Will your builder walk away at lockup stage?

lockup stage granny flatIf you’ve been thinking of building a granny flat on your property — for your own use or as a rental property — then there are a few things to consider. The first is whether you can actually build a granny flat on your property, and whether or not you’d like to build a granny flat or a cabin, the latter of which is a lot cheaper. Once you get over those initial hurdles and you begin sourcing quotes, you’ll most likely start to hear builders talking about prices in terms of the ‘lock up stage’.

The lockup stage is a common term

In traditional residential building, the lockup stage is a common term that denotes an important milestone in the construction of your new home. Lockup quite literally means the stage at which the dwelling is able to be locked and secure. This means the windows, doors, walls and the roof have been completed, and it’s now safe to begin installing kitchens, bathrooms, and other fittings.

In residential building, the lockup stage is used to indicate the point at which a builder’s next progress payment is to be made. When you’re building a granny flat, cabin, or some other prefabricated home, the lockup stage can represent the point at which the builder walks away from the project, and you’re left to organise the remaining elements to complete the dwelling.

Lockup prices differ from completion prices

Builders advertise lockup prices because, unless you’re making substantial changes to the floorplan, these prices don’t vary. The completion price, which is the cost after bathrooms, kitchens, light fittings, carpeting and paints have been selected and installed, vary based on the individual’s personal taste — i.e., you may choose a more expensive bathroom vanity unit. That said, the average completion price is usually an additional $10,000-12,000 on top of the lockup price.

This is why, as we said in a previous post, when you’re sourcing quotes from builders, it’s a good idea to ask for turnkey prices, which build many of the typical exclusions into the final, overall price of the granny flat, and gives you a more complete picture of the cost can expect to pay for your granny flat.

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