Home renovations

Bathroom renovations, Home renovations, Kitchen renovations

North Shore Bathroom And Kitchen Renovations Builder

Increase The Value Of Your Home With Bathroom And Kitchen Renovations

For most people, the most valuable asset that they will ever own is their home. Many people rely on the increasing value of that asset to provide a nest-egg when they retire as they can sell and down-size when they get older.

The value of that asset is generally increasing in New Zealand but that is all because of the heated market. What could happen to the value if the heat goes out of the market?  If the market stalls, or even falls, what can you do to increase the value of your home?

For some people, a major renovation of an older home is an option, but it is a big job and not everyone can afford to spend $250k or more on renovating their home. A full renovation can also take many months, something that families might not want to have to deal with.

Simpler House Renovations

Like most investments, a home will need regular review and upkeep to be sure that it delivers the best return on investment. Just like a stock portfolio needs constant attention in order to provide value through balanced holdings of certain investments, a home requires constant maintenance. Regular maintenance will stop small jobs becoming big ones while regular painting to preserve the condition of the cladding material will also keep the house looking presentable.

However, these only maintain the value of your home. They don’t add a lot of new value.

The Two Best Ways To Add Significant Value To A Home

When people are going to open homes to buy a new house, the two most important rooms are the kitchen and the bathroom. It makes sense therefore, that if these two rooms impress buyers the most, then renovate and improve those to generate a higher value for your home.

Renovating A Kitchen

A kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s a space where people often gather, so it makes sense to create a friendly area with as much free room as possible. Older homes tended to have cramped rooms, often cluttered with cabinets, heating, water tanks and free-standing appliances. Modern design styles for kitchen renovations coupled with technological advances mean that appliances of all types can be in-built plus are more efficient to run. All of this means that space can be saved creating bigger, brighter kitchen areas.

Renovating A Bathroom

Similar to kitchens, bathrooms in older homes were often separate rooms for the toilet and bathroom. The wall between them takes up space which can be better used. Big old hot water cylinders or storage tanks and airing cupboards took up yet more space, leaving small, poorly lit rooms.

Again, using advances in technology and materials, a renovated bathroom can function with much smaller water heaters and have airing facilities like heated towel rails, all of which need far less room. Combining these with removing unnecessary walls makes a single, bigger, brighter space which is much more inviting and, adds significant value to a house.

Costs Of Bathroom And Kitchen Renovations

The costs for renovating a bathroom or kitchen are like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’.

There are so many variables to consider. For example,

  • How old is the house?
  • Is the structure sound?
  • How much space needs to be changed or combined?
  • Are supporting walls being removed?
  • What grade of cabinetry do you want?
  • What brand of appliances or bathroom fittings are you after?
  • And many more.

Each renovation is a unique project and the only way to accurately assess the cost is for an experienced kitchen renovation builder or bathroom renovations company to visit your site. They can assess the works needed and give you a ball-park cost.

Once the drawings are finalised and approved by the Council if necessary, then they can give you a more accurate quotation.

Save Time And Money By Talking To A Licensed Builder

All of the above make sense, but there is one missing piece.

Is a bathroom or kitchen renovation a feasible project within your budget?

You could get excited about the options of having a kitchen or bathroom renovation only to have your hopes dashed when you find out it is too difficult or beyond your budget. To avoid this, it makes sense to call in an experienced kitchen and bathroom renovation builder from the start. They will be able to give you some pointers on aspects you might not have considered, and the all- important outline of costs for your ideas.

Additional Benefits From Bathroom And Kitchen Renovations

However, an investment in a property does not have to be quantified simply in dollars and cents. It is also an investment in future happiness. Your house is your home so having a nicer, brighter, bigger living space can give you a return on investment while you live there. You will also find that a well-managed kitchen renovation or bathroom remodelling project will give you greater utility value as you and your family will have better use from the new space.

With few options to travel overseas currently, many homeowners are looking at bathroom and kitchen renovations. They have disposable funds or can afford a mortgage top-up with such low interest rates instead of taking that big holiday abroad.


If you have a kitchen or bathroom you are thinking of renovating, give us a call on 0800 224 628 or email us at enquiries@cainbuilt.co.nz and we’ll be happy to chat through your options.

