Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you will have a million questions before you, perhaps, make the most difficult decision of your life. We can help address them. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
There are a number of hazards associated with building your new home which, if not carefully managed, could cause serious injury or worse, to those that encounter them. Stonewood Homes has a legal obligation to ensure that those hazards are identified and controlled.
During the construction of your new home a fence will be erected and secured around your site to ensure that only suitably qualified and authorised persons can access the site, and subsequently to ensure any hazards are contained within it.
Although we understand that it is your property, legally we are required to control the building site while your home is under construction. We still want you to be able to access the site and view the progress and we have some processes that will make it easier for you to do this.
Prior to handing the home over to you, a Notice of Inspection will have been completed by your Local Council. This means your home has been completed to Code Compliance Stage as per the Building Consent requirements.
Under the Building Act 2004, all Territorial Authorities have 20 working days to issue a Code of Compliance Certificate. This does not preclude you from moving into your home but you should be aware that your Code of Compliance Certificate may not arrive prior to the expiration of this time frame. If you are drawing down mortgage funds, your Bank will most likely require you to see the Notice of Inspection, a copy of which your Project Supervisor will provide to you.
If you wish to take possession prior to the Code of Compliance Certificate having been issued, you will also be required to sign an Agreement under Section 364V(2) of the Building Act 2004. Please refer to clause 11 (Practical Completion and Possession by Owner) of your Building Agreement. Your Project Supervisor will give you this Agreement prior to handover.
A provisional sum is an amount of money that is recorded in your Building Agreement where we do not yet know the final cost, for example, your kitchen. Once your choices have been finalised and a price confirmed you will receive either a credit back or an invoice for the difference. We will be happy to provide you with copies of any invoices received from suppliers should you so wish.
Typically your Building Agreement will provide provisional sums for:-
- Foundation engineering/structural engineering services
- Utilities ie: power/water
- Council fees
Foundations can be a vast unknown and until such time as a Soil Investigation Report is completed and an Engineering Report received, we are unable to formally evaluate the cost of foundations or land remediation.
As a Master Build building company, Stonewood Homes are covered by the Master Build Guarantee. This is protecting you against loss of deposit, non-completion of the build, defects in materials, workmanship and structural. Cover will depend on the value of the building contract.
On handover our Builders Risk Insurance will expire and you will become responsible for insurance on the house (and your contents in that house) from that point onwards. Please ensure you speak with your insurance company now to set up full comprehensive insurance cover on your home which needs to come into place as from the day of handover. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with the expert advice you require to ensure the correct insurance is put in place.
Stonewood Homes Limited carries contract works and public liability insurance cover for the duration of the build period. Once we hand the home over to you, that insurance will lapse and your private home insurance will take over. You will need to make sure that you arrange insurance cover well ahead of your handover date so that when the time comes your cover will be in place immediately.
From the signing of your Building Agreement and payment of your deposit through to completion of your home, you should allow 44-47 weeks depending on the size and complexity of your home. We can break these time frames down as follows, but please note these time frames are guidelines only.
After you have confirmed your final design, the Building Agreement is signed and you have paid your deposit:-
- Up to 5 working days from signing of your Building Agreement to a handover meeting with your Client Liaison Officer
- Depending on how many changes you make to your contract drawings and the impact of those on engineering requirements, up to 6 weeks for processing and administration in preparation for your Building Consent Application*
- 6-10 weeks for the Council to issue your Building Consent
- The time from uplift of Building Consent to onsite works beginning will be recorded in your Building Agreement
- The time to build your home (from slab pour through to practical completion)can vary depending on the size of the build, the design of the home and complexities of the site. Typically a build will take approximately 4 weeks to complete the slab pour and a further 22 – 26 weeks in construction through to practical completion.
- It can take up to 4 weeks for the Council to issue the Code Compliance Certificate
- Please add up to 4 additional weeks if your home is in any part of the above process during Christmas
With the construction industry moving at its current rate, please be aware that some of these timeframes will be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. We will always use our best endeavours to keep you informed of any delays that may arise. Stonewoodconnect™ will provide you with up to date construction timelines once works on site are underway. Please note a final handover date will not be available until after interior paint is completed.
