What to Expect when Renovating or Building a Home

I Want to Build a New House, Where do I Start?

Involve an Architect or Draughtsman

The first step is to buy your land. Then, 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 new build and 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 who will check over your plans before submitting them to the council for approval. Architect’s and Draughtsman can incorporate expensive or badly performing materials and design elements into plans which aren’t what the homeowner 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 influence the job flow positively, this is the time to make them.

Tauranga Builders has a 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?

Builders TaurangaIt pays to get advice from your builder before undertaking any renovation or building restoration to understand what is involved. A builder experienced in home renovations will know the best ways to avoid costs to deliver a product you want and 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 for my New Build?

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. 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, and most things can be changed. However, we will advise you of options for anything that we believe is not functional or inconsistent with your project. Expertly suggested changes will include a relevant time frame to make up your mind.

Client Changes

Once the frames are up is a perfect time to think about changing window sizes and positions to capture views and 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


Logistical Changes

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 new homes where the council requires further information for specific design elements to do with structural components or weather-tightness.

The Home-Owners’ Role

It is important to be clear about what you want before getting caught up in the middle of the construction process.

·       Define which things are most important if the 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.

New Home Tauranga

The Builders’ Role

Is to;

·       Ensure that the client is informed of costs for specific design elements of the building project.

·       Ensure that there is a communicated budget before 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 before the building law reforms in 2012, inferior products were being used in the weather-tightness of homes in New Zealand throughout the nineties and into the mid-nineties.

Quality builders at the time identified these products as being problematic and avoided them.

New products today aren’t all equal either. 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, cladding materials only need to meet a BRANZ (Building Research Association NZ) 15-year minimum durability requirement on a new home. This means that your various cladding material options aren’t all equal!


Ensure that you get clear advice from Tauranga Builders before starting any project in or around the Tauranga area.

Renovations that Add Value to Your Home

kitchen renovations

Let’s face it; Kiwis are a little obsessed with renovating and home improvements.

All home renovations cost money, but not all renovations convert into value to your home. Some can be money down the drain.

If resale value isn’t important to you, maybe you really like living where you do, and you want to make your home more liveable to suit your needs better. There is still a need to think about the money that you’re spending to ensure that your spending isn’t harming your future finances if your situation changes.

A good renovation will always make your house feel more comfortable and improve its function. Here is our guide to help you to know where to start

Kitchen Renovation

If the kitchen isn’t the heart of your home, it probably should be. An inviting kitchen is one of the best attributes a home can have. It is one of the most used areas in your home and a hugely popular renovation option.

Kitchen Renovations Tauranga

Things to consider before getting stuck in include;

  • Does your kitchen flow well with your home?
  • How usable and enjoyable is your current kitchen set up?
  • Kitchen renovation cost?

These are your options:

A Kitchen Makeover

If your current kitchen is positioned well and works well but is just a bit dated, a few new cabinet doors, maybe a new benchtop and tapware, and paint could be relatively inexpensive and a sound investment.

A Full Kitchen Overhaul

A common issue, especially in older homes pre-70’s, is often a lack of flow from the kitchen to living areas making the kitchen feel disjointed and tucked away. This is often an excellent opportunity to get creative and create an ideal space, but it has to be done right and radically improve the function of your home to get a resale return.

As Little as Possible

The Kiwi love for renovations and design trends is alive and well, and a kitchen remodel is a big favourite. This has demonstrated that in lower-value homes or older homes, especially if the kitchen is already functionally laid out and shows potential, a cheap renovation or no renovation is your most prudent option for money spent vs. resale return.

Our Expert Advice

For a profitable investment, you must use all of the expert advice and opinions available to reveal your kitchen renovation’s best potential flow and function. This is first and foremost. Get the base work right and follow it up with some consistent and quality finishes.


A Bathroom Renovation

Home Renovation BuildersAnother favourite Kiwi renovation is the humble bathroom. You need to decide if your bathroom needs an overhaul or just a facelift. Is the setup satisfactory? Your current bathroom’s lighting, layout, and functionality are important decision-making factors in deciding where to head.

A Bathroom Makeover

A new shower, floor coverings, tapware, or vanity are cost-effective ways of improving your bathroom without starting over. Quality ventilation for removing moisture-laden air and decent bathroom lighting is often overlooked but is crucial in even the most basic bathroom remodel.

A Complete Bathroom Renovation

Starting afresh will allow you to alter your plumbing arrangements to improve layout and functionality, run wires for power points and lighting at your vanity, heated towel rail, fan, and other lighting. It could also be an opportunity to change your entry point, borrow space from an adjoining room, add insulation, and install new wall coverings with the ability to hold wall tiles and a quality paint finish.

Our Advice

If your existing bathroom is in reasonable condition, then your best investment may be able to achieve a quality product with less spent. In all other cases, a complete bathroom renovation that significantly improves the look and function of the space will help to capitalise on your investment.

Creating an Extra Bedroom

Bedroom AdditionAn additional bedroom is always a sound investment, but beware if you are taking living space from somewhere in your home to fit in an extra bedroom, adding walls can enclose spaces. They can make your house feel restricted or reduce natural light. You could be reducing your target market when it comes time to sell.

A Bedroom Addition

An extra bedroom will add great value to your home. Home extensions make sense financially because you aren’t necessarily replacing any existing value in your home by remodelling an existing space. You are adding to it and retaining existing assets. It still pays to consider a few things to maximise your investment and make your addition more liveable.

