Home Building a new home

Building a new home


Building a dream home can be one of the most rewarding, exciting and challenging things at the same time.  Having built a home in 2014, I can totally relate to anyone going through this process. Here’s a few things we’ve learnt that you might just find useful.

Allow time, be patient, gather, reflect and be sharp…

  1. Allow time for the process.

    It’s alot of money your spending, there are alot of decisions and curve-balls so don’t rush it. Spend your time on the plans…  Detail is everything and allow time to reflect on changes, you may find yourself coming full circle after a week.  My fiance and I allowed 4 months for this phase and still felt we were pushed for time!

    If you’re choosing to go with a builder that manages the whole planning/building project from start to finish this can save you alot of time and stress of pulling together all the moving parts.  Companies like GJ Gardner or Generation homes have pre-designed plans -select 4 or 5 plans to suit your section shape and work on analysing the pros and cons from there.  Don’t forget you can always pick one of their plans and ‘tweak’ it a little to suit your needs. You may want to add an extra bedroom, study nook, walk in robe or simply increase the living space.  If you do this ensure you are aware of the cost to customise vs sticking with one of their off the shelf plan as you can find costs to change run away with you!

  2. Be patient with the process.

    This is an important one as your stress levels may go through the roof if you’re used to getting things done! Some things just can’t be sped up like manufacturer’s timeframes, council processes and there will certainly be delays you will have to deal with.

  3. Gather, gather gather your ideas.

    Research is key, know your area, your land, your builder and your choices. Get driving… visit new suburbs, show homes, or areas with established charm. This will help build your ideas about what you like and don’t like especially when it comes to deciding materials and colours. Take loads of pictures to allow you to reflect. When it came to exterior colour selections we drove the backstreets of Ponsonby to find the right look as we wanted a modern villa style. Don’t be afraid to knock on someones door and ask their colour selection. We did and its amazing to find something you like and the owner to know the exact paint name! Build a scrapbook or moodboard of the materials you like. Start by each room. Collect images from House and Garden NZ or Your Home NZ, sample swatches of materials etc. Download the ‘Sun Path app’ and track where the sunshine is landing on your site at any given time of the year to help you make the right choices for outdoor flow, joinery and layout.

  4. Reflect and reflect again…

    Once you’ve made some choices put them all together and reflect … do they seem right? Is it the look I was after?  Have we made the most of the sun path? Your research will payoff as the more you gather the more you can reflect with a degree of knowledge. Ask around at this stage too.

  5. Be sharp

    You’re going to have to train your eye for imperfections especially at the build phase.  Challenge where necessary and don’t settle for it’s “pretty good” it should be perfect! Inspect everything you wish to it’s your dream home. Be onsite when floors are laid, concrete is poured and point it out immediately.  Have your snaglist during the build phase and discuss items one by one with your builder and be clear on the management or solution to bring it right.

  6. Top home builders in NZ

    For a list of the New home builders in NZ click here for website links and information.

  7. Utilise all resources

There are various websites for building your own home which refer to building practices through to a review of building companies and experiences.