Below are some of the issues and traps that can come when you think about renovating and Ad-built’s tips and offers to help save you time, risk and stress.


Deal with a reputable specialist in the type of work you want done.

HIA and MBA will have a list of reputable members that you can contact.

Ad-built is a member of both the MBA and HIA and is one of the longest standing members of the HIA in the Newcastle area having been members since 1983.


Check your potential builder is the right builder for you.

There are many questions you can ask prospective builders to get a sense of who you are dealing with. For example, “Are they a company, partnership or a sole trader?”, “Have they done this type of work before?”, “Are they experienced in ground floor or Second Storey additions?”.

Ad-built can offer you the following;

  • An incorporated company since 1976.
  • Over 2500 clients, many of which were Second Storey additions
  • In house design and construction
  • Full and Unrestricted Builders licence.
  • $20M public liability insurance.
  • Product and contract work insurance.
  • Eligibility for home owners warranty insurance.

Do I deal with an architect / draftsman or a builder?

Architects/draughtsmen specialise in the design and/or drafting of your renovation, but not the building of it. Many builders don’t do the design.

Ad-built has specialised in the design and construction of alterations and additions since 1976. We are masters at designing your renovation within your budget because we are responsible for building it too and you don’t pay a cent until you are completely happy with the design and cost!.


Know your budget and do not be afraid to say it.

There is no use in designing a large extension if you can’t afford to have it built. Some architects/draftsmen will be able to give you an idea of cost but they are not the ones that are going to try and build it for you. Getting drawings prepared by an architect/draftsman can cost quite a sum of money, and if the cost for building the design is too high, then that money is not well spent.

Ad-built provides a full design and construct service to our clients where we discuss your needs and agree on a Design Brief. From that Design Brief we provide design ideas, sketches and estimates until you are completely happy to proceed to the Building Agreement stage. This provides our clients with the perfect RISK FREE opportunity to get the best possible design within their budget without spending a cent!


Know what you are getting for your money.

Quotations and estimates can sometimes be complicated and confusing and if you have never renovated before or are not experienced at reading plans and/specifications there may be things that you are unaware of. For example, there may be items you assumed were included that are not, either because the builder missed them or your architect/draftsman left them out of the scope of works.

Ad-built is responsible for the whole ‘box and dice’. Because we are working closely with you to design your renovations within your budget, we are discussing the types of issues that will affect your price and making the appropriate allowances for pricing purposes. This keeps you accurately informed at every step in the process and minimises any surprises with so called cost “blow outs” or “hidden costs”.

Ad-built also include the cost for some works in their contract sum that other builders either don’t include or list as Provisional Sums, for example ‘scaffolding’. This gives our clients even more peace of mind that the project will stay within their budget.


Do some research on the cost of products you want.

There is an endless range of products available in the market for just about everything. Tiles for example can range from less than $20.00 per square metre to over $400.00 per square metre. Toilets from less than $200.00 to over $1000.00. The products you select will affect the cost of your project.

Ad-built makes allowances for your ‘selection items’ like tiles, toilets, vanities, towel rails and shower screens. You can choose to stay within the allocated allowance or select higher priced items and just pay the difference plus builders margin. Ad-built explain how this is done during our design phase, in our contract documents and at contract signing.

Another advantage Ad-built provide is that the amounts charged to you for your ‘selection items’ as discussed above are based on our purchasing price, not the retail price. This gives you extra savings on many items.


Have a basic understanding of terms used in the building industry and how they affect you.

Knowing what building terms mean is important when comparing prices and entering a contract.

Ad-built’s designers are very experienced in the building industry and will explain any terms that are unfamiliar to you as well as walk you through every step in the process. This helps you feel safe and supported through the whole process, even if you have never renovated before.


Know how your contract price can vary.

Builders may use many different forms on contracts and show their pricing differently. This doesn’t mean that you are being ripped off but highlights the importance of understanding and knowing what are your contractual rights and obligations.

Ad-built clearly shows in all of our contracts what your total contract sum is and how this sum can vary. Below are some brief descriptions on what may vary your total contract sum;

  • Engineering Changes: Ad-built designs the extension/renovation and makes allowances we believe will be needed to construct your project. To save you time before contract we do not send this to an external engineer for certification until after the contract is signed. Once contracted we undertake this work and, where needed, increase or decrease the cost of the structural elements as certified by the engineer. Alternatively, Ad-built can have this element of work done before contract to fix this cost.
  • Provisional Sums: Ad-built shows the allowances in the contact for items that are to be selected by the client during construction and for which both the cost of the supply and the cost of installation of that item may vary. An example of this could be a shower screen. When our client determines the shower screen they want, any increases or decreases are reconciled against the allowance in the contract. This information, including how costs are calculated, is clearly shown by written advice in our final account summary to the client at the appropriate contract invoice stage.
  • Prime cost items: Ad-built shows the allowances in the contact for selection items that may vary in only the cost of the supply of that item. An example of this could be a toilet suite or tiles.(NB Our labour content is already allowed for in the total contract sum for these items). When our client determines the products they want any increases or decreases are reconciled against the allowance in the contract. This information, including how costs are calculated, is clearly shown by written advice in our final account summary to the client at the appropriate contract invoice stage.
  • Variations: A variation is basically any change to the scope of works from that shown in the contract documents (plans, specifications and/or building agreement). If a change is requested by the client, Ad-built will provide a variation advice in writing to undertake such works (increased price, decreased price or even no change in price). The client then accepts or rejects the variation in writing and the scope of work is affected accordingly. NB The building agreement that Ad-built uses clearly describe how variations are handled and our designers are always happy to explain anything that our client is unsure of.

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