Building? Renovating? Top tips!

Our homes are typically our biggest investment – both financially and emotionally – so it’s critical to get any new build or renovation right, from the onset.

What surprises many NZCB members is the number of clients who are still not ensuring they have a written contract in place. Written contracts are best practice for work of any value, are mandatory for work valued over 30K, and ensure both parties have clear expectations and accountabilities.

It appears that Kiwis are also pretty passive when it comes to ensuring there’s a good residential guarantee in place.

NZCB introduced Halo to the market in 2016, and we believe it to be the most comprehensive building guarantee currently available in New Zealand. Halo is exclusive to NZCB, and is mandatory for NZCB members to take out, for work valued at over 30K. Halo is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, which gives strong financial backing, and is independently managed, ensuring no conflict of interest in the management of any subsequent claims.

Top Tips from NZCB Builders

  • Build trust before you build anything – check your builder’s qualifications and references. Establish good lines of communication with your builder from the outset.
  • Plan in as much detail as possible – once underway, a change of plan often means delays and costs. Fine if it’s due to something you never thought of. Make the most of your builder’s expertise and advice, before it’s too late.
  • Plan for strength and warmth – remember that first and foremost a home is a shelter. Investment in seismic resilience is preventative insurance, and energy efficiency is mostly about heat absorption and retention.
  • Ask for a fixed price, but have funds in reserve – always keep some contingency in your budget. You’ll sleep better.
  • Beware of fads in design and materials – what’s more important; wowing your friends at the housewarming, or looking good and working well in 20 years?
  • Get the paper sorted – always ask for a written contract and ideally a building guarantee. Check the fine print on both – make sure your building guarantee is worth the paper it’s written on.

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