North Shore renovations builder
Home office, Home renovations, House extension, House Renovation

North Shore Renovations Builder – Renovating A Home For Extra Income

Is Renovating Or Building A House Extension For Extra Income Worth It?

Covid-19 has caused lots of people to review their lives and even how they generate an income. Many have come to enjoy the Working From Home (WFH) lifestyle and some are actively looking to explore how they can capitalise on that. Some people are considering how they can use their home to generate that additional or replacement income.


That income could be generated by renting existing space in their home, however, a stumbling block for some people, is the lack of available or usable space in their home. In this article we will look at the options and viability of renovating or extending your home to generate additional income.


Potential Revenue Sources

We are not looking at simply renting a room for a flat-share or an Airbnb but bigger ideas where the homeowner wants to produce more income by using land on their property. In short, how can a house renovation or extension generate extra income?


Different Uses and Income Sources

There are numerous types of businesses you could run, ranging from a bed and breakfast, a short-term holiday let, creating a long-term rental unit, to building a workshop or studio. You can rent the studio space or run classes yourself.


A common option is a granny-flat or even renting space to your children.


Another idea is to build a smaller unit for yourself and rent out the main home. This can suit young couples with no children yet or older couples who no longer need the space of the big house.


For those people who are self-employed already but work out of a leased office or shared practice space, you might consider building your own working space. This will save you commuting time and costs as well as the rent on your office or practice building. Accountants, lawyers, therapists, and many other professionals can make huge financial and emotional changes to their lives by working from their own premises built on their property.


Each of these ideas for income requires different amounts of capital input and ongoing work from you.  A bed and breakfast for example, will require you to cook and clean each time you have guests. A studio or long-term rental will need very little ongoing input from you.


Extend Or Renovate?

The answer to this depends on your ambitions and also your property.


For some homes, the physical land or location will determine what you can and cannot do.  This in turn will also affect the costs.


A good starting place is to talk to a local building contractor who will be able to give you tips and pointers on what you can do within broad ball-park costs.


After that, you can do some more research and costings to see which is more viable for your particular aims.


Financial Considerations From Extending Or Renovating Your Home For Income

Besides the obvious income you can generate from whatever business type you choose, there are other financial issues too.


Tax on any net income is of course an expense you will have to pay. You may decide that the after-tax figure is not worth the expense of the building work or the ongoing input from yourself.


On the other hand, if you hire the right renovation builder and designer, you can add a considerable amount of value to your property. This can be far in excess of the construction and administrative costs. In fact, people often look at income generation jobs as a means of financing their capital expansion rather than being a career.


You need to look at your finances to see what you can afford to do, whether it is from existing resources or from additional lending, and forecast the potential revenues. You must talk to your accountant, the Council and a mortgage broker before you commit to any big projects.


Extra income from home

Extra income from home

The Next Steps To Generating An Income From Home

Before you can talk to an accountant, you need to have a solid idea of the extension or renovation costs involved. The safest way of achieving this is to talk to an experienced renovation builder who can give ideas on not just costs, but good advice on the types of work, extension or renovation you might consider. A good local builder will also have a strong understanding of the actual ground of your property and the amount of preparation work you will need before any construction can begin.


The other big issue is the Council. Getting building consent is a time-consuming and potentially expensive process. At Cain Built, as a long-standing North Shore builder, we have worked on many renovations and extensions over the years and as a result, had lots of experience working with the Council. We can give you some pointers or put you in contact with who you need to talk to about the work you will have to do to get Consent from the Council.


Will 2021 Be The Year To Make Your Property Profitable?

2020 is drawing to a close and more people are taking a serious look at their life to see what they want and how they can achieve it.  For many, making your property a revenue-generator is a great way forward.


If you have aspirations to either WFH or want to create other revenue streams from your house, we are happy to have a chat with you to talk about the renovation or extension options you might want.


Give us a call on 0800 224 628 or if you prefer, you can email us at enquiries@cainbuilt.co.nz.

Budgeting, Home renovations, House Renovation, Housebuilder

North Shore Home And Renovations – Building To A Budget

The Smartest Investment You Can Make When Building Your New Home

You decide you want a new purpose-built or renovated home for you and your family and having looked through magazines, watched building shows on TV and visited a range of houses to develop your ideas, you now have a vision for your dream-home.

