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Building Steps

Our 8 Helpful Building Steps

The following information is just advice and offers a guideline to what is required when considering to build or renovate.

› Step 1: Deciding your project.

Deciding what you want is never easy. Most people see what they like from magazines; visit show homes, open homes, and suppliers etc. The first point of call is employing a good relationship with your architect, so choose one that best fit your requirements, that is if you are keen on a cottage-style house choose an architect which is suited to that style.

Know what you want before the building consent is issued because changes (namely variations from the consented plan) could lead to delays in getting the work signed off. Important is any site restrictions such as protected trees, heritage restrictions, earthworks etc that may affect your design.

› Step 2: Consider your budget and organising finances.

Decide if you are able to undertake the whole project as people can underestimate the cost of their alteration or addition. Architects and builders are able to advise you on some rule-of-thumb figures. You also need to consider the initial costs, architect fees, council permit fees, siteworks (earthworks etc).

› Step 3: Get your plans up!

Your options are choosing between a registered architect, a designer or a draftsperson.

Architects are professionally trained and experienced to add a design dimension to your ideas. If you have a definite style in mind e.g., Modern, Spanish Mansion, Arts & Crafts etc, it might pay to seek out an architect who shares your preference and understands your preferred style.

If there is minimal design input involved in your project or you have a clear brief in mind, then a draftsperson will be a considerably cheaper option than an architect.

A designer falls somewhere between an architect and a draftsperson in their professional ability and the price they charge can be a very cost effective option.

Your architect/draftperson or designer can produce a concept plan for your consideration. After all discussions and final decisions have been reached working drawings will be produced.

› Step 4: Decide on the builder and the contract.

A bad builder could mean endless hassles and delays and, worst of all, sub-standard quality and workmanship. Choosing to work with a registered master builder means that there is a backup and a 10-year building full-contract guarantee on your building project (covering everything that is managed by the builder). Consideration for labour only (the builder supplies the labour, everything else is supplied by the client); managed contract (the builder manages the project and the sub-trades such as plumbers, roofers but doesn't supply the materials). Most contracts cover payment schedules, completion dates and details of all the guarantees offered.

› Step 5: Obtaining your Contractor.

It is very common to invite tenders for the carrying out of your works. We strongly recommend that you check the credentials and past performance of those invited prior to releasing documents.

We have carried many works where a contract sum is negotiated direct with the client. In these circumstances we, as company policy have an "open book" procedure where every single dollar is discussed to the client. During negotiations we have found this system engenders complete trust with very successful outcomes. Many of these have resulted in repeat business.

› Step 6: Obtain Building and/or Resource Consent.

Your builder/ project manager/ designer will gather all the documentation necessary to prepare your building consent application and will ensure that, if required, a resource consent and any other permits are obtained and paid for. Building Consent Authorities (BCA) are required to issue or refuse a building consent within 20 working days of submission provided that all the required information and documentation have been submitted. If additional information is required by the BCA then the 20 working day period is suspended until the required information is received. Any changes after the issue of the building consent will require an amendment to be applied for to the BCA, this can cause delays to the programme and completion date so it is important to try and get the application document correct and avoid changes to building material/layout.

› Step 7: Start Construction.

Your Project Manager should monitor the works and keep you informed of the progress. You are responsible to pay the invoices as per payment schedules known as progress payments. Your builder will organise the Building Consent Authorities inspections. This will ensure that the building is progressing in accordance with the issued consent and complies with the Building Code.

Typical inspections will include:

  • Foundations
  • Framing
  • Pre-lining
  • 1/2 high brick
  • Plumbing
  • Drainage
  • Cladding and Flashings
  • Finished building

Collect energy work certificates for electrical and gas work as the relevant works are finished.

› Step 8: Complete your project.

Hopefully you have had an enjoyable experience and are pleased with the quality and look of your project. Now is the time to ensure that everything has been done according to the plans and terms of your contract. Ensure that all fees to the Building Consent Authorities and/or Council have been paid.

Finally you need to apply for a Code Compliance Certificate from your Building Consent Authorities and make any remaining payments.