’re building a new home, it’s important to understand the fixed costs in the quote you receive from your builder. Many builders will put something called ‘prime cost’ items or provisional allowances into their quote, and clients may find that when it comes to actually selecting items for their home, they’re met with surprise costs that weren’t included in their original quote. At Hotondo Homes, we are committed to providing clients with transparent pricing to ensure you don’t get any costly surprises.


What Are Prime Cost Items and Provisional Allowances?

Often builders may include prime cost items and provisional allowances in their quote. These could be for the kitchen, tapware, sanitary ware, connection of services, bricks and many other items in your new home. This is where a nominal figure is included in your quote to cover basic items, so when it’s time for you to make your selections for your new home, you pay the difference between the basic item and the item you wish to include.

Why are Prime Cost Items and Provisional Allowances Confusing?

Many clients are unaware of these additional charges when they do their selections, and while it’s considered very normal practice in the building industry, it can lead to clients becoming disillusioned and disappointed. Clients who sign a contract with a builder in good faith based on the quote they’ve received being a fixed price then find out throughout the building process that every time they make a selection, or there’s a construction issue on site requiring extra work they incur additional costs not included in their quote.


Why Is It Best to Quote Accurately?

We believe that quoting clients with prime cost items and provisional allowances is a bit of a trap – so we don’t do it! Inevitably these allowances do not cover what you will ultimately select for your home. We want you to have the freedom to select exactly what you want for your dream home and understand where it fits in to your budget, without the nasty surprise of additional costs, so the price we quote you in your contract is the price you pay. The only change to that is if you have specific items you’d like to include, or upgrades you’d like to make in your home.


How Can We Quote Accurately?

Providing our clients with a true fixed price quote takes a lot of work, due diligence on our part, and time. Our builders visit every site, and arrange to do specific soil tests, rock test, fill tests, compaction tests and contour surveys. Then, armed with all that information, they get a civil engineer to asses the best way of building your home, the necessary site cuts, piers, fill and driveways, paths, and retaining walls if required. They also work to determine the position of the service connections, and price those accurately. Once all this has been priced, the builder then works on pricing the cost of building your home, including any modifications you require, to an agreed specification level. This level of specific pricing will provide with you with a fixed price quote to give you an accurate idea of your overall costs, right down to the cost of including heating, cooling, light fittings, and even the mail box!

At Hotondo Homes, we are committed to making sure you don’t get any nasty surprises throughout your building journey, and that the price on your contract is the price you’ll pay. We believe in being accurate and transparent in our quotation process, and we will work closely with you to answer any questions you have, include any modifications you may need, and provide you with an accurate price for your home. To start planning your dream home, visit the Hotondo Homes website and find a local builder in your area today!

One of the biggest road blocks to becoming a home owner is saving a deposit to put towards your first home. Being able to put aside funds each week or month in a savings account to go towards the purchase of a new home is great, but these savings take time to build up – often years. In the meantime they can get depleted when we dip into them to pay for other things, moving that first home goal post further and further away. One great initiative that’s been launched by the Australian Taxation Office is the First Home Super Save Scheme. Aimed at first home buyers, this initiative was created to help Australians buy their first homes. We’ve summarised some of the key points below for you as per the ATO website’s information.

About the Scheme

From July 1, 2017 first home buyers have been able to make voluntary concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to their superannuation funds. Then from July 1, 2018 you can apply to have these funds released, along with any associated earnings that have accrued and use these funds towards the purchase of your first home. One of the great things about this scheme is that you can use the funds as a first home buyer for either a property you plan to live in straight away as a family home, or for a property you plan to live in for at least six of the first twelve months you own it.

How Much Money Can I Save?

You can apply to have up to $15,000 of your contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions released as part of the scheme, up to a total of $30,000 across all years. On top of that, you will also receive any earnings from those contributions which will add to the amount you have for a deposit.

Key Things to Remember

You can only apply for a release of your funds once, and you should never sign a contract of sale or contract to build a new home until the funds have been released to you. If you don’t wait for the funds, you may have additional tax to pay. It can also take approximately 25 business days for funds to be released to you, so take this into consideration when you’re ready to sign a contract of sale. If you don’t have money for the deposit at the time of the contract signing, you may be in breach of the sale contract.

Am I Eligible?

While you can start making contributions to your superannuation fund at any age, you can’t apply to have funds released until you are 18 years old. You also cannot have owned any kind of property in Australia (including investment properties, vacant land, commercial property, a lease of land, or a company title interest in Australia), or have previously requested a release of funds in relation to the scheme. If you wish to purchase a property with other people, you can each access your own funds individually, however if one of the purchasers has previously owned a home they will not be eligible for a funds release, however this will not prevent the other purchasers from applying for their funds.

Saving for your first home can seem like a daunting thing, especially when you need a sizeable amount of money saved up to do so. With this First Home Super Saver Scheme, you’re able to contribute savings to an account that’s not easily accessible, which means the funds will continuously increase and earn interest and your deposit will accumulate at a faster rate than a regular savings account.

For full terms and conditions and to learn more about this scheme, head over to the Australia Taxation Office Website. Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial institution and we recommend home buyers always seek the advice of a registered financial professional before purchasing a home.

You’ve chosen a builder, selected a floor plan and design that suits, received the relevant approvals from your local council and your finance has been approved. It’s now time for the construction of your home to begin.

This is possibly the most exciting stage of any building project because it’s when you get to see your home come to life.


Site clearing and preparation is required on most blocks of land before you can start the slab or footings of your home.

This may involve tree removal, demolishing a house or shed on the property, excavation of the land and the implementation of retaining walls.

While you will most likely need a council permit to remove trees and other objects from your property, ensure this process is done before building is ready to commence otherwise this will hold up the progress of your build.


Plumbing will be laid prior to your footings being put down. Footings are an important part of the foundation of your construction. They are normally poured into an excavated trench. The purpose of footings is to support the foundation of the home.

After the plumbing and footings have been laid, the slab can be poured.


The frames are often prepared off-site and then transported to the job site when necessary. They don’t take long to erect, often only a couple of days depending on the weather, other trades and your builder.

Once the frames are up you can really get a sense of your home and the size of each room.


This stage really gives the home true structure.


Depending on your builder, your roofing will either go on before or just after your brickwork/ weatherboard is complete. You will have the choice between tiles or metal roofing.


Once your electrical and plumbing wiring has been completed the internal linings of your home will be installed. This involves insulation and plaster.


The lock up stage involves all external doors being installed on the home. This is often when your kitchen will be installed as well as the other more expensive items like tapware, mirrors, bathroom items, vanities and more.


After the construction is completed you will have the opportunity to do a formal inspection of the home. This will give you the opportunity to raise any issues you have with your builder.

After paying your final invoice your keys will be handed over to you and you will be free to move into the home when you wish.

For more information on building your dream home contact your local Hotondo Homes builder here.