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.
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Outdated design or poor standard of repair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.
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
- Retaining walls
- Altering an existing building
- Extensions and additions
- 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 – We offer the most comprehensive guarantee in the industry. The Halo ten-year guarantee covers loss of deposit, non-completion cover, alternative accommodation due to errors, as well as building and material guarantees.
In addition, we are Accredited New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) which means we have been thoroughly vetted and licensed.