Qualifications your builder should definitely have before you hire them

Hiring a builder can be a nerve-racking experience – how do you know if they’re any good? Do they need a qualification? Do memberships and licenses matter? We’re here to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to hiring a builder, whether it’s for a renovation or a new build, there are many things to consider. We’ve posted general advice about this before so we thought we’d add to it by outlining the memberships and licenses which matter.


First things first, ask your potential builder what training and qualifications they have. In New Zealand, anyone can chuck on a toolbelt and call themselves a builder without any training, so it’s important to know you’re getting a builder with proven skills and knowledge. Your home isn’t a rodeo, so don’t let any cowboys in!

What’s a licensed building practitioner?

When a builder is licensed it assures you they have demonstrated the skills, knowledge and experience to meet government-backed national standards.

You must use a licensed practitioner for certain important building and design work on your home (in much the same way you would hire an electrician or plumber), which you can see here.

While you don’t have to use a licensed building practitioner for all building work, all NZCB builders are trade qualified.

You can check an electronic public register to see if your builder or tradesperson is a licensed building practitioner.

What about memberships?

While there are multiple builders’ association in New Zealand, NZCB is the only one which specifies its members MUST be trade qualified.

Not only are all our NZCB builders passionate about providing superior workmanship, they must hold a recognised trade qualification equivalent to or better than National Trade Certificate in Carpentry Level 4.

To ensure our high standards are maintained, we also take into account a builder’s history of stability and success, continued solvency, absence of complaints by customers and suppliers, a good untarnished reputation and brand, and consistently high standards before we grant them membership.

And once a builder is an NZCB member, they undergo regular training in the latest building techniques and are kept up to speed with industry developments and regulatory requirements. NZCB has strong ties with local authorities and educational institutes to ensure a smooth, stress-free building experience, with minimal paperwork!

Right, now you know what to look for, find your local NZCB builder here using our Find a builder search tool.

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