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  • OT Quality Builders

Four simple steps to bring you closer to your dream home

Updated: Jul 16

Planning to make changes to your home but not sure where to begin? We’ve put together 4 simple steps to help you when you're starting your building journey!

Are you wanting to make changes to your home to make it your own? Make room for your growing family? Maybe you’ve landed yourself with the worst house on the best street? Or you simply hope to replicate the numerous posts saved to your Pinterest board? Whatever the reason may be, this simple guide created by our expert builders will help bring you 4 steps closer to your dream home.

Interior of Grey Lynn Bungalow, featuring hardwood floors and exposed steel joinery - renovation by OT Quality Builders, Auckland

Step 1. Obtaining your property file.

A property file is collected documents that the local council holds on a property. Your property file should include things like rating information, building and drainage plans, consent information, licensing details and more.

If you are serious about renovating, you can order a copy of your property file from your local council, this process can take up to 10 working days. You have a choice of pre ordering a hardcopy which can be sent by post/picked up or by downloading it onto a usb. Having your property file on hand when meeting with your builder or architect will provide them with a better understanding of your home from the outset.

Head here to order your property file online (for Auckland residents only).

Step 2. Plans and drawings for your home.

If you are wanting to renovate/extend or build, you will need drawings and plans before you begin. A great builder should be able to recommend architects/engineers to make this happen for you. Architects and engineers, if needed will be able to work with you to create the plans to present to council for consent.

Architects work in the construction industry designing new buildings and the spaces in and around them. They also help restore and conserve old buildings, and develop new ways of using existing buildings. They are involved in construction projects from the earliest stages right through to completion. You as the client, have the option to be involved as little or as much as needed or the budget allows.

The role of the structural engineer is a key component in the construction process. Part of the wider discipline of civil engineering, structural engineering is concerned with the design and physical integrity of buildings and other large structures, like tunnels and bridges. Structural engineers have wide range of responsibilities - not least a duty to ensure the safety and durability of the project on which they are working. Unlike architects, who must focus on the appearance, shape, size and use of the building, structural engineers must solve technical problems - and help the architect achieve his or her vision for the project.

Step 3. Building Consent

Once you have your plans and drawings ready to present to council for consent, its time to start looking for a builder if you haven’t found one already. We are finding that consents are taking about 6 weeks to be approved (as long as documentation is correct) but this will vary. No work should start until the council consent has been issued.

A building consent is Council's written authority to carry out building work that it considers will comply with the Building Code provided it is completed in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted with the building consent application. It cannot be issued retrospectively for work already completed.

Step 4. Choosing the right builder.

Making changes to your home is a big deal and choosing the right builder to take on the job makes all the difference. It is extremely important to make sure they have not only the right qualifications but also all of the right insurances, contracts, and guarantees in place to protect you both. It also always pays to check references from previous clients, visit previous completed sites and even get a feel for the team if possible. 

Our builders are proud members of New Zealand Certified Builders Association. NZCB is a membership organisation set up to protect homeowners from unqualified builders and unethical practices. All NZCB members must meet strict criteria to ensure their practical expertise is second to none. Take the stress out of your building journey and focus more on the fun stuff by choosing a building company you know you can trust.

Renovated kitchen in bungalow home - by OT Quality Builders, Auckland

If you wish to make changes to your home and want to know more about how to get there, you can contact an expert builder here for more advice to get you started.The team at OT Quality Builders would relish the opportunity to chat about this process and would be delighted to work with you on your building project.

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