Tip 6 - The Building Process


There are many factors that can delay the process, such as weather (no the builder is not afraid to work in the cold, but your concrete certainly doesn't like being poured in freezing conditions), or waiting on suppliers. Keep in contact with your builder and maintain realistic expectations.


Unless your job is really small you will need a Building Consent and possibly a Resource Consent from your local Territorial Authority (Council). This may take longer and cost more than you first think. On completion of the work YOU are responsible for obtaining a code compliance certificate (your builder may do this for you). Discuss with your builder any potential delays etc. that they foresee with your project. Keep up-to-date with the requirements of the Building Act through MBIE - Building and Housing at www.dbh.govt.nz.


Often once a building project is underway, owners will change their mind on what they want. For example if you decide you want to replace the picture window with French doors or that a built in cupboard in an alcove would provide more storage – these are called variations and should be discussed with your builder asap. Changes can often incur more cost and there may also be a good reason why the changes cannot be made. Asking early and getting quotes on any potential variations ensures that the communication between you and your builder keep flowing and everyone’s expectations are being met.


It is standard practice, in many contracts, that a "withholding sum" is retained for a period of time. If there are any defects noticed in this period you can contact the builder and get them to fix it. If you have engaged a Registered Master Builder you are eligible for a Master Build Guarantee which gives you peace of mind for potential remedial work that may be required following the completion of your project.

If you see something that doesn't look right on your building project, raise it with your builder immediately. Builders are extremely proud of the work that they do. If a mistake is made, it is usually inadvertent. Once again the key to a successful building project is a good relationship with your builder and this requires open and honest communication.


If you feel you have not been able to reach a satisfactory outcome, Registered Master Builders have engaged FairWay Resolution Limited, an independent, Crown-owned company providing specialist conflict management and dispute resolution services to manage any serious concerns you may have with your Registered Master Builder. 
To contact FairWay please call 0800 77 44 02 or email build-disputes@fairwayresolution.com

To read more about new consumer protection measures which took effect on 1 January 2015 please consult this Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment booklet, Do Your Home Work.