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.

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.