You consult an architect or draughtsman and explain this dream home to them. They draw up the plans and wow it looks fantastic – just what you envisioned.
You give two thumbs up and have your designer submit the plans to Council for building consent and finally, get approval to go ahead with the build. You could easily have spent $10,000 by this stage, but you have a budget in mind so what could possibly go wrong?

Sadly, a lot can and frequently does go wrong even before the building starts.

The Next Step In Building Your Dream Home

Once you have the plans and consent from the Council, the obvious next step is to call in a builder so they can give you an estimate. It is here, that things often go horribly wrong.

The building estimates can be way over your budget. In fact, in our experience, they usually are (and sometimes by double). This is because people significantly under-estimate the cost of even basic, entry-level building. So, when we price their luxurious dream house, they are of course shocked at the cost.

People get carried away in the excitement of having a big kitchen with all the bells and whistles, a third bathroom or perhaps an entertainers’-sized deck complete with mini-bar. This is their chance to have top-of-the-range fixtures and fittings.

The biggest costs are labour and building materials, but you also have to add in other big costs. For example, initial groundwork alone can run to tens of thousands of dollars. If you are on a sloping site, then you may need retaining walls. Any increase in the floor area, especially on sloping sites, will add significantly to your building costs.

Many times house building or renovation projects do not go ahead simply because people have had unrealistic budgets and grandiose plans. Not only have people paid out $10,000 or more, but their dreams are squashed.

The Best Way To Build To Your Budget

What is the solution to build within your budget?

Oddly, the best way forward is to invest a relatively small amount of money before you get to the final plans. This may seem counter-intuitive to spend money at this stage, but it can save you thousands and help you get a home that will meet your family’s needs.

Before running off with your grand ideas to an architect, first, run your ideas past a Licensed Builder. Ask for their expert opinion on what you could realistically build on your site or with your existing house – and within your available budget. An experienced builder will have real-world knowledge on the range of costs and work involved in executing your ideas, be able to offer solutions where needed and even suggest alternatives you may not have considered. This collaborative discussion will help manage both your expectations and budget from the start, getting you closer to the home you want.

Most builders will also be able to recommend a few architects or draughtsmen best suited to your project. Once you’ve settled on one, ask them to draw-up a draft plan rather than full building plans. When you have those, enlist your builder again, along with a Quantity Surveyor. Show them the outline plan and ask them for draft costs both for labour and the materials. Of course, you will have to pay for their time and work but this will be a lot less than having fully developed plans and consent that you cannot actually afford to build.

What Happens If The Draft Is Too Expensive?

Our job as a builder is to help you manage your expectations and your budget. If the labour and material costs do come back way over your expectations, we will work with you to decide what are the absolute must-haves in your new or renovated home – maybe you don’t really need that extra bathroom that is adding $20,000-$30,000 to your build.

Other things to consider are the fixtures and fittings. Do you need the highest spec of everything?

A small but surprising example of how these sorts of costs can get out of hand is the unassuming household door. Doors can range from $80 to $900, while handles can range from $10 to $800. Even a modest change in specs for these could easily save $7,000 in a four-bedroom home. Make these spec swaps to a few more items and you can imagine the potential savings on a whole.

Budget Over-runs Cause Stress And Financial Hardship

A common problem people end up with for a building project is that too many builders use a poor pricing model. It is very common to see prices quoted at a price per square metre. Even online guides offer pricing guidelines by the sq metre. This inevitably leads to under costing and financial over-spend.

Much better is to have either itemised or fixed pricing.

In the itemised models, you can see where your money is going so you can make changes before building starts (changing the fabric of the structure after construction has started is always expensive).

Using a fixed-price option, you and the builder will agree on the final specs at the beginning, with no changes possible within that price limit.

With both of these, you have more understanding of your financial exposure and can budget accordingly.

Smart Pricing For House Building

Over the years we have seen many disappointed homeowners who cannot afford their new home simply because they did not know the likely costs up front.

We encourage all of our prospective clients to do their due diligence and follow this simple but worthwhile approach to building or renovating a home. It saves everyone time, money and disappointment.

