The New Home Build Process

You have a vision for a new home; you may even have land and concept designs. It’s exciting to think about and you’re really looking forward to moving in, but what’s the next step right now?

We have seen many projects, large and small, from all over New Zealand. A rare few go swimmingly, but those are generally by people who have done many projects before and know how it works. For most, it is a journey into the unknown.

When we reflect on the problems that first time home builders have, it comes back to the same thing – unpleasant surprises.

“wow, how can it cost that much, that’s way over budget!”

“why is it taking so long, we were meant to be in the house 6 months ago!”

“what’s the hold up, I don’t understand why it should be this complicated!”

“I didn’t realise it was going to be that basic, I’m going to need to upspec that item”

“we’re going to have to trim the design back because we can’t afford it like it is!”

“just tell me what’s going on – communicate with me!”

These are real sentiments that come up all too often in the design and build process. Lack of process is at the core of these issues. If your project follows a sound process that logically works through every step required, you will get a much better overall experience.

The secret to a successful project is to follow the right process.

Here are a few common practices we have picked up from projects that run smoothly.


They go through a proper feasibility exercise right at the start.

This includes talking to the experts about what is possible on a site, how much it will cost to build on it and what the completed home will be worth. Also knowing the upper limit of your borrowing capacity is essential early on if you’re going to need a mortgage like most of us.


They get cost advice early in the design phase.

Instead of waiting until the design is almost finished and you’ve paid most of the design fees to find out that it’s outside of the budget (80% of projects who don’t do this are outside of budget), get cost advice at the concept stage. Know your costs as soon as you can. A Quantity Surveyor can provide independent cost advice, or if you work with a builder at the initial stages they can also provide valuable advice on costs before the projects at a stage where to change the design costs you more.


They get their builder involved early as a trusted advisor.

Great design is so important to quality of life, but at the end of the day the Designer is only paid to design your home and have it consented. If the project doesn’t end up getting built, they are still paid. We believe having the right builder involved in your team from concept stage is essential to ensure you meet your build budget. Remember a builder will not get paid (except for preliminary pricing) until the build goes ahead so the motivation is high to ensure your project is designed to match your budget.  Successful projects always have early builder involvement.


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