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Lifting the lid on our build process – and the costs involved

For many, building a new home is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s also, often, a decision that requires big time and financial commitments. A quick Google search for ‘home builders nz’ will more than likely give you a ridiculous number of results – including close to 20 different building companies ready to help you build your dream home.

With that much choice, it’s hard to know where to start and who to approach. Time has taught us it’s worth doing things right from the start. We take the time to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you sign any contract, so you don’t have to be afraid of hidden costs or budget blow-outs.

Here’s a step-by-step look at our build process, and the costs involved at each stage.

Step 1: preliminary estimate

Cost: Free

Get a feel for who we are by meeting with us in person to discuss your build. We’ll chat about your vision, the location of your site, compare similar projects and work with any plans we’ve already built so you can see the quality of our expertise first-hand. We’ll also visit your site to check for any potential issues.

The initial consultation is a chance for us to give you an informal preliminary estimate – a rough guide – to what you can expect to pay for the home you want. This estimate is generally pretty close to what you’ll end up paying (small disclaimer: unless you change your mind completely). This estimate is completely free of charge and comes with no strings attached (we promise!).

The fun part of a new build is always the design, but it’s super important to make sure you have your finances in check – otherwise, well, there will be no new build. A huge part of our job, and our duty of care, is helping you sort your finances. That means at this point in the process you’ll speak to a construction finance specialist.

Step 2: design and feasibility

Cost: $3,000-$5,000 for designer and surveyor costs (this may vary depending on region)

Awesome: our preliminary estimate fits your budget and you’re ready to move things forward. The next step in our build process will probably be the most fun part for you – home design. Based on what we talked about in your preliminary estimate, you’ll work with our architects to sort out the details, and get your home just the way you want it. We also organise for a detailed survey of your land. Both the house plans and the survey of your land are what allow our quantity surveyors to give you an accurate price for your build. This contract price includes everything – right down to installing a mailbox and washing line. The only thing not included will be any cost associated with your land, landscaping and interior design – but we can connect you with great people to help.

Our formal estimates are as close to a fixed price as you can get – we’ll have things planned down to the last doorknob. There are sometimes things that we simply can’t accurately price, but we’ll do our best to get our estimate as close as possible – these items will be indicated by the words “PC Sum” on your estimate.

At this stage you’ll get:

·       A formal estimate

·       A detailed list of our services and every product to be included in the build of your new home

·       Scheme plans, including site plan, floor plan and elevations

·       An independent Master Builder’s Contract

Something important to note – you’re (still) not locked in at this point. If you’re happy to get going with us, that’s when contracts are signed and you’ll pay the deposit (which will be less whatever you’ve paid for this stage). If you’d rather pause the plans – no problem.

Step 3: consents

Cost: varies, but is included in your build price as a provisional sum

Once the contracts are signed, sealed and delivered by both parties, we’ll take care of your consents and applications. Your assigned project manager will keep you updated throughout, so you can just put your feet up.

Step 4: construction – the build begins

Cost: determined by your formal estimate

After two pre-start meetings, we’ve made sure the plans show exactly what you want from your home – yay! It’s now over to the build crew who can get to work bringing your house plans to life.

What happens if you change your mind at this stage? We thought you might ask. Making a change once the build crew is on-site isn’t impossible, but it may cost you time and money. Generally, you will be charged a variation fee to explore your new idea, and then you’ll need to decide if you have the budget to cover those changes on top of this fee.

The 5% deposit deal

Most building contracts require you to make progress payments throughout the build. You’re likely to be borrowing this money from a bank. They’ll want you to put a 20% deposit down first, and then start making payments right away. That can get pretty hard to manage, because it will probably be on top of rent or mortgage repayments on another property.

Some banks need valuations throughout the build before they release funds for each stage – cue another time-consuming and costly process.

Good news! We’ve partnered with an awesome company and worked out a better way of doing things. With Squirrel’s HomeBuild product, you:

· Get a loan with only 5% deposit

· Make no payments until the build is finished

· Don’t need progress valuations

Find out more about 5% Deposit

A process for smooth sailing

You’ve heard the horror stories – a new home build’s budget blows out and the owners need to sell up. Our build process has been designed to avoid that – we put measures in place so that you have all the options and there are no surprises. Our 5% Deal with partners Squirrel HomeBuild is also great for those looking for an alternative deposit option – and means you can enjoy the adventure of building your own home, without worrying about valuations and payments.

So, ready for step 1? Give us a call on 0800 456 321 to set up an initial meeting with one of our team.

what's next?

Let’s get together for a free, no-pressure meeting with one of our team, at your place or ours.

We can't wait to hear your ideas!

Call 0800 456 321