If you are thinking of having a new home built or undertaking a major renovation, we are happy to have an initial discovery chat. We can introduce you to an architect or draughtsman (depending on your build requirements) and a Quantity Surveyor so that you can get a fuller picture before you spend thousands of dollars on unusable drawings and Council consent – and ultimately have a positive building experience from the beginning. You can reach us via email at enquiries@cainbuilt.co.nz or on 0800 224 628.


North Shore house renovation builder and architectural new builds.

Home renovation budget Dairy Flat
Home renovations, House Renovation

Auckland Home Renovations – Budget Ideas

Home Renovations – The Key Part – Knowing your Budget

Before you embark on a house renovation, the most important job you must do is to work out what budget you can afford.  By doing this at the start of the project you will save yourself a lot of time, energy, and possible disappointment. Imagine building up a picture in your mind of a wonderful renovation to your home, getting all excited about the new house only to have your hopes dashed when you talk to an experienced home renovations builder who gives you a ball-park estimate twice as high as your funding.

It is much better for you, and the renovation builders too, to have a clear idea of what you can afford.

Here are some questions we come across when we talk to potential clients about a building budget.


How Do I Know What I Can Afford To Build Or Do Within My Budget?

Prices will vary a lot depending on

  • the size of the building
  • the state of the current building
  • the building plot, is it flat or sloping?
  • the grade of renovation materials you want
  • and many more


CoreLogic, a property information, analytics and services provider, suggest that building in Auckland is in the region of $2300 per sq metre. That means that building a typical new house would cost $445,000.


However, they go on to warn of “invisible costs” including:

  • The cost of the land itself
  • Architect or designer fees
  • Council and other regulatory permits
  • Admin costs for sub-division or in-fill
  • Groundwork if it is a sloping section
  • Development costs i.e. getting services to the building which alone can be $60,000.


This means you are looking at close to $600,000 before the cost of the land. Talk to your bank or mortgage broker to see if those figures are affordable to you and if they are prepared to lend on the property.


Have A Very Clear Idea Of What You Want

One of the biggest causes of costs over-running is clients changing their mind part-way through the build. As a renovation builder, it causes us no-end of problems making changes, but we have to pass on the extra costs to the client. This could be up to an extra 50% on the original cost. To avoid big additional costs, be clear from the outset what you want.


We suggest people have two lists:

  • The must-haves
  • The nice to haves if budget allows.


With our experience we can advise you on what is feasible and what it is better to cross off.

Remember too, that most renovations must have consent from the Council. The approval process can months and any significant changes to the plans can take weeks. To minimise the delays to your house building or home renovation project, have clear, and fixed idea from the start.


Be Very Clear On Your Budget

This is a combination of the first two steps.

Once you have a reasonably good idea of your budget, plus a clear plan of what you want, then you can hire an architect or designer to convert those into building plans.

Ideally we can work through those at the concept stage with you to explain where costs might be saved or what additional costs you might be looking at.

These steps save so much time and disappointment, both for us, and for the client. If the client has a more modest budget, then it saves them the significant cost of having useless plans drawn up.

Be clear, even ruthless from the start about your building or home renovations ambitions.


When Should You Involve The Builder?

A builder cannot determine your budget for you. You have to decide that with your financiers.

We work out the costs of converting your design into a finished home. That includes, groundworks, consents, labour including sub-contractors, materials, and finishes.

If that pricing is significantly above your budget, with our experience we can look at the design and work with your architect to suggest changes so that the finished home will be closer to your budget.

However, we can talk to you before you hire an architect to give you a ball-park figure based on your outline and having seen the section we are building on. This will help you and the designer to come up with a design that is within your agreed budget. We are happy to come along to your property to discuss this with you. We can also suggest a suitable architect or draughtsman based on your project type and budget.



How much to budget for house renovations

How much to budget for house renovations

Changes To The Plan During The Build Process

As mentioned before, changes to the plan once the home renovations building process has started are costly, on a number of fronts.

As a builder, changes during the project are not welcome but in the end we are going to be paid for them so it doesn’t affect us apart from frustration or being late for our next job. But for the client the changes can cost thousands of extra dollars.

If the changes are significant like the footprint of the project such as making the rooms bigger or adding an extra room, that means the plans have to be re-drawn and re-submitted to the Council.