Our bedroom Advice

An additional bedroom often requires another bathroom in the house. A well-thought-out house addition incorporating a master bedroom is an excellent opportunity to add an ensuite. Another bedroom extension could also offer an additional common living area, thus offsetting the additional strain on your existing common areas. An office space or living room could be an option for you. By extending, you can create a functional home to suit your needs.

We Can Help You Renovate  Your Home

Tauranga Builders is passionate about adding space and value to homes in and around Tauranga. If you are looking seriously at home renovations and want specific advice to make your home improvements cost-effective and potentially profitable, please get in touch by calling us or using our Contact Page.


Licensed Building Practitioners

Information about LBP

The LBP scheme came about in 2012 to recognise and encourage successful residential house builders, and stamp out cowboys within the industry. Currently, the scheme is well established and recognised as a benchmark standard for employing a professional builder.

What is a Licensed Building Practitioner?

LBP’s are practicing NZ builders that have been assessed and deemed competent by the Ministry of Building, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE). They must maintain their skills and knowledge and are accountable for their work to a licensing board.

When is a Licensed Builder Required?

Work that requires a builders’ license is dubbed ‘Restricted Building Work.’ This includes any new work or renovation work that affects the weather-tightness or structure of your home or any job that requires a permit (building consent).

Why use a Licensed Building Practitioner?

It is important to use a licensed building practitioner when undertaking restricted building work. A Licensed Building Practitioner is bound by a 12-month defect repair period after completing the work to fix any faults or defects. They are also responsible for organising the repair of any work, and arranging the replacement of any product that becomes faulty. LBP’s are responsible for remedying defective work for up to 10 years after completing a build. This ensures that all work is done properly and that the correct materials are used.

Other Licensed Trades Include:home builders tauranga



Brick and Block Layers

External Plasterers

Foundation Specialists

Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers are treated as LPB and must be authorised to carry out work by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers board.

Electricians must be registered to the Electrical Workers Registration Board.

What if My Builder Isn’t Licensed?

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that a permit is obtained and an LBP is used when undertaking restricted work. Fines can be enforced for non-compliant work, and home insurance may be invalid. It is in the homeowner’s interest to ensure that a Licensed Builder is used so that your investment is safe and built to last.

How do I know if my Builder is Licensed?

You can ask to see their LBP identification card. In addition, it is advised that you check the LBP register to check if your builder is currently registered and not suspended or terminated. The license is held by individuals, not by building companies.


A licensed builder will always use a contract for work over $30,000, and provide a disclosure statement explaining his qualifications and insurances. This ensures transparency and agreement for exactly what is included in the job and how payments are made.

Tauranga Deck Builder To Help You With Your Decking Ideas

Kwila deck

Decking Ideas

Building a deck is a fantastic cost-effective way of adding to the living area of your house. A new deck can add value to your home, and create a connection from your living areas to the outdoors.

There are some things to think about when building a new deck.

Here we tackle some frequently asked questions and give you some valuable tips.

Deck Construction

How to Make the Most of Building Your Deck

A good deck can be a real asset to your house but needs some consideration in terms of layout and design, and how much sun it will trap, especially in the winter. Would you like to use your deck in all weathers? Having a clear roof that allows light through and keeps out the rain is a good option. Windbreaks and privacy screens are great to block that pesky cold southerly and unwanted prying eyes.

Flow from inside to your deck will affect how much you use it. A good deck will be an extension of your primary living area and add to your living space. A well-positioned deck that capitalises on your house layout will get more use and be a real asset to your home.

Another good tip that many people overlook is if you want to fit a dining setting on your deck, then you will need a bare minimum of 3.6m in width to be able to walk around a table when people are seated.

Building Companies Tauranga

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Deck

Many factors can influence your deck cost. Including;

  • Is there an old deck that needs to be removed?
  • Does your deck require a permit and a compliant balustrade?
  • Will your deck need stairs?
  • How high off the ground is your deck?
  • What type of decking board will you use?
  • Would you like built-in seating?


Decking Timber NZ

In our opinion, Kwila timber is the best timber for decking in New Zealand, although there are several other decking products that are popular. Here we weigh up the options;


Product Advantages Disadvantages
Treated Pine Decking Cost-effective

Sustainably resourced

Produced in New Zealand

Can shrink on joins

High movement


Kwila Decking Proven record among hardwoods

Minimal shrinking on joins


Can bleed

Sustainability of the resource is doubtful even with VLO (Verified Legal Origin) certification

Vitex Decking Little bleeding

Sustainably resourced

Shorter lengths than Kwila and Pine – max 3.6m
Garapa Decking Appealing grain

Little bleeding

Can shrink a lot on joins -Joins and mitres are to be avoided
Composite Decking Can be part recycled

No maintenance

Colour range

Hidden Fastenings

Extreme movement

Large gaps are required


Easily marked and scratched


Does Your Deck Need a Permit?

Your deck doesn’t need a permit when it is not possible to fall from a height greater than 1.5m


Does Your Deck Need a Compliant Handrail?

deck builder Tauranga
Fixed seating can be a multi-purpose way to make your deck safe for kids when a compliant balustrade is not required


Your deck will need a compliant handrail if it is possible to fall from a height greater than 1m





Contact licensed builder Louis at Tauranga Builders for trusted advice about the options that best suit your requirements.