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Working with AJ Oaks

How you engage with us will depend on the size of your job.

Smaller jobs

We may ask you to send through photos as this may be a more cost effective way for us to price the work up.  There may be a small charge depending on the time taken to price the job, .  Please see below for why we charge for pricing some work.  

You may ask us to just go ahead without us giving an estimate for the work.  In this case we will send through our rates and check if you have a budget so that there are no surprises for either of us.

Renovations, alterations and extensions

We often get emails that say "here are my plans, please price them up".  This doesn't work for either of us.  We are not a free QS service or a check for other builders' prices when you don't intend to work with us - pricing up work takes time and skill and therefore is costly to us, plus, you want to be sure that you actually want to work with us before you have us undertake a pricing exercise. 

Our first step is for Andrew to come around and us to meet each other.  We need to get a better idea about time frames, what your budget is, if you have a date you need the work done by, if you are planning on using any of your own subtrades, if you have everything planned out or are wanting to be flexible as you go through etc.  Likewise, you also need to decide if you want to go with us by asking us questions.  We do not charge for that visit.


If you decide you do want to go ahead with us, we charge for pricing the job because of the time that goes into preparing the price and the benefits to you.  This price is an estimate rather than a fixed price because this type of work is too difficult to do fixed prices for (we give an expected price range – eg $420,00 to $480,000).   The price for this will depend on the size of the job, but is  usually around $500 to $750 incl GST.  


There is no cost to you if you go ahead with us for the job as the charge is applied to the first invoice.  If you don’t go ahead with us you’ve still got really useful information at a much cheaper price than a quantity surveyor, and more specific because it is based on our subtrades and us pricing what it would cost us to do the work.


We charge for pricing because:

•             We do not do fixed price jobs because we don’t think it is fair to the client or to us because one of us is almost always going to pay/charge too much or too little.  Instead, we individually price up every part of the job.  Some builders will provide a fixed price.  This means they don’t have to spend as much time pricing the job because they know if they end up making a loss on a job, they will probably end up making a decent amount on the next job and it will even out over the year.   While that might work out ok for the builder in the long run, we don’t think that’s fair to the client if the actual job could cost less than what they pay.

•             There’s a huge amount of work involved – a job this size still takes a considerable amount of time to put a price together.

•             It is quite common for people to get at least three builders and to go for the cheapest, or to use the price to compare prices against what they already have and try to negotiate their current builder down.   In this case we are adding real value to the client for no advantage to us, so just like with other services we think it’s fair for you to pay for our work.  After all, would you expect a QS to work for free?

•             Engaging us to provide a price estimate will give you ideas and advice for your plans in addition to those from your architect if you have one, or what you are already thinking.  We will provide you a price break down which you can use to compare against other quotes - this will help with your budgeting for the work.  Often clients will have re-scope the work based on our estimate, so our quote should be seen as part of the “pre-building” decisions. 

•             The article on this link explains a little more about why it is becoming much for common for professional builders to charge for quotes    


Once the job is priced up we will send this through.  We can then work with you and your architect to make changes if needed.  

New homes

For new homes, depending on the house we will either price as above or may be able to offer a fixed price.  As with renovations and extensions, there is a fee for the pricing of your plans.



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