You will have extra costs such as:-

  • design and drawing fees
  • costs for the Consent
  • additional construction costs- as well as rental and site cost if project has already been started
  • material costs.
  • Re-pricing and administration costs


Plus of course, this will add time to the overall project. If you are living in rented accommodation, then you will have extra rent to pay too. That might result in having to renew your lease on the rental property.

As stated above, have a clear idea from the start, and don’t make significant deviations from it.



The Quality Of the Finish

This relates to the carpet, fixtures and fittings, appliances, bathroom fit-out, lighting, and even the quality of paint that you want to use or fits within the budget.

This is often an aspect that can add a significant over-run to the total project cost. People decide to have a more expensive style of taps, or higher spec appliances in the kitchen or bathroom. Even door handles can add thousands to the original cost.

You can easily go from a $60 door handle to one over $250, and remember, you need two handles per door. If you have cupboards, closets as well as room doors, you could easily need 15 doors. That change in door furniture would cost almost $3,000 more. Be clear on the standard of finish you want or can afford, and stick to it.


Summing Up Home Renovations And Building Budgets

The strong message is to have a very clear idea of both budget and expectations from the start, and to not make significant changes to that. Any change will cost you time and a lot of extra money.

At Cain Built we are more than happy to discuss your ideas for your home renovations before you approach an architect or designer to help gauge the potential project cost, and make suggestions based on our years of experience in the building industry. This will help you fix those ideas and costs from an early stage.

If you’d like to have a chat about your building or renovation project in the Auckland area, call us on 0800 224 628 or if you prefer, you can email enquiries@cainbuilt.co.nz.

House renovations builders East Coast Bays
Home renovations, House Renovation

Auckland House Renovations – Answers To Frequent Questions

Auckland House Renovations – Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years we have been asked many questions about house renovations. Some of those crop up regularly so here is a list of some of the FAQs we are asked.


Why renovate?

There are three main reasons people renovate their home:


They need more space

More bedrooms – A young couple you may have bought a starter home but with young children, you now need more bedrooms, so you are not sharing a room with your children. Then as the children grow older into their teens, they no longer want to share bedrooms.

Work from home – One of you has a change in career and decides to work from home. A kitchen table or a corner of the living room may not be enough space or allow for quiet time. Maybe you need a design studio or a dedicated office. Renovating your home can add a specialist working area to your home saving you hundreds of dollars a month in office rental.

Older relative coming to live – This is very common as a parent needs more care or simply doesn’t want to live on their own anymore. Renovating to include a granny-flat is a common cause of a bigger renovation project.

Entertainment rooms – Increasingly common is people deciding that they want entertainment areas. This might be a home theatre or a games room. Some people even want a dedicated music listening room.


Outdated design or poor standard of repair

Poor layout – The current layout of the house is old and inefficient. Older homes are not open plan, which wastes a lot of usable space. Renovating can free-up a surprising amount of new space which can be arranged as bigger living areas, extra bathrooms, a bigger kitchen, additional bedrooms, and many more ideas.  Older homes will also be inefficient from an energy consumption perspective whether heat loss, water heating, or heating systems. When renovating, you can install the latest energy-efficient systems to reduce your running costs and carbon footprint.

Poor standard of repair – Let’s face it. Not everyone wants to spend their leisure time decorating, installing new appliances or cupboards, or generally maintaining their home. Major Auckland house renovations can take care of all those problems, and more. Better still, you get a professional house renovation building company to do all the work for you.


Not wanting to move

Many families are very happy in the are they live in and simply do not want to move. They have friends or family close by, or it may be more convenient to get to work. Often it is the place at a preferred school that people don’t want to give up. On top of that, moving to a new house is a lot of work. You must look for a suitable home, give up time by going to lots of viewings or open homes, have emotional stress and setbacks when your offers get out-bid. Then if you are successful, you have to go through the turmoil of sorting and packing your chattels and furniture, moving and then unpacking at the other end. Then you have to make new friends etc. It is easy to see why some people simply prefer to stay where they are and renovate their existing home.



What should I consider when thinking about renovating?

There are a few key points to consider before a renovation project.

Budget and affordability are key. – Unless it is affordable, then don’t waste time or energy thinking about a renovation.