*Please note that we cannot apply for your Building Consent until all your changes/drawings are finalised and locked in
The Building Act places strict responsibility on your Council to ensure that what is submitted for Building Consent is what is actually built. As such, Stonewood will complete your home to the plans and specifications that have been submitted to the Council for Building Consent and no further changes will be allowed after the application is submitted.
Once you have paid your deposit and had your handover meeting with your Client Liaison Officer we will start to complete the detailed drawings, collect the site specific data and make final checks of all the paperwork so we can submit the Building Consent Application. We estimate this will take between 5 and 6 weeks. However, if you make any further changes to your plans or selections during this time, this time frame may extend and fees may be incurred.
All square meterage rates are not created equally! They are often a market measure but they seldom reflect your personal choices or your site specifications. Stonewood Homes is one of the only building companies that will provide you with a price list. We will transparently provide any additions or subtractions from the price based on your site specifications and any requests for changes to our existing plans. Through discussion with your New Home Consultant, we will be in a position to understand your needs and to give you a pricing band that your new home may fall into.
On average, it takes between 10 and 12 months to build a home. This includes the initial planning and approval process, the construction itself, the final Code of Compliance, and the sale of an existing property. The construction process (from slab down) takes about six to eight months.
Because of the second floor, the added staircase, and sometimes a deeper foundation, a two-story house takes longer to build. Also, higher scaffolding is required (costing more), and it also needs to be moved more than once to allow work on two different levels.
Stating the obvious, one is made of steel, and one of timber. Both achieve the same outcome, with the main difference for a homeowner as to what fasteners are used to hang things from the wall. They can both achieve the same R rating, however steel requires additional thermal breaks to achieve it. During construction, some builders prefer to work with steel as it is easier to achieve straight and flat wall, lighter and does not need to dry out. Others prefer the versatility of timber in that it can be cut and modified easily on site and does not require the addition of thermal breaks.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what works best for you and your builder.
Buying an existing home tends to be cheaper as parts of it may need or be close to needing refurbishment. It may be built to an old building standard e.g., lower levels of installation with no double glazing. It really depends on how old and how well maintained the existing home as to what the difference is. The cost of a new home also varies significant based on the site, size and specification level selected. Sometimes it is better value to knock down an existing home than refurbish it.
Spring is typically the best season to begin construction on a new home due to better weather conditions, optimal windows of opportunity for landscape installation, and fewer delays in the building process due to weather.
1.Organizing a successful construction
Gather your thoughts, separating out what you must and would like to accomplish, so that you can consider priorities, budget, and timing. Spend the time now such that few if any changes need to be made during construction
2. Obtain a building permit.
Before applying this is the last opportunity to make changes without incurring additional administration and or compliance cost. If you do need to make changes later, you may need to apply to amend the consent, pay a fee, and potentially delay your project.
3.Build in accordance with the agreement
Construction can begin once you have received building approval. Make sure there is a complete schedule of works in place so that expectation are clear and can be measured and adjusted if required.
4.Sign off on your property and keep it in good condition.
Check that everything has been completed in accordance with your building consent, plans, and contracts. You must notify your builder of any problems within 12 months of the completion of the project.
The actual cost of building a house in New Zealand is heavily dependent on the site, and each site may have hidden costs. Slopping sites cost more to build on than flat sites.
Auckland is still the most expensive city in New Zealand to buy a house due to the cost of land – but it is not the most expensive to build a new home. Cost will vary around the country due to availability of materials and contractors.
Getting out of the ground can vary significant from one site to another. Once though you have a building platform/ slab the costs to build can be more accurately calculated and controlled.
Within your control, the size of the house has the biggest influence on the cost to build, followed by the level of specification. Talk through with your builder your requirements and budget and they will be able to guide you to a design and size of home that best meets your situation.
The majority will require a loan to cover the construction costs of their new home. These are referred to as construction loans.
If you are planning a new home or renovation, the type of loan you choose may be influenced by your financial situation and the size of the project. A construction loan is designed specifically to keep your costs lower while the work is being done as you progressively draw down on the loan.
A house-and-land package provides many of the advantages of building from scratch while removing much of the grunt work from your plate. A house and land package is exactly what the name implies: rather than purchasing a section and then building, you purchase both the section and the house at the same time.
When purchasing a house and land package you will typically be required to pay in full for the land portion before construction begins, then a construction loan can be used to progressively pay for the build as it occurs.