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What are PC items anyway?

Updated: Mar 19

If you haven't done a renovation before, there seems like so much to learn, so many decisions and all the lingo to get familiar with. One of the terms you will hear alot - especially from the builder - is "PC items". So what does it mean and what does it include?

PC stands for Prime Cost and includes things like tapware, tiles, sinks, doors and these things can vary greatly in price. If you don't have a designer involved, sometimes your

builder will make allowances for these items in his contract. For example they may allow $300 for the cost of a kitchen tap and if you end up choosing a more expensive one, then the difference is added to his bill.

If you engage a designer, these PC items will be listed in a schedule and either you or the designer will order these and the builder will quote on the installation of these items.

When you put together your list or schedule of PC items, you need to provide the installation specs (often this is a pdf or image) or a link to access this information. Builders need this schedule in order to quote because they need to know what services they will have to provide and install. For eg if you specify a gas cook top, then the builder needs to ensure there is gas supplied in the correct position. Or if you specify an induction cooktop, he not only needs to provide the electrical wiring for this but he should also check that the current wiring is adequate.

Another good example is that if you specify a fridge with a chilled water and ice capabilities that there is plumbing as well as electrical provisions.

The simplest way of working out your PC requirements is to start listing everything you think you'll need, then go over this with your designer and builder to see if there are any gaps and any further info they need from you. You'll need to check the quantities for the project - especially for items such as tiles. Not only do you need to work out these on a square meter basis, you also need to include at least 10% extra for wastage.

I recommend having this schedule finalised before the builder quotes so that you limit the number of variations it may involve down the track. And I also strongly suggest - once you've signed up your builder and got a start date - to order all your PC items and have them on site ready for the builder. Waiting for things to arrive after the build starts can lead to delays and there may be ramifications for this (eg for the builder's schedule of works and maybe price increases). It's also handy for the builder to have them on hand to check things when they're doing electrical and plumbing rough ins.

It's also important to have your drawings of the kitchen and bathrooms done before finalising the ordering of all these PC items. The drawings will help clarify things - as they say, a picture says a thousand words. These will help you understand things such as if you have enough space on the benchtop for taps or if they need to come out of the wall (which is quite common for small bathrooms like ensuites). It will help you understand the positioning of your appliances, the work flow and storage capacity of your kitchen. They're worth their weight in gold.


If you're planning a kitchen renovation, you might like to read this article:

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