What to Expect When Renovating or Building a Home
I Want to Build a House, Where do I Start?
Involve an Architect or Draughtsman
The first step is to buy your land. A quick consult with an Architect or Draughtsman is worth your while to identify any building restrictions on the land and whether this will affect your building design plans. Your architect will then design your plans in consultation with you to specifically suit the size and shape of your section.
Involve your Builder from the Design Stage
Be sure to find a builder that will check over your plans before they are submitted to council for approval. Architect’s and Draughtsman can incorporate expensive or badly performing materials and design elements into plans which aren’t what the home owner requested, or even particularly wants.
Architectural home builders will have a good idea of how these elements perform, and what they cost. Often some of the more extravagant elements are sacrificed to bring the plans within budget. A professional builder will also identify if the plans allow for an easy build, or if they would be restrictive of progress. If it is possible to make small changes to positively influence the flow of the job, this is the time to make them.
Tauranga Builders has fantastic customer experience because of our foresight to oversee and influence your construction. Once Tauranga Builders is in the loop, we can gather quotes and finalise pricing options for the job and specify a schedule for progress so that contractors and materials are organised ahead of time and within a budget.
I Want to Renovate my House Where do I Start?
It pays to get advice from your builder before undertaking any renovation or building restoration in order to understand what is involved. A builder experienced in home renovations will know the best ways to avoid costs to deliver a product that you want, and what suits your needs and budget.
Most renovations require permits. A registered draughtsman will need to draw plans for your new home or reno, which are then passed to council authority for building consent.
Can I get a fixed price?
If there are accurate plans or if the exact scope of the job is determined then a fixed price can be applied. A fixed price gives clarity and ensures that there is a budget.
With more complex renos a charge up contract is fairer for all parties. A quality estimate is not guessing. It is accurately ‘quantity surveyed’. This is as close to a fixed price as can be determined but rather than a contingency amount being built into a quote for the unknown factors of what cannot be seen or accurately quoted, the contingency amount is applied as a PC Sum (Provisional Cost Sum). This aspect of the job or the particular service required for the job is the only part of the estimate that is an educated guess and is close to the amount specified.
House Design Changes
Nothing is final, anything can be changed. You will be advised of options for anything that we believe is not functional, or is inconsistent with your project. Expertly suggested changes will include a relevant time frame to make up your mind.
Once the frames are up is a perfect time to think about changing window sizes and positions to capture views, and to get a feel for room sizes. As a job progresses, changes can become more costly.
There are two things to consider;
· ‘Cost vs. benefit’ equation
· Any knock-on delays to the scope of works as a whole
There are often un-planned changes as a project progresses. These are often down to slight design adaptations needed in the workings of plans. These can be expected with complex renovations when un-covering un-known structures, or with new homes where council require further information for specific design elements to do with structural components or weather-tightness.
The Home-Owners’ Role
It is important to be clear on what you want before getting caught up in the middle of the construction process.
· Define which things are most important if budget could become an issue.
· Define your budget and have a contingency fund.
· Have a look around at show homes and take photos. Take ideas from magazines and research products that you like the look of. Take advice from others that have built new homes or have had renovations. The more informed you are, the easier you will find the process to be.
· Study and read each detail of your plans to ensure that you are getting what you want. Plans can be altered during the build but there can be costs associated with this.
The Builders’ Role
· Ensure that the client is informed of costs for specific design elements of the building project.
· Ensure that there is a communicated budget prior to undertaking a project.
· Supply a written contract for work over $30,000.
· Make sure that specific insurances are in place.
· Inform you of what sort of disruptions that you will face as a result of renovating.
· Provide a reasonable time-frame for work
Buildings that Last the Distance – Warranties
As witnessed prior to the building law reforms in 2012, there were inferior products being used in the weather-tightness of homes in New Zealand through-out the nineties and into the mid- noughties.
Quality builders at the time identified these products as being problematic and avoided them.
New products today aren’t all equal either, and it pays to have a proactive and well researched builder to tackle any new architectural home, or home renovation to avoid future disappointment. For example on a new home, cladding materials only need to meet a BRANZ (Building Research Association NZ) 15-year minimum durability requirement. This means that your various cladding material options aren’t all equal!
Make sure that you get clear advice from Tauranga Builders prior to starting any project in or around the Tauranga area