It isn't rocket science but it isn't so easy to put the situation in words. I can only say builders here has perfected their skills to make money from you over time.
Imagine yourself navigating through a lane of hawkers.
"Uncle, 1 kosong prata."
"Eh, nuh nuh nuh, minimum order 2 kosong boss."
"Uncle, I want rice with zhup nia, ok?"
"Eh ah di eh, minimum 1 bak 1 beggie hor, le chuay dai ji sibor?"
"Can I have your order sir?"
"Allo, hi. I wan Big Mac Meel without the drink can?"
"Can, but still same price as Big Mac Meel."
That basically describes the whole situation. However it is still possible to find one to suits your needs. To build Savvy Steve's house, the rule is simple. Find a builder who is willing to exclude the most elements at the lowest price. In simpler terms, the hawker who is willing to sell you white rice + zhup at the lowest price. The reason is very simple. Just by buying your sweet and sour pork from stall 1 elsewhere and fried toufu from stall 2, you would have save thousands or tens of thousands if you know what you are doing. However, it isn't logical to do that because you have to be there each time a different tradie comes in to do his stuff. No one will be willing to expend all his or her annual leave just to open a door for people to work.
And the builders know that. There lies exactly their income opportunities.
The solution is simple. Do the minimum yourself, move in and do the rest. I would be testing the PRC casual worker's theory. Correction. It was actually tried and tested. So I would be emulating that instead. It was the only way I can reduce the damage that Savvy Steve would be inflicting on me. It would not be the first time I am doing something similar anyway so I know I can pull this one off. (*A gentle reminder about holding up a wok when you had the chance to)
The sales representatives I met mocked me. "It is impossible to build a 4 bedroom house under $200," they said.
I'd show them.
Eventually, I got someone to do it for Savvy Steve at $179k. This was the breakdown.
A house with a roof, doors and windows
A closed garage with automatic shutters.
A ducted evaporation cooling system
Water heating system
Hood, hob and oven
Carpentry in kitchen, baths, pantry, 2 x linen robes, 1 walk-in robe in MBR, 1 robe in bedroom
Stone for kitchen and bath tops
A paved Alfresco and Verandah
No pavings everywhere else
No window treatment
No interior painting
No telecommunications wiring
Provided by developer:
|How it would look: A house with no floor or paint|