What do you want from the renovation? – This can be broken down into two lists – the must-haves and the hope-to-haves. By having a clear idea of what you want as a minimum from the renovation, you can determine your budget. Once you have that sorted, then you can look at other ideas like an entertainment room, a bigger kitchen etc. But draw-up those two lists to discuss with an experienced renovation builder like Cain Built.


Am I over capitalising?

Is it right for the area? – This is a good question to ask and one that needs you to think about selling the home at some stage. For example, if all the houses in your area are two- or three-bedrooms, would someone want to buy a four-bedroom house in that locality? Or would they instead look at the next suburb for a four-bedroom home? The best way to answer this is to call in a real estate agent or better still, a property valuer. They will be able to advise if the renovation project is too big, or if the area is likely to develop along those lines.

House renovations FAQs

Can I live in my house while it’s being renovated?

It depends – The answer depends on the extent of your home renovation project. If walls are being ripped out so there are no bedroom or bathroom privacy, or maybe the kitchen is taken out, then you will most likely need to relocate during part of the house renovations. There may be harmful materials like asbestos that needs to be removed so again you won’t be able to live there while that is happening. Sometimes the builder can work in stages so you can move from one room to the next but generally, especially for bigger renovation projects, it is easier, and quicker for the builders to have free access around the house.


Can I leave my belongings in my home while renovating?

It depends – Again it depends on the extent of the renovation project. Generally though, it is better to remove as much as possible. This is especially the case if the exterior walls are going to be replaced leaving the home open. Your belongings can also get very dirty with all the dust, mud and other particles on the building site.

How do I know I’m hiring a builder I can trust?

There are two ways to determine this:-

Accreditations – Look for accredited builders. At Cain Built Ltd we are both Licensed Building Practitioners (a government building standard) and an NZCB Certified Builder. For both of these accreditations, we have to undergo regular training and meet nationally approved standards. This also means that we provide a ten-year guarantee plus we have to hold a required insurance cover for public liability.

Testimonials – Ask previous clients or look at testimonials. We have tons of great reviews from very happy clients – please see this page on our website for what our customers have said about our work.


How do I get a project started / Where to start?

Talk to a builder – A chat with an experienced builder will give you an idea of what you could achieve within a rough budget. If the renovation still seems a likely project, then you need to work out your budget and talk to a designer or architect.


What type of work requires Council consent?

These projects will or may need Council consent:

  • Relocating a building
  • Recladding
  • Retaining walls
  • Altering an existing building
  • Extensions and additions
  • Deck
  • Porch or veranda


Who will take care of securing Council consents?

If the renovation does require council approval the Architect or Draughtsman typically takes care of submitting the plans to Council and getting them to the stage that they are ready for construction to begin.


How long will the consent process take?

Council has 20 working days to process the building consent application during which time further

information may be requested; if further information is requested the clock is stopped.

The reality is it often can take longer than this for a ’building consent’ to come through.

Should you project require ‘resource consent’ also this can draw out the planning stage of the process significantly, some have been known to take a year or more due to the number of specialist consultants involved, correspondence between them and council and red tape that can be associated with some building projects or sites.


If you later make changes to the plan, you will have to go through the consent process again.


What warranties and insurances are in place to protect my building and me?

Contracts – On agreement, we will supply you with a binding contract from the Certified Builders Association, who produce the most up to date contracts in the industry. This will outline our responsibility to you, the extent of work, insurances, time period and payment schedule.


We will also provide you with a disclosure statement detailing which sub-contractors will be working on your project, a written warranty on the building products being used and details of our insurance. We will also include a timeline and completion date.


Insurance – We carry Public Liability and workmanship Insurance.


Guarantee –  Cain Built will provide you with one of the most comprehensive guarantees on the market – 10 Year Residential Guarantee, via our memberships with Registered Master Builders Association and New Zealand Certified Builders Association.

In addition, we are both Registered Master Builders Association and New Zealand Certified Builders Association accredited and have been through an extensive vetting process – so you know you’re hiring professionals.


If you have a question that isn’t answered above, please feel free to get in touch for more information. Give us a call on 0800 224 628 or if you prefer, you can email us at enquiries@cainbuilt.co.nz.