The approach of a construction or renovation project leaves some trembling with apprehension and others jumping with excitement.
Supply chain issues, labor shortages, and resulting cost increases make things even more difficult in 2022, and new technologies and considerations crop up every year.
So what are the main issues you should be aware of this year?
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1. Surround yourself with good people – designers, builders, design-build companies and other trades. Having the right level of expertise and getting it right from the start can save time, stress and money. Include a quantity surveyor on your list, who will cost the project according to your plans. Look for registered traders allied with recognized organizations. According to Karla Farrar of the New Zealand Certified Builders Association: “A qualified builder is someone trained and skilled in carpentry. We recommend that all homeowners exercise due diligence when building and renovating their home, such as investigating a builder’s qualifications and asking for client references. Investigate and see projects that have been completed by the potential builder and do a general internet search to see if anything negative comes up. A skilled builder who is experienced is more likely to be trained to order the right amount of construction materials and ensure that the supply of materials to the site occurs when it is needed. »
2. Consider product longevity you will use. Choose the best quality possible for your budget and be prepared to be flexible given current supply issues. Have a backup plan for that fabulous cooker you’ve fallen in love with in case you just can’t get hold of it. According to interior designer Emma Parker of Cheltenham Rd: “Lock in key items early to avoid disappointment later, especially for things like tiles, bathroom fixtures, kitchen appliances and specialist lighting. , because these often come from Europe. If you’re buying locally you know you’ll get the part, but there will always be a delay as demand for NZ manufacturing increases.
3. What do you want from your house? Should it accommodate your changing family and lifestyle, handle intergenerational occupancy, have lock and leave capabilities as we begin to travel more widely, or have a separate space for the Airbnb potential or for booming kids?
Architect Hamish Muir of Mason & Wales Architects works primarily on high-end homes around Central Otago. He sees customers thinking more deeply about their personal needs and returning Kiwis bringing new ideas to New Zealand. Its customers demand increasingly sophisticated outdoor living spaces, including kitchens and fireplaces, spaces dedicated to working from home, good laundry rooms often with changing rooms and wellness areas. Increasingly, customers are being cared for in separate self-contained areas, which may also have rental potential. He challenges guests to really think about what they need – why, for example, have an extra bedroom that is only used by guests one week a year? He encourages customers to consider making their homes smaller, so they can build to a higher quality and notes that the rising cost of homes has as much to do with increased levels of specs and amenities, as it does with the increase in material and labor costs. .
4. Consider possible zoning changes, for example, the proposed Amendments to the Resource Management Bill (allowing supply of housing and other matters) which allows three houses per site, could affect your property and whether this will also impact your plans or on how you design your home. Is it worth spending big bucks on a fancy renovation when your section may be attractive to a developer – or if a neighboring property suddenly sprouts three houses that overlook your back garden?
5. Plan ahead and try to imagine what awaits you. The construction industry has faced well-known challenges regarding the supply of materials and labour. Deciding to hire a home builder such as GJ Gardner Homes is an option. “While not immune to supply issues, our supply systems and processes allow us to flag orders to our merchant partners and preferred suppliers with more notice than most,” says Olly Sundstrum of GJ Gardner Homes. “We work proactively with our supplier partners to find alternative products if there is a problem. Effective and early communication with our customers is essential to ensure the best possible experience. We have a great team of tradespeople across our national franchise network, many of whom are long-time team members.
6. What new technologies should you incorporate and will they all pay off? Smart home technology can make running your home more seamless, and a good security system can be reassuring. Consult a smart home company, or even a good electrician who’s up to date with the latest equipment and systems (remember all those cabinets full of data cabling and then came Wi-Fi?). Take a look at smarterhomes.org.nz.
7. Do you need to sustain your home to adapt to your aging? Issues such as accessibility and safety often include easy-to-include features such as upstairs showers, extra handrails, wide doorways, easy-to-reach power outlets, good lighting, and transitions from level from inside to outside. The Lifemark organization provides design assistance on the types of features you can include and a rating system – see lifemark.co.nz.
8. How much space do you actually need? Consider the range of house types available today, from apartments and small houses to single-family homes on larger sections. Consider the entire property and plan the house and garden together as a cohesive unit.
9. What style of house do you want? Should architecture and interiors be timeless, or do you prefer to make a fashion statement? Interior designer Emma Parker believes that the focus should be on functionality and flexibility as well as aesthetics, as homeowners now have changing needs. “Optimizing workspaces for you and your family has never been more important. With most workplaces already committed to a hybrid work model, you’ll almost certainly need a dedicated home office space now that you’re working more from home,” she says.
10. Put effort into the expensive parts of the house and plan those first – the kitchen, the bathrooms and the floor. A kitchen is also the one area in your home where most of your family moments and memories are created, says Dave Wilson of Mastercraft Kitchens. “Think about the family dynamic and how it will evolve over the next 10 years or so – that’s really going to drive some of the aspects of sustainability. Kitchen design doesn’t necessarily change, but it definitely evolves to meet different ways people live in the 21st century.There are many of what would once have been considered luxury inclusions that have now become functional must-haves.
11. Have a contingency plan to cover unforeseen events. What if the project is delayed, drags on, you lose key craftsmen, the budget blows, or your developer brings up a sunset clause or goes bankrupt? You may need to provide additional rental funds if you cannot live locally and have a contingency fund for cost overruns. Consider any possible increase in mortgage rates and how it will affect your construction or renovation budget. According to Ben Kelleher of ANZ Personal Banking: “Although not unusual in the construction process, cost overruns can be stressful if people have not taken them into account.” Banks can have specialists and targeted lending, for example ANZ customers can meet a build coach who will guide them through the build journey and how each phase works, whether it’s a fixed-price or cost-and-quote contract, and documentation banks requirements all necessary assessments and appraisals, Ben says.
12. Having a home with sustainability features is not only good for your conscience, but ultimately good for your pocket. Consider materials and systems that are not only energy efficient such as insulation, double glazing and solar panels, but also those that are sustainably produced – VOC-free paint, locally produced products and materials with high recycled content. Will the materials you use withstand climate change and weather bombs or other force majeure events? Should you include a rain collection system or increase your spout requirements?