Building or renovating a home is one of the most expensive things that you will do.

Here we explain the design and build process and what to expect. As well as being able to help you through the design process, we also offer a range of Concept Plans or can help you design your ideas.

Whether starting from scratch or adding extra space, new building works are planned. Building is a complex and demanding process, there are hundreds or thousands of details in a typical project and all require thinking about, pricing and getting correct. If it is a new building it may be based upon a ‘standard plan’, which speeds the process up. On the other hand it may involve a completely new design. Elements such as the land contours, access, sun, views etc all impact upon the ideal way of preparing the design plans for your building. And for that reason, choosing the right builder is one of the most important decisions you will make.

We can arrange an obligation free visit to your proposed building site to establish its suitability for your new home. If you require assistance in obtaining a suitable site for your new home, or finance, we can help and give advice on this. We then start forming a plan of your new home.

This will take account of your lifestyle – number of rooms required, general style and, most importantly, your budget. This is the time to think about how you want to live in, and out of your house and a good checklist is essential to ensure that your home meets your current and future needs.

Once we have these basics, the sketch plans are drawn up. This shows you the floor plans and how the house will look from the outside (elevations). A small fee is charged for this service to cover the designers costs. This gives you the chance to make changes, and think about materials, such as cladding and roofing.

When the sketch plans are approved, we give you the cost of drawing up the final plans. Our aim is to keep this cost to a minimum, but nowadays, with conditions imposed by the New Zealand Building Act and the requirements for compliance with the New Zealand Standards, we will inevitably require the services of a registered engineer to oversee and report on the structural aspects of the proposed building.

Once completed, these plans are sufficiently detailed for planning and building consent and include details such as bathroom and kitchen layouts, the positions of electrical outlets and lighting plans. During this stage you need to think about elements in your new home, heating, floor coverings, bathroom fixtures and fittings, colours - all things that can impact on the price depending on choices.

After completion of these plans we also have enough detail to finalise the price to build your home. Before we do that we chat to you about any items you want to do or provide yourself. For example some clients like to provide their own light fittings, or have a prefered supplier/subcontractor that they want to use.

Generally speaking, you will choose your builders based on three factors:

Budget and Pricing
Probably the very first thing you do when you want to renovate or build a new house is to decide on what you can afford to spend. Then you decide on what you consider are the essentials in your new home. Three bedrooms? Five? A media room? This is sometimes when your budget does not match your expectations and you need to balance the needs with the wants. Fixtures, fittings and finishes can also make a huge difference to the bottom line. One of the architects main tasks is to create plans that match your ideas and dreams, and then it's up to the builder to turn those dreams into reality.

If getting tenders for their new home, some people will choose the lowest price, perhaps at the expense of quality, value and service. At Joseph Builders we will talk you through the pricing process, letting you know where you can save money and what the important things to spend money on are. We will let you know what is and isn't included in the price and to understand what you are getting for your quote. We don't undercut to secure the job and then bombard you with lots of hidden extra costs. The other thing to remember is that you cannot assume that everyone who prices your plans will deliver the same level of quality. That's why the next two points are as important as price.

One of the best ways to choose a builder is through word of mouth. Talk to family, friends and neighbours about building experiences. Sometimes someone that you have in mind may not be the best choice for you, or you may hear of another recommendation. At Joseph Builders we pride ourselves on the fact that we have a number of home owners who are happy tell you how they found the experience with us. See one of our references here

We don't have a show home, because we want the home we build for you to be your own custom made show home. We have the staff and a trusted list of subcontractors who will do the best job they can to make sure that you are 100% happy with the final product. As Master Builders, up front we offer you a Master Builders guarantee, which for a small amount covers you if something goes wrong.

Trust and Communication
You are about to give a very large sum of money to a builder. So you need to trust them and be sure that they are going to do the right thing. You also want to choose someone who keeps you up to date with how your build (and budget) is going. We pride ourselves on the fact that we do return emails and phone calls, no question is ever too silly and we will always listen to what you have to say.

The Master Builder website has further information about the process, further The Building Book is a good guide for what to expect.


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