FAQ's

At what stage do I engage the services of a builder?

This can vary depending on the building company and whether they are willing to take on jobs that haven’t been drawn up or consented yet. Most companies do not provide this service and typical practice is to involve the contractor’s services once the design has been consented by the council and is ready to be priced by a contractor. At Style Plus we are more than happy to be involved as early as you require, including at the beginning of the process where we engage with the architect. This way we can give you a realistic budget as early as possible. Once your plans have been drawn up we can help with lodging the consent with Auckland City Council.

Why is it important to select a good architect for your building project?

A good Architect with experience and knowledge of the scope of your project should be able to provide you with advice on everything from optimising living spaces, for a current home renovation, or for a new build, to choosing a reputable builder, creating detailed and accurate drawings and negotiating your building consent and sometimes your resource consent.

At times the roles of both the Architect and the contractor can overlap, so ensuring that both your architect and your contractor are personable, contactable and forthcoming about all information will lead to a positive building process and outcome.

What role does a project manager play?

The project manager is key in managing the physical building process, managing staff and subcontractors, ordering materials and stock, liaising with clients, council and the architect, ensuring that the elements of the building process come together smoothly. He is the 'one point of contact' for the project. A project manager is extremely important in maintaining efficiency, flow and clear communication between all parties. At Style Plus our project manager understands the critical part they play in the management of timelines and budgets, which is why we offer this service to eliminate any uncertainty or confusion about who is responsible for what at varying stages of the build, ensuring that your project will be built on time and to budget.

Do I need to have insurance arranged?

Yes, definitely. We cannot emphasise enough how important insurance is. Your budget should always include an allowance for building insurance to safeguard your investment. We recommend insurance being in place from day one for the sake of your project reaching its completion no matter what may happen as the process takes place.

How can I keep my project on budget and on time?

At Style Plus our quotes are never one page, we budget for even the most minor of expenses so you know exactly where your investment is being spent. If there are any unexpected expenses that come up along the way you will be notified and we will request approval (through the variations process) for these spends prior to resolving the issue. There are a few steps you can take early on in the building process to combat your build going over budget and over the time frame. These are things like hiring a construction company with project management services that will be able to help keep your costs down, using a good quality certified builder to build your project right the first time, try making all major decisions as early as possible to keep unforeseen costs to a minimum and plan as realistically as possible allowing for contingency just in case.

1.

Choose a reputable builder that guarantee's their workmanship, we cannot stress this enough. Sometimes you can get an extremely cheap quote that seems almost too good to be true, this can very often be the case. A one-page quote could very well be an estimate instead of a thoughtfully considered quote. When considering hiring a building company ask yourself would you rather a builders who has just guessed a price that would hopefully guarantee them the job or a company that has thought of all aspects of the job, priced the sub-contractors and materials, and given you their best deal for the best quality?

2.

Try to make all major decisions as early as possible. If you are unsure of an aspect of your build, do not wait until a wall is half constructed to realise you want it somewhere else. Variations, while sometimes necessary, have a knock-on effect to the rest of a project both physically and fiscally. All concerns are best addressed as soon as possible. And if in doubt, ask how long you have to lock down a decision so that unforeseen costs are kept to a minimum.

3.

Hire a Project Manager, or a construction company, like Style Plus, that offer this as a part of their service and can ensure that their service is reputable. A good project manager can make all the difference.

4.

While the Architect, Builder and yourself will try to think of every possible cost that will be incurred, try to include a realistic contingency. For example, what if the council changes a standard and the building inspector holds up a build? Not only will your build not move forward until this issue is resolved but your contractors and subcontractors may not be able to finish other aspects of the job, which means you could be in a rental longer and the job goes over time. Who would have known this was to happen? Allow your budget to have room for contingencies and if nothing does happen then you have plenty left in the bank at the end of your project.

Is it possible to live onsite during the construction of my home?

Yes, depending on the project. We’ve had plenty of experience with families who have chosen to do so even in the case of major home renovations. With the right amount of team management, site safety and proper systems and timelines in place, there’s no reason why you can't live on site.

Do I need to know about the building consent process and what is involved?

Yes, it is important to know about the consent process as a building consent is usually needed before a project can begin. The same basic consent and inspection process applies whether building a new home, commercial building or structure and is also subject to renovations, additions, alterations and demolition. It is the architect’s job to draw the plans for the project. Comprehensive plans are required to submit to the building consent authority when applying for a building consent. The cost for a building consent will largely depend on the detail of the plans and specifications of your project. Below are some examples of work that requires a building consent:

  • Structural changes to a building: additions, alterations, re-piling and demolition
  • Plumbing and drainage, this does not include repair and maintenance of existing
  • Relocating a building
  • Installing a wood burner or air-conditioning system
  • Retaining walls higher than 1.5 meters
  • Fences or walls higher than 2 meters, and all swimming pools and their associated fencing
  • Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1 metre above ground level
Consent Process

1.

Complete an application form and submit to the building consent authority.

2.

If the information provided is incomplete, the building consent authority can request further information which could lead to delays so its best to check your application twice to make sure you have not left anything out.

3.

The building consent authority will check the plans thoroughly to determine whether the proposals will meet the requirements of the Building Code and will charge a fee for this process. It’s best to have your plans done right the first time so that you don’t incur extra costs.

4.

The building consent authority has 20 working days to decide whether to grant or refuse a building consent. If more information is needed this can cause delays.

5.

Once fees have been paid, the building consent authority will issue the building consent.

6.

Notify the building consent authority when work begins on a project. A building consent lapses if the building work does not start within 12 months, unless you make arrangements with your building consent authority.

7.

Organise inspections and ensure they are occurring as required.

8.

Finished project and Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) issued.

Inspectors/ Building Inspections

The building consent authority will set out the inspections that are necessary on the building consent. These inspections will come at certain times during the project. At Style Plus we employ our own quality assurance checklist that prepares us for these inspections and ensures we have not missed anything.

Certificate of Building Compliance

At the end of the project a final inspection for a code compliance certificate (CCC) is required. A CCC is issued after the final inspection of the finished building project and confirms that the building consent authority is satisfied the completed building work complies with the building consent.

What types of contracts are available?

Full Contract:

With a full contract you do not have to worry about organising anything as we will organise everything for you from subcontractors all the way to the final inspection. We will give you a fixed price cost for the job from start to finish. This leaves you knowing exactly what the job will cost and rest assured we will use only the best sub contractors. Anything outside of the fixed price is our problem not yours.

Labour Only Contract:

With this type of contract you only pay the builder for his labour. You are responsible for organising everything from sub contractors to inspections and this also means you are responsible for meeting any building code requirements. This process can take a huge amount of your time and energy unless you hire a separate project manager capable of undertaking all of these tasks. Additionally labour only contracts can end up being very costly. Labour only contracts are only recommended if you are experienced at managing a project.

Cost Plus Contract:

This is the cost of all materials plus the builder’s margin on top of this. There is no fixed price, so there are no guarantees on job cost but it removes the builder’s risk factor which is built into a full contract. This type of contract allows you to input new things as the project progresses. We will still organise everything from sub contractors through to the final inspection.

Why is it important to hire a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)?

The Licensed Building Practitioner logo puts customers at ease by letting them know the building practitioners they are engaging have been assessed as technically competent in their licensed field.

From 1 March 2012 building work (including design work) that relates to either the structure (load-bearing walls; foundations etc) or moisture penetration (roofs; cladding etc) of homes including small to medium sized apartments will be classified as Restricted Building Work. Restricted Building work may only be carried out by competent licensed building practitioners. Additionally it will be an offense for an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work and it is also an offense to knowingly engage an unlicensed person to carry out restricted building work. You can rest assured knowing that at Style Plus we are fully licensed building practitioners, guaranteeing you that we are technically competent and experts in our field. Whenever you undertake any new building work always hire a licensed building practitioner.

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